The Ultimate Guide to Blanching Green Beans

Blanching green beans is a simple yet effective way to prepare them while maintaining their colour, nutrients, and crisp texture. This method involves briefly boiling the beans and then rapidly cooling them in ice water, which is known as "shocking." This process halts the cooking immediately, ensuring the beans remain vibrant and crisp. Blanching is particularly useful for preserving green beans for later use, as it can extend their shelf life and is a necessary step if you plan to freeze them.

Blanched green beans are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to stir-fries. They are also delightful on their own as a side dish, especially when seasoned with simple ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, and zest, salt, and pepper.


  • 450g (1 pound) fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 30g (1 tablespoon) kosher salt
  • Water for boiling
  • Ice water for cooling


  1. Prepare Ice Bath: Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  2. Boil Water: In a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil and add the kosher salt.
  3. Blanch Beans: Add green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes (or up to 4 minutes if serving immediately) until they are tender but still crisp.
  4. Cool Beans: Immediately transfer the green beans to the ice water to stop the cooking process and preserve their crispness and color.
  5. Drain and Dry: After cooling, drain the beans and dry them on a clean towel.

Optional Seasonings:

  • Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Add juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste

This simple and healthy recipe ensures your green beans remain vibrant, crisp, and full of flavour. Enjoy them as a side dish, or add them to salads, stir-fries, or other meals.

Nutrient Per Serving (Approx.)
Calories 35
Protein (g) 2
Fat (g) 0.1
Carbohydrates (g) 8
Fiber (g) 3.4
Sugar (g) 1.5
Sodium (mg) 1