Garlic Green Beans with Brown Butter are a perfect vegetable! This simple and tasty veggie side dish goes with so many entrees and it is easy to make using fresh or frozen beans. Even your kids will love these flavorful vegetables!
Garlic Green Beans with Brown Butter recipe
We absolutely love eating fresh green beans in our house. We eat frozen or canned green beans a lot too, but usually we're eating those when I've neglected to think about what will go with our entree!
Fresh green beans just have a completely different experience about them from canned green beans.
I remember working at the restaurant in college where we served haricot verts which felt super fancy but really was just the French word for green beans. That's probably where I discovered how much better fresh green beans are than canned.
Nowadays, I love to dress up green beans with other flavors, like this green bean seasoning.
But my absolute favorite way is with browned butter and garlic. Honestly, you really can't get any better than this!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Studded with garlic and a brown butter sauce, they look gorgeous on a plate.
- These garlic green beans are so flavorful and unlike any green beans you've had before!
- Not including salt and pepper, you only need three ingredients to make them!
- They make a stunning side dish — perfect for holiday gatherings!
Garlic green beans made with brown butter are so easy, and you only need three ingredients besides salt and pepper!
- fresh green beans
- unsalted butter
- salt and pepper
Fresh green beans are the star of this show. Get them from your grocery store or a local farmers market.
What about frozen green beans? For nights where you may need something yummy in a pinch, you can totally use frozen green beans for this recipe.
I doesn't matter whether they are chopped or "French" style. This just means they're kept whole and may be slightly skinnier than cut green beans.
You can make brown butter with salted butter or unsalted, but I prefer unsalted so that I can salt the green beans myself.
Also, Cook's Illustrated mentions that it's a lot easier to burn salted butter when you're trying to brown it. Also, it produces more foam than unsalted butter as it melts, which makes it hard to tell how much the color has changed. They also said:
So while it’s possible to brown salted butter, there will be no browned-milk-solid flavor benefit from it and it’s actually more difficult to avoid burning salted butter compared with unsalted. The best bet is to stick with using unsalted butter.
If you need an option for vegan brown butter, check out this recipe.
Fresh garlic will give you the best flavor! If you have fresh cloves and a garlic mincer, do it! You will need about three cloves.
If you are like me and need a shortcut now and again, the canned minced garlic is a godsend. I love having it in my fridge. You will need about a tablespoon.
Feel free to measure with your heart if you like a lot of garlic flavor!
How to Prepare Green Beans
Cooking always makes me feel like I'm part of an older time period. I'm not usually one of those people who feels like they were born in the wrong generation or anything, but when it comes to cooking, I definitely have an old-school style.
One thing I absolutely love doing is trimming green beans.
You could totally just cut off the stems (the firmer pieces on one end of the green bean that the beans grew from), but I love the process of breaking that stem off.
It takes just a handful of minutes and gives your water time to start boiling, anyway. But if you're looking for something quick and easy, go ahead and chop off the firm ends with a knife.
What is Brown Butter?
Brown butter is almost like butter that you forgot was melting in a pan and is almost burnt but still viable. That may sound totally crazy, but it's one of the best ways to bring out the flavors in both the butter and garlic.
What it does is cook the milk solids in the butter, making them nice and toasty — almost nutty in aroma and flavor.
In other words, magic is what happens when brown butter is created!
How to make Brown Butter Garlic Sauce
Once your green beans are cooked (boiled in water), you'll make your sauce which is simply butter and garlic.
The sauce is really the star of this show, even though it's barely a sauce at all!
After you've poured out your green beans, leave them aside and melt a few tablespoons of butter on medium-low heat.
As it's melting use a spatula or spoon to move the butter around the pan, scraping any pieces of butter that might've browned and crisped up at the bottom of your pan. Once the butter starts to darken, add your garlic in and stir frequently so that the garlic doesn't burn.
That's the secret sauce to these delectable garlic brown butter green beans.
What to Serve with Garlic Green Beans
I also recommend serving these side dishes:
Garlic green beans also make the perfect side dish for a Thanksgiving feast or the start to an incredibly yummy green bean casserole!
In fact, my friend Erin has a recipe for brown butter turkey that is to-die-for. If you like these green beans, you should totally consider this for your holiday table!
- ½ pound fresh French style green beans (sometimes found in stores as haricots verts)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste
- In a stainless steel pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Remove stems from green beans by cutting or pulling them off by hand.
- Add green beans to boiling water.
- Boil for about 10 minutes, then use a fork to test the tenderness of one of the largest green beans. If you prefer green beans to be less cooked, test a few minutes early or add a few minutes for more tender green beans.
- Strain green beans and set aside.
- In the same pan, melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium-low heat.
- As it's melting use a silicone flexible spatula or wooden spoon to move the butter around the pan, scraping any pieces of butter that might've browned and crisped up at the bottom of your pan.
- Once the butter starts to darken, add your garlic in and stir frequently so that the garlic doesn't burn.
- Once garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes, add drained green beans back to the pan and toss to cover beans with butter and garlic.
- Add salt and pepper and toss once more.
- Serve immediately!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 199mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g