Quick Green Beans with Bacon Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Green Beans with Bacon

Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
One bite of green beans with bacon makes us wonder why we'd ever eat this veggie any other way!

Updated: Jun. 21, 2024

Three ingredients (plus a pinch of salt and pepper) are all you need to create a truly tempting side dish: green beans, bacon and onion. Green beans with bacon are a surefire way to get everyone to eat their veggies, one of those quick and easy side dishes that go with just about any meal. They’re just as good for a casual weeknight family meal as they are alongside the roast at the center of a holiday dinner.

Fresh green beans are the star of the dish, so you should choose the best ones you can find at the store or farmer’s market. When you pick green beans, the color should be a fresh green, the skin should be smooth and tight, and they should snap; if the beans inside are too big, the texture will be tough. If you grow them in your garden, you’ll want to add this to your repertoire of green bean recipes to use up that bumper crop.

For this recipe, green beans are simmered just long enough to give them a crisp-tender texture. The magic happens when they get tossed with your favorite type of bacon and sauteed onion—the smoky, salty bacon brings a lot of flavor while still letting the flavor of the green beans shine through.

Ingredients for Green Beans and Bacon

  • Green beans: Use fresh green beans in this recipe for the best flavor and texture. You’ll need eight cups, or about three pounds, with the ends trimmed off. Can you use frozen green beans? Sure! Just remember that the texture of the beans won’t be as crisp.
  • Bacon: Just four strips of bacon are enough to give this dish lots of flavor. Choose your favorite flavor, like maple-cured or hickory-smoked. These bacon brands are our favorites. Turkey bacon works well in this recipe, too.
  • Onion: The best types of onions for this recipe are white, sweet or yellow. To save time you can use frozen diced onion in place of fresh. Or, dice up more fresh onion than you need and store the extra in the freezer for recipes down the road. PS: Here’s how to cut an onion without crying.
  • Salt and pepper: Just a little salt and pepper added at the end really enhances the flavor of the ingredients. You can also taste the finished green beans before adding more salt to see if the bacon has given them enough flavor.

Directions

Step 1: Cook the green beans

Green Beans boiling in water in a Dutch ovenTMB Studio

Pour the trimmed green beans into a large saucepan or Dutch oven and add enough water to cover them. Bring the beans to a boil, then cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the beans.

Editor’s Tip: If you don’t want to boil the beans for this dish, there are several other ways to cook green beans, including blanching.

Step 2: Cook the bacon

Bacon bits and onions frying in a large skilletTMB Studio

Cook the diced onion and bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir and cook until the bacon bits are crisp and the onion is soft, three to five minutes.

Step 3: Combine and serve

A large skillet filled with green beans and onionsTMB Studio

Add the beans to the bacon mixture, sprinkle in the salt and pepper, and toss everything together.

Editor’s Tip: To make the green beans even more bacony, cook with the bacon and onions for a few extra minutes. This gives the beans a chance to soak up more flavor from the sizzling bacon drippings. Serve the bacon and green beans while they’re warm for the best flavor.

A white bowl of Green Beans With BaconTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Try other beans: Other string beans such as wax or purple beans can be substituted for green beans—or use a mixture of the different varieties. Wax beans will keep their pale, yellow color, but purple beans will turn green once cooked.
  • Add some spice: There are a few ways to add a little heat to your bacon green beans. Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper, chili powder or red pepper flakes over the beans when you add the salt and pepper. Or, saute some sliced jalapeno or habanero peppers with the bacon and onion.
  • Vegan bacon green beans: Instead of regular bacon, use coconut bacon (coconut flakes flavored with liquid smoke and seasonings), homemade vegan bacon (made with carrots!) or other plant-based bacon. Saute the onions until soft, then add diced vegan bacon for the last minute or two of cooking.

How to Store Green Beans with Bacon

Let the green beans cool completely, then transfer them to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid. Store the green beans with bacon in the fridge for up to three days. You can reheat them gently in a covered saucepan on the stove or the microwave.

Green Beans with Bacon Tips

A plate of green beans served with meatloafTMB Studio

What’s the best way to store fresh green beans?

The best way to store green beans is in the refrigerator. Green beans are sensitive to moisture—too much of it and beans will quickly begin to brown and go limp. That’s why storing them unwashed is crucial. Save the washing until right before you’re ready to cook them.

Spread unwashed green beans on a tray loosely covered with wrap, or in a single layer in a storage container or bag. Leave the bag or container slightly open so moisture isn’t trapped inside. Store green beans in the fridge for up to seven days. If you put them in your crisper drawer, open the vents as wide as possible to keep the humidity low.

What can you serve with green beans and bacon?

This veggie side is a fantastic choice to serve alongside almost any meat, like roasted turkey or chicken, steaks, meat loaf or smoked ham. Green beans with bacon is also a nice accompaniment to pasta dishes—like a simple cacio e pepe or a more robust four-cheese sausage rigatoni.

Watch how to Make Quick Green Beans with Bacon

Quick Green Beans with Bacon

Prep Time 25 min
Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 cups fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 4 bacon strips, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until beans are crisp-tender, 8-10 minutes; drain.
    In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion over medium heat until bacon is crisp and onion is tender, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add beans to bacon mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 62 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 177mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

Green beans with bacon and onions makes such an easy side dish. Fresh beans lend a crisp, bright flavor to any meal. They're best when served hot. —Mari Anne Warren, Milton, Wisconsin
Recipe Creator