Finding an easy side dish for dinner every night can take a lot of work but these easy green beans with bacon are perfectly cooked and a dash of garlic and butter!
I grew up on green beans, but they didn’t start out green, our green beans were purple and they made the best easy green beans with bacon.
They are slightly sweeter than regular green beans, but otherwise taste the same and will turn green after cooking. Our little one was pretty excited to help me pick purple beans last summer at Grandma’s house–so excited that she was eating them raw! Now to just get the others as excited about easy green beans with bacon.
read more: Looking for easy sides? Try our Classic Baked Beans with Bacon next!
How to Prepare Fresh Green Beans
If you are using fresh beans then you will want to snap the ends off, making sure that you pull the attached “string” off with the stem (you will notice a fibrous string along the side that will come off when you try to “snap” the stem off. It’s similar to celery strings).
You can leave green beans long or I actually prefer to snap ours once or twice because they are easier to eat.
How to Cook Fresh Green Beans
It’s not just that you need to know how to cook fresh green beans as there are a few different ways, but more importantly how long to boil green beans as no one wants undercooked, crunchy green beans or way over cooked green beans that become chewy and mushy.
Place your trimmed green beans in a pot of boiling water. It’s important to let the water boil first as beans put in too early will have to cook for longer and you’ll end up with a mushy, brown bean. Let the green beans boil for about 4-5 minutes, or until they are bright green and tender.
Use a stainless steel spider strainer (this is our favorite) to lift the green beans out of the pot and straight into an ice bath.
We prefer to then take the green beans and add them to a hot pan with a little oil or butter, or we usually use a little of both. Saute until hot and flavorful, then serve! See, easy green beans with bacon isn’t hard at all!
What is an Ice Bath for Cooking?
An ice bath is used in cooking to quickly stop the cooking process. Don’t be tempted to skip it as the green beans will continue to cook and won’t be as appetizing.
The ice bath will also keep the green beans a vibrant green versus over cooked beans that become dull in color and often tinged with brown.
Can Green Beans be Made Ahead?
Green beans can be made ahead of time if you follow a few simple steps.
Start out by boiling the green beans like normal but cut the time down to about 3 minutes. Drain and place the beans in the ice bath and as soon as they are cool, place in a paper towel and blot them dry.
Store the partially cooked beans in a zip top bag in the fridge for up to 2 days.
When do Green Beans Go Bad?
Fresh green beans, stored in the fridge will only last for 5-7 days. A few brown spots on green beans is totally ok. You can still eat green beans with brown spots, though they won’t be that perfect green bean experience.
However, make sure you watch for when green beans turn wet or slimy as that means the green beans have gone bad. You’ll need to throw them out at this point.
Can Green Beans be Frozen?
Green beans can be frozen as long as you blanch them first. Prepare the green beans just as you would for the make ahead green beans. Place them in their bags and press out all of the air as you seal them.
Lay the bags flat in the freezer and freeze.
How Long Can Green Beans Last in the Freezer?
Green beans will last in the freezer for up to 1 year. We prefer to eat ours within 6 months, unless we have used our Food Saver. We should seriously be their ambassador with how much we talk about it, haha.
Are Green Beans Good For You?
Green beans are good for you! The fiber content in green beans is very high, and it also provides some of your daily protein requirements. They also act as an easy source for vitamins like vitamin A, C, K, B6, and folic acid.
Easy Green Beans with Bacon
This recipe can be made with fresh or canned string beans. If you use canned green beans, make sure that you use a pan that’s bigger as they will need space in order to not turn to mush in the pan when you saute them. Skip the boiling and ice bath completely.
Purple beans make me think of home and gardening every summer with my family. We worked long hours in that garden, but never as long as our mom who is superwoman. Our hands would turn purple from picking and canning beans during the summer and we would have to scrub and scrub when we were done. Isn’t it funny how something you hated as a kid somehow becomes something you miss?
I’ll be missing those chubby little hands one day too. Until then, I’ll keep snapping pictures to remind me who he was.
Easy Green Beans with Bacon
Easy Green Beans with Bacon
- 1 lb Green Beans ends trimmed and broken into pieces.
- 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- 2 Teaspoons of Butter
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic Spread Seasoning with parsley
- 1 Teaspoon of Brown Sugar *optional
- 3-4 Slices of Bacon
If you are using fresh string beans:
- Prepare an ice bath by placing ice and water in a large bowl.
- Wash the beans, snap the ends, and snap into pieces and drop into a pot of boiling water.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes and then place in an ice bath.
- Cook the bacon and remove to a paper towel lined plate, reserving the bacon grease.
- Add a drizzle of oil if needed and the butter.
- Bring to a medium heat and add the green beans, brown sugar and seasoning, stirring to coat.
- Crumble the bacon and return to the frying pan (you can sop up the extra grease, or leave a little bit for extra flavor).
- Serve immediately.
To Use Canned Beans
- If you're using canned beans, skip the boiling and add the beans directly into a frying pan after the bacon has cooked.
- Proceed as normal.
The real green bean casserole doesn’t use cream of anything soup and the fried shoestring potatoes may be a new twist but it’s a good one!