Tasty Green Bean Options That Even Finicky Eaters Will Love
Frozen green beans are one of those ultimate family mealtime go-to items, because they're ready to thaw and prepare in just minutes. These six tasty options just may turn green beans into a favorite side dish, even for the child who insists vegetables are boring.
1. Oven-Roasted Green Beans
Green beans don't have to be bland. Oven-roasting them with spices such as onion and garlic powder enhances the flavor enough the everyone can enjoy them, even the finicky eaters in your tribe. To make oven-roasted green beans, place 1 pound of frozen green beans in a bowl, then toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, fresh black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, onion powder and garlic powder. Once the beans are thoroughly coated, spread them out on a baking sheet covered with foil. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 30 minutes, checking and stirring the beans after 15 minutes.
2. Sautéed Green Beans
This green-beans recipe is perfect for those times when there's little time to cook. Microwave 1 pound of frozen green beans according to package directions. Chop or slice an onion as the beans cook. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet large enough to hold all the beans, then add the onion bits. Saute the onions on medium, until they start to turn translucent or yellow from the butter. Add 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs and 1/2 teaspoon or more of Italian seasoning, to taste. Saute for another minute or so, then add the green beans and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Easy Garlic Green Beans
Garlic and frozen green beans team up for a delicious dish that's easy to pull together in a pinch. Place 2 cups of frozen green beans in a skillet, then cover the beans with 1/4 cup water. Cover the pan, then steam the beans until tender, or 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the water into the sink, then place the skillet back on the stove. Push the beans to one side, then add 1 teaspoon chopped garlic to an exposed part of the pan, along with 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Heat the pan again to slightly saute the garlic, stirring the mixture to coat the beans with garlicky goodness. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Sour Cream and Bacon Green Beans
Any child who thinks green beans are bland will change her mind after tasting this sour cream and bacon recipe. To make this super tasty side dish, chop half an onion, along with 1 or 2 cloves of garlic. Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat in a skillet until the onion turns transparent. Add the garlic, cook for another minute and then stir in 2 cups frozen green beans and 2 crumbled strips of precooked bacon. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the beans are hot, then turn the heat to low. Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream, plus a dash or two of salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then serve the beans immediately.
5. Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries
Pretty much every kid loves French fries, so here's a way to offer something just as delicious but far more nutritious, thanks to frozen green beans. To make baked Parmesan green bean fries, thaw the green beans in advance or in the microwave according to package directions. Spread the beans out in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with a healthy non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese over the green beans, then season with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and slightly crispy. To make extra-crispy beans, broil them for another 1 or 2 minutes after baking.
6. Asian-style Stir-Fried Green Beans
Stir-fried green beans provide a speedy meal option that's healthy and delicious over rice. To make this tasty dish, thaw a bag of frozen green beans and drain any liquid from the bag. Mix 1/4 cup soy sauce with minced garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Add the beans to the mixture and toss to coat. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil in a pan large enough to hold the beans, cooking on medium until the oil starts to bubble. Add the green beans and the sauce from the bowl. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for several more minutes until the beans start to brown around the edges. Serve over rice or as a side dish.
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Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Kroger, SFGate and others.