Lemony Steamed Green Beans

These zesty steamed green beans are the epitome of an easy side dish! This healthy recipe rounds out just about any dinner.

Steamed green beans

Looking for a healthy and easy side dish that pairs with literally anything? These lemony steamed green beans go with almost any meal, from meatloaf to salmon to pasta. Even better: they take only 10 minutes to whip up! Alex and I are always on the lookout for easy side dishes. While “steamed green beans” might not be the most Instagram drool worthy idea, it’s seriously practical and 100% worth adding to your weeknight cooking skills! The zesty lemon flavor and bite of the black pepper in these beans have made them a favorite in our house.

Steamed Green Beans

How to make perfect steamed green beans

The trick to steamed green beans is to catch them right when they’re bright green and crisp tender! Keep cooking and they’ll turn a muddy green color and become mushy. The perfect timing for steaming is about 4 to 5 minutes. You’ll need to play it by ear each time you cook the beans, because the timing can depend on the thickness and freshness of the green beans. Here are our tips on how to steam broccoli.

Gear required: You’ll need a steamer basket or steamer pan to make this recipe. Here’s a steamer basket you can buy online.

Step 1: Trim the green beans.

The major time investment in green beans? Cutting them! Here’s our fast method for how to trim green beans that will shave off valuable minutes.

How to trim green beans: Cut off ends

Step 2: Boil the water.

The main thing you need to know for how to steam green beans: bring the water to a boil first! Don’t be tempted to boil the water with the veggies in the pot! You’ll boil the water in a saucepan or pot before you add the beans.

Step 3: Add the beans, cover and steam for 4 to 5 minutes, until crisp tender.

Once the water is boiling, add the beans in the steamer basket and cover the pot with a lid. (Note that if your steamer basket doesn’t have a handle, you can place it in the pot while the water is boiling, then add the beans.)

Steam for 4 to 5 minutes, until bright green and crisp tender. Test the bean with a fork and taste it: if you’d like it a little more tender, cook another minute. Just be careful not to go too long, or the color will fade and the beans will become mushy.

Steamed green beans

Step 4: Drain and season.

Remove from the heat and drain the beans. Then season with lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Voila! Steamed green beans in no time.

Steamed Green Beans

Ways to season steamed green beans

This steamed green beans recipe features our favorite seasoning: lemon juice and zest for brightness, and black pepper for a little flair. But there are lots of other ways to season steamed beans, of course! Here are a few other ideas to get your wheels turning:

  • Minced garlic and butter
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Rice vinegar and sesame seeds
  • Slivered toasted almonds
  • Thinly sliced green onion
  • Feta crumbles

How to serve them

Any meal that needs an easy side dish, this recipe has got your back. They also fit many diets: they’re vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free, among others. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to serve them with:

This steamed green beans recipe is…

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

Print
Steamed green beans

Lemony Steamed Green Beans


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

These zesty steamed green beans are the epitome of an easy side dish! This healthy recipe rounds out just about any dinner.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh green beans*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus zest from 1 lemon (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Trim the green beans.
  2. Place 1 1/2 cups water into a saucepan or pot and bring it to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add the green beans in the steamer basket. Steam with the lid on 4 to 5 minutes until just tender (test with a fork).
  4. Carefully remove the beans to a bowl. Toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, kosher salt, and plenty of fresh ground black pepper.

Notes

*This recipe is easily doubled to feed a crowd.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Steamed Green Beans

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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