Southern Green Beans

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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!

Pot with green beans and bacon and a wooden spoon.

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
  • Onion
  • 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
  • Butter
Ingredients for Southern Green Beans

How To Make Southern Style Green Beans

Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

Only 10 minutes of prep, and one pan is needed to make country green beans!

  1. 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!
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 

FAQs

How do you prepare fresh green beans?

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.

When are green beans in season?

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.

Serving Suggestions

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.

Of course, this is also an excellent way to prepare some veggies for Thanksgiving or Easter. They will go great with your favorite turkey recipe or baked ham.

Large pot of southern green beans, a small serving lifted up by a wooden spoon.

Variations

  • 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.

Two small bowls of Southern Style Green Beans, forks and a large pot.
  • 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

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Southern Green Beans

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Southern Green Beans are simmered low in chicken broth until they are nice and tender. Crispy bacon adds the perfect texture to the dish.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 294kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

Using 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.
Using 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.
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.

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 10gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 851mgPotassium: 636mgFiber: 7gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1906IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 105mgIron: 3mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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