Easy Green Beans with Bacon Recipe

This green beans with bacon recipe is a family favorite. It’s so simple to make, and never fails to please. You start by cooking bacon with shallots, and then add the green beans, simmering it all in good broth until tender and deliciously rich.

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Green Beans with Bacon on a white plate

What is it?

Green beans with bacon is a classic southern-style vegetable dish made by slow cooking green beans, bacon, and onions in broth until soft and tender. It’s an easy recipe that tastes delicious. The bacon provides a salty, smoky flavor to the green beans while the onions lend sweetness, and the broth adds a rich, savory component

Everyone seems to love it that often makes an appearance on holiday menus alongside slow-roasted turkey. And it makes an excellent alternative to green bean casserole.

What’s in it?

The ingredients for this green bean and bacon recipe are simple and unfussy. In addition to green beans, you’ll also need bacon, alliums such as shallots or onions, and a liquid. Crushed red pepper flakes and malt vinegar can add a little depth of flavor that can really take the recipe to the next level.

  • Green beans are the foundation of the dish. Any type works fine, including green string beans, but French haricots verts seem to really do the trick. Their thinness means they cook quicker, and they tend to have a better texture.
  • Bacon gives flavoring to the green beans and it is a rich source of monounsaturated fat and vitamin D when made from pasture-raised pigs.
  • Shallots are a member of the allium family which also includes onions, chives, and garlic. When slow-cooked, they develop a sweet flavor that brings an element of balance to the dish.
  • Bone Broth lends flavor and a good serving of protein to the recipe. You can use water or regular chicken broth, too.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes provide an element of heat that enlivens an otherwise simple dish. You don’t need much.
  • Malt vinegar offers a delicate punch of acidity that helps brighten and highlight the other flavors. You can also use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice if you prefer.

Recipe Tips

Making green beans with bacon is easy, and there are only a few quick steps. With that in mind, you’ll want to follow a few basic tips.

  • Trim your green beans well. Cut away any soft spots, pull away any strings or tough fibers, and trim tough ends.
  • You can make the bacon in advance if you’re pressed for time. Consider baking the bacon, chopping it, and reserving the bacon grease. Then warm up the drippings for sautéing the shallots and add the reserved chopped bacon at the end.
  • Simmer the beans until bright green and crisp-tender. While the tradition is to cook the green beans until soft, I like mine to have a little life left in them and recommend cooking them until crisp-tender.
  • Don’t skip the vinegar, as it adds a refreshing, bright element to the beans and makes a big difference.

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Green Beans with Bacon Recipe

Salty, smoky bacon and melted shallots dress crisp-tender green beans for a simple, savory side dish. It’s such an easy recipe, you’ll soon find that it’s your favorite way to cook green beans.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time25 mins

Total Time35 mins

Servings: 6 servings

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  • Line a plate with a paper towel and set it on your counter.

  • Warm the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat, and then add the bacon. Continue frying until crisp, and then use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan. Set the bacon on the prepared plate.

  • Add the shallots to the pan, and sauté them in the bacon drippings until tender and fragrant – about 6 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and continue cooking for a further minute or two.

  • Add the green beans and reserved bacon to the pan, and then pour in the broth. Simmer, covered, until the beans are tender – about 10 minutes. Serve warm.


Keep the bacon crisp. If you prefer crispy bacon in your green beans, sprinkle it over the beans just before you serve them rather than adding them to the pot.

Try other bean varieties. Instead of green beans, you can use wax beans or even Romano beans.

Add sun-dried tomato in place of bacon. Its sweet, savory flavor works well with green beans. Since tomatoes lack the salt of bacon, you may want to adjust the seasoning by adding more salt.

Swap onion for the shallot. If you prefer, swap in some thinly sliced yellow onion in place of the shallot. They tend to be a little more affordable.

Serve them southern-style by cooking the green beans longer, until fully tender – about an hour.

Recipe Questions

How long does it keep?

You can keep green beans with bacon in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving any leftovers.

Can I freeze it?

Yes, you can freeze leftovers. Allow them to thaw completely before reheating.

Can I use frozen green beans?

Yes. They work well in this recipe.

Can I use canned green beans?

Yes, but cook the beans only long enough to warm them through and use half the amount of broth.

Can I make this ahead?

Yes, it reheats well and you can make it up to 3 days in advance, and then reheat it in a large skillet on the stove over medium heat.

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