• Southern-Style Green Beans

    by Christin Mahrlig on April 29, 2014

    in Side Dishes

    Southern-Style Green Beans

    I’m always in for a home-cooked southern vegetable. A whole plate of them is best. There’s rarely a time I can resist a veggie plate at a restaurant. Especially if said plate includes Southern-Style Green Beans, slow cooked in a bacon-infused broth until tender and soft.

    I know it is fashionable to serve green beans barely cooked so they still have some crunch to them and retain they’re bright green color. Admittingly, the color of Southern-Style Green Beans isn’t nearly as appealing as that of fresh green beans.

    But cook green beans low and slow in a broth flavored with bacon, and you’ll go back for seconds and thirds. They’re so good, you’d be content to eat a big plate of green beans for a meal.

    Southern-Style Green Beans

    During the cooking process, they soak up an amazing amount of flavor from bacon grease, chicken broth, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. I start by cooking some diced bacon in a large pot. I then set the bacon aside, but leave all the grease in the pan. You can leave the bacon in the pot to cook with the beans, but it will get a soggy texture. But the up side is the beans will have even more bacony flavor. In this case, I’ve added the cooked bacon back once I’ve drained the beans, but sometimes I just leave it in the pot for the cooking process.

    Many times a ham hock is used instead of bacon, or in addition to bacon. Traditionally, fat back (solid fat from a pig’s back) was a very popular choice for cooking green beans in the South and if you can get your hands on some good fatback, it is amazing. But good fatback is very hard to find these days. Pigs raised for the mass market are bred to be on the lean side and they are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, which can really build up in a pig’s fat.

    You want to cook Southern-Style Green Beans for at least an hour, preferably closer to 2 hours. You want them to get really soft, but not mushy, so that they are melt in your mouth tender. Just before serving, you can mix in a tablespoon or so of butter to give the green beans some a buttery coating.

    This is one vegetable no one will complain about eating.

    Southern-Style Green Beans


    Southern-Style Green Beans
    Green Beans cooked low and slow until soft and tender in a bacon-infused broth.
    Recipe type: Side Dish
    Serves: 6
    • 4 slices bacon, diced
    • 2 pounds green beans, ends snapped off and longer beans snapped in half
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 tablespoon butter, optional
    1. Brown and crisp bacon in a large pot. Remove bacon from pot and reserve.
    2. Add green beans to pot along with all remaining ingredients, except butter.
    3. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
    4. Drain beans and add butter if using. Check beans for seasoning and add extra salt and pepper to taste. I like lots of black pepper. Sprinkle with bacon and toss to distribute the bacon and butter.

    More Southern Veggies for your vegetable plate

    Southern Broccoli Casserole

    Jalapeno Creamed Corn

    Spring Succotash

    Linking up at The Country Cook Weekend Potluck

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    { 29 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jade July 2, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Do these freeze well? I was given a TON of fresh green beans and I would like to cook them all and then freeze them in bags so they done go bad. I could live off green beans and have never cooked them fresh myself so I am going to give it a go today. Thanks for any help!


    Christin Mahrlig July 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I have never frozen them so I really don’t know. I would think they would do okay if you put them in a freezer bag and made sure there was no air in the bag, but they might get a mushy texture.


    Michelle June 7, 2014 at 10:21 am

    After you cook the bacon, do you drain the grease or leave it in when adding all other ingredients?


    Christin Mahrlig June 7, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Leave it in. Sorry if I answered your question too late!


    Amanda June 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    My mother-in-law taught me how to make these – just like yours. They are a go-to main dish for us when money’s a bit tight (and seriously, it’s just delicious even when money isn’t tight!). I absolutely love this dish. Toss in some potatoes and you have a filling dinner!!


    Christin Mahrlig June 3, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Yes, with potatoes it would be quite a meal- My kind of meal I might add :) Lots of veggies with just a little meat for flavor!


    Cailee @ hellohealthyeating.com April 30, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    YUM YUM YUM! These look delicious!


    Ashley April 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Now these look like some comforting green beans! Melt-in-your-mouth tender? Yes yes!!


    Vanessa April 30, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Mmmmmmmm, I LOVE Green Beans – and I shouldn’t be looking at this whilst hungry… dribble dribble… :)


    Christin Mahrlig May 1, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Reading food blogs when you are hungry is torture isn’t it? :)


    Monica April 30, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I love green beans as they are but you sure know how to make green beans look REALLY good! Delicious!


    Christin Mahrlig May 1, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Thank you Monica! Using bacon kind of fells like cheating because it makes anything taste good :)


    Medeja April 30, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Omg, I can almost taste them :) though I have never tried such green beans before :D


    Kelly April 30, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I can never resist a veggie plate either especially green beans! These look so incredible Christin! Such a great recipe and fantastic photos!


    Judit + Corina @WineDineDaily April 30, 2014 at 2:04 am

    You had us with bacon! We can almost taste these vibrant green beans, they look so delicious and irresistible! J+C


    Monet April 29, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    You really can’t go wrong adding bacon, can you? These look delicious!


    Christin Mahrlig May 1, 2014 at 8:44 am

    You definitely can’t go wrong with bacon :) Hope you are having a wonderful week Monet!


    marcie April 29, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Christin, these green beans look so delicious! I always love a good green bean dish, and adding bacon would make them even more irresistible. :)


    Christina April 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Ummmm….I’ll have two bowls please! They look like they’re straight out of my g-mas kitchen girl! Awesome!


    Matt @ Runner Savvy April 29, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Better than canned :)


    easyfoodsmith April 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I have never had bacon and I am so wanting to try some of this dish.


    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes April 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    This is one way to get me to eat my green veggies – add bacon!! :)


    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps April 29, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    In most cases, I do like my green beans to have a bit of crunch, HOWEVER, I absolutely in love with southern style green beans, they literally melt in your mouth which I love. I really love when they have a little kick in them, like you have here!


    Shashi April 29, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Your photographs have me wanting to reach through my screen! These look totally delish!


    Kay Little April 29, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Love me some Southern Green Beans….yours look amazing! It has been a long time since I have heard someone mention fatback…the gold of the South!


    Amanda April 29, 2014 at 10:06 am

    These are definitely the green beans I grew up eating. Yum!


    Jenna April 29, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Anything is better with bacon! :)


    Christin Mahrlig April 29, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    That’s true!


    Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen April 29, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Ok, you had me at bacon fat and butter. :-) These look amazing and the pictures are making my mouth water!


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