Forget prepping fresh green beans, just buy a bag of frozen green beans that have been ready prepped for you and cook them quickly and easily in the air fryer straight from frozen! In less than 15 minutes, this delicious recipe will give you perfectly cooked green beans that are browned and crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. Served with my delicious tahini sauce that takes seconds to make and you have yourself a super useful healthy side dish that’s vegan and gluten-free and that you will come back to time and time again!
This green beans air fryer recipe is one of my go-to recipes that I serve at home as a last minute extra vegetable to add to the dinner table. It literally takes a few seconds to prepare then I throw it in the preheated air fryer and forget about it while making the rest of the meal. If you call it "green bean fries", you might find these crispy beans even more of a hit with the whole family just for the name!
Why Use Frozen Green Beans?
You can of course use fresh green beans (also known as French beans, string beans or snap beans) but I love the ease and convenience of frozen green beans. Here’s why you will too:
- More Nutrients - Frozen veggies actually retain their nutrients better than fresh ones (unless you’re literally picking them from the garden and eating them!) because they are flash frozen at the point of picking them rather than hanging around in warehouses during packaging and delivery to your supermarket.
- Convenient – It is so easy to keep frozen vegetables in your freezer as they last a long time so you’re not worried about having to use them up quickly before they go bad in the fridge.
- No Prep – Frozen green beans have been topped and tailed for you already so there’s no prep time and no knives and chopping boards to wash!
- Quick – You don’t need to thaw frozen green beans when you cook them in the air fryer. You can literally pour them straight from the bag into the air fryer. The bits of ice clinging to the beans will help to steam them in the air fryer so that they cook through nicely while also browning on the outside.
- Economical – Frozen green beans are usually much cheaper than fresh ones.
- Less Food Waste – Since frozen vegetables have a longer shelf life, they’re less likely to be wasted from going off before they’re sold or eaten.
Green beans are a nutritious vegetable to add to your weekly meal planning. They are non-starchy greens that are low calorie, low sugar, low carb and low fat. They have a good amount of fibre and protein in them (like all beans) and are also rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals particularly folate, and vitamins C, A and K. For those with digestive issues, green beans are usually well tolerated since they are also low FODMAP vegetables.
I have already mentioned that frozen vegetables often contain more nutrients that fresh because they are frozen at source. This preserves the nutrients during the time it takes to get from being in the soil to being taken out of your freezer!
Air frying is a really healthy way to cook your frozen green beans because there is no cooking water for the water soluble vitamins to seep into (vitamins B and C) like they do when boiling green beans. Also, by adding a little oil to the beans, you make the fat soluble vitamins (all the vitamins except B and C) more accessible to your body.
What’s So Good About Air Frying?
I have grown to love the air fryer. Think of it like a mini oven that is super powerful but uses less energy. Due to its small size, it heats up far quicker than an oven (and hence uses far less energy). Also, because the fan creates a mini-vortex inside the air fryer, it cooks the food more quickly than a regular big oven. It’s certainly not an essential piece of kitchen equipment but now I’m used to it, I wouldn’t be without it!
- Frozen Green Beans – by this I mean un-seasoned, un-breaded, plain green beans with nothing added to them. There are a few variations you need to be aware of:
- You can get either whole or cut green beans. It is best to get them whole because there is less nutrient deterioration and they are usually the tastier thinner variety which crisps up better.
- Green beans also come in a variety of thicknesses. The super fine green beans, usually from Kenya, are lovely. They require a little less cooking time due to their thinness. However, it is easier to find the regular thicker green beans. These are a little less flavoursome and can be a bit soggy so will need a couple of minutes longer to crisp up.
- Olive Oil – you can of course use any oil for this, whatever is your favourite cooking oil. Due to the quick cooking time, I like to use extra virgin olive oil for this recipe because I love the flavour it adds.
- Seasonings – I season the frozen green beans very lightly with a little garlic powder and salt and pepper because I like to serve them with my tahini sauce. However, you can also add more flavours and serve them on their own. See the Variations section for lots more ideas!
To make the tahini and tamari sauce, you will need:
- Tahini - this is a smooth paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is a healthy spread often used in the Middle East and is usually easily available in the supermarket. Some brands can be more bitter than others so it might take a while to find the brand you like.
- Tamari - either tamari or gluten-free soy sauce will be fine here, to add a slight saltiness to the sauce.
- Lemon Juice - if you don't have any lemons to hand, lime juice will be delicious too!
- Water - this is just to let it down to a pourable sauce consistency.
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for full list of ingredients and their quantities.
How To Make These Air Fried Frozen Green Beans
The cooking time for this recipe will vary slightly depending on how thick your green beans are (thinner beans need less cooking time) and what brand of air fryer you have, but the general rule is:
Air Fryer Temperature:
200°C / 400°F
10-12 minutes (shaking half way through).
First, preheat the air fryer to 200°C / 400°F.
Next pour the frozen green beans into a bowl and mix with olive oil and seasoning.
Add the seasoned green beans into the air fryer basket and air fry for 10-12 minutes (depending on the thickness of your beans and how fast your air fryer is). Remember that you need the green beans to be in a single layer in the air fryer so you may need to do two batches if your air fryer basket is small.
Shake the basket half way through the cooking time to toss the green beans up a bit and change their position, for even browning. You can also add a handful of roughly broken up walnuts at the half way stage if you like.
If you want to serve the green beans with my quick and easy tahini sauce, just whisk together the sauce ingredients in a jug while the green beans are air frying. It really takes seconds to make! It may look like it is curdling or not coming together but keep whisking or stirring vigorously and it will come together suddenly to a smooth sauce.
Serve with the tahini sauce drizzled over the top.
(This easy air fryer recipe was created in the Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer (paid affiliate link). Cooking times may vary slightly for a different brand of air fryer. Check your beans after 9 or 10 minutes.)
This is a summary only. Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this page for full instructions.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer. The green beans need to be roughly a single layer in the air fryer basket. If it is too overcrowded, they will steam rather than brown. If you have a smaller air fryer basket or you want to cook a lot of green beans, it is better to do them in two (or more) batches of single layers rather than throwing them all in together.
- You may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness of your beans. This is why I have given a range. Super thin beans will need less cooking time (around 10 minutes) than thicker green beans (around 12 minutes). If your green beans haven’t browned enough, just cook for another minute at 220°C at the end to brown them nicely.
- Different brands of air fryer cook at different speeds. My Instant Pot Vortex air fryer is slower to cook than my old Philips air fryer. So, the first time you make this dish, it is best to check your green beans after 9 or 10 minutes to make sure they aren't browning too much.
These air fried frozen green beans are the perfect side dish to make when time is short and you need something quick and easy to add to the meal or when you need a side that doesn’t take up hob space or head space! Ideas for serving these air fryer green beans are:
- Serve with a Sunday roast alongside my nut roast with porcini jus and boulangère potatoes.
- Or serve with crispy air fried tofu and sweet potato wedges for an easy weeknight supper all made in the air fryer.
- These crispy green beans are also the perfect green vegetable to brighten up the plate alongside my delicious hearty vegan stew with smoked tofu and vegetables.
There are so many ways you could change up this recipe. Add different herbs and spices and it changes the dish completely to suit whatever main dish you are serving it with! Here are a few ideas:
- Lemon juice, thyme and garlic;
- Balsamic vinegar and Italian herb seasoning;
- Harissa and vegan yoghurt (added after air frying not before);
- Tamari (GF soy sauce), toasted sesame oil and lime;
- Flaked almonds, lemon and fresh parsley.
These air fryer frozen green beans will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To re-heat them, simply pop them back in the air fryer for 1-3 minutes (depending on how much you have to re-heat) or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Be aware that they will not be crispy anymore if you microwave them.
Cook frozen green beans straight from frozen (no need to thaw) for 10-12 minutes in the air fryer at 200°C / 400°F.
Yes but they will need to cook in a slightly different way. Top and tail the green beans, rinse them under water and then put them in the air fryer to cook for 5 minutes at 180°C/350°F. The water droplets clinging onto the beans after rinsing will help to steam them. After 5 minutes, mix or spray the beans with the olive oil and seasoning, then turn up the temperature on the air fryer and air fry for a further 5 minutes at 200°C/400°F.
📖 Recipe 📖
Air Fryer Frozen Green Beans with Tahini Sauce
- 1 Air Fryer
- 300 g frozen green beans, straight from the freezer – no need to thaw
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1 grind black pepper
- 2 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoon tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pre-heat the air fryer to 200°C / 400°F.
- In a bowl, mix the green beans with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder then air fry for 10 minutes at 200°C. (If you are including the walnuts, add them into the air fryer for the final 3 minutes of cooking time.)300 g frozen green beans, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing the tahini, tamari, lemon juice and water in a small jug or cup.2 tablespoon tahini, 1 tablespoon water, 2 teaspoon tamari or gluten-free soy sauce, 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Serve the green beans (and walnuts) in a dish with the tahini sauce drizzled over the top, garnished with a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top.
- As different air fryers take different times to cook, the first time you make this dish, check you green beans after 9 or 10 minutes to see if they are browned enough.
- Thicker green beans will take longer to cook than the really thin green beans.
- Cut green beans are usually the thicker type whereas the frozen whole green beans are usually the thinner variety.
- To use fresh green beans instead, top and tail the green beans, rinse them under water and then put them in the air fryer to cook for 5 minutes at 180°C/350°F. Then, mix or spray the beans with the olive oil and seasoning, and air fry for a further 5 minutes at 200°C/400°F
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐ star rating ⭐ on the recipe card!
If you like this air fryer green beans recipe, you may like these other delicious side dish recipes too:
- French-Style Braised Leeks (Vegan)
- Easy Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Italian Sautéed Zucchini with Mint & Lemon
- Braised Red Cabbage with Apple & Balsamic
- Smoky Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts (Vegan)
- Roast Beetroot with Herbs (Air Fryer or Oven)
- Roast Celeriac with Lemon (Oven or Air Fryer)
- Carrot & Swede Vegan Side Dish
Or check my air fryer recipes catalogue for other delicious vegan food to cook in your air fryer.