Green Beans with Bacon

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!

Green Beans with Bacon, with text overlay.

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If you enjoy side dishes boasting bacon, you'll also love Brussels Sprouts Gratin, Ultimate Cornbread Casserole, and Creamy Peas with Bacon + Mint!

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!

Green Beans with Bacon in serving dish with spoon.

Ingredients

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.

Close-up in baking dish.

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.

  1. A day or two before dinner, boil a couple pounds of fresh green beans.
  2. Simultaneously cook the bacon. Drain the fat and chop.
  3. Combine the green beans and bacon in your desired casserole dish, tightly cover, and refrigerate.
  4. In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together the simple, savory-sweet glaze. Cover and refrigerate.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

Big spoonful of Green Beans with Bacon.

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? 😉

Aerial view of Green Beans with Bacon in serving dish.

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. 🙂

Scooping with spoon.

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.

Green Beans with Bacon, two-photo collage with text.

More Holiday Favorites

Green Beans with Bacon in a dish with spoon.

Green Beans with Bacon

Green Beans with Bacon are even better than traditional green bean casserole! This delicious holiday side dish recipe boasts fresh green beans and crispy bacon in a sweet & savory brown sugar glaze!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 167kcal
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, cleaned & trimmed
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked until crispy & chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • 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 ½-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.

Notes

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Up to two days ahead of time, cook the bacon and boil the green beans as directed. Combine them in the baking dish, cover, and refrigerate. Assemble the sauce in a small glass jar or bowl; cover and refrigerate. When it's time to cook the casserole, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature while preheating the oven. Reheat the sauce in the microwave (to melt the butter) and stir well. Pour the sauce over the baking dish of green beans/bacon and toss to combine. Bake as directed.

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 352mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 920IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

 

Post originally published on December 11, 2017 and updated October 20, 2019.

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5 from 33 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




32 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious, I like the fresh taste & Juicey! Thing is I don't like Green Beans - but because of this recipe I now love green beans 💋🥰💯

  2. 5 stars
    My new favorite Green Bean Casserole. I also added some chopped thin asparagus stems for another veg/flavor profile (they look just like cut green beans), and for my real secret, (shhh don't tell anybody), I added a small amount of sesame oil. BTW, I simply steam my green beans for about three minutes (asparagus stems one to two minutes) then into an ice water bath to stop the cooking.

  3. So glad I came across this recipe. I will be making it for the first time tomorrow. I think they will love this. Thank you. Catherine

    1. Hi Lisa! I can see garlic going well in this recipe, but I'm not sure how Parmesan cheese would taste since the sauce is rather sweet. Please let me know how it turns out if you decide to give it a try!

  4. I’m wondering if anyone has tried this using precooked bacon? I’m thinking it would be too dry? (But would love it if someone tells me I’m wrong!!)

  5. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. Our extended family has a lot of food sensitivities, so at Thanksgiving I subbed coconut aminos for soy sauce, white pepper for black pepper, and olive oil for butter. It was still GREAT!! The one dish that was totally wiped out. I’ve also made it as written with delicious results.

  6. Hello:
    I like to make this for Christmas dinner ans wondering and liket to add some light bread crumbs on top...would this work?
    Please let me know
    Thanks so much

  7. 5 stars
    My daughter is Gluten-free. I made this with gluten-free soy sauce and EVERYONE LOVED IT! She was so grateful. It is a new tradition for sure!

    1. Awww, I'm so happy to hear that! One of my kiddos is GF as well, so this one's a tradition at our house, too. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    This is so much easier than the green bean casserole I was making, plus everyone loves the bacon in it!! Perfect!

    1. Sure, Catherine! I'm afraid they'd get too dark if you added the almonds before baking. But you could pull the dish out 5-ish minutes before it's done, sprinkle the almonds over the top, and let them get lightly toasted during the last few minutes of baking time.

  9. 5 stars
    I just tried out this recipe today, and my husband and I loved it!! I'll be making it again for our big Family Christmas just 4 days from now. The best thing about this recipe (besides that it is absolutely delicious!), is that it can be prepared a few days in advance. Thanks so much!

    1. 5 stars
      Fantastic recipe! I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit! Not a big sweets fan in this family so I left out the brown sugar, but it was plenty flavorful without it and was pleased with the outcome.

      I also boiled the green beans with chicken bouillon since the broth will be tossed and it came out yummy! Thank you so much!

    1. Yes! I'd just boil/steam/cook the frozen beans according to their package directions (slightly undercooking them, since they'll get more time in the oven) and then proceed with the recipe as directed.