How to Blanch Green Beans

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Learn how to blanch green beans so they are 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.

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.
  • Storing: Green beans should be stored in an open bag in the refrigerator. Unwashed, untrimmed green beans will last about 1 week.

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.
  1. 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.
  1. Remove from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Once completely cool, drain completely and pat dry.
Green beans in ice water in a silver bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: 1 pound of blanched green beans feeds about 4 people.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Wash and trim the beans up to 3 days in advance.
  • Freezer: Arrange drained beans in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or waxed paper and put it in the freezer. Once the beans are frozen, transfer them to a zipper-top bag and freeze up to 9 months. Remove and reheat any portion size, or thaw the whole bag overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Leftovers: Use leftover green beans in an omelet, pasta salad, or green salad. Or, dip cold beans in hummus, ranch dressing, or dill dip.
Green beans with bacon on a white platter with a serving spoon and fork.

Green Beans with Bacon

An easy recipe for Green Beans with Bacon (and a touch of brown sugar, too). Cook the bacon and blanch the beans ahead of time, and this dish comes together in minutes.

30 minutes
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Green beans in a sliver colander.

How to Blanch Green Beans

Learn how to blanch green beans so they are 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.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 43 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. Storing: Green beans should be stored in an open bag in the refrigerator. Unwashed, untrimmed green beans will last about 1 week.
  4. Yield: 1 pound of blanched green beans feeds about 4 people.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Make ahead: Wash and trim the beans up to 3 days in advance.
  7. Freezer: Arrange drained beans in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or waxed paper and put it in the freezer. Once the beans are frozen, transfer them to a zipper-top bag and freeze up to 9 months. Remove and reheat any portion size, or thaw the whole bag overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  8. Leftovers: Use leftover green beans in an omelet, pasta salad, or green salad. Or, dip cold beans in hummus, ranch dressing, or dill dip.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ouncesCalories: 35kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 239mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 782IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. When I blanch beans, the water will stop boiling when I put the beans in it. Do I start timing when I add the beans or when the water comes to a boil again?

    1. Hi Mark! Don’t worry that the water stops boiling, just time it from when they go in. They blanch quick! – Meggan

  2. I appreciate your guidance on blanching green beans. I liked the photography, also. Always helps. Thank you again.5 stars

  3. 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