The Best Southern Green Beans

"These are FANTASTIC! This recipe was revised from an old family favorite! My southern roots come through on this one! Either way the beans end up melting in your mouth and the cooked bacon adds more flavor! REALLY tasty! Good for cookouts or to compliment any meal!"
photo by lazyme photo by lazyme
photo by lazyme
photo by Ashlee B. photo by Ashlee B.
photo by breezermom photo by breezermom
photo by True Texas photo by True Texas
photo by slickchick photo by slickchick
Ready In:
2hrs 10mins




  • Put green beans in pot- if canned add juices, if frozen add water enough to see but not cover beans- cook on medium heat.
  • Fry bacon until cooked but not too crisp- drain on paper towel.
  • Cut onion in large (thick) slices and break rings apart in to beans.
  • Crumble or rip bacon apart add to beans.
  • Add spices to taste.
  • Let cook for a few hours on low heat.
  • If want to serve sooner- turn heat up and cook until water boils down.
  • OR can put in crockpot on low all day long and let simmer.

Questions & Replies

  1. can I partially cook and then freeze to finish cooking later with potatoes
  2. What kind of meat used to season green beans?
  3. Making this now and am covering the pot. But am wondering whether the pot should be left uncovered to evaporate the liquid? Asks the guy from the frozen north makin g a southern dish.


  1. I was so excited to see this posted. This is how my grandmother used to make green beans. I made this for my family and boy oh boy, what a delight. I left off the red pepper flakes because my kids can't take the heat. But I am sure that would be good to try. Thanks. This really made me so happy.
  2. EXACTLY how my grandma made hers too! I love these I am glad someone posted this also because I had forgotten them and I always loved these! thank you:)
  3. In my family, holiday meals always included southern style green beans, cooked by my great grandmother or grand mother. They were so good there was never enough. The smoky flavor and chewy consistency were delicious, every meal. I remember visiting my great-grandmother’s house and saw she just had these beans as one of her meal staples, like for lunch. Now that both my grandmother and great-grandmother are no longer with us, the art of getting these beans to turn out has ascended to a sort of family folklore – everyone remembers how good they were, but no one agrees about the recipe, and none of us can seem to get them to turn out quite the same! In any case, here is how I’ve managed to get my southern style green beans as close as I can to the fabled original: - Use distilled white vinegar (1 tsp per 2 lbs of fresh beans). It seems to help the beans stay firm and get that chewy consistency despite cooking for hours. – Use salt pork, and don’t skimp on it (1 lb per 5 lb of beans) – Use fresh beans (canned are liable to be mushy) – Simmer, don’t allow the beans to boil hard – The beans should just be covered with water and allowed to simmer until all water has evaporated and a light brown has developed in the pan. – As the water evaporates, the beans should also shrink, so for the first 5 – 6 hours the beans remain covered by the water. It helps if you arrange the beans parallel in the pan, so they stay tightly packed. – Use a tilted (loosely placed) lid so you can control the evaporation rate. At the beginning you might even leave the lid off entirely but towards the end you’ll want the lid on so the top layer does not dry out. – Never stir! You’ll shred the beans and they will turn to mush. I reach in with the wooden spoon and gently straighten the beans to make sure they stay as much in the water as possible.
  4. The beans came out just okay. The taste was super bland. I added some chicken bouillon which helped with the flavor. I believe beef bullion would taste just as good.
    • Review photo by Ashlee B.
  5. Perfect southern greens beans! I made mine in the crock pot and started them on high and switched to low after about 4 hours. I think the crock pot worked well because I was able to gauge the softness of the beans while they cooked slow so that they didn't turn to mush. I did add a chicken bouillon cube to mine because it felt like it just needed it. I used fresh green beans and about 4 pieces of cooked bacon. I held back on the onion a bit - the first time I made them with the directed amount of onion and the taste was just bit over powering for us. This is a great recipe to use with your crock pot and keep an extra burner on your stove free! Many thanks!


  1. Very good! Big hit at Thanksgiving. Making again for Christmas. I added a package of Onion Soup Mix instead of a fresh onion for extra flavor. The easiness of this recipe makes up for any slight lack of flavor overall. Will use Chicken Stock instead of water tomorrow. May be able to increase stars to 5!
  2. Very yummy. I cooked the onion and the bacon together until the bacon was done and the onion soft and stating to brown then I added a can of french cut green beans with the liquid and turned up the heat to a gentle boil. I think it only cooked for about 45 minutes but I cooked it until the liquid was gone. This was very good and I will be making it again. DH and I are not from the south but we live here now and have foster children who are use to southern food. Its nice when I can find something we all agree on. Thanks for posting this recipe. I wanted to update to say that the other night I used smoked turkey wing instead of the bacon and it was very good. I boiled it all together and then shred the meat from the turky. We all enjoyed it.



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