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!
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!
- 1 lb. fresh green beans
- chicken broth
I love cooking in a cast iron pan. If you do not have one, you absolutely need to buy one.
- This is my favorite cast iron brand.
- I also have a dutch oven cast iron pan by Lodge that I adore and has a lid. I have the deeper one and the smaller casserole dish version in light gray
How to make Southern Style Green Beans
- Cook bacon in pan.
- Remove bacon from pan and set bacon on paper towels to cool and drain grease.
- Do not drain grease from pan because you use it to sauté your beans.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add fresh green beans, chicken broth, salt and pepper and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes so the green beans can get fork tender.
- Stir fresh green beans frequently to make sure properly cooked through.
- Chop cooked and crispy bacon and add to pan.
- 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.
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.
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.
Diced Fresh Onions
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
- To get started on this green bean and mushrooms recipe, first cook the mushrooms.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add 8 oz. of whole fresh green beans (ends snipped) into the pan, stir, and place lid on top of pan.
- Cook green beans until crisp tender, about 10-12 minutes.
- 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.
- This dish is also delicious as a main dish meal by adding cooked sliced sausage right to the pan.
- If you are short on time, Crock Pot Green Beans and Potatoes is a set it and forget it recipe to make for an easy evening dinner.
- Green beans are also amazing on their own, so making Instant Pot Green Beans with just salt and pepper is a great way to enjoy these fresh veggies as they are.
- Did you know that cold green beans are great in a 3 Bean Salad?
- Also sautéed, Green Beans Almondine and Feta is a unique and brightly flavored side dish.
- A tried and true recipe for the holidays, this Green Bean Casserole from Scratch uses fresh green beans (over canned) to make the magic happen just like Grandma used to!
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Southern Style Green Beans
- 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.