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Haricot verts, aka French green beans, are thin and deliciously tender sautéed with herbs and lemon. A fast and easy side dish!

Haricot Verts
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Green beans are ideal for side dishes because they’re so quick and versatile. When it comes to variety, we always go for haricot verts, aka French green beans! This thinner, more tender type of green bean is quicker to cook and even tastier than the standard bean. They’re simple to whip up: our favorite way is sautéed with herbs and a splash of fresh lemon juice. It’s zingy and simple, yet feels elegant enough to serve to guests. Here’s more about these tasty beans and a few more ideas of how to use them!

What are haricot verts, aka French green beans?

Haricot verts literally means “green beans” in French, and refers to a French variety of green beans. They’re thinner and more tender than standard green beans, and are often labeled French green beans at the grocery store. Don’t confuse haricot verts with French cut green beans, which refers to green beans that are thinly sliced.

Standard green beans available at the grocery store are often the variety Blue Lake green beans. This type of bean is longer and thicker than haricot verts, and take a bit longer to cook. They can sometimes taste a bit stringy or have a tougher texture.

French green beans can be harder to find at the store and might be more expensive than the standard Blue Lake variety, but they’re seeking out it! The tender texture and quick cooking time gives them an edge over the standard variety.

Haricot Vert

How to cook haricot verts

This haricot verts recipe is quick and simple: all you need is a quick sauté in a hot pan with lemon and herbs. The best way to sauté French green beans? Steam them in the pan first, then finish with a sauté. This method works very well with tougher vegetables sauteed broccoli, where the pan can become dry before the vegetables are tender and finished cooking. Here are the basic steps for how to sauté haricot verts (or jump to the recipe below):

  • Steam. Add the French green beans with a splash of water to a skillet. Cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes covered.
  • Cook out the water. Remove the cover and cook until the remaining water evaporates, about 1 minute.
  • Saute! Now that the beans are softened, add the olive oil or butter and saute the beans for 2 minutes until tender but still bright green!

Tips for trimming green beans

It can feel like it takes forever to trim green beans. We’ve found a quick way to do it that works for any variety of beans. Here’s how to trim green beans quickly:

  • Line them up: Grab a handful (about 15 to 20 beans) and then place them on the cutting board. Working quickly, make a uniform pile with them all lined up lengthwise.
  • Slice off the stem end: Line up all the ends against your knife edge. Grab them in one hand, and cut off the stem ends with a knife.
  • Repeat! Repeat until all the beans trimmed.

As a note, you can find some packaged French green beans that come pre-trimmed. This is a quick and easy way to speed up the recipe for an even simpler side dish.

French Green Beans

More haricot verts recipes

You can cook haricot verts in so many ways: sauteed, roasted, blanched, salads, and more. Here are a few of our favorite green bean recipes that you can use for haricot verts as well. How to convert a recipe for standard green beans to French green beans? Just subtract 1 to 2 minutes from the cook time. Here are some other ideas for how to use haricot verts:

  • Green Beans Almondine A favorite! Blanch green beans, then sauté them in butter with garlic and almonds.
  • Green Bean Salad Perfect with haricot verts, this summery salad features tomatoes, arugula and feta.
  • Garlic Green Beans Go big on garlic flavor with these tasty sautéed beans.
  • Roasted Green Beans French green beans are great roasted, too! Start taste testing at 10 minutes of roasting time.

This haricot verts (French green beans) recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Haricot Verts

Haricot Verts (French Green Beans)

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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Haricot verts, aka French green beans, are thin and deliciously tender sautéed with herbs and lemon. A fast and easy side dish!


  • 1 pound fresh haricot verts (French green beans)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon (or ½ teaspoon dried tarragon or oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional add ins: shredded Parmesan cheese, toasted sliced almonds


  1. Wash and trim the green beans.
  2. Place the beans in a large skillet and add ⅓ cup water. Heat over medium-high heat. Once the water starts boiling, cover the skillet and boil the beans for 3 minutes. Then uncover and cook until the water is fully evaporated, about 1 minute.
  3. Once all the water has cooked out, add the olive oil, chives, tarragon and kosher salt (take care because any additional moisture can cause the beans to momentarily spit). Sauté for about 1 minute more until tender, stirring frequently.
  4. Turn off the heat and remove the beans to a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste, then add plenty of fresh ground pepper and a few additional pinches of kosher salt. Garnish with optional add-ins, if desired. Eat immediately. Leftovers store 2 to 3 days refrigerated: though the bright green color is lost, they still taste great.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!