Like broccoli, green beans are well-loved by my kids, so I serve them often. In a pinch, I rely on my microwave for quick and easy steamed green beans that turn out perfect every time. Use this method to make beans in advance during meal prep or cook them just before dinner. Serve them warm with a pat of butter or try one of the 8 simple ways listed below to jazz them up. Either way, they are nearly effortless.
- 1 lb green beans
- Kosher salt
Wash and trim green beans. Transfer beans to a microwave safe casserole dish. Add just enough water to cover the bottom by about 1/8 inch. Sprinkle the beans with a pinch of salt. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap, making sure to seal the edges well. Microwave on high power for 4 minutes for crisp-tender (perfect for salads) or 5-6 minutes for tender (preferred by my kids). Remove dish from microwave using oven mitts, and CAREFULLY remove plastic wrap – steam will be very hot.
Serve immediately or store in the fridge and use within 4 days.
Eight Ways to Jazz Up Steamed Green Beans
- Toss them with a splash of rice wine vinegar, a light drizzle of toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds (pictured)
- Sprinkle over the zest of a lemon and toasted slivered almonds
- Serve topped with toasted panko breadcrumbs (melt 1 Tbsp butter in a saute pan; add 1 cup panko and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown)
- Chill beans in an ice bath, then toss with balsamic vinaigrette, fresh basil and grated parmesan
- Top with halved grape tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese
- Saute a clove of minced garlic in olive oil; Add chili flakes to taste, then add in cooked beans and toss to coat
- Serve coated lightly in a spoonful or two of pesto
- Toss with chopped sun-dried tomatoes (in oil) and chopped toasted walnuts