Looking for your new favorite way to cook green beans? Try these southern style Green Beans With Bacon! Made with fresh green beans, onion, garlic and lots of crispy bacon, we promise the whole family will love them.
Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon
Listen – we get it. Getting a stubborn picky eater to actually eat a vegetable is a nearly impossible task, especially when it’s a Tuesday night and all you want is peace at the dinner table. That’s where these easy to make sautéed green beans with bacon come in and save the day!
After all, crispy bacon makes everything way more kid friendly! Honestly, it makes it more adult friendly, too. When you toss perfectly cooked bacon into a vegetable dish like this one, it almost feels like you’re not eating something healthy… But don’t worry, you most definitely still are! Green beans are loaded with vitamins and other nutrients your body needs.
What really makes these green beans stand out (besides the bacon, of course) is the way they’re also flavored with freshly minced garlic, onions, and mouthwatering cajun seasoning. When all of those ingredients mix together with the reserved bacon fat to cook the green beans, those little green veggies become downright delicious!
Psst… Guess what? This is a budget friendly side dish recipe! It only calls for seven ingredients, most of which you likely already have on hand.
- Bacon: Pork bacon works best here! It’s not just preferred for its flavor, but also because it renders the most fat that’ll be needed to cook the green beans in. However, turkey bacon can also be used, if needed. You may need to add a little extra fat (like olive oil or butter) if using turkey bacon.
- Green Beans: Fresh green beans are the best here, but frozen can be used in a pinch. Make sure they’re trimmed and rinsed prior to cooking.
- Yellow Onion: The natural sweetness of a yellow onion is pretty delicious in this otherwise savory side dish, however, a white onion may also be used.
- Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic! We know that the little jar of pre-minced garlic is tempting, but freshly minced garlic yields much better flavor and is more aromatically pleasing.
- Cajun Seasoning: You can use store bought or make our favorite easy homemade Cajun Seasoning.
- Salt: Just a pinch! Cajun seasoning already has a fair amount of sodium, so you don’t want to go overboard.
- Pepper: Keep in mind that freshly cracked black pepper has the best flavor.
How to Make Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon
In just a few easy to follow steps, you’ll have a green bean side dish that even your kids will gobble up. Yes, really!
Cook the bacon: In a large deep skillet with a lid, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set it aside on a paper towel lined plate. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet.
Toss in the onion and garlic: Add your chopped onion to the skillet and sauté onion for 3 to 4 minutes, until it becomes translucent. Then, toss in the minced garlic and continue sautéeing for another minute.
Sauté the green beans: Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the green beans and seasoning and stir until the green beans are mixed in with onion mixture. Cover the skillet and cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender.
Last, but certainly not least, add the bacon: While the green beans are cooking, crumble up your cooked bacon. Once beans are cooked, stir in half of the cooked bacon and save the remaining bacon to sprinkle on top!
Serve and enjoy this flavor packed side dish!
- Don’t add a lot of salt. As previously mentioned, the cajun seasoning will already have a bit of sodium in it, so you really only need a little pinch of salt to help develop the other flavors.
- Avoid over cooking the green beans. If you cook your green beans for too long, you risk making them limp, soggy, and lifeless. At the 20 minute mark, they should be fork tender, but still have a delightful crisp to them.
- Add more oil as needed. If your skillet becomes dry and you need a little more oil/fat during the sauté of the green beans, you can add a little olive oil or a tablespoon of butter. We used 6 bacon strips and did not need to add any more fat. But sometimes if you cook on a higher heat, or your pan is thinner on the bottom, you may need a little more oil to finish cooking your green beans!
- Use plenty of green beans! We used 2 pounds of green beans, which probably sounds like a lot of green beans. Most recipes call for only 1 pound. However, if you notice, when we put the green beans into the skillet, they fill the skillet. Once the beans are cooked, they only fill half of the skillet. When you cook green beans this way, they will cook down a lot as they get tender.
What Makes These The Best Green Beans?
If you have any doubt, here are the reasons why these are our favorite way to make green beans:
- BACON: Yup. Lots of bacon. First we cook our green beans in bacon grease, so each green bean has that perfect flavor you can’t get with just regular butter or olive oil. Then we top our tender green beans with crispy crumbled bacon. The combination of the soft warm green beans and crispy bacon is irresistible!
- Cajun Seasoning: Being from Lousiana may mean that I have a predisposition to using cajun seasoning in just about everything, but I promise it adds just the right amount of flavor to your green beans. A slight hint of spiciness in each bite with the perfect amount of salt! If you’re a big fan of cajun-seasoned food, try our Cajun Chicken Pasta, Shrimp Creole, Cajun Chicken Casserole, or Sheet Pan Cajun Garlic Butter Shrimp.
- Smothered In Onions and Garlic: Using a sweet onion that you sautéed in bacon grease with fresh garlic to flavor up these green beans is a winning combination. It adds an insane amount of flavor and gives them wonderful layers of savory flavor.
There are SO many delicious entrées that plate well alongside these green beans. Here are just a few of our faves!
- Pan Fried Pork Chops
- Roasted Citrus Chicken
- Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs
- Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Stuffing
- Grilled Chicken Breasts
- Air Fryer Shrimp
How To Store And Reheat Leftovers
Store these green beans in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. They should keep for 2-3 days there. If you want the bacon to stay crispy, I recommend storing the cooked bacon in a separate storage container.
When you want to reheat them, simply microwave them, or reheat them in a pan on the stove until warmed through! Top them with more bacon and enjoy!
Southern Green Beans With Bacon
- 6 slices of bacon
- 2 pounds green beans, rinsed and trimmed
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- In a large deep skillet with a lid, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon from skillet and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Leave bacon grease in skillet.
- Add onion to skillet, sauté onion for 3 to 4 minutes, until it becomes translucent. Add garlic and continue sautéing for another minute.
- Turn heat down to medium-low. Add green beans and seasoning and stir until beans are mixed in with onion mixture. Cover skillet and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender.
- Taste your beans to make sure you have enough seasoning. If needed, add a little extra pinch of cajun seasoning or salt/pepper. (If you want your green beans spicy, you can also add crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.)
- While the beans are cooking, crumble up your cooked bacon. Then once beans are cooked, stir in half of the cooked bacon and save the remaining bacon to sprinkle on top when serving.
Looking For More Easy Side Dishes?
Lucky for you, we have a ton of great easy side dish recipes. Here are our favorites: