Recipes > Sautéed French Green Beans

Sautéed French Green Beans


Tender green beans sautéed with shallots and minced garlic.
  • Serves: 8
  • Active Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Views: 343,905
  • Success Rating: 98% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Beans

Preparing the Beans
  • salt (1 tsp per L/qt of water)
  • 5 large shallots
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 8 large handfuls small, French beans
  • 1 tbsp butter*
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (for finishing)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt.

Prepare the beans by cutting off the stem (if necessary). If the beans are large, French the beans or cut them diagonally into bite-sized pieces.

Add the beans to the boiling water and blanch for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the beans are still a little bit crunchy. Strain the beans.

Heat a large sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil. *Note: If desired, omit the butter or use a non-dairy butter. If omitting the butter, add a touch more oil instead.

Once hot, add the minced shallots and saute for about 2 minutes or until translucent and they start to brown slightly. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the cooked beans to the pan and saute for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to combine all of the ingredients. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the beans are warmed through. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

This is a great dish that can be fully prepared in advanced except for a last minute saute that will take 2 minutes prior to serving.

Pre-washed and pre-trimmed baby French beans are perfect for this dish because they are very tender and also look very nice on the plate.

The beans can be prepared and blanched a few hours in advance. Use an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Just before serving, all you have to do is quickly heat them up and season.


  • Jesse G
    Jesse G
    I buy fresh green beans from the store. I sauté them with onion and garlic and they sometimes have a waxy layer still on them. Will boiling them for a few minutes remove that layer? Also, does boiling remove the nutrients? Thank you--I received this subscription for Christmas and am LOVING it!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Not sure about the "waxy layer" you are referring to. This could be from the way the beans were processed or handled. Not sure that boiling them would remove it either. You may just want to test it out for yourself or wash them well before you cook them. Boiling will definitely remove some of the nutrients, depending on how long you cook them for. There are a few lessons you may want to watch under the Moist-Heat Cooking Section of the cooking school and also the lessons under the Vegetable Section, in particular How to Cook Vegetables in Water. Cheers!
  • Jesse G
    Jesse G
    I live in Houston and maybe one of the local importers to HEB around me has a certain kind of green bean that carries that outer layer. I do wash them and even when sautéing for 20 minutes, it still has it. It is only when they are cooked to the point of being soggy that it goes away. I'll assume it is the lack of boiling for now and will try that tonight. Thanks! Thank you so much for the vegetable link, yet again I learned a lot that I didn't know on vegetables and proper technique! This website is my new favorite place on the internet!
  • Jesse G
    Jesse G
    I made the pork tenderloin with the brandy and mushroom cream sauce. Not only did it turn out WONDERFUL, the green beans were tasty too! I parboiled them (now that I know the difference), after the ice bath and when everything else was done, I sautéed them with garlic and olive oil. No waxy feeling on the teeth and they were so firm, yet tender. Thank you, thank you, thank you! -Jesse
  • Daniel R
    Daniel R
    It's a wonderful thing when you see your teenage kids grudgingly admit that they actually LIKED the green beans :) One thing though, some of the beans had these fibrous, "hairy" things in them. Is there a good way to remove those?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    With older beans the strings can be quite tough. Using a paring knife, you can trim off the stem end almost all the way and pull the string side down the length of the bean to remove it. Cheers!
  • Daniel R
    Daniel R
    Thanks, as always Kimberley :). Now I have a bunch of questions... Is having those strings an indication of 'old' beans? Does that mean a long time since they've been harvested? Would it indicate 'not fresh'? Most of them were really good, maybe 10-15% were stringy. How can I tell when buying green beans that they are 'young'? Anything in particular that I can look for? Is there a particular season for them? Come to think of it, I often wonder about whether the produce in the store is fresh or not. How about a lesson on "shopping for produce", or include information on when ingredients are in season in the practice recipes.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    It doesn't mean that green beans with strings are no good - they naturally have a string that runs down the middle. You could have gotten a few older ones in the mix. No biggy. Tender vegetables are usually younger. The older a vegetable gets, the tougher it becomes. If the beans are bright green, have no blemishes and snap rather than bend, these are all good signs that they are fresh. Most importantly, they should taste yummy. Don't over think it too much but it is good to pay attention to the quality of what you're spending your hard-earned money on! A lesson on "in season produce" would be quite tough for Rouxbe as we have students enrolled from all over the world. So, for example, what is in season in Australia will not necessarily be in season in the USA. Future enhancements to Rouxbe will allow students to share this type of information with each other in their respective cities. We are currently more focused on teaching cooking skills and techniques. The best way to ensure that what you're buying is in season is to support your local farmer's market. Also, pay attention at the supermarket to where items were shipped from. Those long journeys from far away lands means the item was undoubtedly picked before it fully ripened. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Daniel R
    Daniel R
    Thank you for the elaborate answer, very helpful. That confirms what I've been doing with beans at least. I pick a few of them up at the store and see if they'll snap, and I only buy them if they look good (bright color, no spots). I get your point about the different seasons. We're thinking about making a weekly trip to the local farmer's market for veg, and my father in law is actually starting a garden this year. What about some sort of seasonal indicator, like 'this is a spring/summer vegetable', I'd think that would apply everywhere or not?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Best to get out there and talk to the locals. There is so much to learn, which means the teaching is also endless. That's the beauty about cooking. Cheers!
  • Melodie W
    Melodie W
    made this tonight with pork chops. Its another winner.
  • Roxana G
    Roxana G
    Can this be done with fronzen green beans?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    HI Roxana. If you can get your hands on fresh green beans, I would definitely suggest those. If you cannot get fresh green beans, you could try this with another vegetable that you can get fresh such as snap peas, snow peas, asparagus or broccoli (endless possibilities). However, you can use this recipe with frozen green beans. You will not need to blanch them before adding them to the shallots and garlic. Lauren
  • Cheryl D
    Cheryl D
    These beans are superb! Simplistic, yet elegant ...kudos!!
  • Noel G
    Noel G
    When using frozen beans, is it best to let them defrost fist naturally?
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Noel, Yes it is always better to pull them from the freezer and defrost in the refrigerator. However, if you are in more of a hurry, room temperature will be fine. Just remember, veggies are usually blanched prior to the commercial freezing process, so you may need to skip that step. Cheers, Sandy
  • Jess T
    Jess T
    Good lesson. I love green beans. I never had shallots before so this lesson it was a good reason to buy them. I found the flavor of everything to be simple and somewhat underwhelming. I repeated another batch by boiling the greens in chicken stock and the flavor of the greens became extraodinary with a complimenting slight sweetness of the sauteed shallots.
  • Lauraine D
    Lauraine D
    Can you describe how much 8 handfuls are? Cups or pound?
  • Chris R Rouxbe Staff
    Chris R
    Hi Lauraine, Let's consider a handful of haricot verts is approx. 4 ounces/serving per person. The recipe yields 8 servings. 2 pounds of haricot verts to yield a generous serving per person. - Chris

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