Give Your Meal a Touch of Southern Charm with Green Beans

Southern cuisine is more than just comfort food – it’s a cultural experience. As a chef, I love incorporating southern flavors and ingredients into my cooking, bringing warmth and soul to the table. One of my all-time favorite dishes is Green Beans Southern Style. This recipe epitomizes the essence of southern cooking, using simple, fresh ingredients and slow-cooking techniques to create a side dish that pairs perfectly with any main course.

Fresh string beans are cooked low and slow with bacon, onion, garlic, smoked meat and a touch of sugar for sweetness. A splash of red wine vinegar adds tanginess to balance out the savory flavors. The result is tender yet firm green beans that absorb all the flavors from the pot, making them irresistible.

Whether you’re hosting a family gathering or simply enjoying a weeknight meal at home, Green Beans Southern Style is an easy addition to any menu. No matter how often I cook this recipe, it never fails to impress guests with its mouth-watering aroma and delicious taste.

Follow my step-by-step instructions and tips to learn how to make this classic southern dish at home. Trust me when I say that your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Green Beans Southern Style
Green Beans Southern Style

Green Beans Southern Style Recipe is more than just a dish; it’s a celebration of Southern cuisine. The recipe perfectly fuses ingredients that highlight the unique flavors of the South – sweet sugar, tangy red wine vinegar, and savory bacon. You can’t help but love the infusion of flavors in this recipe.

And who doesn’t love green beans? Green beans are a staple in Southern cooking and have been for decades. They’re a versatile vegetable and work well in many recipes, and this recipe is no exception. The beans are slow-cooked to perfection with smoked meat, onions, and garlic until they’re tender but not overcooked. This process brings out the depth of flavor of these string beans like no other recipe could.

What sets this dish apart from others is its simplicity. It’s an easy-to-follow recipe that won’t take long to prepare or require specialized equipment. You can make it at home with ease using fresh or canned green beans.

The Southern-style green beans pair perfectly as a side dish for meat dishes cooked Southern-style like ham hocks or bacon. If you’re looking for something that will complement your favorite meat dishes, then you’ve found the perfect recipe.

But what if you don’t eat meat or prefer to go dairy-free? No problem! Our recipe offers substitutions for vegan and non-dairy eaters without compromising on taste.

In conclusion, whether you’re looking for a side dish to accompany your meat-lover family members’ preferences or want something vegan for yourself, this Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole Southern Style Recipe will entice your tastebuds with its unrivaled fusion of flavors and simplicity of preparation. Give it a try today!

Ingredient List

 These green beans will have you feeling like you're sitting on a front porch in the south.
These green beans will have you feeling like you’re sitting on a front porch in the south.

Before heading to the kitchen for some southern-style cooking, make sure you have these key ingredients on hand. This recipe requires green beans – fresh or canned – and if choosing to go with canned green beans, choose ones without added salt. The use of bacon in this recipe is crucial for that smoky flavor it brings. If you prefer a non-pork option, substitute with smoked turkey. For additional flavor, I like adding onion and garlic. A Southern staple, sugar gives the beans a touch of sweetness while red wine vinegar brings a tangy balance. You can use any smoked meat you like but my personal favorite is using smoked ham hocks or bacon ends. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this southern green beans recipe:

  • 2 pounds of fresh green beans or two cans (14.5 ounces) of cut green beans
  • 6 slices of bacon or 1 cup of smoked ham hocks
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Tip: If using fresh green beans, trim the ends and remove any strings before adding them to the dish.

The Recipe How-To

 Freshly picked green beans are the key to making this delicious dish.
Freshly picked green beans are the key to making this delicious dish.

Now it’s time to dive into the how-to portion of this recipe. Listed below are the ingredients and step-by-step instructions on how to recreate this delicious southern-style green beans dish.

Ingredient list:

  • 2 pounds fresh string or green beans
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, cook your bacon in a large stockpot over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and set them aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Leave the bacon grease in the pot.

  2. Next, add your diced onion and minced garlic to the pot with the bacon grease. Cook them for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add your fresh string or green beans to the pot and stir well to combine with the onion and garlic mixture.

  4. Pour in enough water to just barely cover the beans (about 4 cups) and add in your salt, sugar, and red wine vinegar.

  5. Bring everything to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.

  6. Let the beans simmer for about 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally until they’re tender. If you like your green beans more on the crunchy side, simmer them for less time-around an hour.

  7. Once they’re done, take out the green beans from the pot with a slotted spoon and put them in a serving dish.

  8. Top your green beans with your crispy bacon pieces saved earlier.

And that’s it – you’ve successfully cooked up a delicious batch of southern-style green beans! Remember that this recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Just add all the ingredients together and let it cook on low heat for about 6 hours.

Keep in mind that you can always modify this recipe to fit your own taste preferences. If you like your green beans with more smoked meat, try adding ham hocks or more bacon. This dish also pairs well with potatoes, so consider trying out a slow-cooked green bean and potato dish or even incorporating it into a classic green bean casserole.


Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready to experience a burst of authentic southern flavors with every bite.
Get ready to experience a burst of authentic southern flavors with every bite.

When it comes to Southern-style green beans, there are many ways to put your own twist on this classic and delicious side dish. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try to give your green beans an extra kick of flavor:

1. Smoked Meat – While bacon is often used in traditional Southern-style green bean recipes, you can also substitute it with ham hocks or smoked turkey for a different taste.

2. Non-Dairy Vegan – For a vegan and dairy-free version of this recipe, you can skip the bacon altogether and use olive oil or vegan butter instead.

3. Potatoes – Another great variation on this classic dish is to add some diced potatoes along with the green beans, which will give the dish a heartier texture and flavor.

4. Onion Garlic Smoked – You can add extra flavor to your green beans by adding onions and garlic to the recipe. Sauté them for a few minutes before adding the green beans to the pan.

5. Slow Cooker – If you’re short on time or don’t want to babysit your green beans as they cook, you can use a slow cooker instead of a pot. Just add all the ingredients and let them cook for 6-8 hours on low heat.

6. Fresh Green Beans – While canned green beans are convenient, using fresh string beans in this recipe will elevate the flavor and texture of the dish.

7. Bean Casserole – For a fancier version of this dish, turn it into a casserole by mixing cooked green beans with mushroom soup, cheese, and french fried onions.

No matter how you decide to make your Southern-style green beans, remember that it’s all about experimenting until you find the perfect combination of flavors that taste Southern style delicious!

Serving and Pairing

 Our green beans are cooked to perfection and seasoned just right.
Our green beans are cooked to perfection and seasoned just right.

These southern-style green beans are a perfect side dish for any meal. Whether you’re serving up some fried chicken, BBQ brisket, or just need some veggies to balance out your plate – these green beans are the way to go.

If you’re serving a large crowd, these green beans will pair nicely with roasted potatoes or even a hearty bean casserole. The sweetness from the sugar and red wine vinegar pairs beautifully with savory meats like ham hocks or smoked bacon. The rich umami flavors of the bacon and onions truly complement the fresh string beans that have been slow-cooked to perfection.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, these green beans can also stand alone as a delicious vegetable side dish. And for folks with dietary restrictions, this recipe can easily be made dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian-friendly. These green beans with onion and garlic smoked bacon offer versatile options that will fit any lifestyle.

To highlight the classic Southern flavor of this recipe, I recommend pairing it with a glass of sweet iced tea or lemonade. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, a crisp white wine could provide a beautiful contrast to the richness of this dish.

No matter how you choose to serve them, these green beans should be added to your next meal plan immediately!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Add a little southern charm to your plate with these savory green beans.
Add a little southern charm to your plate with these savory green beans.

Preparing a meal can be time-consuming, and it’s always convenient to have extra food on hand. Fortunately, this recipe for Green Beans Southern Style is easy to make ahead of time, and the leftovers can be stored and reheated without losing their flavor.

To make-ahead, cook the green beans according to the recipe’s instructions, let them cool to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze your leftover green beans for up to three months.

When reheating, there are several options you can choose from depending on the amount of time you have. For a quick mid-week meal, you can microwave them in a microwave-safe dish with a little bit of water until hot. Alternatively, you could reheat them in a pot on your stove by adding a little bit of water and gently warming over low heat.

If you want to elevate your leftovers, try adding some sausage or smoked meat to the green beans before reheating for added flavor. Pro tip: if using bacon as your smoked meat, make sure to cook it separately and sprinkle it on top of the reheated green beans for optimal texture.

In addition to serving as a side dish alongside classic southern dishes like fried chicken and cornbread, these slow-cooked green beans also lend themselves well to being served atop rice for an easy one-bowl meal.

Overall, Green Beans Southern Style is a versatile recipe that’s perfect for meal prep or quick weeknight dinners. With proper storing and reheating techniques, you can enjoy these tasty southern-style green beans all week long.

Tips for Perfect Results

 You won't be able to resist these tasty southern-style green beans.
You won’t be able to resist these tasty southern-style green beans.

Southern-style green beans are a classic side dish that complements many Southern meals. There is nothing like simmering a pot of fresh green beans in bacon grease until they are tender and full of flavor. Here are my tips to ensure the perfect southern-style green beans every time:

1. Use Smoked Meat

Adding smoked meat such as ham hocks or bacon to your green beans adds a smoky depth of flavor that is essential to southern-style greens. Cook the bacon first and use the leftover grease for cooking the onions and garlic for even more flavor.

2. Slow Cooking Is Best

Slow cooking is key to creating tender, flavorful green beans just like grandma used to make. Cook the green beans on low heat for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally until they are soft.

3. Fresh or Canned Green Beans?

Fresh string beans make the best Southern-style green bean dish, but if you don’t have fresh ones available, canned green beans will work well too. If you use canned green beans, be sure to drain and rinse them before adding them to the pot.

4. Don’t Forget the Onion

Onion is an essential ingredient in Southern-style cooking, and it does wonders for green beans too. Add diced onion at the beginning along with garlic for extra flavor.

5. Add Sugar For Sweetness

A little bit of sugar helps balance out the flavors in this dish, especially when using canned green beans which can be a bit bland on their own. Start with a tablespoon of sugar and add more if needed.

6. Potatoes Are Optional

Adding potatoes may not be traditional, but it is a delicious way to bulk up this dish and makes it more filling as well. Cut them into small pieces and add them to the pot towards the end of cooking time.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create the ultimate Southern-style green bean dish that will impress everyone at the table.


Now that you know all the ins and outs of how to make these mouth-watering southern-style green beans, you might still have a few questions left in your mind. Don’t worry, because in this section, we’ll address some frequently asked questions about this recipe. From ingredient substitutions to cooking time variations, we’ve got you covered so that you can serve up a perfect batch of these green beans every time. So, let’s dig into the FAQ section and find out more!

What can I add to green beans for flavor?

Spicing up your green beans with garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, and pepper can take them from ordinary to extraordinary.

What are green beans called in the South?

This recipe features Southern-style green beans, also known as Southern string beans, that are cooked slowly to perfection. They make for a mouth-watering side dish that’s perfect for holidays or any time you’re craving simmered green beans.

How do I jazz up green beans?

Here are some excellent topping options that can elevate the taste of your southern-style cuisine:
– A combination of pomegranate seeds and pecans can add a delightful crunch and a hint of sweetness to any dish.
– Get that smoky flavor by adding crispy bacon or lardons to your dish. You won’t be able to resist the aroma.
– Enhance the creaminess of your dish by adding some goat cheese crumbles and chopped herbs to it.
– Give your dish a refreshing taste by sprinkling it with toasted almonds, herbs, and lemon zest. The nutty taste of almonds and the tanginess of lemon can balance the flavors perfectly.
– Add some sweetness to your dish by mixing in some toasted pine nuts, cranberries, and herbs.
– Make your dish more flavorful by sauteing shallots and garlic. The caramelized onions and the roasted garlic can elevate the taste of your southern-style cuisine.
– To make your dish vegan, opt for a non-dairy vegan cheesy sprinkle or non-dairy vegan cheese sauce as toppings. These add a creamy, cheesy taste without any animal products.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, whether you’re a fan of Southern-style cuisine or you simply love a great side dish, this Green Beans Southern Style recipe is sure to hit the spot. With its slow-cooked, tender green beans, savory bacon, and flavorful onion and garlic, this recipe is everything that was ever great about southern cooking all wrapped up in one delicious package.

And with the wealth of substitutions and variations possible – from adding different meats like ham hocks or smoked turkey legs, to experimenting with different spices and seasonings – there’s no limit to how you can make this recipe your own.

So why not give it a try? With just a few simple ingredients and some patience (and maybe a little bit of bacon), you’ll be on your way to enjoying the best Southern-style green beans around. And who knows, you just might discover your new favorite side dish.

Green Beans Southern Style

Green Beans Southern Style Recipe

Tried this one to get my 5 year old to eat more vegetables. Quite easy and an alternative to just plain old beans out of a can. Of course fresh green beans can be substituted.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 229.6 kcal


  • 1/4 lb bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans cut green beans
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • Brown bacon in medium skillet.
  • When the fat begins to render, add onions and cook until tender.
  • Add the beans, vinegar and sugar.
  • Continue cooking until most of vinegar has reduced and sugar is melted.
  • Stir frequently.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 281gCalories: 229.6kcalCarbohydrates: 24.4gProtein: 5.8gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4.3gCholesterol: 19.3mgSodium: 757.2mgFiber: 4.2gSugar: 15.6g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Easy, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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