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Sweet and Sour Green Beans

Green beans cooked with lots of bacon and onion and coated in a sweet, salty, and sour sauce make one of the best side dishes ever. The kind of side dish where you don’t even care if there is a main dish.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans with lots of bacon and onions.

My favorite way to cook green beans is this Southern-Style Green Bean recipe, but this is a close second. It’s kind of like a German potato salad only with green beans.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans with lots of bacon and onions.

I like to use fresh green beans but you could certainly use canned or frozen.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans with lots of bacon and onions.
Sweet and Sour Green Beans with lots of bacon and onions.
Sweet and Sour Green Beans with lots of bacon and onions.
Sweet and Sour Green Beans with lots of bacon and onions.
Sweet and Sour Green Beans with lots of bacon and onions.

The sweet and sour flavor primarily comes from sugar and apple cider vinegar. Bacon adds even more saltiness. Onions are cooked in the bacon grease to add even more bacon flavor.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans are so easy to make with ingredients you most likely already have on hand.

Even if you’re not typically a fan of green beans, this recipe is a must try. I don’t think there will be any leftovers.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans with lots of bacon and onions.

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Watch the short video below to see how easy this recipe is to make.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans with lots of bacon and onions.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans

Sweet and Sour Green Beans tastes kind of like German potato salad, only with green beans.
PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 15 minutes
TOTAL: 20 minutes
SERVINGS: 6 servings


  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Place green beans in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil. Simmer 12 to 15 minutes. Drain.
  • Chop bacon into bite-sized pieces and cook until crisp in a large nonstick pan. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add onion to bacon drippings and cook until softened.
  • Add remaining ingredients to pan and stir to mix.
  • Add green beans to pan and toss to coat in the sauce. Continue to cook 1-2 minutes, stirring often so that the green beans pick up as much flavor as possible.
  • Sprinkle bacon on top and serve.


Calories: 120kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Side Dish

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49 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour Green Beans”

  1. Hi! We have made these since the 1970’s but also addd 2 TLB Katsup. It gives it a little tomato tang but doesn’t change the sweet n sour taste. These are sooo good! Having them today with Boston Pork Butt, (Garlic stuffed in pockets and oven slow-roasted)-carrots, onions (with the roast); mashed potatoes, and sweet n sour French Green beans (Haricot Verts). Yummy!

  2. Not bad but really low on flavor. And that’s considering I added fresh garlic and used less green beans than called for. Ended up adding more of each sauce ingredient and soy sauce — still underwhelming.

    1. If you like some spice, you could add smoked paprika, cayenne pepper or hot sauce – or all 3 for lots of heat. Or add some sliced peppers with the onion when frying.

  3. Kim Wiedmaier

    These sound amazing and I’m going to make for Thanksgiving! Could you substitute balsamic for apple cider vinegar?

  4. I’ve been trying to find new side dishes with vegetables for my family get-togethers. OH my word..this sounds aaaaaamazing! It will be on our Thanksgiving table for sure!

  5. Patti Liszka

    Thank you Christ in for sharing this recipe! I have made them twice now. What a wonderful way to prepare one of my favorite veggies!

  6. Dorothy Murphy

    If I increase the recipe to 12 servings, should I increase the bacon to an equivalent amount and use all the bacon drippings? Seems like it would be a pretty greasy dish. What do you recommend?

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      I would increase the bacon and you can get rid of some of the bacon drippings if it seems like too much.

  7. Diane Hooper

    Could this be made in the crockpot with fresh green beans (without precooking). Would I have to tweak the recipe and how long would I have to cook on low or high.

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      I’ve never made this particular recipe in a crock pot Diane. Try basing it off of this recipe -https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/slow-cooker-grean-beans

    1. They could be canned with a pressure cooker without the bacon. Green beans are a low acid vegetable so waterbath is not an option, even with a little vinegar. I’ve been canning for 30+ years & have never risked canning meats.

  8. Brenda Tatum

    Made this for Christmas dinner yesterday. My family loved them . I didn’t change anything. Followed the recipe . Wias a part of my Christmas along with Beef Tenderlion / mushrooms. Served with a horseradish sauce and Bearnaise sauce. Baked mashed potatoes.
    Awesome !!

  9. Bacon, onions, and green beans…3 of my favorite foods! This looks so fantastic. I’m pinning this one for sure.

  10. Just finished making this. Found the recipe on foodgawker. It was great. I bought a huge bundle of green beans for 1$. This makes a great meal or side dish. Will def make it again.

  11. Katriina @ Finding Feasts

    Wow! This is making my mouth water just thinking about making this. I love the bacon and bean combination but never thought of a sweet and sour flavour. Yum!

  12. Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps

    I think my husband would actually eat his veggies, if I put these on the dinner table… 😉

  13. These are some of the best green beans I’ve ever seen, Christin! I could make a meal out of these!

  14. Ashley@CookNourishBliss

    Green beans are a hugggge favorite at our house. I normally just roast with salt / pepper but man, these would get devoured in no time! Such a fun way to switch it up!

  15. Ashley - The Recipe Rebel

    Okay, I am not normally a fan of green beans but I think I NEED to try these! I bet the family will love them!

  16. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    What a fun twist on green beans, Christin! The sweet and sour sauce sounds like it pairs perfectly with the bacon and greens. Looks like such a delicious summer side dish!

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