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How To Steam Green Beans In A Microwave

How To Steam Green Beans In A Microwave

When you steam green beans in a microwave, you’re actually sealing in more nutrients because they cook faster and not using much water.

Here are a few steps to help you steam the tastiest green beans in the microwave.
Whether you are using a bag of frozen green beans or you’ve trimmed fresh green beans, your haricots verde will still come out tasty and delicious.

For crisp-tender green beans in a microwave:

  • Steam fresh, trimmed green beans in the microwave with 2 T of water, covered, for 4 minutes. 
  • Steam frozen green beans in the microwave on high with 2 T of water, covered, for 5 minutes.

It’s good to start with a decent glass microwave-safe bowl that safely fits on your microwave turntable. We found this one with nice wide handles.
After years of cooking, I did discover something new and important when steaming green beans in the microwave:

  • Don’t season the beans before cooking. It seems to all end up in the bottom of the dish instead of on the beans. 
  • Be sure to drain off the water before seasoning and serving. The water will dilute the flavor and wash off all the good seasoning you might add. Plus, the beans will continue to cook in the hot water, ending up with mushy beans.

Green beans are a great vegetable side dish for most dinners, are great in casseroles, soups, pot pie, and that All-American favorite: Green Bean Casserole—in the microwave, even! 

Here’s a lighter green beans recipe, especially if you love ginger. 

It’s easy to cook up a vegetable to add to your next meal in just a few minutes with this steamed green beans in the microwave recipe.

How To Steam Green Beans In The Microwave

How To Steam Green Beans In The Microwave

Yield: 10 oz, or two servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Here are the steps to steam green beans (fresh or frozen) in the microwave for a fast and tasty side dish.


  • 10 to 12 oz of green beans


  1. Discard moldy, spotted, or shriveled green beans. 
  2. Place your fresh, trimmed green beans or frozen beans and 2 T of water in a microwave-safe glass dish with a lid.
  3. Place dish in microwave and set timer for 3 minutes. 
  4. Cook on high for 4 minutes. When timer goes off, stir green beans. Replace lid.
  5. Cook for another minute or two. Carefully taste-test a green bean for desired tenderness.
  6. If you like your beans very soft, keep adding cook time 1 minute at a time. Add another T of water if your beans are getting dry in the dish.
  7. Carefully remove the dish from the microwave. Either drain the green beans in a colander in the sink, or use a slotted spoon.
  8. Important: Don’t add your seasonings to green beans before draining the water. The water dilutes any flavor and you’ll want fat and herbs to stick to the beans.
  9.  If you’re adding beans back to the same pan you cooked them in, remember to remove any cooking water left in the dish.
  10. Season to taste and serve warm.

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