5 Ways to Cook Green Beans

Green beans are a very versatile, nutrient-rich vegetable that can be prepared a variety of ways. In this blog, we explore five methods for cooking green beans and share a simple, yet flavorful Green Beans with Oyster Sauce recipe.

Before cooking, trim off the ends of the green beans by aligning them and slicing off the tips. Once this prep work is done, you are ready to cook. Here are five methods -- excluding baking, air frying, and frying -- for cooking green beans.

Method 1: Steaming Green Beans

  • Bring about 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a pot.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and add a steamer basket with the green beans inside.
  • Cover and steam until the beans reach your desired level of tenderness, usually 4-7 minutes.

Method 2: Microwaving Green Beans

  • Place about 6 oz of green beans in a microwavable dish and season with salt and a bit of oil.
  • Add 1/2-1 tablespoon of water, cover, and microwave until the beans reach your preferred doneness, typically 1-5 minutes (1 minute for crunchy, 5 minutes for tender).
  • Note that the salt and water will prevent the beans from wrinkling.

Method 3: Sautéing Green Beans

  • Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add oil and salt.
  • Add the green beans and stir-fry until they start to sizzle.
  • Add 2-4 tablespoons of water for 6 oz of green beans, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer.
  • Cook for about 4-7 minutes, checking periodically to ensure there’s enough water.

Method 4: Blanching Green Beans

  • Fill a pot with enough water to cover the green beans and bring it to a boil.
  • Salt the water (1 teaspoon of salt per quart of water) for flavor.
  • Carefully add the green beans to the boiling water, cover, and cook until they reach your desired tenderness, usually 4-7 minutes.
  • Drain the beans and, if desired, stop the cooking process by placing them in ice water to retain their crunch.

Method 5: Instant Pot Green Beans

  • Pour 1/2 cup of cold water into the Instant Pot.
  • Place the green beans on a trivet inside the pot.
  • Cook on high pressure for 0-4 minutes (0 minutes for crunchy, 2 minutes for crunchy-tender, 4 minutes for tender) and perform a quick release.
  • Note that while this method is convenient, the green beans will lose their bright color and turn olive the longer they are pressure-cooked.


  • To enjoy green beans at their best, cook them as soon as possible after purchase. Fresh green beans are easier to cook, retain their vibrant green color, and are more tender. In contrast, older beans tend to be tougher and chewier. While frozen green beans are a convenient option, they often take on an olive shade and have a firmer texture.

Basic Green Beans with Oyster Sauce Recipe

Serves: 3
Prep Time: 5 minutes – Cooking Time: 8 minutes – Total Time: 13 minutes


  • 12 oz green beans
  • 1 garlic clove minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple syrup
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil


Step 1
Trim the ends off the green beans.

Step 2
Cook the green beans using your preferred method.

Step 3
In a skillet warmed over medium heat, add oil and minced garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant.

Step 4
Add the cooked green beans, soy sauce, oyster sauce, maple syrup, and pepper to the skillet. Add salt if necessary. Toss well, remove and serve.

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