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Here’s how to cook frozen green beans so they’re crisp-tender, not mushy! Made with minimal ingredients and little effort, this is an easy side dish for those busy weeknights.

A close up shot of sauteed frozen green beans.
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Fresh vs. Frozen Green Beans

You may be surprised to learn that frozen green beans have just as many nutrients as, if not more than, fresh green beans. 

That’s because frozen produce is harvested at peak ripeness, blanched, and flash frozen to preserve most of the nutrients and prevent spoiling.

Not only that, they are more convenient and help reduce food waste. Personally, It feels great knowing that I have some type of green vegetable on hand at all times without having to worry about it going bad or having to run out to the store last minute.

Also, if you have a toddler, you may find that they prefer frozen over fresh green beans as they are softer in texture once cooked. Same with frozen broccoli and frozen Brussels sprouts!

That’s because they are already partially cooked.

Health Benefits

Green beans are an excellent source of vitamins K (helps with proper blood clotting), A (important for eye and bone health and immune function), and C (aids in absorption of plant-based iron; iron is the most essential nutrient for babies and toddlers).

They are a good source of fiber and contain some protein (about 2g per 1 cup of raw green beans).

Selecting Frozen Green Beans

Green beans are in the leguminosae family, which also includes peas, lentils, peanuts, and garbanzo beans!

Depending on where you live, green beans may be referred to as string beans, wax beans, or snap beans. There are also French green beans or haricot verts, which are slightly longer and thinner.

I recommend French green beans or haricots verts for best flavor and texture. If you can’t find them, the next best choice is whole green beans.

I do not recommend purchasing cut green beans as they tend to be tougher.

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.
  • Frozen green beans – use haricots verts or thin green beans for best results.
  • Butter or olive oil – You can also use ghee if you prefer. Avocado oil also works but isn’t as flavorful.
  • Seasonings: Simply cooking in butter or oil with garlic and onion is good but if you want to keep it up a notch, try adding onion powder, black pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano, fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest or juice.

Related: Herbs and spices for baby food

How to Cook Frozen Green Beans

Just like frozen broccoli, There is no need to thaw the green beans for any of these cooking methods. Just add straight from the freezer for best results!

I encourage you to try all these different methods at least once to find your favorite! For instance, my kids won’t eat steamed green beans but will gobble them up if sauteed.

Here’s how to modify for babies:

  • Add extra 3-5 minutes to all the cooking methods to make them extra soft. I do not recommend roasting.
  • Serve the beans whole (not cut) to make them easier and safer to eat.

Saute

Sauteed green beans with onion and garlic.

This is my favorite way to cook frozen beans. While you’re likely to come across recommendations to thaw the green beans first, I’ve found this method to be easier and produces the most optimal texture.

Pro tip: The key is to add some water or stock to properly thaw and cook the green beans prior to cooking with oil until crisp-tender.

  1. Add green beans to a large skillet or frying pan. Add 1/4 cup of water for every 1/2 pound (8 ounces) and cook covered until the ice from the green beans melts, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a colander and shake off excess moisture. Wipe down the pan. Otherwise, oil will splatter everywhere.
  3. Add butter or oil to the same skillet and heat over medium heat. Add finely diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so. This step is optional BUT highly recommended. It will add great flavor.
  4. Add green beans and saute for 3-5 minutes, or longer if you want them to be softer (for babies, cook covered).
  5. Add seasoning(s) of choice and a squeeze of fresh lemon always brightens it up.

Steam

Green beans in a steamer basket.
  1. Place water in a pot, add steamer basket, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add green beans, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5-8 minutes, until crisp tender (or longer if serving to your baby or toddler). Transfer to a bowl and toss with seasoning(s) and lemon juice.

Roast

Roasted green beans on a baking sheet with a lemon slice.
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. I absolutely LOVE these sheet pans! They are super durable and conducts heat efficiently and evenly.
  2. Add the frozen green beans to the baking sheet in a single layer, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Place in the oven and roast for 5 minutes. This extra step assists in removing excess water, which will help your green beans get nicely crisp.
  3. Remove from the oven and add oil and seasonings of choice. Toss with tongs until green beans are well coated.
  4. Place back in the oven and roast for another 8-10 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional).

Microwave

  1. Place 1/2 pound of green beans and 2 tablespoons water into a microwave safe dish.
  2. Cover with a lid or microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir and repeat every 30 seconds, until heated through.

Added to Recipes

Frozen green beans work great in soups, casseroles, and any recipe that requires it to be soft! Here are some nutritious dishes to try!

Green Bean Baby Puree

Cook green beans using any of the methods above. Add to a blender along with 1/4 cup (more or less depending on desired consistency) of water or broth. Blend until smooth!

Baby Food Combinations with Green beans

Simply combine this green puree with any of the following:

You will find in-depth instructions on how to prepare and serve to your baby!

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this easy and tasty side dish with just about anything!

Some suggestions include:

Storage

Once cooled, transfer the cooked green beans to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Note that the color will not remain bright green but will still be tasty.

Reheat briefly in the skillet or microwave with a splash of water or enjoy cold.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you thaw frozen greens before cooking?

There is no need! You may come across recommendations to thaw (especially for sauteeing) in order to remove excess moisture. But follow my tips for each of the cooking methods. You will be able to achieve perfectly cooked green beans without the extra step.

How do you prepare frozen green beans?

There are several methods to choose from. You can saute, roast, steam, microwave, or add to recipes.

How can I add flavor to green beans without salt?

There are so many ways you can boost the flavor of fresh or frozen green beans. Try adding butter or oil, basil, garlic, parsley, dill, ginger, sesame, lemon zest or juice, or vinegar (like balsamic vinegar).

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 12 votes

How to Cook Frozen Green Beans

Here's how to cook frozen green beans so they’re crisp-tender, not mushy! Made with minimal ingredients and little effort, this is an easy side dish for those busy weeknights.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

  • 16 ounce bag of frozen green beans (preferably French green beans or haricots verts)
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons seasoning(s) of choice
  • (Optional) lemon juice, parmesan cheese

Instructions 

Saute

  • Add green beans to a large skillet or frying pan. Add 1/4 cup of water for every 1/2 pound (8 ounces) and cook covered until the ice from the green beans melts, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer to a colander and shake off excess moisture. Wipe down the pan. Otherwise, oil will splatter everywhere.
  • Add butter or oil to the same skillet and heat over medium heat. Add finely diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so. This step is optional BUT highly recommended.
  • Add green beans and saute for 3-5 minutes, or longer if you want them to be softer (for babies, cook covered). Add seasoning(s) of choice and a squeeze of fresh lemon always brightens it up.

Roast

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
  • Add the green beans to the baking sheet in a single layer, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Place in the oven and roast for 5 minutes. This extra step assists in removing excess water, which will help your green beans get nicely crisp.
  • Remove from the oven and add oil and seasonings of choice. Toss with tongs until green beans are well coated.
  • Place back in the oven and roast for another 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional).

Steam

  • Place water in a pot, add steamer basket, and bring to a boil.
  • Add green beans, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5-8 minutes, until crisp tender (or longer if serving to your baby or toddler). Transfer to a bowl and toss with seasoning(s) and lemon juice.

Microwave

  • Place 1/2 pound of green beans and 2 tablespoons water into a microwave safe dish.
  • Cover with a lid or microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir and repeat every 30 seconds, until heated through.

Notes

There is no need to thaw the green beans for any of these cooking methods. Just add straight from the freezer!

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 803IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I tried the saute method to cook frozen green beans and they were so delicious I will be cooking them like this from now on.