Learn how to make this classic French Haricot Verts recipe by using basic, but delicious, cooking techniques. These classic sauteed French green beans feature rich butter and aromatic shallots and garlic. We love to serve them with parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, and chopped walnuts.
Green beans, of any kind, contain a lot of great nutrients and take less than 15 minutes to make. This is why they're a great side dish for a weeknight dinner or a simple recipe for a dinner party.
This method of quickly steaming then and sauteeing them in butter, shallots, and garlic is the classic recipe most chefs learn when they're in culinary school. It covers basic cooking techniques including steaming, blanching, and sauteeing, in a matter of 10 minutes.
It's quick, but it's such an easy way to yield flavorful, crisp, and perfectly cooked french beans for all your main course ideas.
Regular Green Beans vs. French Green Beans
Looks and appearance: Regular green beans, also known as string beans or snap beans, are your everyday green beans with a more common appearance. They're a bit more robust and have that familiar, hearty green bean taste. French green beans, also called haricots verts, are long and slender green beans, with a more delicate texture.
Type of green bean: While it's true that harvesting regular green beans when they are young and slender can give you a result similar to haricot verts, they are a distinct French variety of green beans bred to be slender and delicate.
How they're cooked: Traditional green beans might be heartier and stand up well in casseroles or stir-fries, while French green beans are often preferred when you want a more refined, elegant presentation.
Shopping for Haricot Verts
You can find French green beans in your local grocery store in the produce section. Just look for the label "haricot verts" or "french green beans." Ours came in a 1-pound package. You can purchase these fresh green beans or buy a package from the frozen section. When purchasing, look for:
- Minimal blemishes
- A firm, crisp texture
- Uniformity in shape and size (slender and long)
- A bright, green color
How to Make this French Haricot Verts Recipe
Here are the basic steps, with images, for these french-style green beans. A quick steam, ice bath, and saute is my favorite way to make these! Skip down to the recipe card below for the full printable green beans recipe.
Steam the asparagus: Trim green beans and cook in a skillet of boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Immediately transfer them to a large bowl of ice water. The cold water stops the cooking process, so they're crisp, yet tender (the best way to serve them!). Pat them dry with paper towels.
Cook the shallots and garlic: Melt a little bit of butter over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes then cook the minced garlic until fragrant.
Saute the green beans: Turn the heat down and toss the green beans with the shallots and garlic. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley. Taste and add more seasoning as needed.
Serve: Serve them warm or at room temperature with fresh parmesan cheese, slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, or
Storing Simple French Haricot Verts
Serve them warm in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove over medium-high heat or in the microwave until warmed through.
Main Courses to Serve with Sautéed French Green Beans
If you love salmon, make this easy side dish with almond-crusted salmon, Olive Garden copycat herb grilled salmon, or air fryer salmon bites.
A few delicious chicken dishes include easy pesto chicken, air fryer bacon-wrapped chicken breasts, or French onion chicken bake.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
French Haricot Verts Recipe
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 lb French green beans (Haricot Verts) washed and ends trimmed
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Juice from ½ a lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- Parmesan cheese, chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, lemon zest, and/or red pepper flakes to garnish
- Large skillet
- Add the water and green beans to a large skillet with a lid, over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Stop to stir or shake the green beans 1-2 times as needed. Transfer the green beans to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and drain the water from the pan. Transfer to a paper towel and pat gently to dry.
- Melt the butter in the same saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the green beans. Toss to coat in the shallots and garlic. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley and toss to coat. Remove from the heat and serve with grated parmesan cheese and finely chopped walnuts.