Cooking Tips and Questions - I really need new ideas for green beans

07-06-2008, 05:44 PM
I love green beans, fresh and frozen (I also like canned) but except for heating them and adding butter spray and a little salt, I have no idea what else to do with them. Although I'll eat canned, I prefer fresh or frozen and would really like some ideas of what else to do with them. One of my favorite dishes is a big pot of ham and green beans, which I make occasionally, but I mean for more of a side dish for lunches.

What do you guys do to make your green beans yummy?

07-06-2008, 05:56 PM
I put them in soups and stews of all sorts. Dahl is one of my favorite ways to eat them (spicy lentil dish).

I like then lightly steamed and served cold in a salad too. they are really good in potato and pasta salad too. You can season and bake them until crunchy and have green bean "chips".

07-06-2008, 05:58 PM
My grandmother's green bean recipe (my mom doesn't even have the recipe, I should write it down for her, but I keep forgetting).

3 strips of bacon diced (while raw). I only use one or I use a tablespoon of "Bacos" soy bacon bits

1 small onion, chopped fine

Saute onion with bacon until the onion is soft and starting to carmelize and the bacon is pretty well rendered (the bacon isn't quite yet crisp) If I don't use bacon, I saute the onion in a tsp of olive oil or I use cooking spray.

Grandma never drained the bacon, but if I use more than 1 strip of bacon, I do.

Then I add one or two cans (drained) green beans (I prefer the french style beans), or fresh green beans (frozen never seem to work quite as well, unless they cook even longer than fresh, even when you take thawing into account. It just seems frozen beans are a little tougher otherwise).

I add one or two cans of tomato paste, 1 tsp of vinegar, 3 cans of water for each can of tomato paste. Grandma used to add 1 tbs of sugar to the mixture, but I never add sweetener (unless I accidentally splash in too much vinegar, then I balance it with Splenda).

Simmer until the beans are tender or the sauce is the consistency and flavor you like. Raw beans must simmer longer than canned beans, and frozen have to simmer even longer, so I add a little extra water when not using canned beans.

I like it the consistency of spaghetti sauce. Grandma always served it as a side dish over mashed potatoes (so, yummy), but in college and graduate school, I put it over a baked potato as my meal.

Now that I eat fewer carbs, I eat it as a side dish without a starchy accompaniment.

Suzanne 3FC
07-06-2008, 06:00 PM
I buy frozen green beans and toss them (while still frozen) with a tiny bit of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh cracked black pepper, then I roast them in a very hot oven until they begin to shrivel. They are sooooo good :T

07-06-2008, 06:18 PM
Wonderful ideas so far, thank you!

And kaplods, I've gotta try that recipe. It sounds delicious :)

I welcome as many suggestions as I can get. I truly love green beans but I'm getting bored with the same old thing.

07-06-2008, 06:34 PM
Green beans are one of my favorites!

I eat them raw, most days in fact. The closest thing to mindless eating for me. Great for munching. I sometimes dip them in salsa.


Make a lot, they really are yummy.

-Green beans, rinsed and trimmed.
-Spray a large cooking sheet with cooking spray.
-Lay beans on in as much as a single layer as possible.
-Spray beans with some more cooking spray
-Sprinkle with a little sea salt
-Place in 400 degree oven for about 30-40 mins, total, turning every now and then, til they get almost brownish and wrinkly.
-About 1/2 way through, sprinkle on lots of fresh chopped garlic and finely diced onions, spray with more cooking spray. Roast further til done, turning every now and then.
-*Every now and then I will get lazy and 1/2 through I will just sprinkle with garlic and onion powder and forgo the fresh stuff

It may take a few times til you get it down "pat" and find the way that you like them best.


-In a large pot, put in a little olive oil and cooking spray, brown a whole head of garlic that's been peeled and crushed.
-Add tons of trimmed green beans and coat with the garlic and oil
-Add appox. 1/4 cup of orange juice and 1/4 cup of sodium reduced soy sauce
-Cook on a lowish flame, til liquid is almost completely reduced, stirring occasionally


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 pounds fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch
3 cups canned diced tomatoes with their juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons pine nuts, optional
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat if garlic begins to brown. Add green beans, then continue to cook and stir until bright green but not quite tender, about 4 minutes.

2. Mix in tomatoes, lemon juice and pine nuts, and season with chives, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer gently uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.

07-06-2008, 07:01 PM
Thanks, Robin, I'm definitely going to have to try the roasted green beans. I've heard so many people rave about them but I've never had them myself. I've had dehydrated green beans, which were a great little snack, but not roasted.

07-06-2008, 07:13 PM
I am loving this thread and all these ideas!

My favorite way to eat green beans is with almonds.

I brown about 1/2 cup of blanched almonds in a saucepan with some I can't believe its not butter spray. Then add one or two cans of french style green beans and heat.

07-06-2008, 07:33 PM
sesame green beans! a little sesame oil in a pan, let it heat up, add beans, toss to coat, let cook, stirring constantly until desired tenderness top with toasted sesame seeds. my ex boyfriends dad was a chef and used to make these for me all the time. theyre awesome.

07-06-2008, 08:09 PM
Three-bean salad is good, especially during the summer. My sugar-free version:

14.5 oz can cut green beans
14.5 oz can wax beans
14.5 oz can kidney beans (or garbanzo beans)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1/2 cup sliced red onion

Drain and rinse beans. Mix with remaining ingredients. Chill for a few hours so beans can absorb some of the dressing.

You could leave out the kidney beans for a lower calorie version. I have also made this with fat-free Italian dressing in place of the olive oil and vinegar.

Be careful of store-bought--either deli or jarred. Three-bean salad is usually loaded with sugar.

07-06-2008, 08:20 PM

i empty a can of green beans in a pot, then fill the can with water and add to the pot,i add ALOT of chunk cut onion, season with beef boullian.... pepper....mrs. dash extra spicy seasoning, and mcormick salad sensations spice. add 6 squirts of i cant believe its not butter spray, and 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.

then while that is cooking, i take 100 calorie thomas english muffin and rip little pieces off and roll them in little balls, really tight. once the green beans are done cooking, usually about an hour, i pour the beans and broth over the muffin balls, and i swear...........whoooooeeeeeee, better than dumplings, I EAT THE WHOLE MIX IN ONE SITTING!

07-06-2008, 08:24 PM
I was going to post the bacon/onion one also :lol:, but since you already have that...the following is one I make on occasion, usually for more formal dinners.

Toss in a few dried cranberries and almond slivers with your butter.

07-06-2008, 08:58 PM
I dress up canned green beans with FF Spicy Italian Dressing. Cook, drain water, pour 1 serving onto hot green beans and toss.

07-06-2008, 09:44 PM
Thank you thank you thank you for all of the wonderful ideas. I'm going to pick up some fresh green beans from the market tomorrow.

S3 in LA
07-22-2008, 07:27 PM
I sometimes make them sauteed with a glaze of soy sauce and a bit of sugar ... dissolve the sugar in the soy sauce (does not necessarily need a lot, just to offset the salt in the soy sauce) over heat then toss the sauteed green beans.. you can add some toasted, slivered almonds if desired.

I also like to just eat them washed and raw.. lovely crunchy snack.

07-25-2008, 04:30 AM
This isn't a side dish, it's a main dish, but it uses a lot of green beans and it is fabulous.

Spicy Green Beans with Sausage

16 oz turkey sausage
1/2 tbsp olive oil
16 oz green beans
10 oz carrots (or an additional 16 oz green beans, if you really like beans)
3 cloves garlic, minced
leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh sage
1/4 tsp chile flakes or crushed red pepper
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
16 oz tomato sauce

Coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium. Remove casings from sausage and add to skillet. Saute until browned.

Add olive oil, beans and carrots to skillet and saute until just tender.

Add garlic, sage, and chile flakes and saute a few minutes more.

Add white wine and chicken broth, scraping up an browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the wine and broth evaporates almost entirely.

Add tomato sauce, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until beans reach desired tenderness.

This makes 4 servings at about 300 calories each.

09-29-2008, 02:21 PM
My family loves green beens. When I cook them I sometimes add a sprinkling of fat free Olive Oil based italian dressing. Recently I tried the new Kraft Olive Oil based Sun dried tomato vinegarette and everyone loved them.

Our favorite though it is not as healthy as the recipe above is to dice up onions and saute the green beens with the onions and a smigit of soy sauce and sesame oil. This is my favorite way to cook them.

I also will use flavored vinegars to spice them up a bit depending on what entree I am serving them with.:)

10-20-2008, 07:15 PM
bluetoblue that sounds like a good recipe. I haven't had green beans in a little while so I may have to put something together.