How to Cook Green Beans: An Easy Guide

Green beans are the unsung heroes of veggie side dishes. The perfect accompaniment to steak and chips, battered cod, fish cakes, chicken breast – the list goes on. Not to mention a key crunchy component to many a salad, stir fry or curry, and easily coated in whichever sauce or seasoning you like. And did we mention they only take maximum 4 ½ minutes to cook? 

Like lots of frozen vegetables, there are a number of ways to cook green beans, so read on for our comprehensive guide on cooking green beans…


How to boil green beans

For best results, we suggest boiling green beans straight from the freezer – which also happens to be the quickest method.

  • Place in the pan
  • Add sufficient boiling water to cover
  • Bring back to the boil
  • Cover and leave to simmer for 2 1/2 mins
  • Drain and serve
  • Season to taste

Cooking green beans in a microwave

Microwaving takes slightly longer but can be easier.

For 160g (approximately 2 servings):

  • Place the Very Fine Green Beans in a microwavable bowl
  • Add 15ml (1tbsp) water and cover

    650W/B – 4½ mins

    750W/D  – 4 mins

    850W/E – 3½ mins

  • Drain and serve
  • Season to taste

Whichever way you decide to cook your green beans, please ensure they are cooked until piping hot. These instructions are guidelines only – and do NOT refreeze after defrosting.

How to sauté green beans

Sautéed green beans are a simple yet impressive side dish that just add that extra special tasty touch to a meal. Before sautéing, you must boil them as usual, and then:

  • Heat a sauce pan or skillet on medium heat with olive oil for at least 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 60 seconds
  • Add green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes
  • Season with salt & pepper and serve

How to make blanched green beans

Blanching green beans is fairly similar to parboiling green beans – except when blanching, you boil for a slightly longer time of 4 minutes, and then place them quickly in iced water to stop the cooking process and set the colour. Blanching vegetables is recommended if you are prepping food ahead of time, as it stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavour, colour and texture.


What to serve with green beans?

Looking for inspiration? Whether it’s a side dish, curry, salad or stir fry, when it comes to green beans we’ve got plenty of recipe ideas.

Feeling fishy? Green beans and chips are the perfect accompaniment to our battered cod fillets for a tasty and nutritious weeknight fix. Alternatively, our cod fish cakes are just as delicious and a favourite with the kids. If you fancy something a little more special, our fish fillets in sauce give you a taste of the Mediterranean with a choice of tomato and basil coatings or lemon and pepper.

Be careful not to ignore the full potential of the green bean, however – next time you make a Thai Green curry, add in a handful of green beans for a little crunch and a burst of natural goodness*. Simply stir in and continue to cook until tender and piping hot throughout.

So, there you have it – all you could ever want to know about cooking green beans. Our Birds Eye recipe hub has plenty of inspiration when it comes to cooking quick, tasty and nutritious dishes. The beauty of frozen veg is that it retains its nutrients from the field, so that you’re getting the maximum benefits in your kitchen. With Love, from Birds Eye.

* Folic acid contributes to the normal function of the immune system