These fresh green beans sautéed with bacon and garlic make the perfect side dish for just about any meal. The green beans are packed with flavor and the dish comes together quickly and is virtually foolproof!
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Maybe it's just my family, but I feel like we get on a kick where we keep the same veggies on repeat. Last year it was zucchini and salads, before that it was broccoli and cauliflower. Now we are onto green beans.
This is my favorite way to cook fresh green beans. The flavor is perfect and the method for cooking makes them nearly impossible to mess up.
How to pick out the best fresh green beans at the grocery store
The first step in making delicious green beans is choosing the best beans while at the grocery.
I like to check out the surface of the bean. The skin should be nice and smooth. If the beans are wrinkled or the skin has soft spots or bruising then the beans are probably past their prime.
Next, if you can, try snapping one of the beans in half. It should easily break and make a 'snap' sound. If the bean doesn't easily break it's probably no good.
If your supermarket only sells prebagged fresh green beans, you want to take a look at any liquid in the bag. It should be clear and look clean. If the water is at all cloudy, then that is a sign that the beans inside the bag are beginning to rot.
How to trim fresh green beans
When you buy fresh green beans, they often need to be trimmed before cooking. This just means that you need to remove the part of the been that connected it to the plant.
Should you blanch or steam green beans before sautéeing?
This is a really common question when it comes to cooking fresh green beans, and the answer is - It depends.
If you follow the recipe as I have written it, with no steaming or blanching, the result will be a tender-crisp green bean. If you prefer a softer green bean, you can add ¼ cup of water or broth to the sauté pan in step 2.
How to make these green beans
The first step to making these green beans is to cook the bacon pieces over medium heat until they are about halfway done. You also want to make sure that the bacon has released a little bit of grease.
Note - If you want to make these beans vegan, simply omit the bacon and sub with 1 tablespoon of olive or avocado oil.
Next, add the green beans, then top with the sliced garlic. DO NOT stir. You want the bacon to remain on the bottom of the sauté pan so that it will get crisp. Cover the sauté pan and allow the beans to cook for 3-5 minutes.
Note - You can substitute the sliced garlic for minced garlic or even garlic powder in a pinch.
Remove the lid, stir the beans and increase the heat to high and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring the beans halfway through.
What to serve with sautéed green beans:
Like I said in the intro, these green beans really do go with just about anything! With that said here are some great ideas to get you started:
- Marinated Steak
- Sweet Potato and Bacon Turkey Burgers
- Bacon Cheeseburger Dippers
- Salmon Patties
- Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin
- Air Fryer Keto Fried Chicken
- Maple and Butter Pork Tenderloin
- Crispy Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Pork Chops
Sautéed Fresh Green Beans
- 4 slices Bacon cut into pieces
- 1 lb Fresh Green Beans washed and trimmed
- 4 cloves Garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place the bacon pieces in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the bacon is about halfway done and it has released some fat.
- Add the green beans to the pan, then add the garlic on top of the green beans without stirring.
- Place a lid on the saute pan and cook, covered for 3-5 minutes or until the green beans have begun to soften. (note, for softer green beans cook a little longer)
- Remove the lid and stir the green beans. Increase heat to high and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Be sure to read the entire post for tips, tricks, and help troubleshooting.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens. Optional ingredients are not included unless otherwise specified.