Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Parmigiano

In this recipe, the sautéed green beans are so crisp tender and delicious. It might be  your new favorite version of a classic. (Sorry mushy veggies, no offense.) No more fried onions.  No more overcooked, dull beans.

My sweet cousin Cora from Italy just sent me a box of Italian goodies.  Of course, the box included two big wedges of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (see photo on post title) I’m so happy!  Undoubtedly, this cheese adds a creamy, nutty flavor to any dish. Thus, this recipe is one of many that I came up with.

For this dish, find the very fresh green beans you can.   Also, stay away from the big ones, where you can see the shape of the seeds on the outside.  Those are starting to mature. Pick the thinner ones for best flavor.

Rinse the beans in cold water and dry them with paper towel.  Leaving it wet will cause them to steam in the hot oil.

The subtle addition of garlic, parmigiano, red chili flakes and olive oil simply brings out the natural sweetness of the green beans. Using a good Parmigiano Reggiano is a must because it’s worth it. You can buy this cheese in most supermarkets now.blistered green beans

When cooking I prefer a stainless steel sauté pan which conducts heat very well and gave the green beans a slight blister.  I’m not so sure if a nonstick pan will give the same result. Keep an eye on it while its cooking, or you might overcook the green beans. Make sure the beans are still bright green in color and not dull.

So if you only have less than ten minutes to cook a side dish, this is it. Make it for a family dinner, or for your party guests.  Serving it in a rectangular platter makes for an elegant presentation.

Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Parmigiano

Super easy and delicious, this side dish cooks in less than 10 minutes.
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes


  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or Parmesan, freshly grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • tsp red pepper flakes more or less


  • Cut or pinch off the top ends of the green beans. Rinse it with cold water and dry them with paper towels. Set aside.
  • Heat a 12-inch stainless steel saute pan on medium/high heat. Add in the oil and let it get hot for 1-2 minutes.
  • Drop the beans gently into the pan, spreading it out. Use a rubber spatula to toss the beans around so the oil coats it. Let it cook for 2 minutes. (You will see a few brown blisters on the skin.) If pan gets too hot, lower heat to medium. Flip it with the spatula and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Season lightly with 1/4 tsp salt and 3 grinds of black pepper. Toss it again. Let cook for another 2 minutes. Mix in the garlic and 1/8 tsp (more or less) of red pepper flakes. Let it cook for another 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant and the beans are just crisp tender and color is still bright green. Adjust seasoning as needed. (Do not add too much salt as the cheese is already salty.)
  • Use tongs to transfer the beans into a platter. Top it with freshly grated Parmigiano cheese. Serve immediately.


Each pan conducts heat differently, so control the heat by lowering it to medium if it gets too hot after the first 2 minutes of cooking.
Author: Elizabeth Segal
Course: Sides

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