These green beans with bacon are super easy to fix with fresh green beans and diced cooked bacon. This combination is a clever way to elevate your everyday green beans. Butter, bacon drippings, and crumbled freshly cooked bacon flavor the fresh green beans perfectly. This dish is an excellent alternative to plain steamed green beans or the green bean casserole.
The recipe is a popular one, and it is delicious! To cut back on the fat somewhat, discard most of the bacon drippings before you add the butter and cooked green beans to the pan.
The dish can be made with fresh or frozen green beans. If you use frozen green beans, steam them following the package directions. For some extra color, use part yellow wax beans in the recipe. Jazz these green beans up even more with a bit of garlic and minced shallots. See the tips and variations for details.
- 2 pounds fresh green beans
- 8 strips bacon, diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- Wash the green beans in a colander under cold running water. Top and tail them (slice off the stem ends and tail ends) and then cut them into 1- to 1 1/2-inch lengths. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat; add the diced bacon. Fry the bacon until crispy; remove to paper towels to drain. Leave 2 to 3 tablespoons (or more) of the bacon drippings in the skillet and save the remaining drippings for another recipe.* Set the skillet aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and then add the beans. Boil for about 8 to 12 minutes, or until the desired doneness is reached.
- Drain the green beans well and then add them to the skillet along with the cooked bacon and the butter. Toss well and heat until the green beans are thoroughly coated and hot.
- Sprinkle the green beans with freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste.
*Bacon drippings can solidify and cause clogged drains, so don't pour them down the drain. If you are going to discard the drippings, pour them into an empty can; when the drippings have solidified, toss the can into the trash.
Tips and Variations
- How to Bake Bacon: Bake the bacon in the oven. Heat the oven to 375 F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the strips of bacon in the pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 22 to 26 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. Reserve some of the drippings for the green beans and drain the bacon on paper towels. Proceed with the recipe.
- Green Beans With Bacon, Garlic, and Shallots: Before you add the cooked green beans to the skillet, saute (medium-low heat) a finely minced or pressed clove of garlic and a few tablespoons of finely minced shallots in the butter and bacon drippings for about 2 minutes, or until tender. Add the cooked and drained green beans and bacon; toss, heat, and season with salt and pepper.