A plate full of cooked italian green beans with a slice of lemon and a fork

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Why I love this fresh green beans recipe

There’s nothing I like more the fresh vegetables. While I don’t mind frozen, I’ve never been a fan of canned, and the more time I spend cooking, the more I realize how simple fresh veggies can be to cook.

They definitely take a little more time and planning, but I find that it’s the difference between me choosing to each vegetables on a regular basis or skipping them entirely.

These easy Italian green beans are one of my favorite side dishes, and I find that they go with almost anything – from Mississippi pot roast to honey mustard chicken. I even think they’re a great alternative for green bean casserole around the holidays.

More side dish recipes: easy broccoli salad / crispy roasted brussel sprouts / Instant Pot baked beans / snow peas recipe / apple fennel salad

a plate of cooked italian green beans with a side of lemon slice

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe

How to make Italian green beans

Boil the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add your green beans. Let the cook for about 3 – 4 minutes, or until they turn nice and bright green in color. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Sauté the garlic and peppers. Return the pot to the stove. Add olive oil to the pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.

Let them simmer until they’re sizzling and fragrant. This should only take about 30 – 45 seconds, so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Sauté the green beans. Return the beans to the pan and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

an aerial view of a plate of italian green beans with a slice of lemon and a fork

FAQ’s and tips for making these sautéed green beans

Do you have to boil green beans before cooking?

Yes. By boiling your fresh green beans for a few minutes before sauteeing them, you bring out the bright green color as well as help the green beans to retain a nice texture when cooked. It might add a few minutes to the cooking process but it’s well worth it!

How long to cook green beans

The blanching is only 3 to 4 minutes, which isn’t very long. From that point, you take the green beans, drain them, and then put them in a hot seasoned skillet to sautee for 2 minutes. From start to finish the green beans are only cooked for about 5 or 6 minutes, which isn’t very long, making this a very fast side dish to throw together.

Can you overcook green beans?

Overcooked green beans aren’t very pleasant to look at or eat. The textures and colors are a little off. You can tell that your fresh green beans were overcooked because the color turns more olive in tone, and the texture is mushy. You want bright green and crisp.

How do you clean and trim green beans?

Wash your green beans by placing them in a colander and rinsing with water well. Toss them around with your hands to help the water get over every bean. You can also dip a colander full of green beans into a bowl filled with water, and swish it around. Drain the water, and repeat until the water looks clear of all debris.
To trim your green beans, line them up on a clean cutting board. If you can get all of the stems to line up on one side, that’s even better. Using your chef’s knife, cut off the stems and little knobby ends. 

5 ingredient Dairy Free Vegan Italian Green Beans

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Italian Green Beans

This easy fresh green beans recipe is bursting with flavor and color. You’re going to love these sautéed Italian green beans as a side dish to your next meal. As a bonus, they are vegan and cook really quickly! Perfect for a fast dinner addition. #greenbeans #sidedish

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 1/22 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Fill a large stockpot or dutch oven about halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the green beans to the pot and let them cook for about 3 – 4 minutes, or until they have turned bright green.
  3. Drain green beans in a colander and set aside.
  4. Return pot to the stove, and decrease heat to medium-high.
  5. Heat the olive oil in the pan. Then, add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Return the green beans to the pan and stir to coat evenly with oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Continue to cook, stirring as needed, until green beans are heated through, about 2 minutes.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 90
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 203.3 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.3 g
  • Fiber: 4.2 g
  • Protein: 2.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: dairy free, vegan, gluten free, vegetables, healthy, easy, 5 ingredient

Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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  1. I love this recipe! Green beans are one of our favourite foods over here. Thank-you for such a simple yet tasty option for green beans.