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5 from 1 vote

What do you do when you can’t find fresh green beans or frozen green beans at the store? This easy canned green bean recipe is an excellent option to whip up a great side dish. Ready in minutes, it’s a simple way to cook canned green beans.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick: If you have 5 minutes, you can get this side dish on the table. I’ve been there before when I feel like I haven’t a moment to spare, and this canned green bean recipe has made it lightning quick to get a veggie side out on the dinner table.
  • Tasty: Adding the right flavors really perks up canned beans in a flash. You won’t have that canned taste; it can go with any meal. If you’re planning to make this green bean dish for Thanksgiving, this Vegan Sweet Potato Mash pairs well with it!
  • Good for You: Green beans are a smart choice for a healthy lifestyle. They’re a delicious side dish that gives you and your family plenty of nutrients. 
Cooked canned green beans in a ceramic bowl with fresh ingredients surrounding it.

How To Make Canned Green Beans Taste Better

If you want to make canned green beans taste better, they will always be delicious in a soup or stew. Simmering them with other aromatics, they soak up those flavors so well you’ll forget they came from a can. Cooking them in a veggie broth or stock is the way to go when making one of these dishes. Fresh or dried herbs are marvelous too. 

Some people add a bit of sugar, though. With my recipe, you won’t need it. In fact, this recipe is one of the best vegan green bean recipes you’ll find out there. While other ones recommend butter, Worcestershire sauce, bacon, or bacon grease, this one is completely meatless and full of amazing flavors everyone can eat. 

Ingredients + Notes

This hardy vegetable is easy to cook using simple ingredients. This easy recipe can make these regular green beans into the best canned green beans recipe.

Bowl of canned green beans with ingredients in small bowls surrounding it.
  • Oil: You’ll be using oil to sauté the aromatics in this recipe. Use avocado oil, olive oil, or whatever oil you have in your kitchen.
  • Onion: Onions always bring out the best in other veggies, and canned green beans are no exception. I use a yellow onion in this recipe, though other onion types can also work.
  • Garlic: Of course, there’s garlic! It’s a must, chasing away the canned flavor well. I like to mince this myself. I used one clove, but you could always add more if you love garlic. Just don’t overdo it, or it will be the only thing you taste. 
  • Green Beans: When choosing a can of green beans, pick one with no salt, or minimal salt added. If all you have is one with salt, that will work too. You’ll want to taste it first before adding in more salt. 
  • Salt: Again, check your can of green beans to see if it has salt added. Even if it does, you may want to add more salt to suit your tastes.
  • Pepper: As always, black pepper is perfect for bringing all the flavors together. 
Cooked green beans from a can with sautéed onion garlic and spices.

Step-by-step Instructions: How To Cook Canned Green Beans

This easy canned green bean recipe is ready in just four simple steps. Who doesn’t love a simple recipe? Enjoy!

1. Strain the green beans and rinse them thoroughly in cold water.

2. Heat the oil, minced garlic, and diced onion over medium heat and cook until the onions are beginning to turn semi-translucent. 

3. Add in green beans, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. (Until they are hot and infused with the seasonings.) 

4. Serve warm and enjoy. 

Full Recipe Video

Recipe Variations

This easy canned green bean recipe might become your new favorite side dish. If you’d like to liven it up even more, though, the best

  • Red Chili Flakes: Give your green beans a little kick with red chili flakes. This is perfect for those who like spicy foods or if you have a spicy main dish and want your side dish to match. 
  • Vegan Parmesan: I see a lot of recipes out there that use parmesan to make green beans taste good. If you’ve just switched to a vegan lifestyle and miss cheese, vegan parmesan is an excellent option. You’ll be so glad you found it; it tastes amazing on canned green beans.
  • Cashews: Want your green beans to have a nice crunch? Add in some cashews. They’ll add more protein, too, and the differences in texture are so pleasing to the palate! Add in small pieces or whole cashews for a bigger presence.
  • Garlic powder: If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, garlic powder will work just fine in a pinch for this tasty side dish. Alternatively, you could use both fresh garlic and powdered.
  • Onion powder: This could be used in place of onion. However, it isn’t the same, so if possible, use fresh onion or shallots.
  • Soy sauce: Add a splash of soy sauce to the pan when adding the green beans for a little cooking liquid.
  • Red wine vinegar: Pour a splash of red wine vinegar into your cooking skillet when you add in the can of beans.
Cooked green beans from a can with sauteed onion garlic and spices.

What To Serve With Canned Green Beans

Cans of green beans can be served with any meal. It’s always a smart idea to put more veggies out. Whether it’s a dinner party, holiday, or a regular weeknight with your family, you can serve them as this simple side.

They’re perfect with potatoes, tater tot casserole, vegan chili, tofu dishes, and so much more. They’ll go with just about anything, and you can always adjust the seasonings to fit the flavors of your meal. Because this recipe uses onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, the sky is the limit with what you can do here!

Alternatively, a green bean casserole, southern green beans, or a green bean salad are great options too.

Woman reaching for a golden yellow bowl of cooked canned green beans.

Storage Tips

This recipe makes three servings, so you may not have any leftovers. If you do, they’re easy to store.


Store the cooked, canned green beans in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Pro Tip: Store leftovers in an airtight glass container to help your food last longer.

Reheating Leftovers

You can reheat these leftovers on the stovetop in a matter of minutes. Alternatively, microwave for 30 seconds, and you’ll be good to go.

Golden yellow bowl of freshly cooked canned green beans.


Do canned green beans need to be cooked?

Canned green beans are cooked at high temperatures prior to the canning process. So technically, you do not need to cook them first…you can eat them right out of the can.

However, most people don’t because they aren’t exactly delicious that way. So for the canned green bean haters, this might be why. With this recipe, though, you can make them taste absolutely wonderful!

Should I rinse canned green beans?

Yes, I completely advise that you drain and rinse your canned green beans. The water they are canned in doesn’t taste great. In fact, that’s what makes them have that canned taste. Drain AND rinse them very well, and that will ensure all the flavors you put with them make them taste amazing. 

Why should I not boil canned green beans?

Canned green beans are already cooked before they go into the cans that you buy at the store. If you boil them, you’re only going to make them mushier. 

How long do you let canned green beans cook?

Canned green beans only need about 5 minutes on your stovetop with aromatics and seasonings. That’s what makes them such a terrific side dish that you can have ready fast!

Can I cook canned green beans in a pressure cooker?

The short answer is yes. You could cook canned green beans in a pressure canner or pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot. However, they are already cooked before initially getting canned, so cooking these string beans on the stovetop is really the best option.

More Bean Recipes


Golden yellow bowl of freshly cooked canned green beans.
5 from 1 vote

Easy Canned Green Bean Recipe

Yield 3 Servings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
What do you do when you can’t find fresh green beans or frozen green beans at the store? This easy canned green bean recipe is an excellent option to whip up a great side dish. Ready in minutes, it’s a simple way to cook canned green beans.



  • Strain the green beans and rinse them thoroughly.
  • Heat the oil, garlic, and onion over medium heat and cook until the onions are beginning to turn semi-translucent.
  • Add in green beans, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes until they are hot and infused with the seasonings.
  • Serve warm, and enjoy.



Please read through the above blog post for helpful tips and tricks!


Calories: 84kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.4g, Protein: 0.1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 194mg, Potassium: 6mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.01g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 0.03mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was simple and delicious. Thank you!