Southern Green Beans are slow-cooked string beans combined with onion, garlic, and crisp bacon. The end result is heavenly with scrumptious tender melt-in-your-mouth green beans.
These are not to be confused with northern-style green beans, which are cooked crisp tender, sometimes with crispy bacon or with just a little bit of butter, garlic, salt, and pepper.
My family adores these Southern Green Beans! Boy, do I love some Southern cooking!! Southern cooking brings comfort, like fluffy slippers, to cold feet. Southern cooking is a cure-all for whatever ails you and may be the best regional cooking ever!!! These Southern Green Beans are no exception to that rule. I could quite literally eat these with every meal, perhaps even breakfast. If you have never tried these, you MUST give them a whirl.
As with most good southern comfort food, all you really need is a little time as they simmer for an hour or so. Now isn’t that how the south rolls like a fine-oiled machine!! Now these Southern Green Beans combine fresh green beans, smoked bacon, and onion into the most mouth-watering side imaginable. Prep is a breeze, and your family will be singing your praises.
How to cook fresh green beans southern style.
Folks, it really does not get much easier than this. First, It takes a little patience while they cook, but I am sure you have other chores to attend to. Then brown your bacon, then add your onions and garlic. Remove these and set them aside. Using the same pan, add your trimmed green beans, chicken broth, and seasoning. Simmer for at least one hour and drain chicken broth. Add bacon, onion, and garlic to the green beans and heat over low for a couple of minutes.
How to season Southern Green Beans.
Seasoning can be very personal with people, so here are some options for my whole spectrum of readers. For those of you who like a lot of flavor (myself included), add some Cajun seasoning. You can include anything from a one-half teaspoon to a full teaspoon. Readers with a more sensitive palate that want to tone it down can add a couple of pinches of crushed red pepper and about a half teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper and salt. For those of you who really like it toned way down, just one-half teaspoon each of fresh cracked pepper and salt should be enough seasoning. Any combination of the above is good as well as most people know their seasoning tolerance.
What to serve with Southern Green Beans
Oh heavens. The possibilities are indeed endless.
- Fried chicken and mashed potatoes
- Oven-baked beef brisket and mac n cheese
- Honey ham and baked beans
- Smoked sausage and cheesy grits
- Barbecued ribs and corn on the cob
- Fried catfish and okra
- Pork tenderloin and macaroni salad
These amazing Southern Green Beans are easy, dependable, and delicious. What are you waiting for? These are a must-try. Put the ingredients on your shopping list today!!
Other southern recipes you will love!
Easy Southern Style Green Beans
Now, these easy Southern Green Beans combine fresh green beans, smoked bacon, and onion into the most mouth-watering side imaginable.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Vegetable
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Southern
- 4 slices bacon diced
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 lbs fresh green beans trimmed
- 2 1/2 – 3-1/2 cups chicken broth
- Optional 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (please see notes)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until almost completely brown. Add onion and cook for additional 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and add garlic; cook for 30 seconds. Remove the bacon/onion mixture to a bowl. Do not wash the saucepan.
- Add green beans and enough chicken broth to cover the green beans. Add Cajun seasoning.
- Bring to a low boil. Cover and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain chicken broth, return bacon/onion mixture, and heat for 1-2 minutes. Add butter, stir, and serve.
Readers with a more sensitive palate that want to tone it down can add a couple of pinches of crushed red pepper and about a half teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper and salt. For those of you who really like it toned way down, just one-half teaspoon each of fresh cracked pepper and salt should be enough seasoning. Any combination of the above is good as well as most people know their seasoning tolerance.
Keywords: southern green beans, southern style green beans, green beans, southern side, vegetable, side, slow cooked southern beans
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This post was originally published on November 16, 2016, and was republished on October 24, 2018, with new content.https://www.smalltownwoman.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Beth-1.pdf
Hi! What would be the cooking time it made in a crock pot?
Sorry about the delayed response. Cook on low for 6 – 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.
I’m pretty sure bacon makes everything better. I’m always looking for ways to spice up the weeknight veggies. Thanks for this!
I found this to make for thanksgiving and was wondering if I can make it tonight and if so will it be okay to leave some broth in or will it make the bacon too soggy? My family loves the broth from green beans but I didn’t want to ruin it sitting overnight
Sorry about the delay. I do not think I would add the bacon and onion until shortly before serving, but the green bean portion of the recipe could be made in advance.
Can’t wait to try these! Yum! If I only have frozen green beans, how would the recipe instructions change?
A slightly shortened cooking time.
These green beans were really tasty. Can’t wait to make these again!
We love green beans and this looks like a delicious dish! I will have to try your recipe. Sounds like such a flavorful combination of ingredients.
It is very flavorful. Enjoy!!
Oh man, I can taste these through the screen. It’s been so long since I had good green beans like this… I almost forgot they were in existence!
I really love these green beans! They are very tasty. Thank you for sharing their recipe.
The pleasure is all mine!
Such a great recipe. I love these Southern green beans. Sometimes I add cubed potatoes.
Absolutely a great comfort food! Yummy 🙂
Green beans are my husband’s favorite. They go really well with bacon, garlic, and onions. I bet this version is quite tasty! It is a must try!
Perfect timing seeing this- I have been in search of the perfect green bean recipe. This looks delicious.
Thanks Angelica! Enjoy!
Healthy and yummy! These green beans were so tasty, cannot wait to make them again. Thanks for sharing.
This is almost exactly how my family makes them, but I never tried cajun seasoning in it! I don’t like bacon so don’t eat it, but my family loves it just like that.
These sound like they would go perfect with the dinner I’m planning tonight! Might have to step out to the store and grab a few things
Thanks Deanna! Enjoy!!
Another great one, they were a bit hit.
Thanks! So glad that you liked them. My son loves them!!
PERFECT… used Better Than Bouillon-Chicken for broth.. works every time .. thanks
The beans came out perfect. I used Virginia ham and half a chili pepper. Thanks!
Thanks for tips Mike! Sounds delicious!
These were excellent! I def will be making this again. I used double the bacon, 1/2 the garlic and half the salt and red pepper instead of the Cajun seasoning. I think the ranch seasoning would be awesome as well. Try these—they would be great for the holidays.
Thanks Mel! So glad that you liked them!
Make these for potluck dinners and everyone loves them. I use about half and half bacon and country ham, give it a try, but cut back on salt addition.
Thanks for the tip Mike!
These were the best green beans I have ever made or eaten. Perini Ranch steak rub is my go to seasoning on pretty much everything (recipe readily available online) and I used that instead of Cajun. So, so good! My husband pronounced it covered dish worthy! 😆
Thanks! So glad that you liked them!
These are so amazing. I wanted to note I added a ranch packet instead of Cajun seasoning because my granny was joining us and can’t have spice. It was a GAME CHANGER! But I love it the original recipe way as well. I make these about 2 times a week and big batches on holidays like today. Mmmmmmm
Thanks Rachel! I will keep that tip in mind and try it.
Can this be made ahead of time and warmed in oven? I was making it for Christmas and was wondering if I could make it tonight.
Opps! I missed this question. Yes they can be made in advance and yes you can use frozen green beans but you might want to cut down on the cooking time a bit. Just cook until they are super tender.
I made this recipe last night and it was delicious! I’m hoping to make it again and am always looking for an excuse to use my slow cooker… could I make it on that? Thanks!
Getting ready to make this today for thanksgiving, I use it every year very delicious.
Thanks Justin! So glad that you like it!
Could this recipe be adapted for a slow cooker ?
Yes you can. Cook the bacon, onions, and garlic separately. Add half the bacon mixture, all the green beans, chicken broth, and Cajun seasoning. Cook on high for 6-8 hours or until the beans are tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans, bacon, and onion. Top with reserved bacon mixture and butter. Make sure you store your reserved bacon mixture in the fridge while the crock pot is cooking the beans.
Hi Beth, did you mean 6-8 hours on low in the crockpot? Thanks!
Yes. I will have to check to see if I reversed them.
Maybe I better look. Is it in a comment?
I’m not sure! Mine have been cooking for 3 1/2 hours and look pretty tender already. So I’m guessing it’s supposed to be low 🙂👍🏻
I made this recipe and it’s delish! I added a little of the bacon grease and a dash of Tabasco. My extended family enjoyed it so much they decided I needed to make it for holiday get togethers.
That sounds like a great plan! Enjoy!!
Can you use the green beans that you cook in the bag for this recipe?
Yes you might need to reduce the cooking time a bit since I believe those are blanched already.
I tried this recipe about 5 months ago. I ate the whole pot myself of course not all at once. But probably could have if I tried. Great recipe will be cooking these green beans again. Didn’t add or subtract anything, thanks for sharing.
My pleasure Anita! So glad that you enjoyed them!!
After cooking the bacon & onion mixture, adding in the chicken broth & green beans do i put it on low heat or keep it at medium low heat? Also do I cook the green beans for 1hr to 1 1/2hr? Seems like while to cook green beans. I never made Southern Green beans before but your recipe looks delicious!! I want to this as a side long with your smother pork chop recipe!! Another recipe looks delicious!! Want to make sure I make your recipe correctly!!
Bring to a slight boil and then cover and turn down to simmer, whichever setting that is for your stove. Yes cooking for 60 to 90 minutes helps give it the right texture and allows the flavors to fully penetrate the green beans. This truly is an amazing recipe. Its cooking at a low temperature for that amount of time with liquid in the pot. Trust me the time is definitely worth it.
This is a terrific recipe. great for potlucks, get-togethers Sunday dinners, or really anytime. I have been making this dish for over 50 years and I got this recipe from my mom. The only thing different we used potatoes.
I got a thick slice of smoky ham in the fridge. My gut says it would be ok instead of the bacon. …
from a Northerner who has finally freed himself from undercooked crispy green beans!
That would be great! Your gut instinct is correct.
I’ve been using this recipe about once per week for quite a while now. I never get tired of green beans. I double the amount of bacon because it’s bacon. Lol.
We love this recipe too and I agree with you about the bacon!
Do you have a preference for what type of beans to use? I grew Kentucky Wonders last year and they were great. Thinking about trying Romano beans this year. I think that’s we used when I was little.
I use whatever green beans I can get that look fresh and smell fresh. You are a lucky dog to have access to all of those delicious beans!
Beth, I am always searching for new ways to make vegetables more exciting. Adding bacon is a sure way to achieve this. Perfect easy side dish. I appreciate this new recipe.
Thanks Kim! You are most welcome!!
Love,love, love these beans! I half the beans but use same amount of bacon, onions and add a bit more garlic. My hubby and I love garlic. Lol. I add minced garlic to the beans while they boil too. Delicious and won’t make them any other way! Thanks for a great recipe!
You are most welcome Christie! So glad that you like them. We love garlic too and usually add a little more to every recipe.
This was really yummy. I made it twice, once as written as part of a cajun dinner, and then I made it a second time as part of an Italian dinner, swapping pancetta for the bacon, red onion for the yellow, and fresh Italian seasonings and red pepper flakes for the cajun spices. It was great both times.
Thanks Judith! I love the tips for the Italian beans. I will give that a whirl!
How do you reheat the next day if I wanted to make them day ahead? Can you just put them in saucepan on low? Do I need to add butter or some chicken brother to reheat?
Thank you! Merry Christmas!
Yes you could reheat them on the stovetop on low with some butter. Merry Christmas to you as well!
Best way to reheat?
Microwave at a reduced power until warmed.
Point on! Raised by a true Tennessee mother and these are perfectly delicious!
What Cajun Seasoning do you prefer? Can’t wait to try!
I use Tony Chachere’s original Creole Seasoning. Enjoy!!
Love love loved this!! Thank you so much for sharing. I didn’t get a chance to make it to the store so unfortunately did not use fresh greens, I used canned instead and they still turned out amazing! Will be using this recipe for now on.
Thanks so much Sarah! So glad that you liked it. It is my favorite way to eat green beans!
I don’t normally like Southern Style green beans but this recipe made me love it! Definitely making it again and again. Thank you for this recipe.
That is awesome Regine! So glad that you liked them! We love them too!
I have never had green beans this way before…usually I just warm up a can of green beans in a pot. But this recipe is at the top of the chart!!!! I have already made these 3 times and we just love, love, love them. Super easy and very tasty. As a matter of fact, I just finished making a pot of them this evening.
Thanks so much Althea! We love them too! They are my favorite way to eat green beans!
I made this for dinner yesterday and it turned out delicious and I will definitely be making this again in the near future. I just added a couple of teaspoons of chicken bullion with my chicken broth and it was great. My boyfriend inhaled them and kept telling me how good they were.. Thank you for this recipe.
You are most welcome Nichole! I am so glad that you liked them! My husband and son just love these green beans.
Perfection! I’m going to add diced potatoes next time just to see. Wish me luck!
Thanks Josey! It will be delicious!
My sister and I both have high cholesterol and blood pressure issues however I find that I just do some adjusting to recipes like this one to make it more nutritious. It still remains delicious. I use only 2 slices of lower sodium bacon. Fry it alone. Dump the grease. Than I add it to the recipe. I also use low sodium chicken broth and unsalted butter . I add more minded garlic to enhance the taste
Great ideas! Thanks for all the great tips. Yes I use low sodium chicken broth and unsalted butter as well,
Christine @ myblissfulmess
So easy and so yummy! This is my new favorite way to eat green beans. This side dish will go great with any main entrée. I used ½ tsp Cajun seasoning and it was not spicy at all, which is perfect for me. It was flavorful and delicious! You could certainly do without the Cajun seasoning if you prefer and it would still be amazing! Just a little prep, and let it cook. It’s that easy! Thank you so much for this recipe!
These have been a hit for the last two years. I’ve cooked 4lb of green beans at a time and need 3-32 oz of chicken stock.
Thanks Bob! Cooking mine right now. I am running a little late this year.
Can I use canned green bean instead of fresh? I made this once before they came out just right. But my boyfriend got this super big can of green beans and I want to use it.
They are not going to as good but you probably need to use up that can. I would simply just do step one and cook the bacon, onion garlic. Then add the drained green beans and a couple pinches of cayenne!
We love green beans, always nice to find other ways to present them.
I don’t cook green beans enough. You’ve now left me in the mood for green beans.
Cooking green beans with bacon is one of my favorite ways to have them. Such a delicious recipe!
I love southern style green beans made like this! So good and flavorful!
Definitely a unique style recipe. Green Beans sounds healthy. Perfect for an awesome Dinner option.
My mother always made these wonderful beans with a chunk of streak-o-lean or fatback. She let the water boil out and let the beans fry in the grease a few minutes. We didn’t know what garlic was but onions and black pepper went in everything. I have a pot cooking right now with just bacon and onions and a dash of Ms Dash. Can’t wait!
Sounds delicious Yvonne! Enjoy! I bet it smells fabulous too!
We’ve been making these beans “Southern style” for years, following as closely as memory is possible the great green beans from the Social Grill in Birmingham long ago. Your recipe is right on! We add a couple of large-dice new potatoes along with the onions, bacon and red pepper flakes right from the start. So glad to see this recipe!
Thanks Brian! So glad that you enjoyed the green beans! They are very delicious!!
This recipe is amazing I am always looking for new things to cook I have make this recipe for at least a year now and my whole family loves it and everyone that I have made it for loves it even picky kids love them. Great job and thanks for sharing.
Thanks so much Carrie! I am so glad that the whole family love it! You made my day with such nice complements!
Have you ever fried the green beans in the bacon fat for a few minutes before adding onion, water, salt & pepper? You don’t need anything else . ? potatoes can be added close to end of 1-2 hours of slow cooking. Now that’s Missouri style. Oh, add the cut up bacon at the end.
I’m glad I read your review that mentioned the potatoes. My grandmother always added potatoes and I completely forgot until you mentioned it. I always loved her cooking so I definitely will be adding potatoes when I make this recipe.
Can I use beef broth instead of chicken?
I have never tried. My gut instinct tells me no but if you have already tried please let me know how they turn out.
Hello if you drain off all liquid how do you reheat them or can you keep in juices in pot
You don’t have to have the liquid in there to reheat on a low temp. You can also throw in 1-2 tablespoons of butter.
Thank you for a delicious way to cook green beans! I ate the leftover green beans for dinner the next night. That’s all, those green beans. They are so good I didn’t crave anything else. I’m going to have green beans a lot more often!
Awesome! So glad that you liked them. We love them too! They are one of our favorites!
Do you dice the bacon before or after cooking? Excited to try this out!
Before but you honestly could do it either way. I am making this tonight for my family! They love them so much!
These were fantastic, thank you!
My pleasure Sarah! So glad that you liked them!!
Can you do this recipe with frozen green beans?
I suppose in a pinch you could however you are going to have to judge the cooking time based on when the beans are soft and tender. I have never done it with frozen beans so I can not advise on the timing.
Now I understand! I’m a Southern California native born to 2 Southern California natives. My mom always made green beans like this. As my sister and I got older we wondered why on earth mom always overcooked the green beans! My mother’s daddy was pure Texan, and he taught my grandmother to cook. Our beans weren’t overcooked, they were Southern Cooked! Thank you for solving our mystery!!
Sure no problem. The nation is definitely divided on how to cook green beans! LOL! I love my beans like this!!
I can’t wait to try this out for Thanksgiving!!
Thanks so much!
I have to thank you for this recipe. I have to tell you, I was very concerned about the simmering time and I had to delete the onion. But this was the first time in 40 years that I was excited to put green beans on the table.
Okay cool. If you are super concerned, than test them after a little while. This recipe is for super tender green beans. My husband adores them. I sure hope you love them as much as we do!
Can you do this in the crock pot ?
Yes I am sure that you can if you brown your bacon separately in a skillet.
Seems like a long time to cook the beans??
Some people love them and some people don’t. Most northerners hate their beans this way and most southerners love them. We live in the Midwest and we love them.
Can you tell me how many servings this is for?
4-6 depending on how many other things are being served with the meal
Great stuff, been making this with the odd potato, carrot or corn on the cob mixed in for about a year now. Always a big hit. Thank you for posting it!
Thanks so much! You are most welcome. My pleasure! Great ideas about your add ins!
This is the best recipe I’ve tried for true Southern Green Beans. Made exactly as instructed. I give it 5 star. Will definitely be in my rotation. Thank you.
Thank you so much! So glad that you loved them! Makes my day!
Do you cook every thing in the bacon grease then after drain it?
No I do not drain it unless their is an excessive amount of grease. A little bacon grease in the chicken broth while they are simmering will help flavor them.
IIs the nutritional information for this recipe available?
No I am sorry. However there are places on the internet where you can plug in the ingredients and get the nutritional stats.
How many does this feed and can this be cooked in a crockpot?
It serves 8. You can but hold off cooking the bacon and onions until the green beans are tender in the crock pot. This will take about 6-8 hours on low. Once the green beans are tender you can drain the chicken broth and add the bacon, onion and butter.
whoopsie. I boiled the bacon and onion with the beans….
How did it turn out? Accidents happen while cooking!
Excellent Southern green bean recipe… Cajun seasoning gives it a great mild kick. This will be go to!
Thanks Cindy! So glad that you enjoy them!