How to Make Canned Green Beans Taste Better and Avoid That Bland Canned Flavor

a can of green beans

Most people need a little coaxing to eat their vegetables. But when the vegetables in question come from a can, they may need even more convincing to eat it. While canned veggies are a great staple to have on hand in a pinch, they can have a slightly canned taste. That’s why you’ve got to learn how to make canned green beans taste better so they won’t wind up collecting dust in your pantry for the better part of a decade.

Believe it or not, you CAN do something to canned green beans to give them a flavor that will make you forget they came from your pantry and are not fresh green beans. These tips will ensure you’ll know how to make canned beans taste better for any meal!

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Put them in a soup or stew

bowl of beef stew

If you need to use up a can of green beans, one of the best ways is to slip them into a soup or stew. Adding them to black bean soup is delicious! By simmering slowly with other flavorful ingredients, they won’t have that gross can flavor. Just make sure you rinse and drain them really well to keep that canned flavor from permeating the rest of your dish.

Use beef bouillon or broth

pile of beef bouillon cubes

Did you know that if you simmer canned green beans in beef bouillon or broth, you’ll erase that canned taste? You will want to boil them first, then reduce the heat to medium and keep cooking until almost all the liquid evaporates. You can then turn off the heat and let them simply sit until you’re almost ready to serve.

At that point, you’ll let them simmer again for a cook time of 10 minutes, and then all the liquid should be gone. Your canned green beans will now taste so good everyone will take second helpings. But if you don’t have beef bouillon or beef broth, you can also use chicken or vegetable broth.

Add butter

Butter definitely has a reputation for making things better, and this is one classic example. Slowly cook your drained canned beans first, then add them to a skillet with melted butter and your favorite seasonings. Garlic powder, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, sauteed onion, or onion powder are great additions and don’t forget a little salt and black pepper to taste.

And if you’re all out of butter, don’t fret. Olive oil is another great way to flavor them, so they taste great.

And add some cheese too

container of Parmesan Cheese

Take that butter step one step further and put some cheese in there with your canned green beans. It will give them a wonderful flavor. Parmesan or asiago would work best, though any shredded or grated cheese will work.

Pick fresh herbs

fresh thyme

If you have any fresh herbs in your kitchen, this is a great time to use them. Simmering your canned green beans with fresh thyme, rosemary, or sage will definitely elevate the flavors. But even if the only herbs you have are on your spice rack, you can get creative with combinations. Garlic powder and Italian seasoning will give it an Italian twist, and if you add some parmesan, it will taste like perfection!

Bacon, bacon, bacon

bowl of canned green beans and bacon

Need we say more? Bacon is one of the most glorious things you can pair with canned green beans. The smoky and rich flavor will make you forget those beans aren’t fresh from the produce section. Cook your bacon first, then cook the green beans in the grease. Leftover bacon from breakfast? Cut it up into bits and cook it with your green beans for a winning side dish.

Wake it up with Worcestershire sauce

Do you have Worcestershire sauce? While that’s a staple condiment for burgers and meatloaf, you can also let it assist you when you need to make canned green beans taste better. It’s savory, sweet, and tangy all at once. Add some beef broth or bouillon, add Worcestershire sauce (soy sauce works, too), and a pat of butter. Then let it cook until the liquid mostly vanishes away, leaving you with fully-flavored green beans.

Sweeten the deal

A wooden bowl of sugar along with sugar cubes.

As it turns out, Mary Poppins was right on the money when she cheerily sang about adding a spoonful of sugar. When you add a little white or brown sugar, your canned green beans will surprise you. It helps get rid of that metallic canned taste. Simmer them with broth and sugar, and voila! You’ll have canned green beans everyone wants to eat.

Make Garlic Green Beans

Benefits of Garlic Infographic

Roasted garlic spreads like butter and has such an indulgent taste it will mask any canned flavors from your green beans. Garlic is one of the best-kept secrets to making canned green beans taste better. Go the extra mile and add freshly-grated parmesan if you have it!

Throw in more veggies

can of corn

You can also get rid of a boring corn can by pairing it with your canned green beans. Canned corn still has a sweet and juicy taste though you’ll want to rinse and drain it well. Fresh or frozen corn would be ideal, or even adding peas and carrots for a vegetable medley to go with your meal.

While canned green beans or any canned vegetables can leave a bad taste in your mouth, if you follow these tips on how to make them taste better, you’ll actually enjoy eating them. Plus, they do have a bonus over fresh – you don’t have to spend all that time trimming the ends. With canned green beans in your pantry, you can quickly get a delicious and nourishing meal on the table. By flavoring them up, no one will ever know they came from a can!



How Many Cups of Green Beans in a Can?

A standard 14.5-ounce can of green beans contains approximately 1.5 cups of green beans, drained.


How Many Calories Are in a Can of Green Beans?

A 14.5-ounce can of green beans has around 70 calories. This figure is based on no-added-salt varieties. Remember that calorie content may vary depending on added ingredients like salt, seasoning, or sauce.


How Long Are Canned Green Beans Good For?

Unopened green bean cans can last up to 5 years if stored in a cool, dry place. Once opened, store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator and consume them within 3-5 days.


Are Canned Green Beans Gluten-Free?

Yes, canned green beans are naturally gluten-free. However, always check the label for possible gluten-containing ingredients if the product contains any sauces or added seasonings.


Can You Freeze Canned Green Beans?

You can freeze canned green beans, but the texture may change after thawing. Canned green beans that are frozen can last 6-8 months.


What Main Dish Goes with Green Beans?

Green beans are versatile and can pair well with various main dishes. Some options include:

  • Grilled or roasted chicken
  • Baked or grilled fish
  • Beef or pork roast
  • Meatloaf
  • Vegetarian dishes or casseroles

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Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.