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Southern Style Green Beans

Don’t you just love Southern cooking? It always brings a smile to my face.  It’s like hearing a soft, welcoming southern accent.  What’s not to love?  It’s comfort food at it’s best, kinda like snuggling into the best bed ever for a relaxing nap.  (Can you tell I’m still jet lagged from our recent Hawaii trip?)   These Easy Southern Style Green Beans are a perfect example of that Southern charm.  Jeff could easily eat these several times each week.

Southern Style Green Beans

Doesn’t that look good?   It tastes even better.    This quick, easy, make in advance side dish is a skillet of bacon-y, buttery, meltingly tender deliciousness.  The beans come out tasting better than any veggie I’ve ever served!  Even kids love them.  This is one of my go-to, work-horse side dishes.   I’ll often put it on the menu for casual dinners when we have friends over.  It’s also a great pot-luck side dish!

Southern Style Green Beans

So what’s the secret?

Canned beans.

I’m as big a fan of fresh green beans as the next person, but for depth of flavor and tenderness frankly you can’t beat canned French cut beans for this recipe. And because you’re using canned beans they do not have to cook nearly as long. I always keep 3 – 4 cans of the French cut beans in the pantry so when a craving hits I can have them on the table in less than 30 minutes with the rest of the meal.

Try it tonight.  You’ll love it.  These beans are insanely drool-worthy.

Pin for Later

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Hungry Yet??

Me too.  Let’s get started!

Southern Style Green Beans
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins

This recipe for Southern Style Green Beans is a quick, easy, make in advance pot of bacon-y, buttery, meltingly tender deliciousness.  

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
  • 6 strips bacon (Do not use a “sweet” bacon such as “Cider House” or “Apple wood”)
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 3 cans French cut green beans (Make sure you get 'French cut')
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Chop the bacon crosswise into small strips
  2. Chop the onion
  3. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté bacon until browned, but not overly crispy. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
  4. Add onions and cook until translucent.
  5. Drain 2 cans of the French cut green beans and put beans only in pot. Add both beans and juice from remaining can to the pot.
  6. Add 4 tablespoons butter, 1 1/3 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  7. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes.
MAKE AHEAD to this point. Cool, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
  1. Can hold on low up to 1 hour, add ¼ cup of water as needed to replace evaporation.

Recipe Notes

When I’m fixing a meal, I fix this first and let it hang out on the stovetop on low while I’m preparing the other items.


  1. Toby Wright

    I don t really ever cook with frozen green beans so I m not exactly sure how it would turn out. But I would think it would work fine. You would probably need to shorten the cooking time some or the beans might get mushy. Let me know how it turns out if you try it ??

    • Betsy Edwards

      Hi Toby,
      Thanks for your comment! I’ve never tried it with frozen beans either, but it would be interesting to find out. I have found that when using the canned beans I can leave them on low on the stovetop for up to 2 hours, periodically replenishing the liquid with reserved juice from the can or water, and they don’t get mushy. In fact, they taste even better. I’ll let you know if I try it with the frozen beans though. Thanks! Betsy


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Easy Southern Green Beans for a Crowd


Southern Style Green Beans

This is a wonderful recipe for a crowd.  It’s inexpensive, it comes together quickly, it and be made in advance and it holds remarkably well (in fact it just keeps tasting better).  I made it for a 140 person cast and crew of The Savior of the World and was getting recipe requests for days afterwards.

Here’s all you need to serve 50.

 50 Servings
Bacon30 strips
White onions, chopped5
French cut green beans15 (14.5 ounce) cans
Butter2 1/2 sticks
(20 tablespoons)
Table Salt6 2/3 teaspoons
Ground Black Pepper1 1/4 teaspoon
Slow Cooker 1 large (7 - 8 quart)

To make for a Large Group

When making this for a large group, I follow all instructions above – including, and especially, browning the bacon on the stovetop.  I do this in a large Dutch Oven.  The difference I make when cooking this for a large group is to use a big pot.  I still cook it on the stovetop.  Once it’s cooked, THEN I transfer it to the slow cooker, and hold it up to 3 hours (covered) on Low.

Occasionally I may use my slow cooker for long simmering recipes, but I almost never start the cooking process in it.  There’s a reason for this.  It is next to impossible to get the same depth of flavor from a slow cooker that you can from browning on the stovetop.  Sure you could put everything in the slow cooker to cook, but you’ll miss the flavor that comes from browning the bacon on the stove top.  Since the liquid released from sweating the onions de-glazes the browned bacon bits from the pan, you might as well just completely the cooking process on the stove top while you’re at it.  Once it’s cooked then you can move the whole party to the slow cooker to hang out.

Important note:  If transporting these Southern Style Green Beans to an event in a slow cooker it is VERY IMPORTANT that you put the slow cooker in a box with minimal/no room around the slow cooker within the box so the slow cooker can not tip over when you hit the breaks.  Don’t EVEN ask me how I know….   :  )

I have the BEST smelling CR-V in town.

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