Air Fryer Green Beans
Green beans are a classic side dish, but there’s nothing like the flavor of Air Fryer Green Beans. Take fresh green beans, season them with a little oil, salt, and pepper, and air fry to crisp tender perfection, then serve with a garnish of lemon for the most delicious vegetable side.
As a kid, I hated green beans because of the texture. They were either too crisp or too mushy. But the air fryer helps you avoid both problems, and gives you the best texture– “crisp-tender” with just that little bit of crunch and a soft, tender inside.
Why You Should Make These Air Fried Green Beans
Besides the fact that these green beans are easy to make, have awesome stuff like vitamin A, C, K, etc, and are rich in dietary fiber, they are delicious, here are a few reasons you should make these air fryer green beans:
- Make it fast and easy. This is a go to side dish at our house because it goes with anything, and is quick. Ultimate side dish.
- Quick. Already mentioned it, but it is ready in less than 15 minutes start to finish.
- Oven Free: No need to preheat your oven. Making it a great side no matter what time of year it is.
- Customizable. We love a good recipe that is easy to customize, and these green beans are it. Use any of a multitude of spices in your pantry to change the flavor profile.
- Simple. You can use everyday ingredients and only a couple of them.
- Reheat well. If for some reason you don’t eat all of them, enjoy the leftovers tossed in salads, fried rice, or just as they already are.
What you Need for Simple Air Fryer Green Beans
It only takes 4 ingredients to make these simple green beans:
- Fresh Green Beans: there are a few different varieties of green beans, and the good news is this method works for all of them. I personally prefer the french style. But fresh from the garden, or any style green bean.
- Olive oil: You can sub a different oil too, but I find that olive oil gives the best flavor here. You don’t need a lot.
- Lemon wedges: This is actually an optional ingredient, but it adds a real pop of added flavor. And it makes for a nice garnish on the plate.
- Seasonings: We keep it really simple with salt and pepper, and just add to your liking.
What is the difference between green beans and French green beans?
French green beans are longer and tend to be skinnier in size, while green beans tend to be shorter and fatter. You can air fry both kinds of green beans. The fatter ones may need a slightly longer cooking time.
Variations and Substitutions
- Make it Garlicky: Garlic goes really well with fresh green beans, add some minced garlic to the olive oil, and toss with the beans for added flavor.
- Make it Cheesy – Top with some grated parmesan cheese, right at the end, or part way through cooking for a delicious cheesy green bean dish.
- Make Citrus Green Beans – While these have a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, try adding some fresh orange juice or some extra lemon zest.
- Change the flavor with herbs and spices – This recipe is super simple, but you can change it up with garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary, and more.
- Make Crispy Green Beans – Want crispy green beans like the kind you get as an appetizer? Try this same cooking method, but first, dip the beans in eggs and then some panko or breadcrumbs, then fry in the air fryer. For the low carb crispy version, try pork rinds or almond flour instead of panko bread crumbs.
- Make Spicy Green Beans – A some spice to the seasoning, like a pinch of red pepper flakes or ancho chili powder. Or toss them in chili oil instead of olive oil.
How to Air Fry Green Beans
- Trimming the ends off the green beans. Snap them off by hand, use scissors to trim them, or cut the ends off with a knife.
- Add the trimmed green beans to a good sized bowl, and toss with the salt, pepper, and olive oil, and any variation you want, like garlic or cheese, etc. Toss to coat.
- Place the green beans in the air fryer basket in a single layer, work in batches if you need to, based on the size of your air fryer basket.
- Cook until they are done to your preference, and serve. For finer green beans like the french style green beans, you will need only 6-8 minutes. If you are using larger beans, try 8-10 minutes, and if your air fryer basket is small, cook in 2 batches.
Perfect! These air fryer green beans take minimal time and effort and are an amazing side dish.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Air Fryer Green Beans
- Even Size: Try to make sure your green beans are all roughly the same size. This will help them cook more evenly.
- Single Layer: If you put them in a single layer, they will cook better, and give you that awesome crunchy exterior and awesome tender interior. Do not over-crowd!
- Divide and Conquer: If you have a small air fryer divide the batch so you get optimal results.
- Eat Hot: These green beans are legit so good, but you want to eat them while they are hot for the best crunch and best results.
- Make Sure Green Beans Are Dry: To get the best crispy exterior, it is good to have nice and dry beans before coating them with the oil. Otherwise, they will steam on the outside instead.
If you happen to have leftovers, storing these french green beans is easy. Cool them completely, then place in an airtight container, and store for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the air fryer and serve.
How to Reheat
To heat up the leftover green beans use your air fryer to bring back a bit of that crunch, but be careful to not overcook them.
Can you freeze cooked green beans?
Yes. Because they are so quick and easy to make, I don’t recommend freezing. But if you have leftovers, or want to use up a bunch from your garden, etc. Cook according to directions, then let cool completely. Then place in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Should I soak green beans before cooking?
Nope! While this used to be standard practice, it isn’t necessary. Instead, cut the ends off (called topping and tailing them), wash, pat dry, season them, toss them in the air fryer and cook.
Do I need to preheat the air fryer?
The air fryer works by circulating hot air around the outside of the food, like a convection oven. And to get the best results, it should be pre-heated like an oven. If your air fryer does not have a pre-heat function, just let it run for a couple of minutes with an empty basket before adding the beans to the basket, then cook according to the directions.
- 12 ounces fresh green beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Other seasonings if desired
- lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat an air fryer to 380ºF.
- Prep your green beans by trimming the ends, and washing them. If any are very large, cut them so they are relatively equal in size to the others to ensure more even cooking.
- In a large bowl, combine trimmed green beans, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat the green beans.
- Transfer green beans to your air fryer basket, shaking as needed to get an even layer, if your air fryer is small, you may want to work in batches.
- Cook in the air fryer at 380 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, until crisp tender, shaking them around a bit about half way through cooking.
- Remove from air fryer basket, squeeze fresh lemon over the top and serve immediately.
Green beans may look a little shriveled, but are wonderfully crisp tender
If you want to add additional spices or seasoning toss with the olive oil. Garlic can be a really nice addition.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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