Steamed green beans are a simple and delicious veggie side that can complement any meal. They’re easy to prepare and super nutrient-dense. Whether you’re looking for a nutritious vegetable to serve alongside your favorite protein, or just want to add more greens to your diet, steamed green beans are an excellent choice!
Steamed green beans are a go-to in my house! Everyone in my family loves them + the recipe is just too easy to not have on repeat throughout the week. While this recipe is specifically written for microwave-steamed green beans, we’ve included stovetop instructions too, if you’d like to go that route!
The ingredient list is just about as simple as you’d imagine it to be! The only ingredient (besides water, of course) you’ll need in order to make steamed green beans is…
- Green Beans – grab 1 pound of green beans next time you’re at the grocery store! Pre-trimmed green beans are great for convenience, but you can also grab whole green beans and trim them yourself.
Is it better to use fresh or frozen green beans?
When it comes to steamed green beans, I prefer to use fresh. Either will work totally fine, though, so if you know that there’s a high likelihood in your house of fresh green beans not being cooked/eaten before they go bad, feel free to grab frozen green beans.
Supplies Needed for this Recipe
Best Seasoning for Steamed Green Beans
I typically stick to really simple seasoning when it comes to my steamed green beans (flaky sea salt + cracked black pepper is my go-to combo), but if you’re looking for a jazzed-up green bean side, feel free to use any seasoning combination you love. Garlic and onion powder would be a great place to start!
How to Steam Green Beans in the Microwave
My family eats steamed green beans with dinner *at least* twice a week — everyone loves this simple veggie side, plus, it’s incredibly easy and quick to make. Here’s how you’ll do it:
- Add the green beans and water to a bowl – add the trimmed green beans and ½ a cup of water to a microwave-safe bowl.
- Secure with plastic wrap – cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure that it’s tightly secured on all sides of the bowl.
- Microwave – microwave the plastic wrap-covered bowl of green beans + water for 3 ½ minutes (for al dente green beans) or 5 minutes (for baby-friendly textured green beans).
- Remove from the microwave, uncover, and enjoy – using oven mitts if needed, remove the bowl from the microwave. Carefully remove the plastic wrap (be careful of the steam!) and either use a slotted spoon to serve or strain before serving.
How to Steam Green Beans on the Stove
This recipe is for microwave-steamed green beans, but if you’d like to steam your green beans on the stovetop, go for it! To do this, you’ll need to:
- Add water to a pot and bring to a boil – add an inch of water to a medium-to-large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the green beans to a steamer insert + place in the pot – place the trimmed green beans in your steamer insert, then place the insert in the pot.
- Steam – let the green beans steam in the insert for 6-8 minutes, until bright green and easily pierced with a fork.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to steam green beans or boil them?
I prefer to steam my green beans versus boil them. Here’s why: it’s way faster (bringing an inch of water to a boil is WAY quicker than bringing an entire pot of water to a boil). Also, rumor has it that less nutrients leach out when they’re steamed vs. submerged in boiling water.
How do you steam vegetables without a steamer?
One of the reasons I prefer to steam my green beans in the microwave as opposed to on the stovetop (besides the fact that it’s WAY quicker) is because I don’t need any special gadgets — like a steamer basket — to make it happen. Just a large bowl + some plastic wrap!
How to cook fresh green beans so they are soft?
Steaming your green beans should make them nice and soft, but if you’re looking for an even softer green bean than what the cooking time is giving you, feel free to add more cooking time in 1-minute increments until your desired texture is reached.
How do you make green beans not rubbery?
Undercooked green beans tend to be rubbery (while overcooked green beans tend to be mushy), so it’s important to strike the perfect balance and stick to the cooking times listed in the recipe for the best results.
More Favorite Veggie Sides
- How to Roast Asparagus
- Steamed Broccoli
- Oven Roasted Broccoli Recipe
- The Best Grilled Zucchini
- Simple Sauteed Green Beans
- Lemony Kale
- Roasted Green and Purple Cabbage
Steamed Green Beans: A Simple and Nutritious Recipe
- 1 pound 16 ounces green beans, trimmed
- ½ cup water
- Add the trimmed green beans and a ½ cup of water to a microwave-safe bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure that it’s tightly secured on all sides of the bowl.
- Microwave the plastic wrap-covered bowl of green beans + water for 3 ½ minutes (for al dente green beans) or 5 minutes (for baby-friendly textured green beans).
- Using oven mitts if needed, remove the bowl from the microwave. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and either use a slotted spoon to serve or strain before serving.
- Add an inch of water to a medium-to-large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Place the trimmed green beans in your steamer insert, then place the insert in the pot.
- Let the green beans steam in the insert for 6-8 minutes, until bright green and easily pierced with a fork.