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Southern Green Beans

These Southern Green Beans are slow simmered on the stove for a tender and flavorful side dish that will become a favorite at your dinner table.

If you need ideas for the perfect side dishes to go with these country style green beans we love to serve them with: Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast, Baked Parmesan Chicken Legs or Hamburger Potato Casserole.

Green Beans in white serving bowl on wooden platter.

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Why You Will Love This Side Dish

  • Full of flavor! Seasoned with bacon, onion and garlic, these are delicious southern style green beans.
  • Simple Ingredients. Nothing complicated here. The ingredients are easy to find in your local grocery store and you probably already have some on hand.
  • Classic Southern side dish - These flavorful green beans are soft and tender with so much flavor and are a favorite at the dinner table or at potlucks and holiday meals.

These old fashioned southern green beans are a simple side dish that the whole family will love. I grew up eating these and have the best childhood memories of home cooked meals served around the dining room table.

Recipe Variations

This recipe is easily adaptable. Here are a few variations to try.

  • To make it vegetarian leave out the bacon and use olive oil to sauté the onion and garlic.
  • Make it spicy by adding some red pepper flakes.
  • Cook the green beans with some halved red potatoes. This is a great addition and the perfect combination of flavors.
  • For more flavor variations try adding different herbs such as rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme.

My mom was a wonderful cook and made everything from scratch and her Southern-style green beans were a favorite side dish when I was growing up. But she was one of those cooks that didn't measure anything. So this recipe is as close to hers as I can remember. Hope you enjoy it!

Green Beans in white serving bowl on wooden board.

Ingredients

See printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients for making Green Beans set out on counter.
  • Bacon - Adds great flavor and texture. Use your favorite brand bacon. Thick-cut bacon can also be used.
  • Onion - White or yellow onion can be used in this recipe.
  • Garlic - First choice is to use fresh minced garlic but you can use jarred minced garlic if that is all you have.
  • Fresh Green Beans - I use fresh green beans but you can use frozen green beans if that is what you have on hand. I do not recommend using canned green beans.
  • Chicken Broth - You can use low sodium if you prefer and you can use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
  • Butter - Use real butter not margarine for best flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

How To Make Southern Green Beans

  1. Heat a large saucepan (or large Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the bacon and onions and sauté until the bacon is almost done, then add the garlic. Continue cooking until the bacon is crispy.
  2. Remove the bacon and onion mixture from the pan, leaving the bacon grease drippings in the bottom of the pan. Store bacon and onion mixture in refrigerator until needed.
  3. Add the chicken broth and green beans to the pot with bacon drippings. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are tender.
  4. Add the bacon mixture and butter to the pan and stir to mix then season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the green beans and serve. (I like to reserve a cup of the liquid with the green beans for reheating leftovers.)

Recipe Tips

  • Sometimes my mom would use a ham hock instead of bacon when cooking green beans. Either one will work. I usually use bacon since I have it on hand all the time.
  • You can use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
  • Don't overcook the green beans or they will become mushy. Cook them just until tender.
  • Wash and trim the ends of the green beans before cooking. You can trim by snapping off the ends by hand or use a knife if you prefer.
  • Start with fresh green beans. Look for ones that are bright green and firm. They should snap easily when bent.

How To Store

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To Reheat: For best results warm on the stovetop over medium heat. I like to add some of the reserved liquid to reheat.

Green Beans with bacon in white serving bowl.

Recipe FAQs

Do fresh green beans need to be soaked before cooking?

It is not necessary to soak fresh green beans before cooking.

Do you wash fresh green beans before or after snapping?

Wash and rinse after snapping or trimming the ends off the green beans.

Can I cook these in a slow cooker?

Yes you can! First cook the bacon, onion and garlic in a skillet then store in refrigerator until needed. Then add the bacon drippings to the slow cooker. Add the green beans and broth and cook on LOW for 4 hours OR until the beans are soft and tender. The last 15 minutes of cooking time add in the bacon, onion, garlic and butter. Once done add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

More Side Dish Recipes

Here are some more delicious side dish recipes you might like to try!

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I hope you enjoy these Southern Green Beans! If you try this recipe, please come back and rate it and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from you!

Green Beans in white serving bowl on wooden platter.

Southern Green Beans

Author: Judy Wilson
These Southern Green Beans are slow simmered on the stove for a tender and flavorful side dish that will become a favorite at your dinner table.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large saucepan (or Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the bacon and onions and sauté until the bacon is almost done, then add the garlic. Continue cooking until the bacon is crispy.
  • Remove the bacon and onion mixture from the pan, leaving the drippings in the bottom of the pan. Store bacon and onion mixture in refrigerator until needed.
  • Add the chicken broth and green beans to the pot. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender.
  • Add the bacon mixture and butter to the pan and stir to mix then season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the green beans and serve. (I like to reserve a cup of the liquid with the green beans for reheating leftovers.)

Notes

Start with fresh green beans. Look for ones that are bright green and firm. They should snap easily when bent.
Don't overcook the green beans or they will become mushy. Cook them just until tender.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Southern Green Beans
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Lisa Weidknecht

Wednesday 22nd of January 2014

Ah yes, just how we like them too!

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