Here’s an easy way to cook frozen green beans. Not only is it quick and easy, it’s also very tasty and won’t leave you with limp or watery beans.
Boiling or steaming are probably the most popular ways of cooking frozen beans, but these methods don’t always produce the best results. Too often, the beans end up mushy and lose their colour, which ends up being more grey than green.
I’m glad to say there is a better way to cook frozen green beans and it’s just as easy as boiling, steaming or microwaving.
Pan frying is the way to go. You don’t even need to thaw the beans, just pour those frozen beans right into your pan.
The frozen beans and small ice crystals on them will provide plenty of moisture in the pan, no need to add extra liquid. That said, I crush, shake and remove large ice crystals before adding beans to the pan. This is important because they don’t taste good and they will add too much liquid to the pan. Once most of that liquid has cooked off you can add a little butter or oil to help caramelize some of the beans just a little. You can also add a little garlic at this point if you’d like. Just before serving toss in a little of your favourite seasoning.
PRO TIP: Don’t stir your beans too often, just be patient, let that water steam and evaporate, then gently stir.
Recipe for Easy Way to Cook Frozen Green Beans
Pan Fried Frozen Green Beans with Lemon Pepper and Garlic
- 2 cups frozen green beans
- 1 Tbsp canola oil or butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp lemon pepper finishing salt
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon zest (optional)
- Remove and discard any large ice crystals or chunks from frozen green beans. Pour frozen green beans (do not thaw) into a wide pan over medium-high heat.
- Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until beans have thawed and most of the moisture they released has cooked off. Only stir occasionally to avoid squishing the beans.
- Stir in one tablespoon of oil or butter and minced garlic. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally and let some beans caramelize or turn light brown.
- Remove from heat and season with lemon pepper finishing salt and lemon zest if using.
- Serve immediately.
I also like adding frozen green beans to sheet pan dinners. Just like with pan frying, I toss the frozen beans directly on the hot sheet pan. As you can imagine, frozen beans don’t need a long time in a hot oven, so I usually add them within the last 8-10 minutes of cooking a sheet pan dinner.
Why Are Some of My Beans Yellow?
These are my homegrown wax beans that I blanch and freeze myself. I grow green, yellow and burgundy wax beans and I like to freeze them together so I have a mixed batch of beans when I’m ready to serve them.
What’s your favourite method of cooking frozen green beans? What’s your favourite seasoning or herbs to put with green beans?
I’d love to hear your recipe ideas for using frozen beans. Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram at #getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.