It can be really easy to screw up cooking green beans. If you look away for just a minute, delicate beans can go from crisp-tender to over-cooked and mushy, and there’s no turning back. Plus when they’re at their peak, green beans have a vibrant green color and lovely spring flavor that shines when they’re barely cooked. Before your beans lose their brightness and a staple side dish is ruined, learn how to cook green beans three ways—boiling, steaming, and sautéing.
How to Prep Green Beans
No matter how you cook them, it’s important to properly prep them. This means thoroughly washing and scrubbing them and then trimming the ends of any scraggly bits using kitchen shears or a paring knife. Haricots verts (aka French green beans) often come pre-trimmed, but be sure to give them a once-over to avoid eating any undesirable scraps. Discard or compost any beans that have brown or mushy spots and move forward with the rest.