Hot and crispy, fresh and fast. We are not talking French fries here – though cooking these green bean “fries” in the air fryer does make a mean, green substitute. Air Fryer Green Beans are a practically perfect vegetable side. They’re quick and easy, full of flavor and bite, and yeah, you could, in fact, eat ’em with your fingers if you wanted.
One of the things I appreciate the most about my family is their willingness to indulge in my food fixations. I am not always the best when it comes to spreading the love, at least not where seasonal produce is concerned.
Since many fruits and veggies have an earlier limit on their peak season, I sometimes try to cram them in before Labor Day, leaving heartier harvests for later summer and early fall. Green beans are one of the things I tend to put off a bit.
First and foremost, because they were always included in holiday spreads growing up, they scream cold weather side dish to me. Forget green bean casserole – between green beans almondine, Italian green beans, and simple but absolutely addictive green beans with bacon, I’m set all season long.
Second, green bean season runs into October in my neck of the woods, (plus, thirdly, fresh green beans freeze beautifully. Like, they’re practically made for it). So while I do enjoy them in the summer, I feel like there are more important veggies to tick off my checklist. And let’s be honest here, finding good quality green beans in your grocery store year-round isn’t a terribly difficult task.
I will never steer anyone away from roasted vegetables – ever. But green beans are one of those veggies that really hold up to whatever cooking method you throw at them (or throw them at?). But if you’re pressed for time, then there truly is only one way to get the best outta those beans.
Why Use an Air Fryer?
If you’ve developed a taste for crispy, oven roasted vegetables, you’ll want to try fresh green beans in the air fryer. From zucchini to brussels sprouts to cauliflower, the air fryer is a miracle worker when it comes to fresh vegetable sides. And don’t even get me started on how good air fryer potatoes are…
The air fryer isn’t “better” than the oven, but it sure is faster. I also find convection gets my veggie-edges crisper without the air fryer beans needing to roast and brown throughout.
Are Air Fried Green Beans Healthy?
Green beans (which are technically legumes) are inherently healthy. About half the carb count in raw green beans is comprised of fiber – and that count increases upon cooking, which means they’re lower in sugar!
They’re also low calorie, low sodium, and are a low FODMAP food (i.e. less gas). Plus, green beans contain protein and are a significant source of vitamins C, A, and a bevy of other vitamins and minerals.
Even better, cooking green beans in the air fryer only requires a kiss of olive oil so you’re not loading them down with unnecessary fat.
How to Make Air Fryer Green Beans
Air Fryer Green Beans are the quintessential super simple side. They’re easy to prep and cook, they go with just about everything, and take practically no time at all. Toss with simple seasonings and in under 10 minutes, fresh green beans become crispy, roasted green beans, all thanks to your air fryer.
- Trim the ends, then rinse the beans to remove any dirt or grit. Pat them dry then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add oil and seasonings, then toss until the green beans are evenly coated.
- Transfer the green beans to your air fryer and distribute into an even layer. If using a basket-style model, don’t fill more than halfway.
- Cook at 370°F for 8 minutes; remove the basket and toss the green beans halfway through cooking.
- Taste for texture at 8 minutes – they’ll have crispy edges with a bit of a bite. For softer beans, cook 2 minutes more.
- Season with fresh lemon juice, if desired, and serve right away.
- Dry thoroughly after washing – removing moisture helps get air fryer green beans get crispy.
- To coat air fryer green beans with oil and seasoning, tongs work well to toss, but you’ll get the best coverage using your (clean) hands.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket – the green beans need space to cook evenly, and develop a crisp edge (crowded green beans will steam, not roast).
- Want more tips? Our How-To Guide has everything else you need to know about cooking green beans.
How Long to Cook Green Beans in the Air Fryer?
Some of this depends on size and season. Very crisp, peak green beans will cook in 8-10 minutes depending on size. If your green beans are 1-2 days past peak, plan on shaving off a minute or 2.
If you’re using haricots verts, plan on tasting for texture at 6 minutes – these “baby” green beans are thin and tender, and cook more quickly.
Should I Soak the Green Beans Before Cooking?
There’s no need to soak your green beans before air frying – simply rinse, dry, and air fry.
Why are my Green Beans Still Hard?
If your air fryer green beans are still quite firm after 8 minutes, cook them another 2 minutes. If your green beans are extremely fresh and/or larger, plan on 10 minutes from the start.
Do remember to shake the basket halfway through cooking to make sure the heat distributes evenly to each green bean.
Between the flavor and the bite, we’re a big fan of making air fryer green bean “fries” – and so are the kids. While the red pepper flakes make them spicy as heck (which is great for us but maybe not suitable for tender tongues or tummies), there are a few other variations on air fryer green bean recipes you can try.
- Go simple: nix the garlic powder and red pepper flakes and just use salt and pepper.
- Add cheese: toss finely grated parmesan in with oil and seasonings before cooking, or use a microplane to grate over top of finished beans.
- Lemon-y: Use fresh squeezed juice plus zest for a more acidic finish.
- Garlic-y: swap the garlic powder for 1-2 cloves minced for a bolder flavor.
- Sesame: swap olive oil for (toasted) sesame oil and finish with a garnish of sesame seeds.
Did you try green beans in the air fryer? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
- Air Fryer
- 1 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes, optional, more or less to taste, see notes
- ½ lemon, or 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Wash the greens beans in a colander and shake to dry; transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if using. Toss until the green beans are evenly coated with the oil and spices. Tongs work well, but I find I get the best coverage using my (clean) hands.
- Transfer the green beans to the air fryer basket.
- Program the air fryer to 370°F for 8 minutes; remove the basket halfway through and toss the green beans.
- Taste for texture at 8 minutes – they’ll have crispy edges with a bit of a bite. If you’d like them softer, cook for 2 minutes more.
- Season the green beans with the fresh lemon juice, and serve right away.
- Adding half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes made for a very spicy dish. Start with ¼ teaspoon or a pinch of you’d just like a bit of a kick!