These classic Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon are made even better with bacon bits! This easy veggie side dish is garlicky, full of warm spice from the cajun seasoning, and just overall delicious.
Easy Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon
The best way to get picky eaters (we’re talking adults and kids) to eat vegetables? Add bacon. It works every darn time.
Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon are seriously one of the best flavorful side dishes out there! They go with literally anything. You could be eating grilled pork chops, mac n’ cheese, or chili – these beans go with each of those meals!
Even if you don’t know what you’re whipping up for dinner yet, though, you should make room for these skillet green beans. They’re cooked in bacon fat (yes bacon fat, get excited!) and seasoned to perfection. Grab some garlic, fresh green beans, an onion, and some cajun seasoning, and let’s get started!
Wait… one more thing… if you love these Sauteed Green Beans, you’ll love this traditional Green Bean Casserole too! It’s the perfect complement to your Thanksgiving turkey!
What Makes this Recipe so Good?
If you’re a little skeptical about ‘green beans’ and ‘good’ in the same sentence, don’t worry, you’re not the first. But, they are 100% delicious. Maybe even 1000%. There are two things that have me absolutely addicted to these classic green beans:
- One is Bacon Fat: Can one ever get enough of that delicious fatty flavor? I think not. First you’ll sauté the bacon in a pan, then you’ll add in the onions, and finally you’ll add in the green beans. The result? Some of the best green beans you’ve ever tasted!
- The Second is Cajun Seasoning: These sautéed green beans are over-the-top flavorful with the addition of garlic and cajun seasoning. The cajun seasoning in particular adds a little spiciness to each bite, so make sure not to skip it! If you’re a big fan of cajun-seasoned food, try Cajun Chicken Pasta, Dirty Rice, or Salmon Patties, too!
- They’re So Quick and Easy: Okay so, technically, there’s a third reason I love these green beans so much. For all the deliciousness, they’re really simple! They won’t take you more than 30 minutes to make, and it’s really easy to monitor them on the stovetop while you make the other parts of your meal.
What You’ll Need
So, you need green beans, garlic, cajun seasoning, bacon, and… what else? There’s actually only a couple of other ingredients and to gather, and then you’ll be good to go!
Here are the other skillet green beans essentials:
- Bacon: I like to use thick sliced bacon (diced) but regular bacon will work well, too.
- Onion: Dice up a yellow onion before starting.
- Garlic: Minced. You’ll need about 3 cloves.
- Green Beans: Use fresh green beans with the ends trimmed. I don’t recommend using frozen or canned green beans.
- Cajun Seasoning: This is optional. If you’re not a fan of heat, feel free to leave this out, but personally I think it really ties the dish together!
- More Seasoning: Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
- Olive Oil: This is just in case you end up not using enough fat, and need to prevent the green beans from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
How to Make Green Beans with Bacon
Once you see how easy it is to make these green beans, you’ll want to make them every night – and not just because they have yummy bacon in them! There’s practically no prep work, so you can get right to cooking and then eating.
Follow these steps for the best bacon fat green beans:
Sauté the Bacon: In a large heavy bottomed skillet, like a cast iron skillet, sauté bacon over medium-high heat until the fat begins to render, about 2 minutes.
Sauté the Onion: Add onion and continue to sauté until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Cook the Green Beans: Add green beans and toss to coat with bacon and onions. Lower heat to medium and cover with lid and cook, stirring often, until green beans are softened, about 20 minutes. Depending on how much fat is in your bacon, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil as you cook the green beans to prevent everything from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Season the Green Beans: Once green beans are soft and tender, season with cajun seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Tips for Success
Making sautéed green beans is a total breeze, right? The hardest part is probably trying not to reach into the pan to snag one before they’ve cooled.
Here are some extra tips that will help you get the best results with your beans:
- Rinse the Green Beans: This will ensure that you are working with clean green beans. More importantly, if you cook these green beans while slightly damp, they will end up with a nice brown sear.
- For Firm Green Beans: If you like firmer green beans, don’t cook them for the full 20 minutes. Shave a couple of minutes off the end of the cooking time, and they won’t be quite as soft.
- Drain Excess Bacon Grease: Keep a layer of fat to cook the beans in, of course, but you certainly don’t need all of the fat that will accumulate when you cook the bacon.
What should you serve with your sautéed green beans? Again, the better question is what shouldn’t you serve with your green beans? Your options are pretty much endless, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Grilled Meat: Usher in summer with some classic summertime meals! Grill up some pork chops, chicken breasts, or steaks, and serve these flavorful green beans on the side. If you don’t want to use the grill, that’s okay too! These green beans will still taste great alongside slow cooker pork or baked chicken.
- Pasta Salad: Keep dinnertime light and simple with green beans and pasta salad! Try something like this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad or this Greek Pasta Salad.
- Seafood: That’s right, green beans are fantastic with seafood, too. I definitely recommend trying them with Sun-Dried Tomato Parmesan Crusted Salmon!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store these sautéed green beans in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. They should keep for 2-3 days there. When you want to reheat them, simply microwave them, or reheat them in a pan on the stove until warmed through.
The Best Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon
- 6 strips thick sliced bacon, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning, optional
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil, if needed
- In a large heavy bottomed skillet, like a cast iron skillet, sauté bacon over medium-high heat until the fat begins to render, about 2 minutes.
- Add onion and continue to sauté until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add green beans and toss to coat with bacon and onions. Lower heat to medium and cover with lid and cook, stirring often, until green beans are softened, about 20 minutes. Depending on how much fat is in your bacon, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil as you cook the green beans to prevent everything from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Once green beans are soft and tender, season with cajun seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
More Side dishes to Try
Looking for more quick and easy side dishes to make with dinner? Try out some of these:
- The Best Baked Beans (also made with bacon!)
- Green Bean Casserole
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Candied Carrots
- Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
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