Steaming green beans couldn’t be easier! It keeps the bright green and perfectly tender crisp, great for salads or a classic green bean casserole!

Steaming not only cooked them perfectly but it preserves all of the nutrients in this fresh veggie. Sweet and crunchy and an instant hit on our table!

steamed beans on a plate to show How to Steam Green Beans

A Side Dish or Recipe Addition

  • Green beans are a simple vegetable that looks impressive on any plate—with or without any seasoning. Their sweetly mild flavor makes them a great side served hot or cold.
  • Steamed green beans are so easy to prep and only use 3 simple ingredients.
  • Prep them and serve with butter, salt, & pepper or steam to add to recipes.
  • A perfect topper for white or brown rice, steamed green beans are the ideal starch/vegetable combination for any entrée!

Ingredients and Variations

GREEN BEANS: Green beans can be found fresh at the farmer’s market or at the supermarket! Frozen green beans can be used, just increase the cooking time as needed.

BUTTER: Melted butter is great for serving since it adds so much flavor. Leftover melted bacon grease will give the green beans an extra punch of flavor!

SEASONINGS: This basic recipe only needs butter and salt & pepper, but try Homemade Seasoned Salt or other seasoning blends like Homemade Ranch Seasoning, Homemade Cajun Seasoning, or Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning.

beans in a bowl and a strainer before making How to Steam Green Beans

How to Trim Green Beans

Wash beans thoroughly in cold water. Take each fresh string bean and pinch or trim the top stem off. Then pull the string from the top end to the bottom. Snap the beans in half, if desired.

How To Steam Green Beans

It’s simple to steam green beans, just follow a few easy steps:

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil on the stove. Place prepared beans in a steamer basket & cover.
  2. Reduce heat & allow green beans to steam (per recipe below).
  3. Drain steamed green beans & season with butter, salt, & pepper.

The water should not touch the beans or basket. Check the water to ensure the pot doesn’t dry out.

washed beans to show How to Steam Green Beans

In the Microwave:

  1. Put cut green beans in a microwave-safe bowl covered with water.
  2. Cook on high for 3 minutes, or until the green beans are tender.
  3. Drain, season, & serve immediately.

PRO TIP: Avoid cooking green beans too long in the microwave so they don’t get too soft. They are best served with that “snappy” texture everyone loves.


Keep leftover steamed green beans in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

They can be frozen once they’ve been cooled in a zippered bag with the date labeled on the outside. They should keep for up to 4 weeks.

They won’t be as firm once they’re thawed but they’re perfect to add to soups, stews, or stir-fries.

Simple Savory Veggies

Did you make these Steamed Green Beans? Leave a rating & a comment below! 

steamed beans on a plate to show How to Steam Green Beans
5 from 15 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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How to Steam Green Beans

This easy recipe takes only minutes, and results in perfectly steamed green beans every time!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Wash and trim the green beans by cutting the tip off of the end of each bean.
  • Fill a medium pot with 1-2 inches of water in the bottom and bring to a simmer.
  • Put a steamer basket in the pot and place the green beans inside. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat down to medium.
  • Let the beans steam for 5-7 minutes or until tender crisp.
  • Discard water from the pot and add butter, once melted add the beans and seasonings. Stir until ingredients are fully incorporated and serve.


The water should not touch the beans or basket.
Check the water to ensure the pot doesn't dry out.
If steaming beans to freeze, steam for 3-4 minutes. Cool completely in an ice bath, dab dry and freeze on a baking sheet in a single layer. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.
5 from 15 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 60 | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 870IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
beans in strainer and seasonings to show How to Steam Green Beans with writing
seasoned beans with writing to show How to Steam Green Beans
close up of washed beans with a title to showcase How to Steam Green Beans
beans in strainer and plated with a title to show How to Steam Green Beans


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. My green beans I steamed 10 minutes, not cooked 15 more minutes 10 minutes still woody something wrong with the bean seed? I always use tender green but not this year

    1. Green beans should definitely be cooked in about 10 minutes or so. If you cooked them 45 minutes and they still aren’t tender, they may have been picked past their prime.

      1. Maybe the problem lies in that YOU DON’T SAY WHAT PowER RATING MICROWAVE YOU ARE USING!

        Sorry for shouting, but really darling; I have a 900w Cat e; my neighbour has a built-in that comes out at 1200w (affectionately known as ‘Chernobyl’).

        Anyway. It matters.

      2. Hi Gavin, this recipe uses the stove top primarily to cook these green beans. If you are using a microwave I recommend to cook on high for 3 minutes, or until the green beans are tender. Since everyone’s appliances vary slightly (from microwave to oven) I always recommend checking early and looking for the indicated results, in this case you want the green beans tender crisp. I hope this helps!