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5 from 3 votes

Southern Green Beans

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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 172kcal
Author: Lucy Brewer


  • 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


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


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.