Green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) originated in Central and South America and have been cultivated in Mexico and Peru for thousands of years. They are the unripe fruits of the common bush beanand are cooked with the beans still in their pods.  Green beans go by many different names; snap beans, string beans (although most modern varieties are “stringless”), and slender French beans, called haricots verts in French. There are over 130 varieties of green beans.  They are further divided into bush beans and pole beans; some of them are purple in color, like the exotic yard-long red beans. They go by many names and are sometimes grown just as ornamental plants.   

Wax bean vines growing on a trellis

Yard-long red beans

The wax beans which I am using in this recipe, also known as yellow wax beans, are similar to green beans but lack the chlorophyll that gives them a green color. They are very popular in Europe because of their delicate flavor, which is not as better as regular green beans. 

bundles of different colors of wax beans

Green beans are sold fresh, canned, and frozen. When choosing beans, look for pods that snap crisply. Limp pods are often a sign that the bean is past its peak. Canned beans are a popular go-to item for the holiday green bean casserole. They can also be served blanched, sautéed in olive oil, drizzled with lemon juice, roasted, or added to Asian stir fry dishes.

beans in cream sauce on a blue and white plate with some potatoes

Wax Green Beans with Cream Sauce

Magda Born


  • ½ lb wax green beans
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbs oil or butter
  • 2 potatoes
  • 5 cups chicken or beef broth


  • Get your ingredients ready.
    recipe ingredients sitting on a counter
  • Wash the beans and trim off the tough ends; remove the fibrous string along the edge of the bean. Chop the beans into 2-3 inch pieces.
    Beans in a strainer on a cutting board
  • Placed beans into boiling water and cook until tender.
    cut beans in a pan of water
  • Make a roux by browning flour in butter or oil.
    roux being stirred in a pan by a wooden spoon
  • When the roux is light brown, add broth and cook until sauce is created, and then add cooked beans.
    beans and broth being stirred in a pan with a wooden spoon
  • If the sauce is too thin, you can add more flour to the cream before adding cream to the beans.
    measuring cup of cream with a whisk in it
  • Incorporate the cream sauce into the rest of the dish and serve while warm.
    creamy beans being stirred in a pan with a wooden spoon
  • Enjoy! Share your food with friends!


adventures in veggieland book cover

Adventures in veggieland: help your kids learn to love vegetables with 100 easy activities and recipes by Melanie Potock

Format:  Book

Call Number:  641.65 POTOCK

Publication Date:  2018    

book cover mr wilkinsons vegetables

Mr. Wilkinson’s vegetables: a cookbook to celebrate the garden  by  Matt Wilkinson

Format:  Book

Call Number:  641.65 WILKINSO

Publication Date:  2012    

book cover plenty

Plenty: vibrant vegetable recipes from London’s Ottolenghi  by  Yotam Ottolenghi

Format:  Book

Call Number:  641.65 OTTOLENG

Publication Date:  2011    

Magda Born

Community Services Librarian

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave.

Kansas City, Kansas 66101      

913-295-8250 ext 1103