How many cups of green beans are in a 15 oz can?

Green beans are a nutrient-dense vegetable that can be a healthy addition to many meals. When purchasing canned green beans, it is useful to know how many cups worth are contained in the can so you can plan recipes accordingly. A standard 15 ounce can of green beans contains approximately 2 to 2 1/2 cups of beans. The exact amount can vary slightly depending on the size and variety of the beans.

What Size is a Standard Can of Green Beans?

Canned vegetables, fruits, beans, etc. are commonly available in standardized sizes to make meal planning easier. For green beans, some of the most common can sizes are:

  • 15 oz
  • 14.5 oz
  • 28 oz (typically 2 14-15 oz servings)

The 15 oz size is generally considered the standard, typical can of green beans that many recipes call for. Some brands may be slightly smaller at 14.5 oz or slightly larger but 15 oz is the general reference size.

Why the Small Variations in Can Sizes?

Although canned good sizes are meant to be standardized, there can be slight variations from brand to brand. Some reasons for this include:

  • Slightly different sized beans – Some varieties or batches may be a bit larger or smaller
  • Different can materials/shapes – Slight changes in can dimensions
  • Fill levels – Cans are filled by volume but beans may settle during processing
  • Manufacturing tolerances – Allowable variances from the stated size

So a 15 oz can may hold 14.5-16 oz in reality. But most recipes are flexible enough to accommodate this range when measuring by cups.

How Many Cups are in a 15 oz Can of Green Beans?

Okay, now to actually answer the original question. A standard 15 oz can of green beans contains approximately:

2 to 2 1/2 cups of green beans

Here are some more details:

  • 1 cup of canned green beans weighs approximately 5 oz by weight.
  • A 15 oz can contains roughly 3 (5 oz) cup equivalents.
  • But beans are bulky, so when measured in a cup they settle in and don’t reach the full 3 cup mark.
  • Most 15 oz cans will give you 2 heaping to 2.5 level cups of beans.

The reason for the range has to do with how tightly packed the beans are and how much liquid is included in the can.

Does Liquid vs. Drained Beans Matter?

Canned vegetables often include some liquid from the canning process. For green beans, this may be simple water, salt water, or other preservatives.

When measuring cup equivalents, you get slightly different results for drained vs. undrained beans:

  • Drained: Removes all liquid, gives you the most green bean volume per cup – around 2.5 cups.
  • Undrained: Leaves all liquid, beans measure more loosely – closer to 2 cups.

So the 2 to 2.5 cup range accounts for both possibilities. Recipes may specify drained or undrained.

Metric Volume Equivalents

For those using metric measurements, here are some equivalent volumes for a 15 oz can:

  • 1 cup = approximately 240 ml
  • 2 to 2.5 cups = 480 to 600 ml

A 15 oz can holds approximately 450 to 560 ml when converting the cup measurements.

Sample Recipes Using 15 oz Canned Green Beans

To give some practical examples, here are a couple recipes that call for a 15 oz can of green beans:

Green Bean Casserole


  • 1 (15 oz) can green beans, drained
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups French fried onions, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 2-qt baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix green beans, soup, and milk. Pour into baking dish.
  3. Bake 25 min. Top with 1 cup fried onions and bake 5 more min. Top with remaining onions.
  4. Bake 2-3 more min until onions are golden brown. Enjoy!

Green Bean and Tomato Salad


  • 1 (15 oz) can green beans, drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine green beans, tomatoes, and onion.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Cups Per Can Size Comparison

To summarize, here is a simple chart comparing some common can sizes and their approximate cup yields:

Can Size Cups
14.5 oz 1 3/4 to 2 cups
15 oz 2 to 2 1/2 cups
28 oz 4 to 5 cups

As you can see, the 15 oz can falls right in the middle with 2 to 2.5 cups per can.

Tips for Measuring Beans

Here are some quick tips for getting accurate measurements when working with canned green beans:

  • Use a dry measuring cup for solids like beans, not a liquid measuring cup.
  • Lightly shake the can before opening to redistribute beans.
  • For drained beans, pour into a colander and drain thoroughly before measuring.
  • For undrained beans, measure right from the can including liquid.
  • Heap beans loosely into cup without packing down.
  • Level off the top surface with a knife for an exact measurement.

Following these tips will help provide uniform, reliable cup measurements.


So in summary, a standard 15 oz can of green beans contains approximately 2 to 2 1/2 cups of beans. This accounts for minor variations in can sizes, drained vs undrained beans, and how tightly they are packed. With this handy guide, you can easily substitute canned green beans in recipes and plan the right quantity for cooking. Canned beans are a nutritious pantry staple, so keep plenty of 15 oz cans on hand for quick and healthy meals.

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