Green Beans with Bacon is a delicious holiday or everyday casserole, with fresh green beans and crispy bacon in a sweet & savory brown sugar glaze!
Get ready, y'all...it's time to start planning those holiday menus! One of the sides I'm most looking forward to are these Green Beans with Bacon!
This recipe is the happy result when one wants to put green beans on the table, isn't a huge fan of traditional (mushroom soup) green bean casserole, and decides she's too lazy to make the Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze that she usually makes for holiday meals.
In case you're wondering, "she" is me. And when plans suddenly changed a couple years ago and I found myself preparing an entire Thanksgiving feast all by my lonesome on rather short notice, I wanted to keep our traditional favorites on the menu but cut corners wherever possible. That's when I decided to adapt my beloved, bacon-tied green bean bundles into an easy-peasy green bean casserole instead...Green Beans with Bacon!
The stars of this easy, sweet-and-savory casserole recipe are the same as their more labor-intensive green bean bundle cousins:
- Fresh green beans. You could use frozen or canned green beans here if you insist, but I just think fresh green beans makes this dish so much better.
- Bacon. I prefer roasting my bacon in the oven, but you may cook it using your favorite method.
- Butter. Salted or unsalted will work.
- Brown sugar. Light or dark will work.
- Soy sauce. Low-sodium soy sauce is fine if that's your preference.
- Garlic powder.
- Black pepper.
How to Make Ahead
You may certainly make this recipe on the same day that you're going to be enjoying it. But since I typically make it as a side dish in cooking-intensive holiday meals, I like to prep it ahead of time and then simply bake it off on the big day.
- A day or two before dinner, boil a couple pounds of fresh green beans.
- Simultaneously cook the bacon. Drain the fat and chop.
- Combine the green beans and bacon in your desired casserole dish, tightly cover, and refrigerate.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together the simple, savory-sweet glaze. Cover and refrigerate.
- The next day, pull the casserole dish out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Reheat the sauce in the microwave (to melt the butter), stir, and pour over the green beans and bacon.
- Give everything a good stir and pop your Bacon Green Bean Casserole into the oven to bake as directed. It's even okay if it has to share the space with a variety of other side dishes.
Half an hour later, it's time to dig in!
And while everything on our holiday table is scrumptious, I have to say that this green bean side dish is always one of the first to disappear. Nobody can stop at just one serving! So I make it at Thanksgiving, and then I no qualms making it again the following month for Christmas. I mean, it only makes sense with those festive shades of red and green, right? 😉
While I'm all about holiday menu traditions -- making the same recipes each year in hopes that our kids will fondly recreate them for their own families one day -- it's also nice to try new things every so often. And bonus points if one of those new recipes (like Green Beans with Bacon a couple years ago!) is so good that it sticks and becomes a part of the tradition moving forward. 🙂
Helpful Tips, Tricks, & Equipment
- By following the cooking times in the recipe, the green beans in this casserole will turn out very soft and tender. For green beans that have a slight bite and a brighter green color, boil for only 5 minutes. The green beans will continue to cook during their stint in the oven.
- Boiling the green beans in chicken broth gives them extra flavor. However, since chicken broth is rather expensive to just get thrown away, I like to instead add a spoonful of Organic Better Than Bouillon chicken base to the pot of water in which I cook the green beans.
More Holiday Side Dishes
- Holiday Honeycrisp Salad
- Slow Cooker Honey Cinnamon Carrots
- Brussels Sprouts Gratin
- Slow Cooker Cheesy Creamy Corn
Green Beans with Bacon
- 2 pounds fresh green beans, cleaned & trimmed
- 8 ounces bacon, cooked until crispy & chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place rack in center position of oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water (or chicken broth) to a boil. Add the green beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to an approximately 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
- Sprinkle chopped bacon over the green beans in the baking dish. Melt the butter (in a glass measuring cup in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove). Stir in the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder, and pepper until well combined. Pour over the green beans and bacon in the baking dish and toss until all ingredients are coated. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until tender and heated through. Stir well and serve hot.
Post originally published on December 11, 2017 and updated October 20, 2019.