If you can boil water, you can blanch green beans.  With this easy method, they’ll be deliciously tender-crisp, every single time. Then you can sauté them for dinner, add them to salads, or just snack on them throughout the day.

Green beans in a sliver colander.

Before a dinner party, when you need to knock some cooking out ahead of time, blanch a bunch of string beans and have them waiting in the wings. Pre-cooked beans store beautifully in the refrigerator. All you have to do is sauté them up when you need them.

Tutorial notes:

  • Trimming: Remove the stem ends with a knife or kitchen scissors. If your beans have them, remove any tough strings that run along the length of the beans. There’s no need to trim off the tails. Some love their green beans “frenched,” or sliced lengthwise down the middle.
  • Buying: A green bean at its best should have vivid green color, a firm texture, and make an unmistakable “snap” when broken. Avoid any limp beans with rusty brown spots or slimy, darkened stems.
  • Washing: Fresh green beans are susceptible to mold growth, so wash beans only right before you will use them.
  • Storing: Green beans should be stored in an open bag in the refrigerator. Store trimmed green beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: Store blanched green beans in a sturdy freezer bag or vacuum sealed package for up to 9 months. Thaw and add to almost everything.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Snap off the stem ends by hand, or use kitchen scissors to snip off the stem ends.
    Green beans on a wood cutting board with their ends cut off.
  2. Grab a pot large enough to hold the green beans you plan to cook, and fill it with water. Salt the water and bring it to a rapid boil. Add the green beans and boil until bright green and tender crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes.
    Green beans being boiled in water in a silver pot.
  3. Remove from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to halt cooking.
    Green beans in ice water in a silver bowl.
  4. Once completely cool, drain completely and pat dry.
    Green beans in a sliver colander.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Sauté them: Need a great vegetable side dish? Sauté green beans with bacon, a flavorful compound butter, or a tangy tomato sauce. Or just quick cook blanched green beans with garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Eat them cold: Chilled green beans make a great snack all by themselves or part of a veggie platter. Dip into hummus, ranch dressing, or dill dip.
  • How many green beans per person: Buy at least 4 ounces per person. That’s usually about a fistful of string beans. If you know who you’re cooking for, however, and you know they love green beans, all bets are off. Buy extra.
    • 8 people= 2 pounds of raw green beans
    • 10 people= 2 ½ pounds of raw green beans
    • 12 people= 3 pounds of raw green beans
    • 16 people= 4 pounds of raw green beans

Green beans with bacon on a white platter with a serving spoon and fork.

More delicious green bean recipes:

Green beans in a sliver colander.

How to Blanch Green Beans

If you can boil water, you can blanch green beans.  With this easy method, they'll be deliciously tender-crisp, every single time. Then you can sauté them for dinner, add them to salads, or just snack on them throughout the day.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
cooling time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 35

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound green beans washed and trimmed (see note 1)

Instructions 

  • If using a smaller pot, you may have to blanch the green beans in batches. Set out a large bowl of ice water before blanching the beans.
  • In a large saucepan or stock pot, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil.
  • Add the green beans and boil until tender-crisp, but still bright green, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Trimming: Remove the stem ends with a knife or kitchen scissors. If your beans have them, remove any tough strings that run along the length of the beans. There’s no need to trim off the tails. Some love their green beans “frenched,” or sliced lengthwise down the middle.
  2. Buying: A green bean at its best should have vivid green color, a firm texture, and make an unmistakable “snap” when broken. Avoid any limp beans with rusty brown spots or slimy, darkened stems.
  3. Washing: Fresh green beans are susceptible to mold growth, so wash beans only right before you will use them.
  4. Storing: Green beans should be stored in an open bag in the refrigerator. Store trimmed green beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  5. Freezing: Store blanched green beans in a sturdy freezer bag or vacuum sealed package for up to 9 months. Thaw and add to almost everything.
  6. Sauté them: Need a great vegetable side dish? Sauté green beans with bacon, a flavorful compound butter, or a tangy tomato sauce. Or just quick cook blanched green beans with garlic, salt and pepper.
  7. Eat them cold: Chilled green beans make a great snack all by themselves or part of a veggie platter. Dip into hummus, ranch dressing, or dill dip.
  8. How many green beans per person: Buy at least 4 ounces per person. That’s usually about a fistful of string beans. If you know who you’re cooking for, however, and you know they love green beans, all bets are off. Buy extra.
    • 8 people= 2 pounds of raw green beans
    • 10 people= 2 ½ pounds of raw green beans
    • 12 people= 3 pounds of raw green beans
    • 16 people= 4 pounds of raw green beans

Nutrition

Calories: 35kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 239mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 782IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. Hi- thank you the info here. What’s the best way to store them in the fridge before wok frying please? And how long can they be stored after blanching?

    1. Hi Meg! After you blanch them and chill them in the ice bath, they will be cold. So you can just store them covered in the refrigerator and you’ll be good to go. They should last about 3-4 days, but you can just keep an eye on them and see how they look. Thanks! -Meggan

    1. Hi Sherry, yes. That’s what the “trimmed” part means in the recipe, sorry that wasn’t clear. I trim the ends before blanching, yes. Thank you! -Meggan