Sautéed Green Beans Recipe with Apple Cider

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This sautéed green beans recipe with apple cider is a delicious Thanksgiving side dish! Made with 5 ingredients in 30 minutes, they’re a healthy and easy holiday side dish that everyone loves.

Front view of Sautéed Green Beans with Apple Cider on a serving dish garnished with apple slices


If you’re anything like me, you start testing and bookmarking recipes for the holidays as soon as the weather starts changing in the fall.

These Sautéed Green Beans are one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes! They’re easy to make with only 5 ingredients in 20 minutes and are healthier than eating your vegetables smothered in cream soups and topped with french fried onions!

This recipe can be enjoyed by anyone with dietary restrictions as well – it’s gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.

Overhead view of Sautéed Green Beans Recipe with Apple Cider on a serving dish

How to make Sautéed Green Beans

This recipe has a handful of steps, but they’re simple to execute.

Blanch the green beans. 

Begin this recipe by blanching the green beans.

When working with fresh green beans I like to blanch them first. To do this, cook the beans in boiling water for 2-4 minutes until they are soft (cook time varies with the size of the beans).

Then rinse them in cold water and plunge them into an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. This makes the final step of sautéing incredibly easy because the beans are already tender! Blanching can be done the day before, to help you streamline your day-of holiday cooking.

Overhead view of a bowl of fresh green beans in ice water to show how to cook fresh green beans by blanching

Reduce the cider. 

Next, reduce the apple cider so it forms a thick glaze. The cider takes about 20 minutes to thicken and reduce by half. This can also be done 1 day in advance.

Save time and start the process when you begin boiling the water. It’s pretty hands off just be careful when you do stir it because stirring causes the liquid to boil vigorously for a few seconds.  If your’e not careful you run the risk of it bubbling out of the pot!

Watch the cider carefully towards the end of the reducing process, it goes from perfect to a burnt, unusable mess very quickly (speaking from experience here).

Overhead view of Sautéed Green Beans Recipe in a frying pan before cooking

Sauté the green beans

Once the beans are blanched and the cider is reduced, sauté the beans in the cider to brown them and coat them with the apple cider glaze.

Serve

Serve them immediately after cooking, warm with your favorite Thanksgiving recipes like this roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato casserole.

Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop in a sauté pan.

Overhead view of a spoon scooping some Sautéed Green Beans Recipe with Apple Cider out of a serving dish

Sautéed Green Beans Recipe: Substitutions 

There are only 5 ingredients in this recipe, and as always, I recommend making them exactly as written for the best results. However here are a few possible substitutions:

  • Olive oil. Any neutral oil will work well in this recipe. I recommend avocado oil or canola oil if you do not have olive oil. Melted butter is also an amazing substitution for the olive oil.
  • Garlic salt. If you do not keep garlic salt on hand. Simply substitute 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp garlic powder for the garlic salt. Then adjust seasonings to taste if necessary! You can also add fresh minced garlic to the beans when you cook them.
front view of a serving dish of Sautéed Green Beans Recipe with Apple Cider

Recipe FAQs

What is the best way to cook fresh green beans? 

I prefer to blanch and then sauté green beans for the best flavor and texture.

What spices go well with green beans?

I made this more of a sweet/savory dish but using the rich spices in apple cider – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.


How do you keep green beans green when cooking?

Blanching the beans before cooking them helps them retain their bright green color.

Side view of hands holding a serving dish of Sautéed Green Beans Recipe with Apple Cider

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Apple Cider Sautéed Green Beans

Laura
This sautéed green beans recipe with apple cider is a delicious Thanksgiving side dish! Made with 5 ingredients in 30 minutes, they're a healthy and easy holiday side dish that everyone loves.
5 from 3 votes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Cups of Beans (Serves 12 people)
Calories 57.7
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Trim the ends of 2 lbs (8 cups) of fresh green beans and place them in a colander and rinse.

Blanch the beans:

  • Fill a large, 6-quart stock pot ¾ full with water and bring to a boil.
  • While water is coming up to a boil, fill a large bowl ½ full of water and ice. If the ice melts add more! Set aside.
  • Pour trimmed & rinsed beans into boiling water cook for 3-4 minutes or until beans are slightly soft to the touch.
  • Pour boiling water/beans into a colander and rinse with cold water.
  • Put the beans into the bowl of ice cold water to stop them from cooking!
  • Once beans are completely cool (or cold) drain and rinse again.

Apple cider reduction:

  • While the water is boiling, place 1 ½ cups of apple cider into a small sauce pot (2-3 quart saucepan).
  • Bring liquid to a boil then reduce to a vigorous simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Be aware, stirring can cause the liquid to bubble more vigorously for a moment so be careful!
  • Cook until the cider is reduced to ½ of its original volume and begins to stick to the spatula when you stir it. (about 20 minutes).
  • Watch the apple cider reduction carefully because it can go from perfect to burnt very quickly!
  • Remove from heat and set aside.

Putting it together:

  • Put the beans in a large sauté pan and toss with 2 TBS olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the beans become warm.
  • Add the apple cider reduction and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid coats the beans.
  • Serve immediately!

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Olive oil. Any neutral oil will work well in this recipe. I recommend avocado oil or canola oil if you do not have olive oil. Melted butter is also an amazing substitution for the olive oil.
  • Garlic salt. If you do not keep garlic salt on hand. Simply substitute 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp garlic powder for the garlic salt. Then adjust seasonings to taste if necessary! You can also add fresh minced garlic to the beans when you cook them.

Serve

Serve them immediately after cooking, warm with your favorite Thanksgiving recipes like this roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato casserole.

Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop in a sauté pan.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 57.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1.3g | Fat: 2.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.7g | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 5.1g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 17.3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am in LOVE with this simple, fresh take on green beans! I too am not a huge fan of the traditional creamy green been casserole, so I may just have to give these a try this year!

  2. Hi Laura, thanks for the great recipe. I was searching for festive and delicious Christmas dinner ideas for my family. Finally, I found it. The ingredients are my all time favourite, especially the Apple Cider Vinegar and green beans. I’m really excited to get cooking. Well done and thank you again.

  3. What a unique flavor idea! I admit, as much as I love veggies, green beans are just meh for me. But this looks like a great way to jazz them up!

  4. Simple ingredients and I love the apple cider twist on green beans! I would love to see this at Thanksgiving or have it any night.

  5. The perfect addition to a healthy holiday table! I’m obsessed with apple cider vinegar! I will be making these for sure!

  6. Wow, these look so good! I’ve never done the blanching but sounds like I should start, loved all your tips! I can’t believe it’s November this week either..how did this happen?! lol..