4.80 from 10 votes

Southern Style Green Beans with Bacon

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our read the Privacy Policy

Southern Style Green Beans with fresh green beans and crispy bacon is a flawless side dish for any meal. Do not wait for the holidays to enjoy this mouth watering, tender and perfect vegetable side dish.

These southern cooking style green beans are a staple on southern tables in the south and are a perfect and delicious side dish for almost any meal. In fact, they are so good, that you can eat them AS the meal. This recipe feeds 4-6 people. If you are looking to feed a larger crowd, you may want to make two batches as a pound of green beans is a LOT to rotate and cook evenly.

This fresh green bean recipe itself is more of a simple southern green beans, where you use the bacon grease to flavor the beans. Additionally, dial up the deliciousness by adding a pat of butter, some chopped up white onions, mushrooms and a tablespoon of minced garlic!

green beans and bacon on a white serving tray


Making fresh green beans in a cast iron pan is a fairly simple process. This original recipe keeps it simple, with bacon and greens but if you want a more robust side dish, scroll down for a mushroom variation.

Nothing is more delicious than taking raw green beans and turning them into a great Southern dish with very little work!

  • bacon
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • chicken broth
  • salt
  • pepper

I love cooking in a cast iron pan. If you do not have one, you absolutely need to buy one.

How to make Southern Style Green Beans

  1. Cook bacon in pan.
  2. Remove bacon from pan and set bacon on paper towels to cool and drain grease.
  3. Do not drain grease from pan because you use it to sauté your beans.
  4. You can skip fresh bacon in lieu of precooked or air fried bacon, just cut the bacon up and add it near the end of recipe so it doesn’t get overcooked in the heating of the green beans.
  5. If you go this route, you just won’t have that delicious bacon flavor cooked in. You would need to add a bit of vegetable oil and salt to warm up the pan and get it prepped prior to the next step.
  6. Add fresh green beans, chicken broth, salt and pepper and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes so the green beans can get fork tender.
  7. Stir fresh green beans frequently to make sure properly cooked through.
  8. Chop cooked and crispy bacon and add to pan.
  9. Remove lid and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes or until green beans are cooked through and broth is reduced. How long you cook will depend on what texture you want your beans.
making bacon and adding sauteed green beans


How long to cook Fresh Green Beans for Crisp Tender?

Cooking times can vary when you cook green beans. I like my fresh beans with a little crunch, but some people like them cooked well. Allow about 20 minutes total for a crisp cook plus bacon can take a bit to cook.

Best ways to Season Southern Style Green Beans

I like good old fashioned salt and pepper on my green beans and these are marinated in bacon grease. Like I said above, they are simple but can be really flavored up a variety of ways.

Garlic Salt
Powdered Onion
Diced Fresh Onions
Minced Garlic

Can I pressure cook this recipe?


Adding Mushrooms

If you prefer to cook up green beans, bacon, AND mushrooms, here is a variable recipe!

  • 8 oz. of Fresh Green Beans
  • 4 oz. Fresh Sliced Mushrooms (more if you like)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Minced Garlic
  • 1/4th cup cut Green Onions
  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon – cooked
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
green beans, bacon and mushrooms cooked in a pan
  1. To get started on this green bean and mushrooms recipe, first cook the mushrooms. 
  2. Using either left over bacon grease from above or 1 tablespoon of olive olive, heat up a pan to medium-low and sauté mushrooms, salt, pepper and minced garlic until mushrooms are cooked through and soft, around 10 minutes
  3. While the mushrooms are cooking down, there isn’t much liquid in the pan so be careful not to turn up your pan too high and burn them. 
  4. Add 8 oz. of whole fresh green beans (ends snipped) into the pan, stir, and place lid on top of pan.
  5. Cook green beans until crisp tender, about 10-12 minutes. 
  6. Once green beans are ready to eat the texture you want, remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, stir, and top with crunchy bacon pieces. Serve immediately. 
  7. This dish is also delicious as a main dish meal by adding cooked sliced sausage right to the pan. 
cooking fresh green beans in a cast iron pan
4.80 from 10 votes

Southern Style Green Beans

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Southern Style Green Beans with fresh green beans and crispy bacon is a flawless side dish for any meal. Do not wait for the holidays to enjoy this mouth watering, tender and perfect vegetable side dish.


Southern Style Green Beans

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Cook bacon in cast iron pan or skillet until crispy to the amount preferred.
  • DO NOT drain grease from pan.
  • Remove bacon from pan and set on paper towels to cool.
  • Add fresh whole green beans, chicken stock broth, salt and pepper.
  • Cook green beans in the bacon grease, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  • Stir green beans frequently to sauté on all sides of the bean.
  • Chop cooked bacon and add back to pan.
  • Keeping lid removed, cook another 5-10 minutes or until beans are cooked through at the texture you like and broth is reduced.
  • Side Dish serves 4-6



  • WANT MORE FLAVOR? Try adding butter, chopped onions, minced garlic or seasoning salts.
  • See full recipe for a mushroom green bean alternative recipe.


Serving: 6people | Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 432mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

Sharing of this recipe is encouraged and appreciated. Copying of full recipe to any social media is prohibited.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Make sure to follow Salty Side Dish on Pinterest and rate the recipe here and make sure to leave a comment below!

4.80 from 10 votes
4.80 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)

Leave A Comment

Have a question or want to provide feedback? Share your recipe reviews or questions here and I will do my best to help!

Recipe Rating


  1. Sandra Foster says:

    We are on the Keto diet right now and LOVE the fact that your recipe does NOT have any brown sugar in it. Could you tell me though how many calories, carbs and fat in this recipe? Thank you so much. Sandra

    1. Hi Sandra, thanks for visiting! I am not a dietitian so I dont like to give out nutritional advice, but I personally use apps like Carb Manager to adjust ingredients.

  2. If I already have crisp bacon, about how much bacon grease do I need? 2 Tbs? 3? Thanks!!

    1. Yes, that should be fine. You can start with it a little less and add if it sizzles up too much, but I use about that. If you run out, just add a little veggie oil.

    2. Lori, I wanted to come back and readdress. I literally just made my beans again last week. Bacon grease has a GREAT flavor for southern style beans. If you happen to NOT have enough bacon grease, you could still add a little veggie oil OR even a smattering of butter, which would have more flavor. The main thing is to able to saute them a bit. If you notice in the notes I also mention butter and garlic – not everyone likes to detract from the bacon with garlic but if you ask me, I like mine that way. I hope you enjoy!

Where To Next?