Easy Sautéed Green Beans

4.91 from 11 votes
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Made with garlic, lemon, and butter, these sautéed green beans are a welcome addition to any meal! They’re bright, colorful, and ready in just 20 minutes.

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cooked green beans on a platter

Growing up, some variation of green beans was often on our dinner table. Whether we ate them steamed, roasted, or sautéed, my mom always served them with butter, salt, and pepper to keep it simple. We’re kicking versatile green beans up a notch with today’s recipe for sautéed green beans with lemon for brightness and garlic for flavor.

These vibrant green beans come together quickly and easily in one pan on the stovetop. After lots of recipe testing, 7-10 minutes is the perfect cook time – any longer and the beans will be mushy! You’ll know they’re done when they are just starting to turn bright green and still have a bite or crunch to them.

What You Need for Sautéed Green Beans

Just 7 simple ingredients needed for this veggie side:

  • Green beans
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt + pepper
  • Butter
  • Lemon juice
trimmed green beans on cutting board

Sautéed Green Beans Variations

While you can’t go wrong with classic lemon + garlic flavor, green beans are totally versatile. Jazz up sautéed green beans with any of these ingredient combinations:

great jones king sear.

Great Jones

Cast Iron Pan

The Great Jones King Sear is our favorite cast iron pan. It’s definitely worth the splurge to add to your kitchen collection!

cooking garlic in skillet.


Should you use fresh or frozen green beans?

When it comes to making sautéed green beans we ALWAYS recommend using fresh green beans. Most frozen green beans actually come pre-cooked or at least partially cooked and can end up super mushy.
Using fresh green beans guarantees crispy, bright green beans.

What is the best way to trim green beans?

There are 2 simple ways to trim green beans. We love using a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the ends off or you can use a sharp knife.

What kind of oil is best for sautéing green beans?

Olive oil and avocado oil are our go-to oils when it comes to sautéing green beans. They are mild in flavor and have the perfect smoke point.
You can also try vegetable oil, sesame oil. or canola oil, too.

What can you add to green beans for flavor?

We love adding freshly minced garlic and salt to green beans to give them flavor, but feel free to mix in any pre-made spice mix or soy sauce for a little something different.

Can you sauté green beans without blanching them?

Yes, you can sauté green beans without blanching them! While blanching the beans helps them cook faster, it adds a second step that we don’t find necessary.

sautéing green beans with garlic in cast iron pan.


Store leftover green beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat: Warm green beans in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop.

We don’t recommend freezing sautéed green beans as the texture can become grainy when frozen, thawed, and reheated.

cooked green beans with lemon and garlic on platter.

Serving Suggestions

These bright and colorful sautéed green beans add a pop of freshness to any meal. They’re a delicious addition to holiday menus and are simple enough to whip up on busy weeknights. Pair them with our one-pot hamburger helper, baked lemon chicken, pizza quinoa casserole, or any hearty dinner recipe!

4.91 from 11 votes

Sautéed Green Beans Recipe

Made with butter, salt, cracked pepper, and a little lemon juice, these vibrant sautéed green beans are the perfect seasonal side.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 lbs. fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper


  • Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet set over medium/high heat. When the olive oil is fragrant, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
    A frying pan with a spoon in it.
  • Add the trimmed green beans to the skillet and sprinkle with salt. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the green beans until warmed through and bright green in color, about 7-10 minutes. Do not over cook the beans.*
    Green beans in a skillet with a wooden spoon.
  • Remove the beans from the heat and mix in the butter, lemon juice, and pepper. Enjoy!
    A pan with green beans and cheese on it.

Tips & Notes

  • Storage: Store leftover green beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating Instructions: Warm green beans in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop. 
  • Cook Time: Every stovetop is different so be sure to check on the green beans while they cook to prevent mushy beans. 

Watch It


Calories: 144 kcal, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 10 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 6 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.

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About Lee Funke

Lee is the founder of Fit Foodie Finds and based in Minneapolis, MN. She started this website in 2010 as a way to share her love for real food and wellness. The internet has changed so much since then and so has Fit Foodie Finds. Today we're a female-run recipe website publishing hundreds of tried and true recipes developed and tested by our team.

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December 28, 2023 7:22 am

5 stars
Great recipe. Quick and easy. I love sauteed vegetables.

July 27, 2022 4:38 am

5 stars
What an easy recipe to do everyday. Thank you for sharing!