French Green Beans with Butter and Herbs


Ever see those skinny little green beans in the market? They’re a French variety of green bean, also known as haricot vert, or filet beans. Haricot verts are more delicate than regular green beans and cook up more quickly. This is a simple recipe in which you blanch the beans first, and then sauté them quickly in a little butter with onions and fresh garden herbs. If you can’t find haricot verts, you can use regular fresh green beans, just boil them a little longer.

Do you have a method of preparing haricot verts? Please let us know about it in the comments.

French Green Beans with Butter and Herbs Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.

Use fresh herbs if available. If not, you can used dried, but use a quarter as much.


  • 1 pound thin green beans (haricot vert), trimmed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp tarragon or basil, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp chives, chopped fine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges


1 Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Boil the beans for 2 minutes. Plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain the beans and pat dry on a cloth or paper towel.

2 Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Cook the onions until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

3 Add the green beans and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

4 Add all the herbs and some salt and pepper and toss to combine. Cook for 1 minute more.

Serve hot or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.

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Showing 4 of 27 Comments

  • sonia Dhaliwal

    Do Black Turtle Beans( Haricots Beans) suppose to leave colour while cooking on stove top? Please could mention a few good dry beans brands. Thxx

  • Julia @ foodandtheabstracttruth

    This recipe sounds great. I was planning on cooking green beans tonight, and so I think I’ll make this recipe. Thanks!

    As to how we like to prepare french green beans – sometimes I just boil them lightly and then sprinkle them with slivered almonds and a bit of salt. This very simple way of eating them is great when one is having them with a more complex or heavy dinner (e.g. steak) and want something light and fresh to go with it.

  • Denise

    Thanks for the pronnounciation lesson! My kids said…’Harlot- verts’…literally! Can you only imagine discussing ‘harlots’ around the dinner table? lol. What fun. ( I realize they added the ‘l’ which doesn’t belong..but they’re kids ) Please remember to educate those of us who don’t know or experiment much with different cultural food, how to pronnounce these wonderful and exotic dishes!

  • Jeanette

    Just popped in to say that I made this green bean recipe. I used regular green beans because that is what I had. The beans turned out great.

    Very easy recipe to make too.

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