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How to Steam Green Beans in the Microwave

Wondering how to steam green beans in the microwave? 

Just rinse your beans, trim the edges, steam, and season how you like. Okay, there’s a little more to it. But not much. 

How to Steam Green Beans in the Microwave featuring a Dish of Microwave-Steamed Green Beans, Seasoned with Salt and Black Pepper
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It’s so easy! 

The microwave creates the most perfectly crisp green beans in just a few minutes. 

Say goodbye to limp, soggy, and sad green beans! These beans are tender and so delicious. 

The microwave gets a bad rap. But it is a rock star for steaming. 

So, let’s look at how to steam green beans in the microwave. 

Microwave Green Beans

Steaming your veggies is so much better than boiling them. 

When you boil veggies, much of their nutrition leaks out into the pot of water. Plus, they kinda lose all of their flavor. 

But not with steaming!

Steamed green beans keep much of their nutrition and stay fresh and crispy. Plus, they taste so much fresher. 

And you do not need any fancy kitchen equipment (like a steamer basket). 

You only need a microwave-safe dish and water for a good steam bath. 

The result? Perfectly tender green beans with a nice crunch. Season them with your favorite herbs, spices, and other seasonings. 

You will never cook green beans any other way! 

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Dish of Green Beans Steamed in the Microwave, seasoned with Salt and Cracked Black Pepper


  • Fresh Green Beans: This ensures your beans will be crispy and crunchy! You can save a little time with pre-trimmed green beans. But they will cost a little extra. 
  • Water: You cannot create a steam bath without water. A little bit of water goes a long way when steaming veggies. 
  • Garlic: Green beans and garlic go together like peas and carrots. While pre-packaged minced garlic works in a pinch, I like to use fresh.
    • Since this recipe is so simple, fresh garlic makes a delicious difference. 
  • Salt: A touch of salt helps draw out the natural flavors in the green beans. 
  • Olive oil: Adding oil helps your seasoning even coat your beans. And it also delivers a hint of added flavor. Olive oil works best, but you can also use avocado or walnut oil. 

How to Steam Green Beans in the Microwave 

Follow these quick steps to create a fantastic green bean side dish for dinner. 

1. Prepare your beans. 

Rince the green beans under cool water, and trim the ends. 

2. Get the steam bath ready. 

Place green beans in a microwave-safe dish, and add water and garlic. Cover loosely with a lid or plastic wrap. 

3. Start steaming. 

Microwave green beans for 2 minutes on high. Remove and stir. Continue cooking for another 2-4 minutes until beans are fork-tender. 

4. Season. 

Drain excess water.Add oil, salt (and any additional seasonings), and stir until combined. 

5. Serve. 

Transfer green beans to a serving dish, and enjoy!

Green Beans in a Microwave-safe Dish

How Long to Cook Green Beans in the Microwave 

Not all microwaves are the same, so cooking time often varies. 

Lower-wattage microwaves (like those that are 400 watts) will take about eight minutes. Higher-watt microwaves will take around four minutes. 

Don’t know the wattage of your microwave? No worries! It’s listed next to the brand label on the inside of the door. 

Often, finding the right time is a matter of trial and error. 

  • Start at three minutes, and continue to check for doneness at one-minute intervals. 

Tips for the Best Microwave Green Beans 

Want to craft the perfect, crisp green bean? Follow these few simple tips and tricks. 

  • Don’t overcook your beans. Despite what cafeterias say, green beans should never be limp and soggy. Check in on your beans as they cook to ensure they stay crispy.
    • A perfectly-cooked green bean is bright green, easy to pierce with a fork, yet firm. 
  • Purchase them when they are in season. Nothing beats an ultra-fresh green bean.
    • You can purchase them year-round at the supermarket, but they’re best between May and October.
    • And for the best beans? Head down to your local farmers market!
  • Add a little lemon juice. Right before serving, squeeze a little lemon juice on top. The added acidity helps draw out the beans’ natural flavors.
    • And it makes them taste impossibly fresh. 
Pile of Microwave Steamed Green Beans With Chili Flakes


Here are a few ways to add extra flavor without extra work. 

  • Add fresh herbs. Fresh herbs and green beans taste like summertime on a plate.
    • After you take them out of their steam bath, garnish them with fresh herbs. Rosemary, parsley, dill, or chives are fantastic. 
  • Make them spicy. For added heat, try adding a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Cayenne pepper works well, too!
    • Chili oil is another delicious option. 
  • Use your favorite seasoning blend. Seasoning blends are a great way to add massive flavor.
    • You can use a packet of ranch seasoning, Everything But The Bagel, or Cajun seasoning. 

How to Store 

Leftover green beans will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days

Place your green beans in an air-tight container with a tight-fitting lid. This ensures your green beans stay nice and fresh.

To reheat

  1. Place the beans in the microwave with a loose lid.
  2. Heat in 1-minute intervals until warm.

How to Steam Green Beans in the Microwave

Prep time


Cooking time



Need a side dish, fast? Learn how to steam green beans in the microwave! With this recipe, you can have yummy, perfectly tender green beans in a flash.


  • 1 pound fresh green beans

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Rince green beans under cool water and trim off the ends.
  • Place green beans, water, and minced garlic in a microwave-safe dish, and cover with a loose lid or plastic wrap.
  • Microwave on high for 2 minutes, and then gently stir.
  • Continue cooking green beans for 2-4 minutes or until the beans are fork-tender.
  • Remove from microwave, drain remaining water, and stir in olive oil and salt.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, and dig in!


  • Exact cooking times will vary depending on the power of the microwave and how tender you like green beans.
How to Steam Green Beans in the Microwave

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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