My favorite side dishes to make are like this Pan Fried Fresh Green Beans recipe. This dish only requires a few ingredients, is inexpensive, healthy, and quick and easy. I love it when that happens!
These green beans differ from the canned type because these are firmer. I do eat the canned variety at times. When my kids were little and we were on a very tight budget that is all we ate. My sautéed green beans are packed with vitamins, and I can feel better about feeding them to my family.
You could use vegetable oil, but olive oil has the “healthy fat”, so these are better for you if you use olive oil. Since we are trying to eat healthier I make little tweaks like swapping oils, using fresh instead of canned, and using less salt. I figure if I make little changes here and there it will add up to an overall healthier lifestyle. So far I haven’t made any changes that I haven’t liked, and felt good about making. For this recipe I take help form the grocery store by using the kind of garlic that comes in a jar, it is chopped and ready to go. I find myself using this more and more because it is so convenient.
I tend to go with a less is more philosophy when I cook (most of the time), so a little garlic, salt and pepper make the most delicious green beans, in my opinion.
See recipe card below for exact measurements.
Five ingredients are all you need to make this perfect side dish that goes with just about any main dish you can think of.
Green Beans – we buy them in bulk in the produce section. My Walmart has them in a package that are already washed and trimmed and I buy them if they are out of the bulk ones.
Olive Oil – this has the healthy fat to make this the perfect healthy side dish.
Garlic – use a little or a lot depending on your personal preference. Fresh garlic or the kind in the jar both work perfectly.
S&P – Regular or Kosher salt will work and you can use freshly ground or already ground black pepper.
How to Make Pan-Fried Green Beans:
- Wash green beans and trim ends.
- Heat a medium or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green beans and water to the hot pan, bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Uncover, raise heat to medium-high, add olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook until water evaporates, stirring often, about 2 minutes.
How to Select Green Beans:
Look for beans that are a bright green color free of brown spots. They should also be crisp and they should not feel slimy.
We like our beans to be tender. If you would like crisp tender beans then adjust the cook time down a couple of minutes to accomplish this.
Omissions Substitutions & Additions:
- Not a fan of garlic? Just leave it out.
- Swap the olive oil with a little butter, though the olive oil is healthier.
- Add some red pepper flakes for a little kick.
- Lemon juice or lemon zest would be a nice addition for a burst of fresh flavor.
- Add a little soy sauce for an Asian flair.
- Don’t have garlic then use garlic powder instead.
- Add some onion powder for added flavor.
Other Healthy Side Dish Recipes:
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Pan Fried Fresh Green Beans
- 1 pound fresh green beans washed and trimmed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
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- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add green beans and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.1 pound fresh green beans, 1/2 cup water
- Uncover, raise heat to medium-high, add olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook until water evaporates, stirring often, about 2 minutes.1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
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