These Microwaved Green Beans are the perfect easy weeknight side dish. Flavored with fresh lemon zest and almonds, they are ready in under 10 minutes. And you don't even have to turn on the stove!
In this post I show you how to steam green beans in the microwave, for a deliciously flavorful side dish that could not be easier.
Using the microwave is actually a perfect way to cook green beans.
It's fast, economical and you lose very little of the vegetables nutritious value. Plus crucially for the holidays, this simple way of cooking doesn't take up valuable oven or stove space!
- Why You'll Love Microwaved Green Beans
- Microwaved Green Beans Ingredients
- How to steam Green Beans in the microwave- Step-By-Step
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Variations & Substitutions for Easy Green Beans
- Tips & Tricks For making Microwave Green Beans
- Pin This Microwaved Green Beans with Lemon & Almonds Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy Side Dish Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- Microwaved Green Beans with Lemon & Almonds
Why You'll Love Microwaved Green Beans
- Any dish that can be prepared, cooked and on the table in 10 minutes is a winning dish any night of the week.
- Don't let the ease of preparation food you! This easy side dish is packed full of flavor.
- Microwaving is one of the easiest ways to cook veggies since it takes less time and you retain so much of their nutritious goodness.
- This is the perfect holiday side, when your oven is full, why not rely on the microwave?
- Looking for inspiration for other easy vegetable side dishes then why not try...
Microwaved Green Beans Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe below.
Green Beans - I use fresh green beans (also known as French beans or string beans), but this recipe would work with frozen beans too, just cook from frozen and adapt the cooking time accordingly. This recipe would also work with sugar snap peas or asparagus too.
Butter - You can use either salted or unsalted butter in this dish. If using salted butter just adapt the seasoning to suit. I sometimes like to add an extra tablespoon of butter - especially if I'm cooking for the holidays.
Lemon - lemon zest adds a real zing to this simple side. Make sure to use unwaxed lemons.
Almonds - I add flaked/slivered almonds as they taste better without their skin in this dish. You could swap the almonds for other nuts or some toasted seeds.
How to steam Green Beans in the microwave- Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe card below.
Wash, drain and trim the green beans then add to a microwave-safe bowl or dish.
Add two inches of water in the bottom of the bowl and season generously with sea salt. (There has to be enough water to steam the green beans)
Cover the dish with either a tight fitting lid or microwave safe plastic wrap - the beans inside need to steam so the dish needs to be properly sealed.
Microwave on high power for 4 minutes for al dente 'tender crisp' or 6 minutes for more tender beans.
Carefully remove the beans from the microwave using oven mitts and remove the plastic wrap or lid. Be careful of the steam which will escape as this can scald.
Drain the beans using a strainer then transfer to serving dish.
Add butter, sprinkle over lemon zest and almonds slices then serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
How healthy are green beans?
Green beans are really good for you and are an easy way to boost your healthy eating. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals; including vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium, folate and fiber.
Are vegetables which are cooked in the microwave nutritious?
Cooking vegetables in the microwave is a healthy option as the vegetables steam. This retains more of their healthy vitamins and minerals than you would if boiling the veggies.
What should you look for when choosing green beans in the produce section or at the market?
Firstly look at the beans and ensure they don't have any brown spots. Then feel the beans - they should feel firm enough so that if bent they would snap easily in half, and not have any softness.
How do you know when green beans have spoiled?
Check the green beans for soft or brown spots, or if they look a little withered, particularly around the tip.
How long should you cook green beans in the microwave?
I cook trimmed green beans on high for 4 minutes for al dente beans and 6 minutes for tender beans. Note these cooking times may change slightly depending on the wattage of your microwave, so adapt to suit.
Can you make microwaved green beans ahead of time for this quick side dish?
As they only take 10 minutes to prepare and cook, I like to cook green beans just before serving. This results in delicious beans that still have the right amount of bite.
However, leftover beans can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container or plastic bag. Then when ready to heat up, pop them back into the microwave for a minute to warm through.
Variations & Substitutions for Easy Green Beans
There are so many combinations of flavors you can choose for this healthy side dish:
- Stir through some chopped fresh herbs just before serving like parsley, tarragon, mint or thyme.
- Swap the almonds for some hazelnuts, or some toasted seeds like pumpkin or sunflower.
- Red pepper flakes can add just a touch of heat.
- Add a clove of garlic, finely minced, for some extra flavor.
- Grate over some fresh Parmesan cheese.
- Add some chopped cherry tomatoes just before serving.
- Serve with a tablespoon of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar instead of the lemon and butter.
It's worth noting that I used regular green beans but Haricot Verts would also be delicious, and usually cook in slightly less time.
Tips & Tricks For making Microwave Green Beans
- Season the green beans with salt before cooking as this will make a big difference to the finished dish.
- If you're not eating the beans straight away after microwaving, plunge them into ice water. This helps to make sure they stay bright green. You can then warm them through later.
- This dish only uses zest of lemon, so I like to then juice the lemon, place it into an ice-cube tray and freeze. Perfect for adding to dishes when a burst of fresh lemon juice is needed.
How To Serve Green Beans with Lemon & Almond
Pin This Microwaved Green Beans with Lemon & Almonds Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
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More Easy Side Dish Recipe Ideas
Microwaved Green Beans with Lemon & Almonds
- 1 lb Green Beans - trimmed
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 Lemon - finely grated zest only
- ¼ cup Toasted Sliced Almonds
- Sea Salt
- Wash, drain and trim the green beans.
- Add to a microwave-safe bowl or microwave-safe dish.
- Add two inches of water in the bottom of the bowl.
- Season with salt.
- Cover the dish with either a tight fitting microwave-safe lid or microwave safe plastic wrap (the beans inside need to steam).
- Microwave on high power for 4 minutes for al dente and 6 minutes for tender beans.
- Remove from microwave with oven mitts.
- Carefully remove the plastic wrap or lid and drain into a strainer.
- Transfer to serving dish, add 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle over lemon zest and almonds slices.