This recipe for Green Beans with Bacon has many names: Texas Roadhouse Green Beans, Southern Style Green Beans, or Arkansas Green Beans, to list just a few. I make mine with fresh green beans and just the right amount of brown sugar for a little extra flavor.
This brown sugar green beans with bacon recipe is anything but the dull, overcooked, soupy dish you may have had as a child. I use crispy fried bacon, the snappiest green beans, and a little brown sugar to get the green bean party started.
It’s my family’s favorite holiday side dish, and I bet it will be yours, too.
Got a family full of green bean lovers, and you need to double the recipe? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
How do you make Green Beans with Bacon?
I make these beans on the stove, because they're quick and because the oven is usually full with other dishes.
- First, wash and trim your green beans. Locate a little kitchen helper to tackle this, if you need to.
- Next, I cook the chopped bacon in a skillet. Once it’s crisp, I add in the beans, brown sugar, and water.
- Then I bring the mixture up to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer, cover, and let the beans cook until fork tender. This should take about 15 minutes.
- A quick seasoning adjustment with salt and pepper, and this dish is ready to go to the table.
Can you make Green Beans with Bacon using frozen beans?
Yes, of course! If the fresh green beans at the store only look so-so, buy a bag or two of frozen and cook them right out of the freezer.
Can you put raw bacon in green beans?
You run the risk of soggy bacon if you do that. But, sometimes I get lazy (like with my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, see photo below), and it might work out. Depends on your aversion to risk.
HOWEVER - If you can, crisp up that bacon first. Cook up a batch of bacon in the oven, the microwave, or on the stove, then add the beans. You can do it a couple days before, too! Just hold on to the bacon fat.
Can you make Green Beans with Bacon in a crock pot?
Looking for slow-cooker green beans? It’s easy to do and delicious, too.
- Start by cooking the bacon in a skillet on the stove until crisp.
- Transfer the bacon and drippings into a crockpot.
- Add beans, brown sugar and water.
- Cover and cook on HIGH until beans are tender, about 3 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
What to add to Green Beans with Bacon:
Like all classic vegetable side dish recipes, this one definitely has its variations.
- Green beans with bacon and almonds: Toasted slivered almonds sprinkled in with the beans is a classic variation.
- Green beans with bacon and mushrooms: Some thinly sliced shiitake, cremini, or button mushrooms added to the bacon to cook taste fabulous. Besides, I never met a mushroom I didn’t like.
- Green beans with bacon and brown sugar: Some recipes call for extra brown sugar. If you like your beans a little on the sweet side, go ahead and add another 1/4 cup.
- Green beans with bacon and onions: Sauté some chopped red or yellow onions in with the bacon, taking advantage of the bacon grease to get them nice and toasty, then add the beans.
- Green beans with bacon and shallots: Sautéed shallots or fried shallots (available at Asian markets) over the top of the green beans add texture and savor flavor to this recipe.
- Green beans with bacon and vinegar: Some folks like a little extra tanginess in this dish; if you're one of them, add a glug of cider vinegar, white vinegar, or Balsamic vinegar in with the water. You can balance it out with some brown sugar if you've gone too far.
What are the calories in Green Beans with Bacon?
Depending on how big of a batch you make, the nutritional information is attached to the recipe below.
When it’s Christmastime, though, I don’t worry so much about the calories in green beans with bacon; there’s always room for fresh vegetables.
My goal this year is to make the best-tasting food out of the freshest ingredients, updating the classic recipes to taste even better than you remembered. Using fresh green beans instead of canned reduces the sodium content dramatically, which is important to me.
This holiday season, I've updated some traditional Christmas recipes to make each bite even better than the next. From classic Prime Rib with Mustard Cream Sauce to easy Soft Yeast Rolls to sop up the plate, every dish on the table is vibrant and bursting with flavor.
I hope you have the merriest, most delightful holiday season ever, and a peaceful, delicious New Year.
Green Beans with Bacon Recipe
- 2 pounds green beans stems trimmed
- 8 slices bacon cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, brown sugar, and water.
- Stir gently; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Season to taste. Remove to a serving dish with a slotted spoon.
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