Air Fryer Green Beans with Crispy Panko Coating

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This recipe for Air Fryer Green Beans is quick and makes incredibly crunchy golden beans with a simple panko coating. 

A hero shot of air fried green beans coated in panko. On the left of the frame are a white plate and a small pinch pot of salt with a small spoon in it. In the center is a white tall rectangular platter filled with panko-coated green beans. At the top right is a roll resting on a napkin above two forks. A serving bowl of rolls rests on the lower right of the frame.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This is a fun, healthier alternative—not a replacement, of course!—to french fries. You get the satisfying crunch and saltiness from the panko. Our new favorite way of eating green beans!

We love a crispy fry in our house, and these green beans can satisfy that craving with some greens!

While I was grocery shopping, I came across a package of breaded crispy green beans in the freezer section. I infinitely prefer the homemade pan

ko coating we used in our Toddler Food Cookbook, and so I decided to make our own version.

It is definitely the easiest time I’ve ever had getting the kids to eat their veggies!

This is one of our favorite side dishes to put together in the air fryer. For more quick side dish recipes, try Instant Pot Baked Potatoes finished in the air fryer, Carrots with a Maple-Butter Glaze, and Egg Salad.

An overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make panko green beans. From top left to bottom right: a small white dish filled with pale brown panko bread crumbs, a silver measuring cup filled with flour, a wooden pinch bowl filled with salt, a small white plate with small piles of seasonings, a few green beans sprinkled on the counter , a small white bowl filled with parmesan cheese, a medium glass bowl filled with green beans, and a small white dish filled with egg whites.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED

Here’s what you need for super crunchy air fryer green beans:

  • Green beans. Be sure to wash them well after rinsing to help them get nice and crispy. 
  • Flour. Regular all-purpose works well. 
  • Breadcrumbs. We like the extra crunch from panko. 
  • Parmesan. You can use pre-grated to save a step.
  • Seasonings. We flavor the green beans with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. 
  • Egg whites. These will help the panko and flour adhere to the beans. 

How to Make Green Beans in an Air Fryer

This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

Before air frying the green beans, it’s best to par-cook them in the microwave to help them cook through. Simply place them in a microwave-safe bowl with a splash of water and cook for 2 minutes to steam them lightly. Drain off any water and let them cool in a colander. 

Meanwhile, preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Make your coating by combining the panko and parmesan in one bowl, the flour and seasonings in a second bowl, and the egg whites and milk in a third bowl. 

An overhead shot of green beans in a small white square dish. The beans are sitting on a bed of flour and have been coated in the flour.
After being coated in the flour, the beans are very quickly dunked in a milk and egg mixture. The milk and egg mixture is pale white and in a small rectangular glass dish.
After being dunked in the egg mixture, the beans are rolled in a mixture of panko and cheese and seasonings. The panko mixture in in a small rectangular glass dish sitting at an angle. In the left half of the dish are five green beans in the process of being coated in the breadcrumbs.

To coat the beans, first coat them in the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Then add a few to the egg mixture, and finally coat them in the panko.

Place the coated green beans in the air fryer basket in a single layer

Spray the green beans with the cooking spray and air fry them for about 5 minutes, until they’re golden and crisp. Turn the beans halfway through. Immediately after removing the beans from the air fryer, sprinkle them with a pinch of salt and serve. Enjoy!

An overhead shot of an air fryer basket filled with green beans that have been coated in panko and seasonings, just prior to going in the air fryer. The panko is pale and the beans are in a single layer.

Important Tips for Making Air Fryer Green Beans

  • We steam the beans beforehand in the microwave to make sure they cook through by the time the panko is finished crisping up in the air fryer. 
  • Adding a pinch of salt after air frying makes a BIG difference, so don’t skip that step!
  • You can adjust the seasonings to your taste with additional dried seasonings or spices. 
  • This recipe works best with beans that are just slightly thicker than a #2 pencil.
  • When shopping for beans, they’ll be fresher if they still have their tops on, but before cooking, trim away the woody ends. 
A vertical photo of an air fryer basket filled with green beans that have been coated in panko and air fried to a crispy, rich golden brown. The basket is is sitting on a trivet over a beige-ish gray striped napkin that has two rolls sitting on top.

Frequently Asked Questions about Panko-Crusted Green Beans

Can I store leftover crispy green beans?

Because these are crunchy, they’ll be best right after they’re cooked, as they’ll get soggy in the fridge. You can reheat leftovers in the air fryer, but we’ve found that leftover beans are never quite as tasty as right after they’re cooked.

How else can I season air fryer green beans?

We like this simple seasoning blend, but you could easily mix it up. Try some heat with chili powder or red pepper flakes, or add dried herbs like oregano, basil, or thyme. 

Can I skip the steaming step?

Quickly steaming the beans in the microwave ensures that they come out of the air fryer fully cooked. Otherwise, the panko will be crisp and cooked before the beans are tender, so we don’t recommend skipping that step unless your green beans are extremely narrow.

Can I use Italian breadcrumbs?

Panko breadcrumbs are larger and flakier than fine Italian or regular breadcrumbs, so they become crunchier in the air fryer and make a better coating for green beans. But in a pinch, you can substitute regular or seasoned breadcrumbs. 

A close-up photo of a set of tongs grabbing the hot green beans, preparing to serve them. The beans have an appetizing color and are suspended above the rectangular white platter of beans.

MORE Side Dish Recipes

Try these other quick veggie-forward side dishes next:

Recipe Adjustments Based on Your Air Fryer

We tested this recipe in an Instant Pot Vortex Plus basket-style air fryer and an Instant Pro Crisp pressure cooker with air fryer lid.

To make this recipe in a basket-style air fryer: No changes needed to the time or temperature.

To make this recipe in a pressure cooker/air fryer combo: No changes needed to the time or temperature.

However, since the round inner pot has less surface area, you’ll need to either cook your beans in layers or use a multi-layered pressure cooker insert. We tested these beans with the insert it came with, and while all the beans were well done, the beans on the top were darker and the beans underneath were much paler since they were exposed to less air.

We really like this dehydrator rack; when we tested the beans with them, all layers came out crispy and similarly colored.

An overhead shot of a small rectangular white serving platter filled with golden brown air fryed green beans. A small pair of metal tongs are resting on the lower left corner of the platter. A small bowl of salt with a spoon is visible above and to the right of the platter, and a small individual round plate filled with a few green beans is visible half out of frame on the center right of the platter. The dishes are resting on a light beige and white striped towel.

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A side-profile view of the air fryer green beans sitting on a white rectangular platter. A pinch pot of salt and some rolls are visible in the background.

Air Fryer Green Beans with Panko Breadcrumbs

Servings: 6
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Air Fryer Green Beans are super crunchy, thanks to a thick coating of panko breadcrumbs and packed with flavor from a simple seasoning blend.
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Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 8 ounces green beans washed, trimmed, and dried
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 egg whites (large eggs)
  • 1 tablespoon milk or water
  • Extra salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, place the green beans and a tablespoon or two of water. Cover and microwave on High for 2 minutes to steam the beans. Drain through a colander and cool to room temperature.
  • Select Air Fry and preheat to 375°F.
  • While the air fryer is preheating, in a wide, shallow dish, mix together the panko and parmesan cheese. In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. In a third shallow dish, whisk together the egg whites and milk.
  • Dredge the green beans in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. A few beans at a time, gently shake off the extra flour and dip in the eggs. Coat with the bread crumbs and gently press to make sure they adhere. Lay the beans on the cooking basket in a single layer.
  • Spray the tops with vegetable oil spray. Fry until golden brown and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes, turning about halfway through. Remove from the air fryer.
  • Add additional salt and pepper to taste before serving. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Our beans were just slightly over #2 pencil thickness. The two minutes of steaming in the microwave ensured the centers were cooked to crisp-tender without burning the panko. 
**The extra step of salting the beans at the end made a huge difference in how we enjoyed the beans. I wouldn’t skip it.

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 486mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 338IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 1mg

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