The Simple Recipe for Taking Green Beans from Blah to Brilliant

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins

Admittedly, vegetables are not the most exciting guests at the Thanksgiving party. When the table is laden with succulent turkey and creamy mashed potatoes, green beans don’t sound like the most appetizing dish to devour — unless they’re prepared simply and scrumptiously. Enter these crunchy, buttery green beans, which come together in a three-step process (don’t worry, an easy three steps).

First, toss the beans into boiling water for four to five minutes to tenderize and cook them. This process also infuses them with moisture so that each bite is juicy. Next, give them a quick bath in ice water, which preserves their bright green color and crisp-tender texture. Pat the beans dry, then sauté them in butter, salt, and pepper to give them a shiny, flavorful coat. Serve these on Turkey Day (or with any big meal), and you’ll be very happy to have something green and tasty to munch on between bites of carbs.

(Photos and recipe via Sara Cagle/Brit + Co)

Three-Step Green Beans Recipe

Total time: 15 mins
Serves 4

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  • 2 cups heaping (12 ounces) green beans, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for serving
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste



Bring a medium to large pot of salted water to boil. Add green beans, and boil, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.


Remove beans from heat, strain, and shock a large bowl of ice water until cool, about 3 minutes. Remove from water, and pat dry.


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beans, season with salt and pepper, and stir until warm and evenly covered in butter, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately. Garnish with another pat of butter, as pictured, if desired.

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