Southern Green Beans

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My Southern Green Beans recipe is packed with deliciousness from the bacon, seasonings, and love used to cook them. So if you’re searching for an excellent southern green bean dish, then this is the one for you!

Southern Green Beans

Growing up in the south, I believe learning how to clean green beans properly is a right of passage. You could be as young as three years old learning how to snap green beans. Although, if the sous chef is that young, you definitely will have the scrap pieces of the green beans in your bowl of cleaned green beans.

As a kid, I learned a lot about cooking green beans from various people by how they served them. My mom showed me how to do it one way, my grandma showed me another, and the cafeteria ladies taught me some other methods. Ultimately, I developed my own unique way of cooking green beans that I enjoy.

One of the things I like best about cooking green beans is that there are so many different ways to do it. You can fry, steam, saute, or bake them. And each method produces delicious results.

My favorite way to cook green beans is southern style, by sauteing them in a little bit of bacon grease, onion, and garlic. It gives them tons of flavor and keeps them crunchy instead of mushy, and everyone seems to love how I prepare them.

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What are Southern Green Beans?

Southern-style green beans are a staple side dish in the southern part of the United States. They are made with fresh green beans, bacon, and seasonings and are usually served alongside fried chicken, barbecue, or whatever your heart desires.

Key Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make a pot of amazing southern-style green beans.

Fresh Green Beans

Authentic southern green beans are always made with fresh green beans (string beans), never with canned green beans. You can possibly get away with frozen green beans, though.

Bacon

The bacon does multiple things, it provides a smokey flavor, releases bacon grease to cook in, and adds texture to the finished dish.

Onion

I love onions and green beans together; the sweetness of a yellow onion plays well with fresh green beans.

Garlic

A little garlic goes a long way to making these green beans amazing!

Chicken Broth

I recommend only using low-sodium chicken broth, we already have bacon, and it’s naturally salty from the curing process.

Seasonings

These would not be special if it weren’t for the kosher salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic. You can add a little cayenne to your food if you’re like me and love a little kick.

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How to make the Best Southern Style Green Beans?

Southern green beans are a delicious and comforting dish that is perfect for any occasion. Here’s how you make a pot of magic.

Step 1: Rendering your bacon is a crucial step, so start with a cold skillet and a little bit of oil to help the bacon release its fat. Cook until it reaches how you cook your bacon, then remove bacon from the skillet. I love crispy bacon!

Step 2: Add butter to bacon drippings and onion, cook for a couple of minutes. Then stir in your garlic. Soon as you smell the garlic, add green beans, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and chicken broth. Cover and cook for 8 minutes until green beans are tender. Serve hot and garnish with bacon bits.

This steaming technique makes the best green beans because the steam from the chicken broth slowly breaks down the green beans while at the same time helping the green beans turn bright green and retain a great bite. Also, it’s ready in 20 minutes.

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Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are some things to keep in mind while preparing this amazing green bean recipe.

  • Only use fresh green beans, frozen can work, but canned green beans will turn into mush.
  • If you don’t feel like snapping the ends off each one. Lay the green beans evenly on a cutting board and chop off the stem piece.
  • If you don’t eat pork like me, beef bacon is the next best thing!
  • Turkey bacon will not render any fat, so use double the amount of oil to help make it crispy.
  • You can use a white onion or yellow onion. If you like a sweeter southern-style green bean, use a Vidalia onion.
  • You can use chicken broth and chicken stock interchangeably.
  • Try adding some crushed red pepper flakes to add very mild spice to your dish.
  • Feel free to use any oil you have at home; avocado and olive oil are the healthiest options.
  • If you cannot find your lid to cover the skillet, cover it with a piece of foil.
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FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about making southern green beans.

How do you clean and cook fresh green beans?

To clean them, just rinse them off in cold water, then remove then snap off the stem that was connected to the vine.
 
My favorite way to cook them is by steaming them in a skillet with chicken stock for 5-6 minutes until they are bright green and tender.

How long does it take to cook green beans?

The answer varies depending on how you’re cooking them. For fresh green beans, it takes about 5-7 minutes to cook. Frozen green beans will take about 10 minutes to cook until they are tender. If you’re using canned green beans, it is best to avoid them because they will turn into mush in about 3 minutes.

When should I buy fresh green beans?

Fresh green beans are available from March-November, which is why they’re always on the table for Thanksgiving.

What can I add to green beans for flavor?

There are many different ways to add flavor to southern green beans. I like to keep it simple by using bacon grease, onion, fresh garlic, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.

Are Southern green beans healthy?

My southern-style green beans are healthy-ish. Depending on the type and how much bacon you use. Your recipe can go from delicious and good for you to something your doctor wouldn’t be happy for you to be eating.

Do you have to blanch green beans before sauteing?

No, you do not have to blanch green beans before sauteing them. It’s totally an unnecessary step.

How to store southern green beans?

Place leftover green beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
 
Place leftover green beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To reheat, add green beans and 1/4 cup chicken broth in a skillet, cover, and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes.

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More Recipes

If you love southern-style green beans, you’ll love these other side dishes.

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Before getting started, here are the steps I use to get organized. 

Step 1: Put all the ingredients for your southern green beans on the counter.

Step 2: Measure everything out.

Step 3: Make sure you have a large skillet with a lid to hold the green beans.

Step 4: Follow the recipe and get ready for the best southern-style green beans you’ve ever had.

So, if you’re looking for an excellent southern green beans recipe that you can rely on all year long, look no further! And don’t forget to leave a comment and star rating after you try this recipe. I’d love to know how it turns out for you.

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Southern Green Beans

Kenneth Temple
My Southern Green Beans recipe is packed with deliciousness from the bacon, seasonings, and love used to cook them. So if you're searching for an excellent southern green bean dish, then this is the one for you!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 4 persons
Calories 172 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 4 strips of beef bacon chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh green beans stems snapped
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken stock

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, add oil and bacon, turn heat to medium and cook occasionally stirring until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon from the skillet. In the same skillet, add butter and onions, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 15 seconds until fragrant. Stir in green beans, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chicken stock. Cover and cook for 8 minutes until green beans are tender. Serve hot and garnish with bacon bits.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are some things to keep in mind while preparing this amazing green bean recipe.
  • Only use fresh green beans, frozen can work, but canned green beans will turn into mush.
  • If you don’t feel like snapping the ends off each one. Lay the green beans evenly on a cutting board and chop off the stem piece.
  • If you don’t eat pork like me, beef bacon is the next best thing!
  • Turkey bacon will not render any fat, so use double the amount of oil to help make it crispy.
  • You can use a white onion or yellow onion. If you like a sweeter southern-style green bean, use a Vidalia onion.
  • You can use chicken broth and chicken stock interchangeably.
  • Try adding some crushed red pepper flakes to add very mild spice to your dish.
  • Feel free to use any oil you have at home; avocado and olive oil are the healthiest options.
  • If you cannot find your lid to cover the skillet, cover it with foil.
Storage
Place leftover green beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. To reheat, add green beans and 1/4 cup chicken broth in a skillet, cover, and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 7gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 909mgPotassium: 506mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1268IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 2mg
Keyword canned green beans, fresh green beans, green bean recipe, green beans southern, southern green beans, southern style green beans
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