What is the difference between regular green beans and French beans, also labelled as Haricot verts?
Green beans are a stable vegetable in my household. And for sure one that I love to grow in my garden.
When you open up a seed catalog you see many different options for green beans. But when you are in the grocery store, there is normally only two - standard green beans and French green beans (also labelled as Haricot Verts). This post is about explaining the differences between these types of beans.
🇫🇷 What are French Beans?
Haricot Verts literally means green beans in French. French Beans are often given that name at the store. Whether you see either name this means you are getting a thin fresh green bean. A lot thinner than "regular" green beans.
This is really the only significant difference between the two, but not the only difference.
❓ How are French Beans Different?
A thinner bean is going to cook quicker than a thicker bean. Besides that the reason people like then is that they are morn tender.
What about flavor? Here is the interesting thing. Here in the United States a lot of the green beans you are buying in the store were grown here. But many of the French beans are grown in Guatemala and Mexico. Thus by the time they reach our stores, they are older. I find that they aren't as sweet tasting. For flavor, in most cases I believe that regular green beans are going to taste better.
If you can buy French green beans at a farmer's market or grown them yourself - DO IT! These will be far superior in flavor to anything you find in a grocery store.
Another thing you will find in grocery stores is that French beans are sold only by the bag. You rarely ever find them sold by the pound. The prices is always higher for the French beans as well.
🍽️ What are French Beans Good For?
You can interchange green beans and French beans really in any recipe. But there are some types of recipes where French beans shine.
- Sautéed with onions, shallots, and/or garlic
- Air Fryer crispy beans
- In a quiche
- In a salad
They are easier for sautéing than regular green beans because they are thin. Use that their thinner size and tenderness to your advantage!
✂️ French Cut Green Beans
Now if you see a package labelled "French Cut" green beans that is something completely different. It refers to a style of cutting beans, thinly or julienne. You will find these beans in the frozen section of your grocery store. I personally am not a fan. I have never had any that I thought were cooked right. Too soft.
➕ More Green Bean Posts
Learn more about green beans.