Sautéed Green Beans

This sautéed green beans recipe is a delicious, quick, and easy veggie side dish! Lemon juice, garlic, and fresh thyme fill it with bright, zingy flavor.

Sautéed green beans

If you need a last-minute side dish for the holiday, this sautéed green beans recipe would be perfect. It calls for under 10 ingredients and cooks in under 10 minutes (bonus: no oven required!), so you can whip it up right before you eat. But don’t let its simplicity fool you. This sautéed green beans recipe might be easy to make, but it’s still bursting with flavor. I sauté fresh green beans until they’re crisp-tender and vibrant green. Then, I toss them with a zingy lemon-Dijon dressing. It gives the beans a bright, garlicky bite, making them so delicious that you’ll want to eat them straight from the serving bowl.

Green beans recipe ingredients

Sautéed Green Beans Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy sautéed green beans recipe:

  • Green beans, of course! Opt for fresh, not frozen, green beans here. Their firm, satisfying texture really elevates this simple recipe. I like to use haricots verts, though any type of string beans works nicely.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – For cooking the green beans.
  • Water – It creates steam in the skillet, helping the beans soften all the way through.
  • Fresh lemon juice – For brightness.
  • Garlic – It gives the green beans a sharp, savory bite.
  • Dijon mustard – For peppery tang.
  • Fresh thyme leaves – They add earthy, lemony flavor.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and herbs in bowl with whisk

To make this sautéed green beans recipe, start by prepping the dressing in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves until smooth, then set aside.

Next, cook the green beans. To fully cook the green beans without blanching them, I toss them with some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, I add a splash of water to the pan and cover it. The water creates steam, which helps the green beans cook all the way through. Without it, they’d brown on the outside without softening in the middle.

When the beans are bright green and tender, add them to the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste, and transfer them to a serving platter. Enjoy!

Sautéed Green Beans Recipe Variations

I love these sautéed green beans with garlic, Dijon, and lemon, but that’s not the only way to season them! If you prefer, feel free to use another dressing, sauce, or seasoning. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

The sautéed green beans would also be delicious with my creamy dill sauce, romesco sauce, or Greek salad dressing.

Let me know what variations you try!

Sautéed green beans in skillet

Sautéed Green Beans Serving Suggestions

This sautéed green beans recipe is a versatile side dish. I love it with comforting fall and winter recipes like my butternut squash risotto, stuffed shells, eggplant rollatini, and cauliflower pasta, though it pairs nicely with a simple protein too.

It’s also a wonderful addition to a holiday meal. Serve it alongside classic side dishes like stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy. If you’re looking for more holiday recipe ideas, check out this post!

This recipe is best on the day it’s made. Get a head start by trimming the green beans up to 2 days in advance. You can also make the dressing ahead of time. It will keep in a small jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Sautéed green beans recipe

More Favorite Veggie Side Dishes

If you love this sautéed green beans recipe, try one of these vegetable side dishes next:

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Sautéed Green Beans

rate this recipe:
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4
This sautéed green beans recipe is a delicious, easy side dish! A quick lemon dressing fills the beans with bright flavor.



  • In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Stir in the thyme leaves.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Add the water, cover, and cook 5 for minutes, or until the beans are tender but still have a slight bite. Transfer to the bowl with the lemon mixture and toss. Season to taste and transfer to a serving platter, leaving any excess water behind.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Glenda M.

    5 stars
    The best green beans I’ve ever had! So full of flavor, amazing! Will definitely be my go to green beans from now on. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Alyssa

    5 stars
    Amazing!!! And so quick and easy. If I’m ever making green beans as a side, this will be it.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Janet

    5 stars
    I used frozen green beans because that’s what I had on hand. This recipe was delicious! Super simple and with pantry staples to boot. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  4. Jo

    5 stars
    Costco has regular green beans and the smaller Haricots Verts I just had Instacart deliver verts asparagus multi colored peppers and they were all incredibly fresh and delicious. I’m looking forward to making green beans with this great dressing. Highly recommend buying veggies right now from Costco. Especially those peppers the kids will love them. Mine do.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jo, thank you for the recommendation!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.