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Closeup of garlic green beans with garlic, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes
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5 from 6 votes

Easy Garlic Green Beans Recipe

This recipe for easy, five-ingredient garlic green beans is the perfect showcase for how delicious these veggies can be. The green beans are blanched to a perfect, toothsome yet tender texture, then sauteed with lots of garlic, a shower of sesame seeds, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, and fresh, savory garden herbs. Recipe is also gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free and vegan.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Vegetable side
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Garlic Green Beans
Servings: 12
Calories: 38kcal


  • Large pot for boiling water
  • Wok or large skillet


  • 2 pounds green beans (trimmed but left whole. You can also cut the beans in bite-sized pieces an inch long if that's your preference)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping tablespoons garlic (crushed or minced)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons herbs (I used sage and chives)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • Place a large pot of salted water to boil. When it comes to a boil, add the green beans, return to a boil, and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the beans break easily and are tender inside but still have a good bite to them.
  • Strain the beans and place in cold, preferably iced, water so they don't cook any more. This also preserves their color.
  • Place extra virgin olive oil and garlic in a wok or large skillet. Saute over medium-low heat until the garlic becomes very aromatic and colors lightly.
  • Add the red pepper flakes and sesame seeds to the wok, stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add the herbs and mix. Then add blanched green beans (drain out the water first) to the wok or skillet. Add salt to taste and, if you wish, a dash of ground black pepper. Use a pair of tongs to mix the green beans with the herbs and sesame seeds so all the beans are evenly coated. Let the beans warm through.
  • Turn off heat and serve warm or at room temperature.


  • To speed up cooking, buy pre-trimmed green beans. I like leaving the pointy sides on.
  • If you aren't nut-free, you can use walnuts or pecans in this recipe instead of sesame seeds. Chop the nuts fairly fine.
  • This recipe comes together quickly so don't leave the wok unattended, especially when you stir-fry the garlic and herbs. Don't cook the beans for too long once you've added them to the wok. All you need to do is warm them through.
  • These garlic green beans can be refrigerated for 3-5 days. You can freeze them, but freezing would change the color and texture of the beans so it's not advisable.


Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 546IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg