Screaming skillet green beans get their name from the screaming hot skillet used to cook them. Laced with garlic and the fruity citrus notes of white wine, they make a great summer side dish.
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Screaming skillet green beans is one of my favorite dishes. In fact, I have been known to eat an entire plate of it in a single sitting. They come together quickly and don’t require a big mess. I often serve them up as a side dish for dinner, or as a healthy veggie based meal for lunch.
The flavors aren’t overpowering but at the same time not bland, so they pair well with other dishes. I’ve served them with everything from seafood, to chicken, to steak. I even love them with the occasional cheeseburger instead of french fries.
While I often make these on the grill, it was a bit chilly outside today so I made them on the stovetop instead. As these days get warmer and we rely on our grill more and more, this dish becomes a staple in my kitchen.
These screaming skillet green beans are fairly simple to make but your required tools may be slightly different when making it on the grill versus the stovetop. Regardless, you will need a 10″ or larger skillet with a lid. The lid does not need to fit snug, but it will trap a lot of the steam. I use my cast iron skillet, but I’ve had good results with stainless steel and non-stick as well.
For the grill, make sure the pan you choose is oven safe. Monitor the heat so that it doesn’t get too hot for your pan or you run the risk of damaging the pan. Do not heat the pan with the lid on as the lids for most oven safe pans are not themselves oven safe. It will be fine when cooking with the grill top open, but not while heating with the top closed.
This screaming skillet green bean recipe calls for 1/2 lb of green beans, which serves between 2 – 4 people. If we are having multiple sides, it will stretch to 4, but if this is the only one on the table it’s works best for 2. You can easily increase the recipe to accommodate however many you have.
Start by giving them a good rinse and pat them dry. Next snap off the end of the bean where it was attached to the vine. The string end can stay, but the vine end is very fibrous and tough to chew. Place the beans into a medium sized mixing bowl.
Peel the garlic and mince it. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of salt over the minced garlic and run your knife through it a couple more times. The salt acts like grit to help break the garlic up and release the flavor. We aren’t going as far as pureeing the garlic with the knife, but there will be a noticeable difference after you have minced it with the salt on top.
The garlic goes on top of the green beans, followed by the olive oil then the salt and pepper. Toss them to coat completely and set them aside while you heat the pan. When using the grill, I place my cast iron skillet on at the beginning over medium or indirect heat so that I know it’s ready when I need it. On the stovetop, allow the grill about 3-5 minutes to heat over medium-high. We want it screaming, but not so hot that it will smoke and burn.
The green beans need fairly constant attention, but they should cook in 8 minutes or less. Once the pan is hot, the beans go in. Make sure you stir them every 20 – 30 seconds. The goal is to get the garlic to brown, but not burn. It takes about 2 minutes total. Once you see that most of the garlic has browned, add the wine. Stir to make sure nothing is sticking, cover and cook about 90 seconds.
From this point, we are using the steam to cook the green beans throughout. As the wine cooks down, it will completely evaporate. When it does, add in a bit of the water about 1/4 of a cup at a time. Stir, cover and cook. In my experience it takes about 3 minutes to cook off the wine the first time, and 3 minutes to cook off each 1/4 cup addition of water. Make sure to check it and stir every 90 seconds as you go.
When the beans are almost done – pierce them with a fork or taste them to tell – remove the lid and let the rest of the liquid cook off completely. I like my beans tender crisp, which takes about 8 minutes total. If you like yours cooked further, you may need additional water to keep them going.
Serve these screaming skillet green beans while hot! They pair great with a dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc or a lightly oaked chardonnay.
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Have you ever used a skillet on the grill top? Have you ever use wine when making green beans?! Let me know in the comments below!
Screaming Skillet Green Beans
- 1/2 lb green beans
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 - 3 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water
- Wash green beans and pat dry. Snap off the vine end of the bean and place them in a medium size mixing bowl.
- Mince the garlic clove, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of salt and run your knife through it a few more times to create a thick chunky paste-like consistency.
- Add garlic, olive oil, remaining 1/4 tsp of salt, and pepper to the green beans. Toss to coat thoroughly.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, either on the stovetop or grill.
- Add green beans to pan and cook 2 minutes until garlic begins to brown, tossing often.
- Add the white wine, toss, cover and allow to cook 90 seconds. Toss, re-cover and cook an additional 90 seconds.
- When the wine in the pan evaporates, add 1/4 cup of water. Continue to cook while covered, tossing every 90 seconds and adding water as needed, no more than 1/4 cup at a time.
- For tender crisp green beans, it should take about 8 minutes total cooking time.
- When the beans are almost done, remove the lid and allow the rest of the liquid to cook off before serving.
1/4 to 1/2 cup of water is all you need for tender crisp beans. If you prefer your beans to be cooked longer, keep adding water 1/4 a cup at a time as the pan dries out - every 2 - 3 minutes. If the pan dries completely, you'll burn the beans instead of cooking them.
I typically use a chardonnay or sauvignon blanc for this recipe. For a richer result, try making it with sherry or bourbon. For an non-alcoholic alternative, use no salt added chicken broth.