Cheap Recipe: Southern-Style Green Beans

28 Aug

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

These juicy suckers are a meal in themselves.

These juicy suckers are a meal in themselves.

I grew up in a house where both of my parents equally shared the cooking duties at mealtime. Mom and Dad each have their own specialties and cooking methods.

These delicious green beans (with 2 secret ingredients!) are one of Dad’s favorite things to cook, and one of my favorite things to eat.

You can make these in a small batch or enough to feed an army. For convenience’s sake, I’ve prepared this recipe post using 2 cans of green beans, which feeds about 2-3 people as a side dish.

Begin by spraying a saucepan with nonstick cooking spray and placing over medium heat.

Next, chop a small onion into many pieces and shred 3 slices uncooked bacon into small bites.♥ Add onion and bacon

Chopped onion and bacon.

Chopped onion and bacon.

 to the heated pan and stir. Leave cooking for 5-6 minutes or until onions begin to look transparent. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.

Chef’s note: I like to use turkey bacon in cooking in place of pork because it shreds very easily, cooks evenly, and has no super-fatty areas. Plus, you can usually get name-brand turkey bacon for a dollar less than generic pork bacon, so it’s easier on the wallet.


I use French-style sliced green beans when available, but it's a matter of personal preference.

I use French-style sliced green beans when available, but it's a matter of personal preference.

A good rule of thumb I use when making green beans in bulk is (2) pieces bacon for the first can of beans, and (1) piece of bacon for every additional can of beans I add. 


Once onion bits and bacon are beginning to brown, drain 2 cans green beans and add to

Carmelized bacon & onions. Mmmm...

Carmelized bacon & onions. Mmmm...

 mixture. Bring to simmer.

And now, it’s time to add BOTH of the super-dooper, top-secret ingredients to transform this from plain old do-it-yourself green beans to a sumptuous Southern masterpiece.

…Are you ready???

Here goes: Stir in 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons (about 10-12 bottle shakes) soy sauce.

Brown sugar and soy sauce. Who'd have thunk it?

Brown sugar and soy sauce. Who'd have thunk it?

Sound a little weird? Well that’s just too bad, because it’s awesome and it’s in the recipe so you have to do it. That is all.

Anyway, stir these two additions into the now-simmering pot, cover, reduce heat a little and walk away. Good beans need to cook down for at least 15 minutes. Uncover, stir, and serve to adoring mouths.

Oh, and by the way–please don’t operate under the assumption that these beans will retain any nutritional value as vegetables by the time you serve them, because they won’t. But DANG, are they good!

(Keep in mind when preparing these green beans that because they’re going to cook down quite a bit, you want to overestimate the number of cans you’ll need because they’re going to be both drained AND cooked down before you serve them so there’s not going to be as much volume there as what you started with.)



One Response to “Cheap Recipe: Southern-Style Green Beans”


  1. Cheap Recipe: Pork Chop Casserole « The Red Kitchen Project - October 8, 2009

    […] casserole goes really well with Southern-Style Green Beans. Sometimes I cook them on the stovetop while the casserole bakes and then just spread them over the […]

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