This quick stir fried green beans recipe is one of the easiest and most flavorful side dishes! So much flavor with just a few ingredients.
When you’re looking for a quick, flavorful side dish, nothing beats these stir fried green beans!
I've now made these spicy green beans three times in the past week and twice they didn't even make it to the table because we snacked on them right after they had their picture taken. You know that a vegetable side dish is a winner when your kids eat it straight out of the pan!
The beauty of a good stir fry, green bean or otherwise, is that it’s incredibly versatile. Don’t have enough green beans on hand? Add some shiitake mushrooms and bell peppers.
Looking for a full dinner idea, not just a side dish? Stir fry some chicken or shrimp first, then add it to the green beans with an extra dose of the sauce, and serve it over brown rice. Or cook a separate chicken or shrimp stir fry using my homemade stir fry sauce. Two stir fries are always better than one!
So many options if you follow the general tips listed below!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THESE STIR FRIED GREEN BEANS:
These are the main components need for this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Green beans: One pound green beans. Trim the ends and cut the beans into 1 ½-inch pieces.
- Soy sauce: I use regular soy sauce, but feel free to substitute with a low-sodium version if you prefer. For a gluten free dish, use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Chili garlic sauce: Chili garlic sauce is be found in the international aisle of most grocery store or online. I use this sauce all the time, for everything from my homemade stir fry sauce to peanut sauce. If you can’t get a hold of any chili garlic sauce, cook a couple of minced garlic cloves with the ginger and sprinkle in some red pepper flakes.
- Oils: Avocado oil is great for high heat cooking. Use canola oil or peanut oil if you don’t have avocado oil on hand. A little sesame oil is added for flavor.
- Ginger: You can’t beat the flavor of fresh ginger! It can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores.
- Optional: If you like, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
Tools you need:
- Skillet: Most Chinese stir-fry recipes call for a wok set over high or medium-high heat. However, using a large nonstick skillet allows you to use less oil to cook the green beans.
- Spatula: I like to use my trusty wooden spatula for both sautéing and stir-frying. It pushes the ingredients around in the pan easily and it doesn't scratch the nonstick surface of the pan.
KEEP IN TOUCH
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How do you make a good stir fry recipe?
- Most important tip...Be prepared! Things move quickly when you're stir frying, so chop up the veggies, mince the garlic and ginger, and whisk together any sauces BEFORE you start cooking. I even go one step further by lining up the ingredients in glass prep bowls in the order that they're added to the stir fry. A little too far? Maybe. But it keeps me organized while cooking!
- Make a double batch of my Homemade Stir Fry Sauce and keep it on hand for last-minute meals.
- Make it sizzle! Stir fries should be cooked at medium-high to high heat, using a wok or heavy large skillet.
- Because stir fries are cooked at such a high heat, use oils with a high smoke point, such as avocado, canola or grapeseed oils. If adding sesame oil for flavor, stir it in when the vegetables are almost done cooking. It does not have a high smoke point, so will lend a bitter taste to the dish if cooked too long at a high heat.
- If you are adding a protein, such as chicken or beef, cook it first, then set aside while cooking the vegetables. Add the protein back into the wok with the sauce to reheat it.
- Cook the vegetables in order. What do I mean by that? First add the veggies that take the longest to cook, such as carrots and broccoli, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Next, add quicker cooking vegetables, such as snap peas. Add very delicate vegetables, such as bean sprouts, at the end.
How to stir fry green beans:
- In general, follow the tips listed in the previous section. However, I wanted to include a couple of tips specific to cooking green beans.
- The goal is for the green beans to be crisp-tender, not limp and soft! Also, a little bit of char adds extra flavor.
- Heat oil in the hot skillet and add the green beans. Give them a stir to coat in oil, then cook for about 3 minutes, stirring about every 45 seconds. This is where the char happens, so don't be tempted to stir them constantly.
- Once they're tender-crisp, add the sesame oil and garlic and cook for another minute. Next, in goes the sauce.
- Serve them immediately!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes, this recipe is vegan! And it’s also gluten free if tamari is substituted for the soy sauce.
I like to stir fry green beans as an easy side dish, and there are plenty of entrées that pair well with it. Serve any of these entrées with the green beans, as well as brown rice or cauliflower rice.
Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken
Honey Garlic Baked Meatballs
Easy Grilled Salmon in Foil
Teriyaki Baked Chicken Tenders
Other healthy stir fry recipes:
Vegetable Quinoa Stir Fry
Chicken Wonton Stir Fry
Ground Turkey Stir Fry with Green Beans & Kale
Chicken Stir Fry Recipe with Broccoli
Quick Stir Fried Green Beans Recipe
- 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil or canola or grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 pounds green beans trimmed & cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoons sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce (or tamari) and chili garlic sauce. Set aside.
- Heat a nonstick wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the avocado oil and heat briefly.
- Add the ginger and greens beans, and stir to coat the green beans with oil.
- Spread out the green beans in the pan and allow to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring every 45 seconds, until slightly blackened and just tender when pierced with a fork.
- Stir in the sesame oil and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Pour in the soy sauce mixture and stir until combined. Serve immediately.
The post was originally published on March 12, 2018 and updated on June 17, 2021.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Great recipe. I wish I had cooked green beans a little longer for a crunchier feel, but will definitely do this again.
Is there a substitute for soy sauce? I cannot have it (due to estrogen positive cancer)
Hi Ann, I'm so sorry to hear about your health issues. I know that many people who avoid soy usually opt for Bragg's amino acids, which can be found in many supermarkets and health food stores. Trader Joe's even has their own version, usually stocked right next to the soy sauce.
Made this for dinner tonight (and lunch for tomorrow). The only changes I made were using ground ginger since I don't have fresh, added 1 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. The bites I stole from the pan before eating were really good!!
I'm so glad to hear that, Melanie! This is one of my favorite green bean dishes - always quick to put together.
I love spicy and I love green beans, such a great dish!
We had canned green beans for dinner last night and I actually thought, I wish I had a go to recipe so I could make fresh ones. This is perfection!
Suzy | The Mediterranean Dish
This is my kinda dish!
I love stir fry's, they've saved me a ton of time in the past!
Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
I lovelovelove a simple stir fry! This has my name all over it!
Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes
I love the simplicity of these green beans Dara! So yummy! And my kids would devour them too.
I make a similar recipe but without the chili garlic sauce---my family loves it! Now I need to try your yummy version!
Green beans are one of my favorite additions to a meal! These look so good!
Wow! Thank you for this recipe! I had a feeling it would be delicious. This would be great with any veggies, amazing simple sauce.
Quick, easy, tasty -- what more could a cook ask for?
Ushmana @ Our Food and Home
I didn't know there were oils with high smoke points, I would always use mustard oil which it made the whole kitchen murky. Thanks to you, buying grapeseed oil is the best thing, I did! Trying this recipe right away! All the love from Nepal xoxo