The Best And Easiest Way To Cook Fresh Green Beans

Green beans are a healthy, versatile legume and a common side dish around the globe, appearing in casseroles, salads, or simply seasoned. Their firm, velvety skin pops open with each bite to a juicy interior, while their neutral flavor pairs well with a wide range of seasonings, dressings, and garnishes. They require minimal preparation, and because they're thin, they cook quickly. The best and easiest way to prepare fresh green beans is by steaming them.

Steaming is the easiest method for cooking because it requires no additional ingredients, unlike sauteing, roasting, or searing, which all require oil or butter. It's also the quickest and most energy-efficient way because it takes less time and energy to create steam than to boil water or preheat an oven. Steaming is also the easiest way to cook green beans because it's the most hands-off method; You don't have to stir them or turn them as you would with sauteing, searing, or roasting.

Like all vegetables, green beans are full of nutrients that certain cooking methods damage more than others. According to the National Institute of Health, steaming vegetables retains more nutrients than boiling, frying, or baking.

How to steam green beans

Steaming cooks vegetables by heating them with the vapor that rises from simmering or boiling water. All you need to steam green beans is a heat source, a small amount of water, and a sealable receptacle to trap the steam. The most ubiquitous method for steaming green beans is on the stove. Simply fill the bottom of a pot with a half-inch of water, place a steam basket with raw, stemmed green beans inside the pot, seal it with a lid, and bring the pot to a steady simmer over medium heat.

The quickest way to steam green beans is in the microwave or an Instapot. To steam green beans in the microwave, add enough water to cover the bottom of a microwavable bowl, fill it with raw green beans, place a cover over the bowl, and set the microwave for 4 to 6 minutes. An instant pot or pressure cooker steams in even less time; You can steam green beans on the high-pressure setting for 1 or 2 minutes. However you decide to steam green beans, they'll be done in under 10 minutes!