Recipes | Side Dishes

Perfect Steamed Green Beans


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Perfect Steamed Green Beans for The Holidays or Everyday!

While we tend to concentrate more on recipes that actually bring several ingredients together, every once in a while we like a food prepared very simply.

This recipe has two ingredients and one is water! We think you will find our Perfect Steamed Green Beans to be very versatile.

perfect steamed green beans on an oval platter with a pat of melting butter

Steam Clean

Steaming vegetables has long been a favorite technique of ours. It is easy, adds no fat and preserves the bright colors and crisp textures of so many vegetables – like green beans.

All you need are green beans, water and a steamer insert, like the one below

Closed for storage you can see the metal petals of the steamer basket folded up tight. Unfolded, it conforms to whatever width pot you put it in and holds your veggies.

You can swipe left and right on the next two images to see the steamer basket in action!

Water is placed underneath the insert and brought to a boil. The steam from the water comes up through the perforations and steams the beans.

They are done in about 5 minutes or until crisp tender.

The beauty of this technique is its simplicity and also that the resulting green beans can be served plain, with a bit of butter (in which case they will not be dairy-free), or even a drizzle of walnut oil, which is luscious.

Salt and pepper don’t hurt, either. Your choice.

perfect steamed green beans on an oval platter with silver server

Steamed Vegetables Go With…

Everything! Because they are so simple, they do not compete with other dishes on your menu.

Try these Steamed Green Beans with our Garlic & Herb Roast Leg of Lamb or Brown Sugar Baked Ham for a fantastic addition to your family holiday table.

Or, as a side or component to a weekday roast chicken or Gado-Gado.

Choose Your Beans

We like the very slender and tender haricot vert, but any green beans will do. Make sure they are very fresh; they should snap if you break them in half when raw.

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perfect steamed green beans on an oval platter with a pat of melting butter
5 from 2 votes

Perfect Steamed Green Beans

Our Perfect Steamed Green Beans take advantage of a simple kitchen tool - the steamer basket!

Makes: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson


  • 1 pound (455 g) slender green beans, ends trimmed as needed


  1. Place steamer basket/insert in a large pot. Pour in enough water to a level just below the basket. Add beans to rest on top of the steamer insert. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.

  2. Beans are ready to serve.



  • Many steamer inserts have a little ring on a middle stem. You can grab that ring with sturdy tongs and lift the basket right out of the pot. If you keep it level, the beans won’t fall out. You can also grab the beans with the same tongs to remove from the basket when they are finished cooking.


Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American


Calories: 16kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.