This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
The key to delicious Southern Green Beans is cooking them low and slow until tender and cooking in chicken broth for extra flavor. Crispy bacon adds the perfect texture to the dish.
Instead of steaming the green beans or boiling them in water, they’re simmered in a flavorful chicken broth mixture that adds so much flavor! These Southern Style Green Beans are the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving!
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Recipe
- 10 Minutes Of Prep – Most of the cooking is completely hands-off!
- Crispy Bacon – There is something about crispy bacon that pairs so well with tender veggies.
- Super Tender – Cooking the green beans low and slow gives them the best soft and tender texture.
Ingredients For Southern Green Beans
Some simple ingredients transform fresh green beans into a flavorful side dish.
- Bacon – It’s best to use thick-cut bacon
- Garlic Cloves – You can also use the minced garlic in a jar, but fresh is best.
- Fresh Green Beans – Washed and the ends trimmed. See the variations section for how to use frozen or canned.
- Chicken Broth – or stock
- Spices – Red Pepper Flakes and Pepper
How To Make Southern Style Green Beans
See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Only 10 minutes of prep, and one pan is needed to make country green beans!
- Cook Bacon and Onion – Heat a large pan over medium and cook the bacon until mostly browned. Add the onion and cook with the bacon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the garlic for about a minute. Transfer the mixture to a heat-safe bowl. Do not wipe out the pan!
- Add Beans and Broth – Add the trimmed green beans to the pan and pour in enough broth to barely cover the beans, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper flakes.
- Simmer – Cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Check for tenderness, and continue to simmer if needed. It may take up to an additional 30 minutes.
- Drain and Serve – Drain the chicken broth and return the beans to the pan. Add the bacon mixture and butter and stir to melt and coat completely. Serve hot.
To prepare fresh green beans for cooking, they need to be washed and trimmed. After washing, use a sharp knife to trim off all of the ends. It’s easy to do this to a handful of them at once.
You can find fresh green beans at the grocery store year-round, but you can find them in season at farmers’ markets from May to October.
Southern green beans are a great side dish pairing with other southern classics like crispy fried chicken or tender baby back ribs. If you want to round out the meal with more sides, we love fluffy mashed potatoes, slow cooker baked beans, or corn on the cob.
- Frozen Green Beans – You can swap frozen green beans for fresh ones. The recipe will remain the same – simmer them in the broth for 45 minutes to an hour until very tender.
- Canned Green Beans – Instead of fresh or frozen, you can also use canned green beans. Make sure to drain and rinse them before adding and simmer until very tender.
- Other Spices – This recipe is super flavorful, but you can add other spices to mix it up. Another favorite is a cajun spice blend to add a kick.
Storage and Reheating
Storage – Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheating – For best results, reheat in a pan on the stove over medium. If needed, you can add a splash of water, broth, or a little more butter to remoisten them.
- Just cover the beans – When adding the broth, you only need to add enough broth to cover the green beans.
- Simmer low and slow – Cooking the green beans slowly over low heat gives them the best texture. Don’t try to rush the process by boiling them instead.
More Recipes Using Green Beans
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Green Bean Casserole with Bacon
- French Onion Chicken Casserole with Green Beans
- Mediterranean Green Bean Salad
- Garlic Green Beans
- Honey Lemon Chicken and Green Beans Stir Fry
Southern Green Beans
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon diced
- 1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 medium garlic cloves minced
- 2 pounds fresh green beans washed and ends trimmed
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth plus more if needed
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until mostly browned. Add onion and cook with the bacon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in garlic for about a minute. Transfer the bacon and onion mixture to a heat safe bowl. Do not wipe out the pan.
- Add the trimmed green beans to the pan. Pour in enough chicken broth to barely cover the beans, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add in red pepper flakes.
- Cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Check for tenderness, and continue to simmer if needed, up to 30 minutes more until beans are soft but not mushy.
- Drain the chicken broth and return beans to the saucepan. Add bacon and butter and stir to melt and coat completely. Serve hot.