Are you a big fan of fresh green beans? Our Southern green beans and potatoes with bacon are made on the stovetop and are perfect for a weeknight dinner, or can easily be doubled to serve to a crowd.
The ingredients for our Southern green beans and potatoes with bacon are all pantry staples that are easy to find at your local grocery store. Let's talk about the key ingredients.
- Meat: We used bacon and bacon fat.
- Vegetables: We used fresh green beans, and red potatoes.
- Aromatics: We used yellow onion and freshly minced garlic.
- Liquid: We used reduced sodium chicken broth.
- Spices: We used red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Want it spicier? Double the red pepper flakes, add ¼ teaspoon hot sauce, or one large jalapeño with the seeds.
- Want to lower the sodium? Use low sodium bacon and no salt chicken broth.
- Don't want to flavor the beans with pork? Use smoked turkey wings.
- Want to make it vegan? Use olive oil to sauté the onions and garlic, add smoked paprika, and omit the bacon and the bacon fat.
- Don't want to use a yellow onion? Try a Vidalia or sweet onion.
- Don't want to use bacon? Use country ham or ham hocks.
- Want other seasonings? Try garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon of sugar, or 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for our Southern green beans and potatoes with bacon. Wash the beans under cold running water, then top and tail them and cut into smaller pieces. Chop a yellow onion and mince some garlic.
- Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, then turn the heat down a bit to prevent burning the bacon. Use a fork to flip it over. Once it's crisp, it's done. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, and blot off the excess grease. Let cool, then break into smaller pieces.
- Add one tablespoon of bacon grease back to the pot, then sauté the onion for a few minutes until soft, then add the minced garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
3. Add the fresh beans to the pot and pour on the chicken broth.
4. Cover the Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. While the beans are cooking, scrub the potatoes and rinse them under cold water. Cut them in quarters or eighths if they're large, or in half if they are smaller. If your red potatoes are large and need more liquid to cover them, pour 1 ½ cups of filtered water into the pot.
6. Add the dried spices: salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cover the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes or until the green beans and potatoes are done to your liking. Check the potatoes with a fork to see if they are fully cooked.
7. Remove the green beans and potatoes from the Dutch oven with a large slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. Gently stir in most of the crumbled bacon, reserving the rest for garnish.
8. When ready to serve, place in a serving bowl and sprinkle some black pepper and the remaining bacon on top as a garnish. Enjoy warm!
Cook the bacon in a skillet and pour out the fat into a bowl. Add one tablespoon of bacon grease back to the skillet and sauté the onion and garlic. Add the cooked veggies to the slow cooker. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high and 6 to 8 hours on low. Transfer the beans and potatoes to a large serving bowl, stir in the bacon, leaving some for garnish, then sprinkle with black pepper.
Since the potatoes are boiled and then simmered for a long time, it's best to use red or yellow. Russets and baking potatoes turn to mush when making this recipe.
You might be surprised to find out it is quite healthy, so you can have a second helping. A serving of ½ cup has 126 calories and has 24% of your daily vitamin C. For nutritional information, scroll down past the recipe card.
If you don't want to add bacon, we suggest using the following meats to add a ton of flavor to your green beans: ham hock, smoked ham bone, smoked sausage, smoked turkey wings, or smoked pork neck bones.
Our Southern green beans and potato recipe tastes amazing with fried or roasted chicken, pulled pork, pot roast, or fried shrimp.
Make Ahead: Make on the stove top in a Dutch oven or in a slow cooker. Allow to cool and cover tightly, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, in the microwave, or in a slow cooker.
Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Don't have fresh green beans? Use good quality, organic frozen green beans.
- Don't have red potatoes? Use Yukon gold or yellow. Don't use russet or baking potatoes, because they'll turn into mush.
- Want to use a slow cooker? Cook the bacon, onions, and garlic on the stovetop, then transfer to the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Want to be fancy? Peel the center strip off a new baby red potato before cooking.
- Keep the pot liquor for another batch of green beans or for soup.
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Southern Green Beans and Potatoes with Bacon
- 5 slices smoked bacon
- 1 tablespoon bacon fat, rendered from bacon
- 1 heaping cup yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1 ½ inch lengths
- 4 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 pounds small to medium red potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cook the meat in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Flip each slice over halfway through the cooking. Transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate and blot off the excess grease, then let it cool and cut into ¼ inch pieces.
- Drain all the grease from the pot into a small bowl. Add one tablespoon back into the Dutch oven, and put the extra grease in the fridge to harden and dispose of later.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and saute the onion in the grease until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the green beans, chicken stock, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, then cover. Bring to a boil, and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the green beans cook, prep the potatoes by scrubbing them and cutting them into quarters or eighths for larger ones, or halves for smaller ones. Make sure the potato pieces are similar in size.
- Add the potatoes to the pot. If they aren't fully covered with liquid, pour in 1 ½ cups of filtered water. Sprinkle the salt and red pepper flakes on top. Cover the pot, and let simmer for another 20 minutes or until they are fork tender.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in ½ cup of the crumbled bacon. Garnish with the remaining bacon and a few grinds of black pepper. Serve warm.
- Use good quality, organic frozen green beans if fresh beans aren't available.
- Choose between red, Yukon gold or yellow. You'll have mushy potatoes if you use russet or baking potatoes.
- For slow cooker instructions: Cook the bacon, onions, and garlic on the stovetop, then transfer to the slow cooker. Finish by adding the remaining ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Peel the center strip off a new baby red potato before cooking for a fancier look.
- If you don't want to be wasteful, keep the pot liquor for another batch of green beans or for using in vegetable soup.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.