Using Left Over Beans (Green Beans and Garlic Butter)

This recipe is a tasty way to use up those left over green or runner beans or it can be made with fresh beans, just boil or steam them quickly beforehand. We quite often mis-judge how many beans will be needed for a main meal and this is a good way to make sure nothing goes to waste.

Sufficient for 3 – 5 people as a side dish, about 15 to 20 minutes to prepare including cooking time. Difficulty – very easy.


  • About 200 – 300g pre-cooked green beans. Runner beans can be used if need be but they do not give quite the same result. The beans should preferably be cut into about 75mm – 100mm ( 3″ to 4″) lengths.
  • 2 medium sized cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 25g (1 oz) butter- alternatively use another 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • If the beans were not cooked with salt, use about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.
  • A pinch of ground black pepper (optional)


Heat the oil in a fairly large saucepan or saute pan, about 1l (2pints) capacity. When the oil is quite hot but not smoking, add the butter if used. Make sure that the butter has melted then add the salt if used. Add the chopped garlic and stir and fry until the garlic starts to brown a little.

Add the beans turn up the heat a little and continue to stir and saute the beans as quickly as possible without letting the beans burn or catch. When the beans are thoroughly heated through, pour the entire contents of the pan into a dish and serve straight away.

This dish can also be served cold. If serving this way it is only necessary to cook the garlic as described and then pour the garlic/oil/butter/salt/pepper mixture over the beans. Toss and mix well to make sure that all the beans are covered. Allow to cool before serving – good with salad.

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