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Everyday is a great day for Sautéed Green Beans! This classic green bean side dish complements just about any entree and any cuisine, it’s quick to make, and you only need five simple ingredients to put it together.

a plate with crispy sauteed green beans

Why You’ll Love This Easy Sautéed Green Bean Recipe

  • Quick Cook Time. Yes, yes, we all love roasting vegetables, but when you want to get dinner on the table fast, you can’t do better than sautéed green beans (or Sautéed Spinach, or Sautéed Broccoli, or Sautéed Mushrooms…).
  • An Addition to Your Side Dish Library. This simple recipe for sautéed green beans is one you’ll return to again and again because it’s versatile enough to serve a wide range of cuisines and easy enough to make when you’re cooking a more demanding main dish.
  • Tender-Crisp Green Bean Perfection. Like my Roasted Green Beans and Air Fryer Green Beans, these sautéed green beans are cooked until they’re tender, but still crisp—bright green in color, soft enough to be appetizing, without being limp and mushy. 
easy sauteed green beans in a pan

How to Make the Best Sautéed Green Beans

The Ingredients

  • Green Beans. Trim the ends now so the beans are easy to eat later.
  • Soy Sauce or Kosher Salt. Using rice vinegar? Then choose soy sauce. Lemon juice? Go with the salt. Apple cider vinegar can go either way. Use low-sodium soy sauce if you’re watching your salt intake, or swap the soy sauce for tamari for gluten-free sautéed green beans.
  • Acid. Rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or freshly-squeezed lemon juice brighten up your sautéed green beans and enhance their flavor.

The Directions

a pan with fresh green beans for sauteeing
  1. Get Started. Add the oil to a hot skillet, followed by the green beans.
sauteeing green beans on the stove in a pan with a lid
  1. Season and Steam. Sprinkle the salt over the beans, then cover for 2 minutes, stir, and cover for 2 minutes more.
seasoned sauteed green beans
  1. Keep Cooking. Stir in the soy sauce (or more salt), cover, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes.
a pan of perfectly seasoned sauteed green beans
  1. Finish. Remove from heat, add your acid of choice. Season the sautéed green beans and ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Green Beans Amandine. Before starting the recipe, toast blanched almond slivers or almond slices in the skillet. Transfer them to a bowl, then make the recipe as instructed, using lemon juice. Just before serving, stir the toasted almonds into the skillet. Add fresh parsley or other herbs if you happen to have them on hand.
  • Sautéed Green Beans With Bacon. Cook a few strips of bacon and reserve one tablespoon of the fat; use this to cook the beans instead of extra-virgin olive oil. Crumble the cooked bacon and stir it into the beans after adding apple cider vinegar.
  • Asian Green Beans. Add sesame seeds and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil before serving. You can add some freshly minced ginger and garlic cloves during the last 2 minutes of cooking time for extra flavor, or give your green beans some heat with red pepper flakes.
  • Sautéed Garlic Green Beans. Add a clove or two of crushed garlic during the last 2 minutes of cooking time, before you add the acid. Garlic powder also works.
  • Green Beans With Parmesan and Breadcrumbs. Plate the green beans and top them with panko breadcrumbs toasted in unsalted butter, black pepper, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. A little bit of lemon zest or thinly sliced basil is delightful too!
  • Sautéed Frozen Green Beans. You can use frozen green beans if you’d like, but note that they won’t have the same tender-crisp texture as fresh green beans. If that doesn’t bother you, go for it! It’s a great way to upgrade frozen green beans by adding some extra flavor.
a close up shot of sauteed green beans in a skillet

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate sautéed green beans in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Heat leftovers in a skillet set over medium heat or in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze the sautéed green beans in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months, then thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

To get a head start on this recipe, you can prep the green beans a day or two in advance by washing and trimming them.

Leftover Ideas

Give your leftover sautéed green beans a second life by adding them to Italian Pasta Salad or Caprese Pasta Salad. If you’ve opted for Asian-inspired beans, try adding your leftovers to Chicken Fried Rice or Pork Fried Rice.

What to Serve with Sautéed Green Beans

sauteed green beans on a plate

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Make Sure Your Skillet Is Hot-Hot-Hot. The hot pan gives your beans a nice sear right out of the gate, with makes them lightly blistered and extra flavorful. When you cover the beans, they’ll steam, which is how they get that perfect tender texture.
  • Don’t Overcook. The best way to know when your sautéed green beans are done is to taste one. It’s up to you what “done” means, but for me, I look for the flavor to go from raw to cooked, a bright green color, and a texture that’s easy to bite into, but still has a little fresh green bean bite.
  • Add Water If Needed. If your pan starts smoking or your beans start burning, reduce the heat and add a splash of water to the pan. Do this carefully because it could potentially spatter a bit.
  • Dry Your Green Beans. Speaking of spatters! If there’s a lot of water clinging to your green beans when you add them to the oil, you will get oil spatters. They’re annoying on your stovetop and painful on your hands and arms, so make sure your green beans are as dry as possible. Sometimes I’ll wash them a few hours ahead of time and let them drain in a colander until I’m ready to cook; if I don’t have time for that, I’ll dump them into a kitchen towel, fold it over onto the beans, and pat them dry.

Sautéed Green Beans

5 from 13 votes
Five ingredients and 15 minutes for fresh, flavorful sautéed green beans! Pair this quick, easy side dish recipe with just about any entree.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes

Servings: 3 servings



  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat until it’s good and hot. Add the oil, swirl to coat, then add the green beans, spreading them into an even layer.
  • Add the salt, then cover (if your pan doesn’t have a lid, cover it with a baking sheet). Cook for 2 minutes, stir and spread the green beans back into an even layer, the recover and continue cooking 2 minutes more.
  • Stir in the soy sauce. Recover and cook until the green beans are crisp-tender and browning in spots, about 4 to 6 minutes more. Stir them every 2 minutes to make sure they brown evenly. If at any point the green beans start to burn, reduce the heat and add a little water to the pan as needed. Watch the green beans carefully to make sure they don’t overcook and become mushy.
  • Remove from the heat. Stir in the vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Enjoy hot.



  • TO STORE: Refrigerate sautéed green beans in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Heat leftovers in a skillet set over medium heat or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze the sautéed green beans in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months, then thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.


Serving: 1(of 3)Calories: 79kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gPotassium: 248mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 782IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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