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Canned green beans: Stuff you should know

Canned green beans: Stuff you should know

Let’s cover a few questions about canned green beans!

Canned green beans don’t get enough respect in the kitchen.

I am a big fan of the french style canned green beans but cut green beans are nice too.

It really just depends on how I plan to use them.

My sister-in-law was here for an extended visit recently.

We had such a great time but one day she was going to whip up some lunch and made an observation.

She noted that we didn’t have any decent canned vegetables in the pantry.

She was correct but that was only because we had used them all up and hadn’t been back to the grocery store.

In truth, we tend to keep our pantry stocked with canned vegetables.

They’re just so darn easy to cook with. 

We do love cooking with fresh veggies as often as possible.

For example, we may or may not be slightly addicted to this ginger green beans recipe that uses fresh green beans. 

But the thing is, cooking with fresh green beans is a lot of work.

You have to inspect them for brown spots, cut them and wash them. 

If you’re tired, that’s a lot of work, especially when you can just grab a can opener and quickly have some tasty canned green beans.

But, over the years, I’ve found myself asking quite a few questions about green beans.

So here are some of the most common questions about canned green beans.

In an average size of canned green beans, there are about 1 ¾ cups of green beans.

The average can of green beans is 14.5 ounces.

Also, it is helpful to know that there is about ¾ cup of liquid in a can of green beans as well.

Should you salt canned green beans?

If you’ve purchased a normal can of green beans they come salted.

Generally, canned green beans don’t need additional salt added. 

I’d suggest adding a pinch of ground pepper when heating up the green beans.

Then provide an option for additional salt to taste at the table. In other words, place a salt shaker on the dining table.

Also, note that you can purchase unsalted green beans in a can.

In that case, you’ll want to salt them to taste when warming them up.

How long will canned green beans last?

An unopened can of green beans can last up to five years in the pantry.

The key is to keep the cans in a cool and dry place. It is important that the cans are not exposed to prolonged high temperatures. 

Once a can of green beans is opened, the leftovers will last about three days if properly refrigerated.

How many servings in a can of green beans?

The average can of green beans provides 3.5 standard servings.

However, in my experience, a can of green beans would serve three people. 

Do you have to heat canned green beans?

You don’t have to heat canned green beans before serving them.

You can serve them directly from the can.

They’re already cooked before canning. However, they do taste much better if they are heated prior to serving.

So keep in mind that you can indeed eat canned green beans raw, so to speak.

Fun fact: You can even eat fresh green beans raw as well.

Should I drain canned green beans?

You don’t need to drain canned green beans before warming them up.

In my experience, they taste better if they’re warmed up in their own juices.

This is purely a personal preference and you can’t go wrong either way.

If you’re adding the canned green beans to a recipe such as a green bean casserole, follow the directions of the recipe closely. 

Essentially, most recipes do want you to drain the green beans prior to adding them to the dish. 

If you’re unsure, go ahead and drain them and add them to the dish.

However, save the liquid when you drain them. If the recipe seems too dry, you can then add in the liquid a little bit a time.

What kind of green beans come in a can?

There are two primary types of green beans in a can.

There are cut green beans and french style green beans.

This is a tad confusing so let’s discuss each type. 

Cut green beans are whole pieces of green beans that have been cut into short pieces. Check out the image below.

The pointy ends have been cut off and then the beans have been cut into short round pieces.

There are two primary types of green beans in a can.

There are cut green beans and french style green beans.

This is a French-style green beans have been cut in half lengthwise.

I tend to think of them as almost shredded pieces of a green bean. Check out the image below as a reference.

How to make canned green beans taste better?

Canned green beans are quite versatile and you can do quite a bit to make them taste better. 

Here are some of my favorite ideas:

  • Fry up some bacon and then crumble it into the green beans prior to heating up the beans.
  • Heat up the green beans in a saucepan on the stovetop. Add in a teaspoon of butter and garlic powder.
  • Heat up the green beans in a saucepan and add in ½ teaspoon of Better than Bouillon. Allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes, stir occasionally.  
  • Dice up and saute onions. Once the onions are sauteed, drain the green beans and add them to the skillet. Add in some minced garlic. Then cook the green beans until they are warmed through.
How to make green beans taste better

How to make green beans taste better

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This is our quick and easy method for making green beans taste delicious.


  • ¼ small yellow onion
  • 1 t butter
  • 1 can green beans
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Dice the yellow onion into tiny pieces.
  2. Saute the yellow onion in the butter.
  3. Drain the green beans.
  4. Add the green beans (drained) and garlic, to the pan with the onions.
  5. Saute for 5 minutes or until the green beans are warmed through.
  6. Add pepper to taste.
  7. Serve hot!

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