French Green Beans with Butter and Herbs

FrenchGluten-FreeVegetarianGreen Bean

Fresh haricot verts, skinny green beans boiled, drained, then sautéed in butter with onions, tarragon, thyme, parsley, and chives.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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26 Comments / Reviews

No ImageFrench Green Beans with Butter and Herbs

Did you make it? Rate it!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Omeghan

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh ..Green beans!
    When cooking them I simmer/ saute them in chicken bouillion instead of plain water and use a cube of Knorr Suisse Chicken Bouillion to a cup water (or to taste).

    A great receipe that I adore is from my Ukrainian granny & my dad (late)… me its really Summertime when I make this one! String Beans & Sour Cream !

    2 Cups each Green & Yellow beans cut into 3rds / 4ths (sort of bitesize). A shredded carrot or finely diced And a tablespoon or 2 shredded / minced onion (or to taste). A nice Chunk of butter and 1-2 Cups or so Sour Cream.

    Simmer/ steam green beans first with the carrots (they take longer to cook). You can use chicken bouillion instead of water & omit any salt. Add in yellow beans. Or cook ’em both separately and mix together when cooked. Add Butter & sour cream reheat on low …serve as a meal, a side or over rice. Enjoy!

    Optional /Garnish with a pinch (or lots) of fresh chopped dill.

    The more sour cream you add… the more sauce!

    Reheats nicely on low heat.. add a bit of sour cream to freshen sauce….and enjoy again!

  • Denise

    And how do we pronnounce these exactly? Hmmmm? They look delicious, and will give them a try — once I know how to say what they are!

    Hmm. Haricot verts = are ree KOH vair ~Elise

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French Green Beans with Butter and Herbs