These Air Fryer Green Beans are crispy and perfectly seasoned with lemon juice and vegan parmesan. They make a delicious and easy side dish that's quick enough for a weeknight but elegant enough for a holiday meal!
As a kid growing up in the 1980s I only ever ate canned green beans. Imagine my surprise when I first tried fresh green beans (sometimes called string beans) and discovered that they basically taste nothing like the canned version. Let it suffice to say that I've never been able to fully embrace fresh green beans... until now that is! Who would have thought cooking Green Beans in the Air Fryer could make such a colossal difference? These Air Fryer Green Beans so crispy and flavorful I'll never go back to cooking them any other way!
Not only do I love these Air Fried Green Beans, but my kids--even the picky one--like them too! They might not have the same appeal as chocolate cake (let's be realistic), but every time I make these they are eaten up without complaint, so that goes in the win column.
You'll love this Air Fryer Green Beans Recipe because it's:
- Crispy & Flavorful
- Quick & Easy
- Vegan / Vegetarian
- Easy to make WFPB
- A Delicious Air Fryer Side Dish!
Can I cook frozen green beans in the air fryer?
The short answer is yes--but they won't get quite as crispy. Just toss the frozen green bean with the seasonings as directed and cook in the air fryer for the same amount of time--plus or minus a few minutes depending on the thickness of the green beans.
Can I use canned green beans?
Please don't! That's all I have to say.
- fresh green beans: I also tried this with frozen green beans and it was fine, but not nearly as good as with fresh.
- olive oil or aquafaba (for oil-free): Alternatively, you could just leave this out. The lemon juice should provide enough liquid for the parmesan to stick.
- lemon juice
- vegan parmesan: I used my own easy vegan parmesan recipe, which you can throw together in about 2 minutes. You could try to substitute with any powdered vegan parmesan but I wouldn't use a block or shredded parmesan, as it would melt in the air fryer (though you could add it later as a garnish.)
Tips for making green beans in the air fryer
- For extra crispy green beans, crank the heat up as high as it will go. Green beans cook quickly in the air fryer so if the heat is too low they won't get that crispy, nicely browned exterior.
- Use tongs to transfer the green beans from the mixing bowl to the air fryer. If you just dump them, all that extra seasoning will end up at the bottom of the air fryer making your cleanup a little harder.
- Reserve the the extra seasoning liquid. After the green beans are cooked, simply return them to the same mixing bowl and toss them with the leftover liquid to add even more flavor.
What kind of air fryer should I use?
The air fryer you choose should be the one that best meets your needs for budget, capacity, and storage space. Some air fryers also have other functions like grilling and dehydrating. I ended up buying the Ninja Foodi Grill 4-in-1 because it has a large capacity to feed my family of four.
If you wanted a smaller and more economical air fryer, check out this Farberware 3.4 quart or 4.2 quart Air Fryer. For even more possibilities, take a look at this list of the Best Air Fryers of 2021.
- Preheat the air fryer to 450F or 240C.
- Wash and trim the green beans. To trim them, simply grab a small bunch, line up the ends, and chop them off, then repeat with other side.
- Place the trimmed green beans into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, olive oil (or aquafaba), and vegan parmesan. Gently combine.
- Use tongs to transfer the green beans to the air fryer. Keep the extra seasoing liquid to toss the green beans in after they're done.
- Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stopping halfway to toss and redistribute the green beans (they tend to get crispier on the ouside of the basket).
- Return the green beans to the bowl with the extra seasoning. Toss to combine. Serve and enjoy right away!
How to serve
Air fryer green beans would also make a perfect side for a holiday or gathering. Check out these collections for more ideas:
Can I make it ahead?
This recipe is very quick to cook, so there isn't much benefit to making these ahead because they won't be quite as crisp when you reheat them. That said, if you plan to eat them cold as part of a packed lunch or salad, then you can certainly make them ahead.
To save time when you want to serve these air fryer green beans, you can trim the green beans ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Then when it's time to cook just toss with the seasonings and throw them in the air fryer.
How to store
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To serve you can reheat the leftover green beans in the microwave or air fryer (though they won't be quite as crispy) or serve cold.
Air Fryer Green Beans
- 14 oz fresh green beans
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or aquafaba
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoon vegan parmesan
- Preheat the air fryer
- Wash and trim the green bean ends.
- Add the green beans to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil or aquafaba, lemon juice, and vegan parmesan.
- Use tongs transfer the green beans to the air fryer, reserving any leftover liquid for serving.
- Cook for 6 to 8 minutes. (The exact cooking time will depend on how thick your green beans are.)
- When the green beans are cooked, return to the mixing bowl. Toss with the leftover seasoning liquid. Taste to adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve right away and enjoy!
- I have only tested this recipe with my own homemade vegan parmesan. It will probably work with any powdered parmesan. However, I don't recommend using block-style or shredded vegan parmesan.
- The nutritional info is estimated. It was calculated with olive oil. If you make this recipe without oil, the fat and calories will be lower per serving.
Did you try this recipe? Have a question? Just leave a comment below and I'll get back to you ASAP!