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garlic sauteed green beans sprinkled with Parmesan and lemon zest Thanksgiving side dish cooked in skillet
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5 from 10 votes

Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic and Parmesan

Sautéed green beans with garlic and Parmesan is the simplest side dish you can make for Thanksgiving dinner. Sautéing green beans brings out all its flavors and with garlic, lemon and Parmesan cheese, it makes it a great compliment to any meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 91kcal


  • 1 pounds fresh green beans we are using string beans
  • 8-10 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 grams unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon zest


  • Rinse green beans in water. Remove it onto a plate.
  • Trim off the stem edge of the beans. I did not trim both the ends, I left thin string side. It’s edible to eat and leaving it on the beans makes it look beautiful. With tender and crispy beans, the string ends wont really bother you. But if you are not a fan, go ahead and trim both ends.
  • Bring about 5 qt water to boil. When water starts boiling, add kosher salt (to taste) into boiling water.
  • Add all the green beans into the boiling water. Blanch it for about 3 to 5 minutes. We do not want to over cook beans. It needs to be just cooked/blanched but still have that crunch.
    Note : I like crunchy beans so always cook to the point it has that crunch but cooked (not fully cooked). Cook longer if you prefer fully cooked beans. Start with cooking for 7 to 9 minutes. Check if it's cooked. Cook longer if needed.
  • Remove blanched beans immediately into ice bath and let it cool completely. Drain if off and keep aside.
  • Melt butter in a skillet.
  • Add minced garlic and cook stirring until golden brown. This step is important. Do not rush to add the blanched green beans into skillet. Wait until garlic is golden brown. Browning garlic ensures maximum flavors of the garlic in the dish. Don't rush this step.
  • Next add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Throw in the blanched green beans into skillet. Toss well to ensure all the beans are coated with butter and seasoning. Toss and cook for 3 minutes. We want to have green beans cooked and still have that crunch.
  • Add lemon juice. Turn off stove. Toss the skillet to coat sautéed green beans.
  • Transfer beans onto serving plate.
  • Grate Parmesan cheese and zest of 1 lemon over sautéed green beans.
  • Serve immediately as sides for Thanksgiving dinner.



  1. Fresh organic tender beans are best choice. Cooks beautifully with amazing texture. 
  2. Trim both the ends of the beans.
  3. While you can skip blanching step and saute green beans directly in a skillet, blanching ensure the texture of the beans is preserved and it's gorgeous bright green color as well.  If using frozen beans, skip blanching step.
  4. All the prep work - trimming ends of the beans, blanching (blanch, remove from hot water immerse in ice cold water, dry it on paper towel) can be done in advance. Do the prep, store in tightly packed in fridge for about 2 days. Saute in garlic, butter the day you want to serve.
  5. Add more spices if you want to enhance it's taste. Add a hint of paprika, or red chili flakes for added heat. Tuck in some fresh herbs like rosemary for more flavors.
  6. Instead of butter, use oil to make a lighter version. 
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 899IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 1mg