Crispy bacon and sautéed onions pair perfectly with fresh green beans. Even your kids will be asking for seconds of their vegetables when you serve Green Beans with Bacon!
Talk about an elevated vegetable side dish, Green Beans with Bacon are the perfect combination of salty, crisp, and nutritious!
I’m a firm believer in bacon makes everything better – like these Cheesy Bacon Oven Potatoes. This green bean recipe is a definite example of that.
Forget boring and bland green beans. Cook up some bacon, onions, and toss it all with apple cider vinegar. You’ll be SO glad you did.
GREEN BEANS WITH BACON
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My kids went through an incredibly picky phase when they were younger (said every parent ever, am I right?). It was chicken nuggets and cheerios for my oldest. My youngest? He refused to eat anything but lasagna “made the way grandma makes it.”
When I asked them to eat a vegetable, you’d think that I’d charged them with solving global warming by dinnertime. The look of disbelief on their faces should’ve won them an Academy Award.
But, as an adult, I knew the importance of a balanced diet with plenty of colorful veggies included. So, veggies were non-negotiable. Cue the nightly meltdowns and pouty faces at the dinner table. I knew that I had to get them vegetables somehow, so it was time to get creative.
One thing that the whole family could agree on was that bacon had a place in any and every meal. My husband included!
Is it the healthiest of foods? Absolutely not. But does it make everything taste better? For sure.
Bacon was the game changer when it came to my boys eating their veggies. I whipped up this easy green bean and bacon recipe one night and their tune changed completely. The crispy bacon and crunchy green beans were a hit and it turned into a family favorite recipe instantly!
Fast forward a few years, my boys are growing up (they’re entering the teenage years…. uh oh!). I wouldn’t say that they LOVE to eat their vegetables, but things have definitely gotten easier on that front. They still request Green Beans with Bacon on the regular.
Not only is this recipe one of our family favorites, but we also bring it with us all the time. We make it for holidays, potlucks, and any other event where we want to share some yummy veggies with loved ones!
Ingredients for Green Beans with Bacon
- Green beans
- Thick cut pepper bacon
- Fresh thyme
- Apple cider vinegar
Bacon can often weigh a dish down making it feel (and taste) heavy and greasy. The great thing about Green Beans with Bacon is that the rich bacon is balanced with tangy apple cider vinegar. You’ll feel great after eating it, not like you’re weighed down by bacon grease.
We’ve made this recipe countless times. Sometimes I use regular bacon, sometimes hardwood smoked, but most often with whatever I happen to have in the fridge. The type of bacon that is consistently my family’s favorite has been thick-cut pepper bacon, though. The peppered bacon adds a little extra kick to the beans!
How to Cook Fresh Green Beans
- Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, snip off the ends of the green beans and snap them in half.
- Once your water has reached a rolling boil, add in the fresh, trimmed green beans. Cook them until they’re tender – typically around 4 minutes.
- Remove the cooked green beans from the water and run them under cold water to stop cooking. (You don’t want them getting mushy!) You can also use an ice bath to stop the cooking if you prefer.
- Keep the cooled green beans in a dish off to the side for later. Or just add them directly into your serving dish for now. (Fewer dishes to clean later!)
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it’s nice and crispy, and then remove the bacon from the pan. I like to lay the bacon on a plate covered in paper towels to soak up the excess grease.
- Drain off the bacon grease from the skillet, but leave about 2 tablespoons of grease and bacon drippings in the frying pan.
- Next, chop up your onions to 1/2 inch pieces. Then cook the onions in bacon grease for about 3 minutes. They should be turning translucent, but not yet caramelized.
- Add in the sugar and thyme to the skillet and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add in the apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and cook for another 1 minute.
- Finally, toss back in the bacon and beans into the onion mixture. Combine it all and breathe in the amazing aroma of your easy side dish!
- Spoon the Green Beans with Bacon into your favorite serving dish and enjoy!
Do you avoid cooking dishes with onions simply because you hate cutting them? They taste amazing but man, oh, man… the tears that come with cutting onions are the WORST. Well avoid recipes no longer – I’ve got a Real Housemoms pro-tip for you today.
If you chill your onions in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before cutting them, you’ll avoid the tears! Also, make sure the knife you’re using is super sharp. These are my two fail-safe ways to actually enjoy prepping dishes with onions!
Looking for some more (kid-approved!) veggie side dishes? Check out these other Real Housemoms favorites!
- Crispy Fried Green Beans with Wasabi Mayo
- Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Asparagus
- Creamy Bacon Pea Salad
- Sweet Potato Stacks
- more SIDE DISH recipes…
Tools used to make this Green Beans with Bacon recipe
Non-stick skillet: an everyday staple in our house, this non-stick skillet is my absolute favorite!
Knife set: a quality (sharp!) knife set is essential for every kitchen.
*This post originally posted on 01/15/2014.
- 1 pound green beans snip off ends and snap in half
- 4 slices thick-cut pepper bacon
- 1 cup onion chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Add green beans to a pot of boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.
- Drain green beans and run under cold water to stop cooking. (You can also place them in an ice-water bath if you prefer.)
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it's crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Drain off bacon grease from the skillet, but leave 2 tablespoons grease in the pan.
- Cook onions in bacon grease for 3 minutes.
- Add sugar and thyme and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add in apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 1 minute.
- Toss bacon and green beans back into the skillet and stir to combine. Serve warm.
Can you taste the vinegar? Does that need to be added or can I omit it?
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and I’m going to make this to go with the ham and scalloped potatoes…yummy
Mila Furman says
I LOVE this! I make mine with garlic and bacon and shallots…will have to try them this way too! Thanks for sharing!
When do you add the beans back in? I’m making them now nd threw them in after the sugar. Smells good!
Aubrey Cota says
Sorry about that Haley. I’ve updated the recipe to reflect the beans going in with the bacon at the end.
This recipe looks so delicious. I have been looking for ways to dress up our veggies and this is perfect!
Thanks Stephanie! 🙂