Air fryer green beans are tender, juicy and the quickest way to enjoy this healthy veggie. With fresh garlic and a little sea salt, they make an irresistible side dish or snack.
My journey of learning to love the air fryer has been a slow one. I know, I know. I'm late to the party! But earlier this year when I shared these Air Fryer Radishes is when it really hit me what a gem it is for quickly preparing a wide variety of vegetables.
And we all know we need to eat our veggies, right? Well, these air fryer green beans are so easy and quick, and with garlic and a small amount of oil, they become absolutely irresistible. Honestly, I could eat the entire pound of green beans myself.
And they're versatile! See the Variations section below for other flavor ideas.
Speaking of oil, sorry, oil-free folks. I tried to air fry green beans without oil, but they essentially dehydrated. The result was edible but unacceptable. Tossing the green beans in oil preserves the moisture.
I'd hoped to offer an oil-free version of this recipe as I do with most of the recipes I share, but no luck this time. But the radishes I mentioned above AND these Air Fryer Edamame are both fantastic without oil!
You need only a few ingredients to make garlicky air fryer green beans.
- green beans - fresh, crisp green beans are best for the air fryer. I don't recommend using frozen for this recipe as they tend to be watery and soft.
- oil - any neutral oil that's suitable for high heat cooking is fine, such as grapeseed, sunflower, or avocado.
- garlic - if you don't have fresh, garlic powder can be substituted.
- salt and pepper
See recipe card below for quantities.
First, put the oil in a small dish. Slice the garlic and add it to the oil while you wash and trim the green beans.
Pat the green beans dry and toss them with the garlic and oil in a large bowl. Season with about ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt.
For a full pound of green beans I recommend working in batches. Arrange about half of the green beans in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Place sliced garlic on top of the beans. I know this sounds a bit fussy, but it does seem to help the garlic cook evenly and not burn.
After shaking the basket a couple of times during cooking the garlic will eventually end up on the metal surface, but that's okay!
Air fry at 355 degrees F for about 7 minutes or until the green beans are blistered in some spots and the garlic is golden.
- Spicy - crushed red pepper gives these a little kick. For extra spicy green beans add a few dashes of cayenne to the oil, or drizzle with sriracha before serving.
- Cheesy - just before serving sprinkle with homemade vegan parm, vegan feta, or store-bought vegan cheese.
- Lemon-Herb - finely chop half of a bunch of parsley. Add the zest of one lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Stir together and spoon onto the air fried green beans just before serving.
- Balsamic - drizzle the cooked green beans with a good quality balsamic vinegar.
Obviously, an air fryer is part of what makes this recipe so fun and easy. But don't worry if you don't have one!
Green beans can also be roasted in the oven. Instructions for oven-roasting are included in the Notes section of the recipe below.
Air fryer green beans are best enjoyed immediately after cooking. If you do have some leftover, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Reheat the green beans in the air fryer for a few minutes until heated through.
Air fryers vary. The first time you air fry any food, it's a good idea to keep a close eye on it, especially in the last few minutes. I recommend shaking the basket at least a couple of times while cooking the green beans. They can go from perfectly blistered to over-cooked very quickly.
I suspect that our Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer runs hotter than most, just based on experience and trying other air fryer recipes. So you may find that you prefer a higher temperature and/or a few more minutes of cook time than what worked for me.
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Garlicky Air Fryer Green Beans (Vegan)
- 1 lb. fresh green beans
- 1 tablespoon oil, such as grapeseed or avocado
- 4 or 5 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- black pepper
- red pepper flakes, optional
- Put the oil in a small dish. Slice the garlic and add it to the oil. Set aside while you wash and trim the green beans.
- After washing the green beans, trim off the ends with a knife. Place on a tea towel and pat dry. Now place the green beans in a large bowl, and pour the garlic oil on top.
- Add the salt to the bowl, and use your hands to toss the green beans.
- Preheat the air fryer to 355 degrees F. Arrange green beans in a single layer in the air fryer basket, working in batches if needed. Arrange the garlic so that it's resting on the green beans. After shaking the basket a couple of times during cooking the garlic will eventually end up on the metal surface, but that's okay!
- Air fry for 6 to 8 minutes, shaking/tossing the green beans twice during cooking. Keep a close eye on them, especially in the last couple of minutes. They're done when slightly blistered and the garlic is golden. Air fryers vary quite a bit, so you may find you need more or less time.
- Add a pinch of salt, black pepper, and the red pepper flakes, if using, and serve.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com. For the most accurate nutrition information we recommend calculating it yourself to reflect the specific ingredients used in your dish.