This sautéed green beans recipe is a delicious, quick, and easy veggie side dish! Lemon juice, garlic, and fresh thyme fill it with bright, zingy flavor.
If you need a last-minute side dish for the holiday, this sautéed green beans recipe would be perfect. It calls for under 10 ingredients and cooks in under 10 minutes (bonus: no oven required!), so you can whip it up right before you eat. But don’t let its simplicity fool you. This sautéed green beans recipe might be easy to make, but it’s still bursting with flavor. I sauté fresh green beans until they’re crisp-tender and vibrant green. Then, I toss them with a zingy lemon-Dijon dressing. It gives the beans a bright, garlicky bite, making them so delicious that you’ll want to eat them straight from the serving bowl.
Sautéed Green Beans Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy sautéed green beans recipe:
- Green beans, of course! Opt for fresh, not frozen, green beans here. Their firm, satisfying texture really elevates this simple recipe. I like to use haricots verts, though any type of string beans works nicely.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – For cooking the green beans.
- Water – It creates steam in the skillet, helping the beans soften all the way through.
- Fresh lemon juice – For brightness.
- Garlic – It gives the green beans a sharp, savory bite.
- Dijon mustard – For peppery tang.
- Fresh thyme leaves – They add earthy, lemony flavor.
- And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
To make this sautéed green beans recipe, start by prepping the dressing in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves until smooth, then set aside.
Next, cook the green beans. To fully cook the green beans without blanching them, I toss them with some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, I add a splash of water to the pan and cover it. The water creates steam, which helps the green beans cook all the way through. Without it, they’d brown on the outside without softening in the middle.
When the beans are bright green and tender, add them to the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste, and transfer them to a serving platter. Enjoy!
Sautéed Green Beans Recipe Variations
I love these sautéed green beans with garlic, Dijon, and lemon, but that’s not the only way to season them! If you prefer, feel free to use another dressing, sauce, or seasoning. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Make buttery green beans. While the beans are still warm, toss them with a pat of garlic butter or herbed compound butter. Garnish with fresh parsley!
- Bring out their nutty flavor with drizzles of sesame ginger dressing or sesame oil.
- Try a summery twist. Toss the beans with red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and Italian dressing.
- Or add some sweetness. Dress them with this honey-mustard dressing.
Let me know what variations you try!
Sautéed Green Beans Serving Suggestions
This sautéed green beans recipe is a versatile side dish. I love it with comforting fall and winter recipes like my butternut squash risotto, stuffed shells, eggplant rollatini, and cauliflower pasta, though it pairs nicely with a simple protein too.
It’s also a wonderful addition to a holiday meal. Serve it alongside classic side dishes like stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy. If you’re looking for more holiday recipe ideas, check out this post!
This recipe is best on the day it’s made. Get a head start by trimming the green beans up to 2 days in advance. You can also make the dressing ahead of time. It will keep in a small jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
More Favorite Veggie Side Dishes
If you love this sautéed green beans recipe, try one of these vegetable side dishes next:
- Green Beans Almondine
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Carrots
- Sautéed Mushrooms
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Sautéed Broccoli
Sautéed Green Beans
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed
- 3 tablespoons water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Stir in the thyme leaves.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Add the water, cover, and cook 5 for minutes, or until the beans are tender but still have a slight bite. Transfer to the bowl with the lemon mixture and toss. Season to taste and transfer to a serving platter, leaving any excess water behind.