How Long To Boil Green Beans

How Long To Boil Green Beans

A bowl of green beans makes for a colorful and healthy side dish to go with many meals like a Sunday dinner or meatloaf. Whether you like your green beans to be soft or have a little bite to them, they can be prepared very quickly in a few minutes.

How Long To Boil Green Beans

You may want to add some garlic butter or simply serve them plain but try not to overcook them. They should still have that vivid bright green color each time so learn how to boil them for just the right amount of time.

In this guide, we will detail how long to boil green beans and introduce different ways of cooking them as well as dressing them. We will also look at how to store and serve green beans.

How Long To Boil Green Beans

It can be quite obvious to know when a dish of green beans has been overcooked as you only need to use your eyes. They will have lost some of their color and come across as soggy and limp when you remove them from the pan.

Their flavor may be lost in the water and no one really wants flavorless and mushy green beans.

If you are boiling your green beans, pay attention to them as they could be done after two minutes, though check them to get the desired level of tenderness as it could take up to five minutes, maybe even seven minutes.

How To Boil Green Beans

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and add a teaspoon of Kosher salt with the green beans. Refrain from covering the pot and leave the green beans to cook until just tender which may only take a few minutes.

The green beans should turn bright green, at which point you should remove them from the pot as they will look their best when presented on the dinner table.

Carefully pick up the pot and pour the contents through a colander or use a slotted spoon to remove the green beans.

Dressing The Green Beans

Dressing The Green Beans

You could leave the green beans to be served as they are by pouring them into a dish from the colander and maybe adding some seasoning. That’s fine but you could dress them to create different variations on the side dish.

Submerge the green beans in a bowl of ice water to sit for a few minutes before draining in the colander again.

Once drained, season with some salt, butter, or olive oil which is relatively simple. To go a bit further with your side dish, sauté them lightly with spices like crushed red pepper or add some freshly minced garlic.

You could even finish the side dish off with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts to serve straight away.

How To Store Green Beans

After cooking and dressing your green beans, you can either eat them immediately or store them for later. You can place them in an airtight container to leave in the refrigerator for between three and five days.

Freezing them is also an option as they can be kept on a baking sheet in one layer and they will be frozen inside four hours. Pour the green beans into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and they can keep for up to three months.

How To Serve Green Beans

How To Serve Green Beans

To introduce some flavor to a side of green beans, you typically only need some pantry ingredients to go with a single batch before placing in an appropriately-sized dish.

These can include just topping them with a drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. Even more flavor can come from minced garlic which can prove very effective with a drizzle of olive oil.

Add some spice with red pepper flakes or some tang with some freshly squeezed lemon juice. 

Final Thoughts

When you are preparing a side dish of green beans, you will need to trim them first, ideally three or four at a time. Line up the ends and chop away as they can be chewy if you cook them with the ends still on.

Ensure that the water is boiling before you add the green beans to the pan as this should mean you can get your timings right.

Make sure that you get a vibrant green color as this is a good indication that the green beans are cooked and ready to be served or dressed with some tasty ingredients. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Cook Green Beans That Are Frozen?

A lot of the time, you will not have fresh green beans to hand and you will be left with those that have been frozen in your freezer. Do not worry, these can still be boiled but it will take a little more time to prepare them.

Place the frozen green beans in a pot with around a quarter cup of water and cook them over a medium heat until the water evaporates to effectively defrost them.

Remove the green beans and set them aside while you sauté olive oil with garlic then return the green beans to the pan, ensure they are coated, and then cook until cooked through. 

How Do You Steam Some Green Beans?

If you prefer to steam your green beans instead of boiling them then this is easily done but you still need to bring water to a boil.

Trim and wash your green beans first and then place them in a steamer basket over a medium saucepan that has an inch of water.

Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the basket, and let the green beans steam for around five to seven minutes. Drain the water from the pan and return the green beans to sauté and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

How to Boil Green Beans