The best way to cook frozen green beans is to boil them on the stove until they are tender and delicious. You will never believe they weren't cooked fresh! Get tips on perfecting this cooking method, as well as recipes for Southern-style green beans and green bean casserole.
Are Frozen Green Beans Nutritious?
Whether you buy green beans frozen, fresh or canned, these veggies are full of nutrients and pack a lot of flavor. According to the USDA, green beans (also known as string beans or snap beans) have just 30 calories per cup and contain no fat or cholesterol.
Green beans are also high in vitamins A and C as well as folate, potassium, antioxidants and fiber, states North Carolina State University. Plus, they are naturally sodium-free.
Fresh vegetables are the best choice, but frozen vegetables are a great option when fresh are not available or are too expensive. You can buy frozen vegetables in bulk and just use what you need instead of worrying about spoilage as you would with fresh vegetables.
Frozen vegetables are picked when they are ripe and then blanched in hot water before freezing. According to Harvard Health Publishing, they have the same mineral, fiber and protein content as their fresh counterparts. Sometimes, they may even contain more vitamins and phytonutrients than older fresh items. If you can't use fresh produce right away, then frozen is a better option.
Best Way to Cook Frozen Green Beans
The best way to cook frozen green beans is by boiling them. This is also the easiest method, especially if you are cooking frozen green beans for a crowd.
The technique is simple. The Mississippi Department of Education recommends filling a large pot with water, seasoning it with salt and letting it come to a rolling boil.
Add the frozen green beans and cook for six to eight minutes. Once they are heated through and are tender, transfer them to a strainer. Return them to the pan and add in butter or margarine plus a pinch of salt.
Some frozen green beans can be microwaved without removing them from the bag. The instructions vary by the brand and size of the bag, so refer to those guidelines for proper cooking.
If you're cooking frozen green beans Southern style, you will need a few extra ingredients to make them extra flavorful, says the University of Tennessee. Place them in a pot and add enough water so it just covers the beans. You may also use chicken broth instead of water for more flavor. Turn it on medium heat to simmer and add in a couple of slices of cooked and crumbled bacon.
You can also add ham or ham hock and onion slices. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the beans and let them simmer on low for several hours until they're flavorful and tender. Delicious!
Healthy Frozen Green Bean Recipes
Whether you're cooking frozen green beans for a crowd or just for one, there are many ways to make them flavorful and healthy. For those recipes that use fresh green beans instead of frozen, simply thaw the frozen green beans by placing them in a colander and running cool water over them for five to seven minutes.
There are lots of creative ways to amp up the flavor of green beans. You can roll them with bread crumbs and spices to make our delicious and healthy Sesame Garlic Green Bean Fries. Or you can try this flavorful LIVESTRONG.com Roasted Green Bean recipe that amps up the flavor by tossing the green beans with mushrooms, onions, olive oil and crumbled blue cheese.
Read more: 10 Sneaky Ways to Eat More Vegetables
Green bean casserole is a holiday favorite, and the Mayo Clinic puts a healthy spin on it by using fresh or frozen green beans instead of canned.
When using frozen green beans, cook them and set aside. Saute onion slices and prep mushroom sauce as directed, add the green beans to a 2-quart casserole, pour the mushroom sauce over the green beans, top with the sauteed onions and bread crumbs, and bake for 15 minutes in a 350-degree-Fahrenheit oven for a delicious, easy side dish.
Have fun and get creative when cooking green beans by tossing them with almonds, cayenne pepper, roasted peppers, roasted tomatoes or even a dash of Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce. Your imagination is the only limit.
- USDA FoodData Central: "Green Beans"
- North Carolina State University: "Food of the Month: Green Beans"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Fresh or Frozen Produce? The Health Benefit Is All in the Mix"
- Mississippi Department of Education: "Seasoned Green Beans, Cut, Frozen"
- University of Tennessee: "Snap Beans"
- Mayo Clinic: "Holiday Green Bean Casserole"
- Cooks.com: Green Beans