Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe (Easy)

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This Easy Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe takes frozen green beans (you can also use fresh) to the next level. These delicious green beans are quickly blanched and then sauteed in olive oil and butter with onions, garlic, and toasted pinenuts. This creates the perfect texture and adds classic Italian flavors! Ready in 20 minutes.

This simple recipe makes a tasty side dish for your weeknight dinners, any special occasion feast, and a fresh addition to your holiday meal or Thanksgiving table. Serve with roast chicken or perfect prime rib roast, mashed potatoes, a delicious salad, and Italian Focaccia with Apples and Cheese.

Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe (Easy) on a grey plate with a fork
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Easy Sautéed Green Beans Recipe

Everyone needs an easy green bean recipe. I love that this recipe is light and fresh and super easy to make. You can use fresh or frozen beans, depending on what you have on hand. Either way, this recipe delivers that tender-crisp texture you love in sautéed green beans.

It is a great option for its heavier counterpart, the green bean casserole. Even your picky eater will love this sautéed green beans recipe!

Love green beans? Try our Italian Flat Green Beans Recipe (with Tomatoes and Garlic) Beans and Greens, or Green Bean Casserole.

Simple Ingredients

You can use fresh or frozen green beans for this easy green bean recipe. There are only a few ingredients, so quality is key to the best results. I love to use quality European butter, such as Kerrygold, to add richness to the dish.

ingredients shot for recipe
  • Frozen green beans, not defrosted (or, Fresh green beans trimmed)
  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Butter
  • Pine nuts
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

See the printable recipe card for quantities.

How to Make Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe (Easy) Step-by-Step Photos

This sautéed frozen green beans recipe is super simple and comes together in a little time. Perfect for a busy weeknight. It’s so simple! Start with a good bag of petite green beans and you’ll make a fabulous frozen green bean side dish. 

process of making sautéed green beans: boiling the green beans.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the green beans and cook for 2-4 minutes.

process of making sautéed green beans: placing the green beans in ice water.

Drain and place in a bowl with ice-cold water this will stop the cooking process. 

process of making sautéed green beans: frying the onions and pine nuts.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, pinenuts, and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Season with Salt and Pepper.

process of making sautéed green beans: mixing green beans with onions and pine nuts in iron skillet pan

Add the beans and sauté until softened to your taste, about 5-7 minutes.

Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe (Easy) on a yellow serving platter.

NOTE: You can skip the blanching process (the cooking method of quickly boiling the green beans), but this will result in a much more crunchy green bean texture. You will also need to increase the cooking time in the pan.

Types of Green Beans to use

You can use fresh green beans or frozen beans for this recipe. Feel free to use your favorite type of green bean variety.

For Frozen Green Beans (look for these varieties):

  • Thin green beans
  • Petite/tiny green beans
  •  Green beans
  • Haricot verts

Stay away from pre-cut frozen green beans. These thinly cut beans often result in a mushy texture.

Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe (Easy) on a grey plate with a fork napkin in background.

Substitutions

If you want to omit the butter you can use only olive oil. You can also use avocado oil instead of extra virgin olive oil.

Variations

The beauty of this simple recipe is you can make simple variations to suit your taste buds. Here are a few options for the next time you make this recipe.

  • Bacon – add crunchy bacon to the top of the final green bean dish. You can also cook the beans in bacon grease for additional flavor. Save the bacon dripping the next time you fry up some bacon.
  • Cheese – add a sprinkle of parmigiano, or parmesan cheese just before serving for a cheesy addition.
  • Red Bell Peppers – the fresh flavors of bell peppers work well with green beans. Simply sautee them when you add the onions and garlic and cook for an extra couple of minutes before adding the green beans.
  • Herbs – at the end of cooking add chopped fresh parsley to finish off the roasted green beans, or other herbs such as dill, green onions, or basil.
  • Fresh Lemon – garnish the green beans with a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon zest just before serving.
  • Nuts – instead of pinenuts use hazelnuts, sliced almonds, pistachios, or walnuts.  
Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe (Easy) on a grey plate with a fork.

Equipment

The skillet to use: I love cooking in a cast iron skillet. It distributes the heat evenly throughout the bottom of the pan and up to the sides. It’s naturally nonstick and super durable. You can also use a dutch oven-type pot.

Storage

If you have leftovers cover them with plastic wrap, or store them in an airtight container and refrigerate the beans for up to 2 days.

Serving Suggestions for Sauteed Green Beans

Serve your buttery sautéed green bean recipe with these delicious main dishes.

FAQ

Do you have to blanch green beans before sauteeing?

Blanching, or quickly boiling, gives the green beans vibrant green color. It results in the best texture with a soft inside, but not mushy, and a crunchy outside. Blanching AND sauteeing the green beans gives the best texture.

Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe (Easy) on a grey plate.

More delicious recipes

Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.

I would love for you to tag me on Instagram @cucinabyelena so I can see your delicious Italian recipes. To get more ideas, follow me on Pinterest.

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Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe (Easy) on a yellow serving platter.

Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe (Easy)

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5 from 2 reviews

This Easy Sautéed Frozen Green Beans Recipe takes frozen green beans (you can also use fresh) to the next level. These delicious green beans are quickly blanched and then sauteed in olive oil and butter with onions, garlic, and toasted pinenuts. This creates the perfect texture and adds classic Italian flavors! Ready in 20 minutes.

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 lb frozen green beans, not defrosted (or, fresh green beans trimmed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup pinenuts
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the green beans and cook for 2-4 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl with ice-cold water this will stop the cooking process. 
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and pine nuts and cook until softened and the pinenuts toasted, about 5-7 minutes. Add the beans, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened to your taste, about 3-4 minutes.
  3.  Take off the heat and serve hot. (see notes for recipe variations)

Notes

Blanching: You can skip the blanching process (cooking method of quickly boiling the green beans), but this will result in a much more crunchy green bean texture. You will also need to increase the cooking time in the pan. 

Variations:

  • Bacon – add crunchy bacon to the top of the final green bean dish. You can also cook the beans in bacon grease for additional flavor. Save the bacon dripping the next time you fry up some bacon.
  • Cheese – add a sprinkle of parmigiano, or parmesan cheese just before serving for a cheesy addition.
  • Red Bell Peppers – the fresh flavors of bell peppers work well with green beans. Simply sautee them when you add the onions and garlic and cook for an extra couple of minutes before adding the green beans.
  • Herbs – at the end of cooking add chopped fresh parsley to finish off the roasted green beans, or other herbs such as dill, green onions, or basil.
  • Fresh Lemon – garnish the green beans with a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon zest just before serving.
  • Nuts – instead of pinenuts use hazelnuts, sliced almonds, pistachios, or walnuts.  

 

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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