Speed Beans: Sauteed Frozen Green Beans

Sauteed frozen green beans has become our favorite dish. Frozen green beans you might ask, can they be any good? Well the truth is frozen vegetables are often just as flavorful, if not more, than “fresh” vegetables. Frozen vegetables are a quick, cheap and tasty way to get vegetables on your table.

These days frozen vegetables are individually flash frozen within hours of being picked. They are harvested at their peak too. Most of the time those freeze veggies have spent a couple of weeks traveling across continents and sitting on shelves before they get to your table.

One of the real benefits of the frozen veggies is that they come ready to go. You don’t need to do any prep work. They are also usually cheaper.When picking out frozen vegetables, look for the ones that come in bags instead of boxes. Also try to avoid bags with clumps of vegetables, it is usually a sign that they have been mishandled and allow to thaw and refreeze.

This New York Times article sings the praise of frozen veggies too.

The following base recipe along with the “seasonings” work great with other veggies like broccoli.

Speed Beans: Sauteed Frozen Green Beans


  • 1 lb bag of frozen green beans, chopped or whole
  • 1 tbs oil (vegetable, peanut or canola – anything good for sauteing)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Asian Speed Beans


  • 1/2″ ginger root, grated
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed


  1. Follow the base recipe above.
  2. Add all ingredients to the pan and stir until well coated.

Spicy Speed Beans


  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce


  1. Follow the base recipe above.
  2. Add chili sauce to the pan and stir until well coated.

35 thoughts on “Speed Beans: Sauteed Frozen Green Beans

  1. Hi! I’m reading all the lovely reviews and am dying to read the recipe and try, but the actually recipe no longer shows… Any chance it could be emailed to me or just re-added? Or that I could be redirected to another site, on which it shows? Thank you so much in advance!!!

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  4. Seriously: Thank you! I bought a couple of bagged frozen green beans but have always hated how they taste after boiling or steaming. This method is so smart and so easy! So, although your post is a few years old, I just wanted to say that it was a hit tonight!

  5. I’ve been making these a lot…when they’re just about done i drizzle them with sriacha..delicious.

    thanks for this easy side recipe!

  6. loved this recipe! I used Trader Joe’s french cut frozen green beans. they were fresh and well flavored for having lived in my freezer for 6+ weeks. I find myself partial to frozen vegetables, swiping up 3-4 bags on sale. But sometimes I get so tired of the microwave/steam option. This was a fun take on an old fav. The recipe was super yummy I cant wait to try the different variations. I wish I made a bigger serving!

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  8. I plan to make a green bean/mushroom casserole containing soy sauce and french friend onions, for Christmas buffet. Would the sauteed green beans as you suggest work well to use in the casserole which calls for baking it in the oven?

  9. I plan to make the green bean/mushroom casserole with french fried onions for Christmas buffet. I have two bags of French green beans in the freezer. Do you think sauteing the beans first as you suggest, work well mixed with the mushroom soup, soy sauce and french fried onions that calls for baking in the oven?

  10. I tried this recipe tonight as an alternative to steaming frozen green beans. I have to say that I will not go back to steaming! This was such a delicious recipe, yet so simple. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hmm… that is pretty tricky. I would probably try cooking the beans quickly in batches using boiling water until they are almost done and then dunking them in ice water to stop the cooking. Then I would make the bacon and sauce and then finally toss everything together and heat gently until they are warm. Then again I have no experience cooking for a crowd. Let me know what you end up doing!

  11. Delicious – I made this with garlic, ginger and soy sauce option. I wasn’t sure it would work well since my green beans had probably been in the freezer too long, but it turned out great.

  12. We always purchase frozen vegetables, but struggle with what to do with them other than steaming them in the microwave. Came across this and made them tonight. My husband said I could make these again. It is a great base that I look forward to experimenting with. Thank you so much!

  13. I’d like to make these for Thanksgiving, but am cooking for 12 people. Can I add more than 1 bag of frozen beans to the skillet at the same time?

    • You probably can, but they veggies will end up doing more steaming than sautéing. Another option could be spreading them out on a baking sheet and roasting them with Olive oil and salt. It might be worth trying out ahead of time though… I am not sure how that option would turn out.

  14. Was searching the web looking for something using frozen beans… this was perfect. Any suggestions on what to add to have a more savory flavor… what about worcesteshire?

    • Worcesteshire could definitely work… I have never tried it on vegetables. Adding in a little beef broth or bullion towards the beginning could add a little depth. For a little asian flair, try adding some oyster sauce towards the end.

  15. Just made these with Trader Joe’s frozen French green beans – they took a little less cooking time, but were made just the same. I used 1 tsp. of Porchini infused oil and 2 tsp. of vegetable oil. Sooo goood! Thank you for this recipe!

  16. Oh thank you thank you thank you. We grow our own beans in our small Brooklyn backyard, and we also buy them in bulk locally at the farmer’s market, and then freeze, so we can eat local produce all winter long. But I have struggled with cooking them because I had this erroneous idea I had to thaw them first, which — guess what? — just means that they are soggy. So you have enlightened me and made the prospect of frozen green beans this winter so much more exciting. Thank you!

  17. Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m making my lunch for tomorrow, and remembered I had a bag of TJ’s frozen green beans in the fridge. Going to do half w/ garlic and half w/ chili sauce. Yum!

  18. Thank you SO MUCH! I’ve been microwaving my frozen beans in a pampered chef steam cooker and I always overcook them. This recipe made very nice crisp green beans that I enjoyed for the first time. Since my husband loves green beans, I’m sure I’ll go through many of these recipes. Thank you again for posting these.

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  20. I agree, great idea. I made the speed beans today for Thanksgiving dinner. I also sauteed some almond slices with butter while I cooked the beans then combined the two. It was delicious! Thanks!

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