How to Flavor Green Beans

Green beans are a bit polarizing. If you grew up with green beans straight oot the can, or boiled to death on the stove, or so barely cooked they were basically raw, or essentially fully unseasoned, you probably hate green beans. And you know what, given your experience, that is extremely valid. But I would offer that perhaps it is not the green beans you hate, but rather it’s the lack of flavor and texture that irks you so (no idea why that sentence turned so suddenly Jane Austen, green beans just get me in an old-timey mood). And if lack of flavor is the sticking point here, then don’t you worry, because we’ve got six ideas for you to spice up your green bean game (one of them literally) on this list of how to flavor green beans.

Chef’s Cupboard Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup with French’s Fried Onions

Wondering how to flavor canned green beans specifically for some Turkey-related Fall functions? Well, my friend, you have got to try making a green bean casserole. It is only five ingredients—milk, cream of mushroom soup, green beans, soy sauce, and fried onions—and it tastes like creamy onions with only a hint of bean. And heck, if I’m being honest, there is often no hint of bean. We recommend using Chef’s Cupboard cream of mushroom soup from Aldi, which our team called “the best canned mushroom soup for an elevated green bean casserole” due to its extremely fatty richness. And please do pile on those fried onions both before and after baking—they are hands down the best part.

Related: Best Cream of Mushroom Soup for You Fungi Fiends

Passage to Asia Thai Basil & Sweet Chili Sauce

Another answer to the age-old question of how to add flavor to green beans is the classic stir fry, and this stir fry sauce from Passage to Asia is truly excellent. It is essentially a sweet chili sauce with a “delightfully fishy, umami-forward taste,” and it would be an absolutely excellent way to hide the green beany flavor of the aforementioned legumes. Trust us, this stuff is “spicy, sweet, fragrant, pungent, salty, and deliciously savory.” You need it in your beans.

Related: Get Your Wok Ready for the 8 Best Stir Fry Sauces

Silver Swan Special Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is one of the easiest answers to how to flavor green beans. You can throw in some of this soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, ginger, and garlic and pan fry until glassy and green and you may never want to eat green beans any other way again. This is a super typical way you will see green beans done at dumpling places, along with some variations with black bean sauce or oyster sauce. But if you are looking for a fantastic soy sauce experience, give Silver Swan a try. Our tasters described it as having an “ultra-rich flavor, a hint of sweetness, and huge amounts of umami,” perfect for all your green beaning needs.

Related: Umami City: We Ranked 7 Best Soy Sauces

Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp

Want to literally spice up your green beans? Well, then Fly By Jing’s chili crisp is your answer to how to flavor green beans. Wondering how to flavor canned green beans? I bet this chili crisp could perk up even the floppiest most cann-ed of the beans. I’d give them a try with this and some soy sauce and see what happens. Our tasters described this chili crisp as having “lots of umami and you get hints of other flavors like ginger, seaweed, and shallots,” and I don’t know about you, but that sounds like it would be great on a green bean.

Related: They’re Spicy! They’re Crunchy! They’re the 5 Best Chili Crisps

Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin is so fun to work with in the kitchen. It is sweet, savory, warmly spiced, thick and complex. With this hoisin, our tasters noted how “you really get that nice, fruity flavor” and “tons of umami.” This sauce’s sweetness and savoryness pair well with the fresh character of the green beans. So if you want a way to flavor green beans that is sweet, savory, earthy, complex, and more, give the Kikkoman hoisin a try.

Related: Dip into the Best Hoisin Sauce

Blue Elephant Thai Premium Curry Sauce Yellow Curry

What?! I bet you weren’t expecting this one. Or maybe you were, I don’t know you like that. But here’s the thing, this would be fantastic. In the world of how to add flavor to canned green beans, this bad boy is going to add some capital F Flavor. Our tasting team pointed out that this Blue Elephant yellow curry sauce is “not just restaurant quality—it’s better than what you’ll get at some restaurants.” And let me tell you, if you’re still somehow wondering how to flavor green beans, look no further. Stir fry them with this curry. It will soak in and in one step make all the green beans taste like delicious Thai curry. Go get some of this and up your green bean game. Your annual Friendsgiving group will thank you.

Related: The Best Thai Yellow Curry Sauce You Can Buy at the Grocery Store


About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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