Garlic Green Beans (New England Style)

I’ve had green beans in many forms, all across the country (creamy, bacon-enhanced, roasted, you name it).  But none tasted better than the kind my mother-in-law taught me to make.  Gaaaarlic green beans.  I did mention recently how much I love garlic, right?  Good thing I married an Italian. 

Here in New England we like our green beans still kickin’.  Not raw, but a little crunchy.  I’m sure some NE’ers would disagree, because everyone’s tastes are unique.  But as a general rule, this side dish is typically a lot crunchier here than it would be in the Midwest or the South.

(Please forgive me for the flash photography.  Dinnertime affords poor lighting in our kitchen.)

Garlic Green Beans don’t take a long time to cook.  There’s few ingredients.  And the intense green of the al dente vegetable looks lovely next to any meat and potato combo (Or BLT’s, like we did with these).

It’s almost green bean season here, and I can’t WAIT to make this dish with what I grew in my own backyard.  Hope you like it too.  Might just go great with Maple Balsamic Glazed Chicken!

Garlic Green Beans


Green beans (pole or bush from the garden, general store-bought…as long as they’re fresh)

Garlic (avg. 2 cloves per several handfuls of beans – maybe 4 cloves for a big batch)

EVOO, as Rachael Ray would say (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Red pepper flakes (a few shakes is all you need for a little kick)

Salt (coarse sea salt looks amazing)


Prewash and cut (or snap) your green beans, removing the ends and sizing them the way you like them.  Set aside.  Finely mince the garlic.

Heat EVOO in your pan of choice (mine is cast iron, so I preheat it and then add the oil) over medium-low heat.  The idea is to lightly saute the green beans slowly

Add the green beans to the oil and give them a quick toss.   

Sprinkle on the garlic.  I usually let the garlic sit on top for a minute or two, and then mix it all together.

Give the beans a nice sprinkling of salt and a few shakes of red pepper flakes.   

Watch the beans.  When the color starts to deepen, add about 1/4 C. of water to the bottom of the pan.  This will help steam the veggies and keep them from sticking. 

Reduce the heat once the green beans are really jungle green.  An occasional toss is all they need until you’re ready to eat. 


Serve and enjoy (shown here with our BLT’s – yum)!

For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link:


2 thoughts on “Garlic Green Beans (New England Style)

  1. Another way to do them is to mix them up exactly the way you did and then spread them on a baking sheet in the oven at 425 for 10-15 minutes- till they start to carmelize. Mmmm! I will also basically do what you did -except steam the beans till jungle green and then making a dressing of those same ingredients plus some vinegar and dijon mustard, and toss the beans with it. Add some tender potato pieces and you are on your way to a scrumptious salade nicoise!

    • Oh my goodness, Kirstie. YUMMY! I’m going to try both of your ways of making beans. I’m planning to plant lots and lots of green beans so hopefully there will be many chances to experiment. You are such a creative cook!

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