Meet air fryer green beans, aka the gateway veggie to the crispy and delicious world of air-fried vegetables! Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of taking a bite out of an air-fried green bean knows that they’re something special. But, did you know that air frying your veggies also comes with some serious health benefits? More about that below! If you’re a green bean skeptic who isn’t convinced that air frying could make the bland vegetable any tastier, we get it. And we have a couple of chef-approved tricks to share that will make your air-fried green beans come out perfectly crispy every time. Now let’s talk about health benefits. Why should you cook your green beans in an air fryer?
7 Reasons To Air Fry Your Green Beans
Green beans are already a healthy, nutrient-dense food, but air frying them adds an extra layer of health benefits. Here are six reasons you should consider going “air fried” with your green beans:
1. Cut Back On Saturated Fat
As far as dietary fats are concerned, saturated fats should be kept to a minimum.
According to the American Heart Association, too much can lead to higher cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke (7). Yet the deep fried foods that we so often crave tend to be high in saturated fat.
On the contrary, air frying reduces the amount of fat you’re consuming without sacrificing the flavor and texture. According to one study, there’s a 68 percent reduction in fat content between deep fried and air fried foods(2).
2. Cut Back On Calories
When people say that weight loss is a number’s game, what they mean is that the calories you consume should be balanced out by the amount of calories you expend.
The process of air frying requires very little oil, so you’re consuming fewer calories without sacrificing your beloved foods.
This benefit isn’t limited to green beans, you can enjoy most traditionally “calorie-dense” foods like chips and French fries without worrying about over-consuming.
3. Retain Nutrients
When you deep fry foods, they tend to lose their nutritional value. That’s because some nutrients like Vitamin C are particularly susceptible to heat and oil (6).
Air frying, however, does a better job at preserving the nutritional content of foods like green beans. That’s because it uses convection heat to cook the food, rather than submerging it in oil.
Read More: Healthy Baked Beans: A Versatile Snack To Excite Your Taste Buds
4. Reduce The Risk Of Carcinogens
Carcinogens are naturally present in certain foods, and deep-fried foods are more likely to contain higher levels of these compounds(4).
Carcinogens form when the food is heated to a certain temperature, so reducing the amount of oil used can reduce the risk of carcinogen formation (3).
While there isn’t solid research to prove that air frying is completely free of carcinogens, we can assume that it reduces the risk.
5. Reduce Risk Of Diseases
Deep-fried foods are considered a risk factor when it comes to developing certain diseases. For instance, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a correlation between eating deep-fried foods and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (5).
Air fried foods, however, reduce this risk. This doesn’t mean that air frying eliminates all risk, you can still overeat and gain weight, but it is a healthier option.
6. Easier Cleanup
Cleaning up after a deep-fry can be a real nightmare. Greasy splatter all over the kitchen, thick smoke that sets off your fire alarm, and the lingering smell of oil that takes days to dissipate.
All you need for air frying is a few tablespoons of oil, and you can say goodbye to the mess and smell.
7. Safer Cooking
Deep-frying poses a risk of burns and fires due to the high temperatures. The safety risk is higher when it comes to kids, so it’s best to opt for air-frying if you have children in the home.
Air fryers are designed with safety features like automatic shut-off timers, so you don’t have to worry about them being injured in the kitchen.
How To Cook Green Beans In An Air Fryer?
Cooking green beans in the air fryer is easy and quick. All you need to do is:
- Chop them into your desired shape, add some oil, and season with your favorite spices.
- Then, place the beans in an even layer in the air fryer basket and set the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius).
- Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Enjoy your delicious and healthy green beans!
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Simple Air Fryer Green Beans Recipe (1)
As easy as 1-2-3, this air fryer green beans recipe will have you making delicious, healthy snacks in no time.
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon of oil (canola or olive work best)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius).
- In a bowl, toss the beans with the oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
- Place the beans in an even layer in the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd.
- Cook for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
This recipe is courtesy of thepioneerwoman.com
How To Get Crispy Air Fried Green Beans (Chef’s Tips)
There are a few dos and don’ts to follow if you want to get the crispiest green beans.
Do: Completely Blot The Beans With Paper Towel
Before cooking, make sure to pat your beans dry with a paper towel. This serves two purposes: it removes excess moisture that can steam the beans, and helps them crisp up better in the air fryer.
Do: Use Cooking Spray
Using cooking spray helps ensure that the beans don’t stick to the basket and get nice and crispy. A few spritzes of your favorite oil-based spray should do the trick.
Don’t: Overcrowd The Basket
If you pile too many beans in the air fryer, they won’t get as crispy. That’s because overcrowding traps moisture, preventing the beans from getting that crunchy texture we all love.
Do: Experiment With Seasonings
Some seasonings serve a double purpose: they add flavor and help the beans crisp up. Try adding some garlic powder, smoked paprika, or an Italian seasoning mix for a delicious herby flavor.
Don’t: Forget To Shake The Basket
To help the beans get evenly crispy, remember to shake the basket halfway through cooking. This helps redistribute the heat and prevents certain areas from getting burnt or undercooked.
Some air fryers have a setting that will alert you when it’s time to shake the basket.
Do: Experiment With Timings
Every air fryer is different, so you may need to experiment a bit with timings and temperatures in order to get your desired results.
Start by cooking your beans for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius), and adjust accordingly.
How Can I Spice Up Air Fryer Green Beans?
Air fryer green beans can be spiced up in a variety of ways:
- Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
- Sprinkle in some Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
- Toss the green beans in some garlic powder or minced garlic for a garlicky flavor.
- Mix in some Italian seasoning for a classic flavor.
- Top with chopped almonds or walnuts for an extra crunch.
- Add some balsamic vinegar to give it a tangy flavor.
- Top with lemon juice for a zesty twist.
- Mix in some chili powder for a smoky flavor.
- Sprinkle on some crumbled bacon for a savory taste.
- Add a dollop of Greek yogurt for a creamy finish.
- Mix in some fresh herbs like oregano, basil or thyme for an herb flavor.
Read More: Black Beans And Corn Salsa: The Ultimate Powerhouse Of Flavors
What Can I Serve Air Fryer Green Beans With?
Air fryer green beans are a versatile addition to your table. Here are the best ways to serve them:
- Serve with grilled steak or roasted chicken.
- Mix into a salad for a healthy and flavorful side.
- Mix with roasted potatoes and vegetables for a delicious one-pan meal.
- Pair with pasta dishes like mac and cheese or spaghetti.
- Serve as a side dish to your favorite burgers or sandwiches.
- Mix with quinoa and other grains for a great vegan meal.
- Serve as an appetizer with a dip like hummus or tzatziki.
- Add to soups and stews for a hearty meal.
- Toss with roasted vegetables for a comforting dish.
- Mix into your favorite Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.
- Mix into your favorite stir-fry dishes.
- Serve with fried rice for a tasty and filling meal.
- Add to your favorite wraps and sandwiches.
- Toss into scrambled eggs for a delicious breakfast.
- Make air fryer green bean nachos for a fun snack.
- Top pizza with green beans to give it an extra flavor boost.
No matter how you choose to serve them, air fryer green beans are sure to be a delicious and healthy addition to your meal.
Can I Cook Frozen Green Beans In An Air Fryer?
Yes! Frozen green beans can be cooked in the air fryer. The only difference is that you’ll need to adjust the cooking time. For frozen green beans, the ideal cooking time is around 10-14 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius.
They need longer cooking time to ensure they are cooked through. And also make sure to shake the basket occasionally while they are cooking to ensure even browning.
That said, fresh green beans are the best option when you’re air frying. As they have higher water content, they cook faster and come out more flavorful.
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The Bottom Line
For the health-conscious and time-starved, air frying your green beans can be a tasty, time-saving solution. Air frying helps to retain nutrients, reduce the risk of carcinogens, reduce the risk of certain diseases, and is a lot easier to clean up.
With a few chef-approved tricks, you can make sure that your air fried green beans come out perfectly crispy every time.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Air Fryer Green Beans (2022, thepioneerwoman.com)
- Changes in food caused by deep fat frying – A review (2013, alan revista.org)
- Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk (2017, cancer.gov)
- Fried food consumption and the risk of pancreatic cancer: A large prospective multicenter study (2022, frontiersin.org)
- Fried-food consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease: a prospective study in 2 cohorts of US women and men (2014, nih.gov)
- Nutrient losses and gains during frying: a review (1998, nih.gov)
- Saturated Fat (2023, heart.org)