Steamed Fresh Green Beans


Steaming (but not for too long!) is a foolproof way to get perfect, crisp-tender green beans, every time. This easy recipe is a great starting point for other flavors or preparations, like adding cooked green beans to a salad.

Active Time:
5 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
4 servings

Nutrition Notes

Are Green Beans Good for You?

Green beans are a nutritious non-starchy vegetable that offer several nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. You'll also get a touch of B vitamins in green beans. Altogether, green beans are a great vegetable choice, including for those managing their blood sugars.

Are Green Beans Gluten-Free?

Yes, as is, green beans are gluten-free. It's what you add to them that you need to watch out for. For example, the crispy fried onions that are in and atop a traditional green bean casserole are made with wheat flour, as is the cream of mushroom soup. If you decide to make our green bean casserole from scratch, you can make it gluten-free by using gluten-free all-purpose flour and gluten-free bread crumbs.

Tips from the Test Kitchen

What Should I Look for When Buying Green Beans?

Good steamed green beans start with good fresh beans. Look for green beans that are uniformly green, plump and free of spots and blemishes. Larger beans may be less tender and sweet than smaller beans. Green beans are readily available year-round, but they are at their peak freshness from early summer to early fall.

How Do I Prep Green Beans for Steaming?

Remove the stem end of the green beans before steaming. You can snap off each individual stem or cut off a few ends at a time by lining them up on a cutting board to save time. We prefer to steam our green beans whole. You can leave them long, or cut them into pieces once they're steamed and cooled.

How Long Should I Steam Green Beans?

Green beans steam in a steamer basket on the stove for five to seven minutes. Opt for less time if you want to preserve more of their crispness. You can also steam green beans in the microwave.

Overhead view of a pot of boiling water with a steam basket and green beans from Steamed Fresh Green Beans recipe

Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey, Prop Stylist: Phoebe Hauser

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Serve Steamed Green Beans?

Steamed green beans are versatile. They can be their own side dish by simply tossing them in butter or oil, chopped fresh herbs, or chopped and toasted nuts. Salt and pepper enhance their flavor, as does a squeeze of lemon juice. You can cool and chop steamed green beans and add them to a composed salad or potato salad.

Additional reporting by Carrie Myers, M.S. and Hilary Meyer


  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed


  1. Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add green beans, cover and cook until tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

    Steamed Fresh Green Beans
    Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey, Prop Stylist: Phoebe Hauser


Large saucepan, steamer basket

Originally appeared:, November 2017

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

27 Calories
7g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 1 cup
Calories 27
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g 3%
Vitamin A 273IU 5%
Vitamin C 8mg 9%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 273mg 6%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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