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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
Microwave Green Beans
- microwave oven
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 1 tablespoon butter
- pinch sea salt, pepper and garlic powder
- 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
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