Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans

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4.87 from 22 votes
These Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans are one of my favorite easy side dishes.  You won't believe how much flavor is packed into this recipe.  They're perfect for any night of the week, yet fancy enough for holiday meals.  
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 16 minutes

These Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans are one of my favorite easy side dishes.  You won’t believe how much flavor is packed into this recipe.  They’re perfect for any night of the week, yet fancy enough for holiday meals.  

Sweet and spicy green beans on a white plate with a green plaid napkin

I love this recipe.  It’s hard to believe how much flavor can packed into a little green bean. These Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans come together in no time.  I love serving them with my Classic Meatloaf and my favorite Easy Skillet Mac and Cheese.  

Why This Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans Recipe Works

Green beans are one of my all time favorite veggies.  I love to eat the raw, right out of the garden, but they are also the perfect canvas for all sorts of flavors.  These skillet green beans are sauteed with sweet and savory sauce that gets a kick from crushed red pepper. The best part about this recipe is that you can adjust the heat to suit your tastes.

How to Make This Sauteed Green Beans Recipe – Step by Step

  • Start Making the Sauce: Measure out the brown sugar into a small bowl. (Photo 1 below)
  • Add Soy Sauce: Measure soy sauce and add to the bowl.  (Photo 2 below)Add 
  • Add Crushed Red Pepper: Measure out the crushed red pepper and add it to the bowl. (Photo 3 below)
  • Whisk Together:  Whisk until all ingredients are combined. This is my favorite whisk.  (Photo 4 below)

Step by step instructions on how to make the sweet and spicy sauce for the green beans

  • Cook Green Beans: Add green beans to a pot of boiling salted water.  (Photo 1 below)
  • Cook for One Minute: The green beans only need one minute of cook time in the boiling water.   (Photo 2 below)
  • Plunge into Ice Bath: To immediately stop the cooking process, place the green beans into a bowl filled with ice water. (Photo 3 below)
  • Dry with Paper Towels: Blot the excess water off of the green beans before proceeding. (Photo 4 below)

  • Melt Butter in a Large Skillet: Melt butter over medium-high heat. (Photo 1 below)
  • Add Chopped Onion: Sautee chopped onion for a few minutes, until lightly browned and softened.   (Photo 2 below)
  • Add Green Beans to Skillet: Add blanched and dried green beans to the skillet and season with House Seasoning Blend.  Saute for 3-5 minutes until slightly blistered. (Photo 3 below)
  • Stir in Prepared Sauce: Remove green beans from heat and stir in sweet and spicy sauce.  (Photo 4 below)

How to Trim Green Beans

Before you start making this sauteed green beans recipe, you need to trim your beans.  You may notice that your green beans have stems on one end and/or rough or dried out ends.  You’ll want to trim these off before you cook them.  This post will show you how to quickly trim green beans.

How to Boil Green Beans

Green beans are best when they are crisp tender.  This means that they are not raw, but they’re not cooked until they are limp or soggy.  Perfect green beans will retain a fresh crispness.

The best way to boil green beans is to plunge them into a pot of boiling salted water.  Boil them as long as your recipe directs you to, then immediately remove them from the boiling water and place them in an ice bath, like the process I’ve shared above.

String Beans vs Green Beans – What’s the difference?

When you’re at the supermarket or farmer’s market, you may notice that there are many varieties of green beans to choose from.  There is a difference between string beans and green beans and this post will walk you through the different varieties.

Can You Use Frozen or Canned Green Beans in this Recipe?

This recipe is best when you use fresh green beans.  However, if you don’t have access to fresh green beans you can substitute frozen green beans that have been thawed.  Follow the recipe exactly.

If you want to try using canned green beans to make these Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans, you would skip the steps where you boil and blanch the beans and go straight to the part when you sautee them in the skillet and add the sauce.  Make sure you drain off any liquid before sauteing them.

Sweet and spicy green beans on a white dish with a green plaid napkin

Expert Tips for Making the Best Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans

  • Adjust the Spice Level: If you don’t like a lot of spice, consider adding less (or no) crushed red pepper.
  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: This is a great recipe for a crowd.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately and saute in batches.
  • You Can Make this Recipe Ahead of Time: Simply reheat the sauteed green beans recipe on low in a skillet right before serving.

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Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans

4.9 from 22 votes
These Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans are one of my favorite easy side dishes.  You won't believe how much flavor is packed into this recipe.  They're perfect for any night of the week, yet fancy enough for holiday meals.  
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Melt butter over medium high heat in a large skillet.
  • Saute onion for 2-4 minutes until soft and lightly browned.  
  • Add green beans to skillet, season with House Seasoning Blend and saute for 3-5 minutes until blistered.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, soy sauce and crushed red pepper.
  • Remove beans from heat, add soy sauce and toss to coat.

Expert Tips

  • Adjust the Spice Level: If you don't like a lot of spice, consider adding less (or no) crushed red pepper. 
  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: This is a great recipe for a crowd.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately and saute in batches.
  • You Can Make this Recipe Ahead of Time: Simply reheat the sauteed green beans recipe on low in a skillet right before serving.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 1888mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 14.9mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1.3mg

The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/

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15 thoughts on “Sweet and Spicy Skillet Green Beans”

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe on the side with any Asian dish. The extra 10 minutes makes this so much better than basic cooked vegetables and I will always eat fresh green beans over canned. Great recipe!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Such a perfect side dish- the green beans come out perfect when you shock them, not overdone. I love the sweet with the little kick of heat.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I love fresh green beans! When I used to live in PA I had loads in my garden and definitely ate the same amount I brought inside as I picked them. This sweet and spicy version sounds like just what the family would love. And definitely on the spicy side! Yum!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    These are such a fun side dish! I get tired of just plain old cooked veggies and am always looking for fun ways to make them more exciting.

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    It was just yesterday that I was talking to a friend about finding a delicious recipe for green beans! Thank you and I can’t wait to try this!

    Reply
  6. 5 stars
    I crave veggies more than anything and am always looking for new ways to prepare them as a side dish for the family. I love everything about this spicy caramelized version and will be trying it soon!

    Reply
  7. I see a question from 2013 in regards to your house seasoning. Your reply is that you will post it soon. I have searched your site and cannot find the recipe for the house seasoning. Can you send me the link to where it can be found.

    Reply
  8. Yum this is such a tasty looking recipe, I’d never even though of adding anything to green beans before – thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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