Whether you serve it as a side or a main, you’re going to love this spicy sautéed vegan green beans recipe! Fresh crisp green beans and sweet red bell and spicy long hot peppers are seared to a slight char and seasoned to a simple perfection for a fantastic flavor. This simple vegetarian green bean recipe might be your new favorite way to eat these lovely legumes!
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I love fresh green beans. Not just for the health benefits, but also for their tremendous versatility in so many simple vegan dishes.
In the summer months I grow a trellis full of the long, slender emerald beauties so I can have string beans easily at hand from May to October. And this is one of my favorite fresh green bean recipes.
B, however, hasn’t always been a fan of the fiber-filled fruit outside of a creamy vegan green bean casserole. Until she tried this recipe for seared green beans with red bell and spicy hot peppers. From her first bite, I could see she was a changed person.
These charred green beans are flavor-packed and the perfect side for a variety of main dishes. But they also make a delicious dinner as the star of the show!
Why You’ll Love This Stir Fried Green Beans Recipe:
- These vegan green beans are really easy to make with just a few simple ingredients in a short amount of time. Our favorite of all the easy green bean recipes I’ve tried.
- It’s so versatile you can serve it as a side with almost anything, or eat them as the main served with a simple side of rice, couscous, or quinoa.
- They’re not just packed with tons of flavor but also with fiber, vitamin K, and antioxidants.
For these spicy seared vegan green beans you’ll need:
- Fresh green beans – Trim green beans by cutting off the ends
- Red bell pepper – This gives a slightly sweet counter to the heat of the hot pepper.
- “Long hot” pepper – “Italian long hots” are only somewhat spicy, ranking fairly low on the Scoville scale just below Anaheim or Poblano peppers.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – To get a good sear
- Garlic powder
- Ground black pepper
- Water – This is to help steam the green beans and cook them completely while they sear.
How to Tell If Green Beans Are Bad
We’ll start with the obvious. If the green beans are slick or slimy and are giving off a rancid odor, they are bad beyond saving and should be thrown away immediately.
Green beans should be smooth and audibly snap when bent. If your beans are a little limp, they can be revived by placing them in ice water for 15-20 minutes.
How to Season Green Beans
The short answer is “simply”. I feel the natural flavor of the green beans should only be enhanced and not overpowered by the seasonings used. I like to use just a little salt and ground black pepper, and occasionally some garlic powder or fresh garlic.
If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you!
For the red bell pepper: I like to use fresh red bell pepper not only for the sweet counter it gives to the hot pepper, but for the great splash of color it gives the whole dish. You could also use yellow or orange or even green bell peppers. Alternatively, you could also use roasted red peppers from a jar, but A) get the ones packed in water, not oil, and B) I’d add those at the end of cooking time so they’re not just mush.
For the long hot pepper: If you want to avoid the heat altogether, you can omit the hot pepper entirely. If you’re looking for something spicier, try a jalapeno or hot cherry pepper. If you still want some flavor without all the heat, shishitos or pepperoncini are a great way to go.
For the olive oil: I enjoy the flavor that high-quality olive oil gives this dish. You can sub almost any oil or go oil free and just get the pan really hot before adding the beans.
Substitute for green beans: This recipe would also work well with asparagus, broccoli or even baby bok choy would be a great option.
How to Make Our Pan Fried Green Beans Recipe
First, heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Carefully add 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot saute pan. Add the green beans and peppers and move them around with a rubber spatula to coat them well in the oil.
Then, add 2 Tbsp of water and cover the pan immediately to capture the steam. Cook the vegetables this way for 5-6 minutes so they both steam and begin to get some sear marks or char on them.
Next, drizzle the vegetables with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and stir until everything is well-coated again. Let the veggies cook, covered, for another 3-4 minutes like this. Shake or stir every minute or so to move them around.
Finally, add the spices and the remaining 2 Tbsp water to deglaze the pan. Be careful not to breath in the steam when you do this. The steam from the hot peppers may make you cough a lot.
Stir everything around once more and cook for another 2-4 minutes until the veggies are nice and charred and the beans are tender but not overcooked.
How to Clean Green Beans
Cleaning green beans is easy! First, sort out any green beans that may be bad and separate the good ones into a bowl or strainer. Then spray the beans to rinse them well and pat them dry with a clean veggie cloth or paper towels.
How to Cut Green Beans
To cut green beans, trim the ends from the beans and cut them to the desired size for your recipe or personal taste.
How to Serve Green Beans (vegan recipe)
Serve these green beans hot as a delicious side dish for any dinner, lunch, or holiday gathering! They’re the perfect smoky, spicy addition to many of our favorite meals.
What to Eat with Green Beans
Dinner Ideas with Green Beans
- In a big bowl with vegan mac and cheese and BBQ tofu
- Alongside vegan fried chicken and mashed potatoes
- Served with buffalo tofu wings and roasted potatoes
- As a main entree atop a bed of rice or udon or rice noodles
How to Store Sauteed Green Beans
These vegan green beans are best eaten immediately, but will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container.
How long do cooked green beans last in the fridge?
Green beans will usually last 3-4 days after being cooked.
If you really want to amp up the flavor of green beans, saute them with minced cloves of garlic and squeeze a little lemon juice or lemon zest over the beans as they’re finishing cooking. You could also try frying them in a little sesame oil and add toasted sesame seeds and red pepper flakes or sliced almonds at the end.
I like the natural flavor of green beans with just a little sea salt and black pepper, but a little garlic or onion powder adds some great flavor as well. If you want to try a great complexity of flavors, try some sazon or garam masala for something a little different.
You don’t have to blanch green beans before frying, but I like to add a little water and cover the green beans for a bit so they steam and cook thoroughly as they fry.
Oregano and thyme are classic additions, but dill and parsley are a great combo too. If you want to try something a little different, use lemon thyme or lemon balm for a slightly citrusy zip.
Green beans can be eaten raw, but it’s not widely advised. Because of their high lectin content, they can be difficult to digest and cause some people mild discomfort while causing vomiting and diarrhea in others. It’s best to cook beans thoroughly to completely neutralize the lectins. Blanched green beans in boiling water should neutralize most of the lectins. Blanch 2-3 minutes until a bright green color and then move to an ice bath immediately to stop the cooking process and keep a nice crunch.
More Vegan Side Dish Recipes:
You’ve gotta try this vegetarian green bean recipe. If you don’t like green beans, maybe you’ll have a change of heart too! I have a feeling it’s going to be an oft-requested recipe in your household just like it is in ours.
When you do try them, don’t forget to let us know by leaving a star rating and review below, so we can celebrate your kitchen superstar status. This also makes a huge difference in getting more people to see our vegan recipes, which we so appreciate!
We can’t wait to see how you use this fantastic vegan side dish…or main course. Enjoy!
- Heat a non-stick saute pan on medium high heat and carefully add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Then, add your green beans and peppers and use a spatula to roll them around so they’re coated in the oil. Then, add 2 Tbsp of water and cover the pan. Let the vegetables cook in the skillet for 5-6 minutes so they both steam and get a bit of a char.
- Next, drizzle them with 1 more Tbsp olive oil and stir until everything is coated again. Let them cook, covered, for another 3-4 minutes like this. Shake or stir every once in a while.
- Finally, sprinkle the veggies with spices and carefully add 2 Tbsp water to the skillet to deglaze the pan (be careful not to breath in the steam that comes out of the skillet when you do this - the steam from the peppers may make you cough). Stir everything around once more and cook for another 2-4 minutes until the veggies are nice and charred and the beans are tender.
*Split the bell pepper in half lengthwise, then split it again so you have four long pieces. Then slice those thinly to add to the beans.
If you’re using roasted red peppers from a jar, add them in the final section with the spices and last 2 Tbsp of water.
Storage: These green beans are best eaten immediately, but will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container.
Green Bean Tip: Green beans should be smooth and audibly snap when bent. If your beans are a little limp, they can be revived by placing them in ice water for 15-20 minutes.
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Serving Size:1/4 the recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.