how to french-cut green beans like a pro

how to french-cut green beans like a pro |

Ever wonder how to French-cut green beans?

French-cut is just a fancy term for julienne or thinly sliced. Because of their slender shape, they cook faster than whole beans and offer a unique visual presentation. So what’s the secret? The magazines make it look so stylish and simple…

But it’s not.

The problem is they’re not all the same size. Some green beans are straight, some curvy, and then you get the odd bent one (or two). I’ve never been able to achieve good results by hand. The end result is a big pile of uneven, funky looking beans.

I loose sleep over stuff like this.

how to french-cut green beans like a pro |

Eventually, I got my hands on an actual green bean cutter. Clearly not a popular item; it was on a bottom shelf about 1 inch off the floor covered in dust. I bought it anyway (only $3!). It would be the perfect solution to my problem. The package said so. Simply pull the beans through the blades and you will receive gorgeous, thinly sliced strands. It works!


You have to do it one-by-one and after about 10 of them, the novelty wears off. Because you have 50 more to go. You get distracted. You discover your child flushing play-doh (mock poo) down the toilet. You realize that this obsession of yours is a complete WASTE OF TIME and no one in their right mind wants to slice green beans by hand.

I lose even more sleep.

And then, the ah-ha moment we’ve all been waiting for…

how to french-cut green beans like a pro | theclevercarrot.comhow to french-cut green beans like a pro |


Didn’t I just use this method to slice a whole mass of veg. for lentil soup?

The secret is the slicer blade. To begin, cut the green beans to fit the mouth of your feed tube. Stack the beans horizontally (not sticking straight up) and gently press them through. In less than 5 seconds your job is done. French-cut success!

I like mine sauteed with butter and shallots.

how to french-cut green beans like a pro |

Try this method and you’ll see that it works. No more struggle. No more canned or frozen beans. No more drooling over glossy magazines. It’s an incredible timesaver that transforms ordinary to extraordinary. This is how to French-cut green beans like a pro! Green bean casserole anyone?

Now go on with your bad self.

spicy yellow beans with shallots + lemon

spicy yellow beans with shallots + lemon | The Clever Carrot

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t flip out over string beans.

But, I really do enjoy them when they’re fresh and in season, especially the skinny ones. I’m convinced that the yellow ones taste differently (questionable), so I buy a bunch because they’re pretty and I have to have them. It’s like finding purple cauliflower…

Yellow or green, I make my string beans the same way every time; chili flakes and shallots, with a hit of juicy lemon at the end. Season with flaky sea salt. Eat straight from the pan. And yes, no matter how I cook them they still squeak (what’s up with that?!) Someone once told me that squeaky beans = undercooked. What do you think? I’m on the fence.

spicy yellow beans with shallots + lemon | The Clever Carrot

I’ve accepted these beans with their inherent squeakiness, as I find this dish incredibly refreshing and easy to make. Chili and lemon happens to be one of my favorite flavor combinations. You can control the amount of heat (or nix it altogether) but for me, it’s all about finding the right balance. I love this with a nice piece of grilled fish or chopped up in pasta with a generous amount of parmesan cheese ;)


  • I use a 1 pan cooking method which involves both steaming and sauteing. This ensures that the beans will be soft in the center, yet crisp-tender on the outside.
  • I’m partial to haricots verts for their thin, tender texture and sweet flavor. Both yellow or green will work for this recipe.
  • Instead of dried chili flakes, you can substitute with fresh chili for a fruity, spicy kick.
spicy yellow beans with shallots + lemon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • ¾ lb. yellow haricots verts, trimmed
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • ¼- 1 tsp. dried red chili flakes (depending on preference)
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • coarse, flaky sea salt
  1. In a large saute pan, warm a splash of olive oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the yellow beans, shallots, garlic and chili flakes. Season with salt.
  3. Saute the beans until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add a small splash of water to the pan, and place a lid on top.
  5. Cook the beans on low for about 3-5 minutes. Tip: If your heat is too high, the outside will overcook, causing the inside to remain crunchy.
  6. Remove the lid, and continue to cook until all of the moisture has evaporated and the beans are crisp tender.
  7. Add a small squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Adjust with more lemon and salt as desired.
  8. Serve warm.