How Many Cups of Fresh Green Beans Equal A Pound?

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I have come to find that a kitchen scale is one of those things that would come in REALLY handy when canning. Almost every canning recipe I’ve looked at measures in pounds. Like right now I’m up to my eyeballs in green beans, but I have no idea how many pounds I have.

So, how many cups of fresh green beans equals a pound? In most cases, 3 cups of fresh green beans trimmed (meaning the tips have been broken off) equals approximately 1 pound. That’s for fresh green beans only though, as the calculations change a bit for frozen or canned beans.

I’ll break things down a little further for you in the hopes that you find this information useful in your canning endeavors.

3 cups of green beans in a measuring cup

How Many Cups of Fresh Green Beans Equals a Pound

If you grow your own green beans, you probably already know that homegrown green beans are no match for store bought ones. Although I love the taste of fresh green beans the most, canning green beans is a great way to preserve them so that they last long into the winter months.

Whether you need a cup of fresh green beans for your recipe, or need to know how many cups of green beans to equal a pound for your favorite canning recipe, you’ll find this information helpful.

Before measuring your benas, be sure to trim them first. This involves cutting off the needs of every green bean (in some cases, you may also have to pull the string out of the middle of the bean). Chop the green beans into one-inch sections, unless your recipe requires you to use the full, long beans instead.

Naturally, you will likely find that trimmed green beans will fit better into a cup than the full-length ones. Whole green beans simply take up more space. If you’re working with whole beans, you will probably find that about 40 beans make up a pound, with three and a half to four cups equalling a full pound.

With trimmed beans, however, you’ll find that;s about three cups of beans per pound. And if you’re using finely chopped beans, you’ll use 2 ¾ cups for a pound.

Working with grams? Since gram is a weight measurement – unlike a cup – it’s pretty easy to figure out that one pound of green beans equals 454 grams. Since these measurements are both weight-based, it doesn’t matter whether your beans are fresh, frozen, or canned.

When you are measuring your green beans, remember that cooked beans will shrink a bit. Every cup of fresh green beans will reduce by about three tablespoons once it’s been cooked. Therefore, you should cook about 1 ¼ cup of fresh green beans to make sure you have enough per pound.

The same goes for frozen green beans or canned green beans. If you are cooking something like green bean casserole and you plan on using frozen beans, you’ll need to use more beans since they’ll shrink a bit as they thaw.

green bean harvest

How Long Do Green Beans Last?

If you’ve just harvested or brought home from the farmer’s market a bunch of green beans, you might wonder how long they’ll last before they need to be used up.

You can prolong the shelf life of your green beans by smashing them in the refrigerator. In fact, storing them whole and unwashed in an airtight container in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator is the best way to keep them fresh.

Once they’ve become damp, they’ll start to mold. When stored properly in the refrigerator, they should last at least a week. I don’t recommend storing them at room temperature, as they’ll dry and wither quickly in this fashion.

Green beans can also be frozen for up to eight months. When you can green beans, they’ll last indefinitely (often for a couple of years or more).

How to Tell if Green Beans are Fresh

The easiest way to tell if your green beans are fresh is to attempt to snap one of them in half. When they’re starting to go bad, they’ll become dry and limp.

Fresh beans will snap apart easily when they are bent and produce a satisfying snapping noise. An older pod will be rubbery and only bend, not break, when you attempt to bend it.

There are more than 100 types of snap beans you can grow, including pole beans, bush beans, and string beans. They can be any color, from green to yellow or even purple. Therefore, color is not necessarily a reliable indicator of whether your beans have gone bad.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that green beans are fresh if they are still the proper color for their type, have a good flavor, and don’t have any defects like brown spots.

Once your green beans develop brown spots or withered tips, they’re starting to spoil. A telltale sign that they need to be tossed is if they have become slimy or wet. You should toss them or throw them in the compost (or to your pigs or chickens, if you have any!).

Knowing How Many Cups of Fresh Green Beans Equals a Pound: Vital for Preservation!

If you’re going to use any of these tips above to preserve your green beans, you need to know how many cups equals a pound. Otherwise, you won’t have any clue how many green beans you actually have on hand!

By minding these measurements and following these tips, you’ll be well-equipped for any preservation method you have in mind. Happy harvest!


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11 thoughts on “How Many Cups of Fresh Green Beans Equal A Pound?”

  1. The old pint = a pound is Bull, I reluctantly relied on it as the Ball canning Blue Book Guide to Preserving page 111, reads that 4- 1/2 – 7-1/2 lbs. of Green Beans = 6 pints. That’s a 3 lb. difference, So, I went in the middle at 6lbs. Which for 6 pints as the recipe states, would be 1 lb. per pint. WRONG! I couldn’t even get a 1/2 lb. to fit in a wide mouth pint. It averaged out to .40 lbs. per pint. Moral of the story, Don’t believe everything you read.

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  2. Or try my grandmother’s saying: A pint’s a pound, the world around. It’s ballpark, but I used it successfully before I got a scale.

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  3. Hi Kendra,
    a pound is a weight measurement. A cup is a volume measurement. These two are not equal at all! Think of it this way- by weight: which is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?

    Neither! They are both the same because it is by weight.

    Now do it by volume: which is heavier, a cup of feathers or a cup of lead? Of course, the lead is heavier. Does this make sense?

    Cups are generally used to measure fluid ounces. That is, liquids. MOST liquids are 8 fluid ounces per cup.

    I hope this is helpful. To be a great cook (as I’m sure you are), you should buy a scale (cheap!) and weigh things instead of using volume measurements. Have a great day!

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    • She obviously knows this, that pound and cup are separate types of measurements. The point is, if I don’t have a scale, approximately what will the volume be?

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  4. Wonderful article. So informative. I’m growing bush greenbeans in pots for first time. I was wondering how many beans to a bush.

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  5. Try canning three bean salad if you like that sort of stuff. Easy recipes on line and a nice salad to eat all winter.

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  6. I never knew that. Good idea! I looked at canning stuff today and thinking when we get to our place to start canning.MMM…..

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