Skip to Content

Southern Green Beans – Like Granny Made!

Southern green beans are flavored with bacon and cooked low and slow until tender. These green beans are so easy to make and a must-have side dish on every Southern table.

A photo of cooked southern green beans with bacon.

I’ll tell you a secret: I prefer my Garlic Roasted Green Beans, but my family loves these old-fashioned Southern green beans, cooked to death and full of fat.

I learned how to cook green beans at a young age because it’s one of those recipes that’s not a recipe, but more of a technique and a perfect way to start young kids in the kitchen.

I’ve included measurements here for those who need it, but cooking Southern green beans is really about taste.

After you’ve cooked these green beans a time or two, you’ll know just about how much seasoning to toss in the pot to start out with and then you taste once the beans are almost done and add more if needed.

Tools for Cooking Green Beans

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

There are no special tools needed for these Southern style green beans. All you need is a large Dutch oven and you’re good to go. I love this one from Le Creuset or for a less expensive option, this one from Lodge is great or this one from Amazon Basics.

**Pro Tip: If you’re looking for Le Creuset cookware, find an outlet store near you or the Factory to Table sale—you’ll find some amazing deals!

Ingredients for Southern Green Beans

👋 Want the printable recipe? Just scroll down!

  • 2 lbs green beans – you can use fresh or frozen green beans
  • 6-7 slices bacon – chopped into one inch pieces
  • 6 cups chicken brothor enough to cover the beans, might be less depending on your pot
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2-1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter – 1/2 a regular stick

How to Cook Green Beans in Easy Steps

Step 1.

Sauté the bacon in a large Dutch oven until it’s done but not crispy.

Cooking bacon in a pot to make green beans.

Step 2.

Remove bacon from pot with slotted spoon and save on a plate.

Step 3.

Add the green beans to the pot and stir the beans until they are well coated with the bacon grease.

Step 4.

Then add the bacon back into the pot with the green beans.

Stirring green beans and bacon with a spoon in a large pot.

Step 5.

Add the stock and seasonings and bring to a boil. Once the beans are boiling, turn down to medium-low and keep to a low simmer.

Step 6.

After about 25 minutes, add half a stick of butter, then simmer another 10 minutes or until beans are tender. Taste and add more seasonings if needed.

They will taste just like Grandma’s! Enjoy!

What Goes with Southern Green Beans?

If you’ve ever visited a meat-and-three in the South, you know that green beans are always on the menu. And really, they go with almost anything.

Some of my favorite things to serve with Southern Green Beans are Fried Chicken, Meatloaf, or Baked Pork Chops, and of course we always have green beans on our Thanksgiving Menu. Speaking of Thanksgiving, you might want to add the Ultimate Green Bean Casserole to that menu as well!

And your meal won’t be complete without some Southern Buttermilk Biscuits or Cornbread!

But what should you serve for dessert?

How about a traditional Southern dessert like Southern Banana Pudding or my famous Fudge Pie, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, or Peach Cobbler. Any of these will help you round out the best Southern meal with your green beans!

Tips for Cooking Green Beans

  • If using fresh beans, snap off the ends of the beans and then snap the beans into about 2-inch pieces.
  • Wash fresh beans thoroughly.
  • If using frozen beans, there is no need to thaw before cooking. Just sauté the frozen beans right in the bacon grease as directed.
  • You can add small potatoes to the pot and cook along with the green beans.

Storing Southern Green Beans

  • Green beans should be kept in the refrigerator before and after cooking.
  • Cooked green beans will keep for several days in the refrigerator so this is a great make-ahead dish.

How to Freeze Green Beans

  • To freeze green beans, allow the beans to cool and then place in a freezer-safe container along with all the liquid and the bacon.
  • Place container in the freezer and keep for up to 6 months.

If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below!

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

And please join the Southern Food and Fun Facebook group to get all the Southern Food and Fun recipes.

A photo of cooked southern green beans with bacon.

Southern Green Beans

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Southern green beans are easy to make, tender beans that are flavored with bacon or ham hocks. These green beans are a must-have side dish on every Southern table.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. green beans (use frozen or fresh)
  • 6-7 slices bacon, chopped into one inch pieces
  • 6 cups chicken stock (you may not need all of this--just cover the beans in the pot)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2  tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. If using fresh green beans, snap off the ends then snap the beans into 2-inch pieces. Wash thoroughly.
  2. Cook bacon until crispy, then remove from pot.   
  3. Add green beans to bacon grease and stir to coat well.
  4. Add bacon back to pot. Add broth, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook until tender, 30-45 minutes. Taste periodically and add seasonings as necessary.
  6. Add butter to pot when beans are almost done. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. 

Notes

Tips for Cooking Green Beans

  • If using fresh beans, snap off the ends of the beans and then snap the beans into about 2-inch pieces. 
  • Wash fresh beans thoroughly.
  • If using frozen beans, there is no need to thaw before cooking. Just sauté the frozen beans right in the bacon grease as directed. 
  • You can add small potatoes to the pot and cook along with the green beans.

Storing Southern Green Beans

  • Green beans should be kept in the refrigerator before and after cooking. 
  • Cooked green beans will keep for several days in the refrigerator so this is a great make-ahead dish.

How to Freeze Green Beans

  • To freeze green beans, allow the beans to cool and then place in a freezer-safe container along with all the liquid and the bacon. 
  • Place container in the freezer and keep for up to 6 months.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Saturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 1199mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag me!

Update Notes: This post was originally published September 17, 2010, and on November 21, 2018, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

More Vegetable Recipes You’ll Love:

For a few more ideas using green beans, check out this post from Southern Living with 31 Green Bean Recipes!

This post is part of my favorite Southern Foods at Home collection.

A platter of Southern deviled eggs with pickles on a red towel.
Previous
Southern Deviled Eggs - Easy and Delicious!
A serving of Southern cornbread dressing on a plate with dish in background.
Next
Southern Cornbread Dressing

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Monday 8th of July 2019

Very good and full of flavor.