Ready to learn how to blanch green beans? This article and recipe is your complete guide to this simple cooking technique. I cover everything from how long to blanch green beans, why to blanch, and more.

Knowing how to blanch green beans, and vegetables in general, is important for a variety of dishes, but especially green bean casserole, a holiday staple here in the Midwest. For me, growing up in the midwest meant all kinds of casseroles at the holidays, from green bean and corn, to broccoli. The one thing they all share? Blanching of some kind of vegetable.

blanched green beans in a blue bowl

What is Blanching?

Blanching is a cooking technique largely used for fresh produce. Blanching is essentially the method of immersing a fresh fruit or vegetable in a pot of boiling water for several minutes and then submerging them in an ice bath to “shock” the produce or stop the cooking. 

Why Blanch Green Beans?

Blanching creates a crisp-tender texture or makes for easier peeling (think tomatoes or peaches). This cooking process also prevents the loss of flavor, color, and nutrients in fresh vegetables (something that can’t be said for all cooking techniques). 

washed green beans in a colander
Wash the green beans under cold water.

Step-by Step Instructions

1. Trim the ends of fresh green beans with a knife or scissors. Prepare an ice-water bath by filling a large bowl with water and ice. Set the bowl aside.

trimmed green beans on a wood cutting board with a knife

2. Fill a pot (the size of pot will be determined by how many green beans you’re using) with water and bring it to a boil. Add 1 tablespoons of kosher salt.

Carefully add your green beans to the pot of boiling salted water and cook them until they’re a vibrant green color and crisp-tender, about 3–5 minutes, depending on the amount of green beans and size of the pot. 

green beans in a pot of boiling water

3. Using a slotted spoon, colander, or spider, remove the green beans from the boiling water and submerge them in the bowl of ice water. This step abruptly stops the cooking process.

Drain the beans and use them accordingly. 

green beans in a bowl of ice water

Test Kitchen Tip: for easy draining, place a large colander in the ice water bath so when you’re ready to drain the green beans you can just lift them up and out of the water. 

How to Store Blanched Green Beans

Store blanched green beans in the refrigerator for up to four days, or in the freezer for several months.

To freeze blanch green beans, arrange them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid then transfer to a resealable zipper-lock freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 9 months. Thaw frozen green beans overnight in the fridge.

How to Use Blanched Green Beans

My favorite way to use cooked green beans is in green bean casserole, a must-have side dish on any Thanksgiving table. You can also eat blanched green beans cold with a drizzle of olive oil and your favorite seasoning, on a veggie platter with your favorite dip, or tossed into a salad. Try these additional recipes using blanched green beans. 

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blanched green beans in a blue bowl

How to Blanch Green Beans

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooling time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A foolproof recipe for blanching green beans!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound green beans
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, wash green beans then trim off stem end using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl.
  3. Heavily season water with kosher salt (at least a tablespoon.) Drop green beans into boiling water and cook until crisp-tender and vibrant in color, 3–5 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon or spider, immediately transfer green beans to ice water bath and let cool completely.


Notes

Buying: When buying green beans, make sure they are free of any dark spots, and are dry and crisp, not slimy or flimsy.

Storage: Store blanched green beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Freezing: For longer storage, freeze blanched green beans by arranging them in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze green beans until solid then transfer to a resealable zipper-lock bag and store in the freezer for up to 9 months.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 ounces
  • Calories: 35
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 15mg
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: how to blanch green beans, how long to blanch green beans, blanching green beans, blanch green beans

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About The Author

Allie Hoepker is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that believes all foods can fit as part of a healthy lifestyle. Her approach to finding personal balance is to allow yourself to enjoy your food while focusing on nutrient-dense food choices. Currently, Allie works as a Clinical Dietitian helping others discover how health and joyful eating intersect. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, practicing yoga, and cooking for family and friends.

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