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Microwave Green Beans with butter, salt, pepper and garlic for a quick and healthy side dish. Learn how to steam fresh green beans the easy way in just a few minutes. They’re tender crisp, perfectly seasoned and delicious!

steamed green beans in white serving dish with fork

I love to cook fresh green beans in the microwave! We’ve been cooking green beans, string beans and French green beans (haricots verts) this way for ages because it’s super quick and easy, and they come out perfect every time. No boiling water, no shocking in ice water — just one dish and done!

Don’t worry. Cooking vegetables in the microwave is just as healthy or healthier than other methods because they retain more nutrients this way. Along with beans, we cook baked potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and carrots in the microwave.

How to Steam Green Beans in the Microwave

First, you rinse the fresh green beans under running water. Don’t dry them off! Then, trim off any rough ends. I usually just snap any rough ends off with my fingers, but you can use a knife for this part if you prefer.

If you don’t want to take time to trim the beans, look for trimmed fresh green beans in a bag in the produce section. This makes cooking a snap — you can even steam the beans in the bag!

fresh green beans in blue colander

Next, place the beans into a microwave safe bowl or baking dish. I have a set of small Pyrex glass dishes that I usually use. Ceramic casserole dishes work well, too.

Add a tablespoon of butter and a little sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. I don’t even measure the seasonings out — just a pinch will do. No need to add any water since the beans are wet from washing. Plus, you’ll have some liquid from the melted butter.

string beans in glass dish with butter

Next, place the dish into your microwave. Cover with plastic wrap (make sure to vent it), a microwave-safe cover, a plate or a paper towel. I use a microwave-safe cover for this, but any of the other options work well.

Always be careful when removing the cover. Steam is hot!

cooking green beans in microwave under cover

How Long to Microwave

Cook regular green beans in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes if you like them tender crisp. If you want your beans a little softer, try 5 to 6 minutes. Remember, food continues to cook after microwaving. You can always add time if you want to, so try the lowest time first.

For string beans or haricots verts, try microwaving them for 2 minutes if you like them crisp tender. Try 4 minutes for softer string beans. Every microwave is different, so you may need to adjust the time to suit your own personal taste.

Serve the beans with a little more butter if you like, or enjoy them just like this! We sometimes add cooked crumbled bacon right before serving — YUM!

No microwave? No problem! Try Sautéed Green Beans and Bacon on the stove. Super easy and so good!

fresh cooked green beans in a white bowl

How to Store

You can store leftover cooked green beans in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. They should last about 3 to 4 days. To reheat, microwave them for about 1 minute or use the reheat setting until hot.

5 from 7 votes

Microwave Green Beans

By: Dee
Microwave Green Beans with butter, salt, pepper and garlic for a quick and healthy side dish. Learn how to steam fresh green beans the easy way in just a few minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 6


  • microwave oven


  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • pinch sea salt, pepper and garlic powder
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  • Rinse and trim green beans. Don't dry
  • Place in microwave safe dish, and add butter, sea salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes for tender crisp beans or 5 to 6 minutes for softer beans


All microwaves are different. Always start off with shortest time and a minute if needed.
Cook string beans or haricots verts for 2 to 3 minutes for crips tender beans or 3 to 4 minutes for softer texture.


Calories: 40kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 21mg, Potassium: 160mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 580IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating


  1. M B says:

    Delicious, simple, and easy! Enjoyed these wonderful fresh green beans cooked for five minutes in microwave.

  2. Susie says:

    Tried this recipe tonight and it turned out to be delicious! I will continue to use it again and again. Very easy and quick to make.5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much for the wonderful review!

  3. Paul says:

    I used to only sauté green beans, but this method is way better! They taste so delicious and are done in minutes—what’s not to love about them?!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much, Paul! Glad you like the beans!

  4. Catalina says:

    Sometimes I just love to use my microwave for easy recipes. I love this side dish!5 stars

  5. Sandra says:

    These are so good!! I love how simply it is!5 stars

  6. Erica says:

    I can’t ignore this healthy recipe!  Microwave Green Beans was a huge hit in my house!
    5 stars

  7. Beth says:

    Yummy! My son and hubby loved this recipe! Can’t wait to make this again! Such a great dinner side and easy too!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Beth! So glad you liked the green beans!

  8. Mae says:

    Adding this to my go to side dish! So healthy and simple!5 stars

  9. Dorothy Reinhold says:

    I’m excited to have this quick and tasty way to use fresh green beans! It’s almost farmer’s market time and I can’t wait!