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Runner Beans

The runner bean is a member of the Legume family that originated in South America. The long pods are pale green in colour with a rough appearance. They have a more robust flavour than French beans and are distinct from green beans in several ways: they are generally much larger with long, flattened pods; their skin is rough textured, although in young beans this softens during cooking; and they contain purple beans within the pod. They have a distinctive flavour.

 Runner beans are a good source of Vitamins A and C and folic acid.

Nutritional Information


Nutrient   Raw Cooked
Energy kJ 93 76
  Kcal 22 18
Protein g 1.6 1.2
Carbohydrate g 3.2 2.3
Fat g 0.4 0.5


Preparing and Using

Always buy young beans as the pods of larger beans are likely to be tough. The pods should feel firm and fresh; if you can see the outline of the bean inside the pod it is likely to be fibrous.Use as soon as possible after purchase.

Runner beans need to be topped and tailed and may also need stringing before use. They should be sliced lengthways before cooking and plunged into boiling salted water and cooked until al dente.

Runner beans are used in salads as well as being served as a vegetable. They are added to stews, cassoulets, soups and broths. They are also served as a vegetable side dish, mixed with other beans such as flageolet beans or mixed with lardons of bacon. Flavours and ingredients that go well with runner beans include tomatoes, garlic, cream, lemon juice,bacon and white wine.

Learn more about Irish produce

Find out what time of year is best to purchase Irish vegetables, fruit and herbs.