Want to learn how to make a healthy southern green bean recipe? I outlined how to do this step-by-step below. Comfort food never tasted better…or healthier!
Being from Texas and all, Dustin has always loved this slow-cooked, Southern style of green beans. And well, I must admit there’s definitely something about southern-style food. As if its sole purpose was to please. It’s called soul food for a reason, no?
Well, as I love comfort food, and you know I do, I still like to eat healthy and clean. Also, I think I appreciate my days off and an occasional cheat meal even more that way. Over time, I’ve also learned there are ways to modify and adapt even the oldest, most traditional recipes and fit them into your clean eating plan.
Luckily for me, Southern Green Beans was not a hard recipe to adapt. And, to both my own and Dustin’s delight, these turned out to be absolutely amazing!
ARE SOUTHERN GREEN BEANS HEALTHY?
Green beans are a rich source of vitamins A, C and K as well as folic acid and fiber. Adding green beans to your diet will boost your immune system as well as your metabolism. Some types of green beans can even be eaten fresh, something you should definitely do whenever possible as vegetables lose some of its nutritional value during cooking.
The recipe also calls for low sodium chicken broth and nitrate-free bacon to help remove a lot of the sodium and processed ingredients. While this recipe still has a salty undertone, it’s not crazy salty like most Southern Green Bean recipes you may have tried.
3 HEALTHY SOUTHERN GREEN BEAN PAIRINGS
Wondering what you can serve with Southern Style Green Beans? Good news: Southern Green Beans are not only healthy and taste absolutely amazing but they’re super easy to pair up and serve with pretty much anything. Go full on veggie, if that’s what you’re craving or serve Southern Green Beans as a side dish.
Personally, I love me some green beans alongside chicken so here are a couple of my favorite chicken recipes I love to serve with Southern Green Beans on the side.
BAKED ALMOND CHICKEN STRIPS (SOUTHERN GREEN BEAN PAIRING IDEA)
Try a healthy spin on chicken strips with this baked almond chicken strips recipe, paired with a clean honey mustard dipping sauce that’s pure perfection. This Southern Green Beans recipe goes as a great side with these Baked Chicken Strips.
NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN (SOUTHERN GREEN BEAN PAIRING IDEA)
I’m such a fan of all things Nashville. Not just about music, but about the food as well! Follow these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to the best healthy Nashville Hot Chicken ever, just in time for summer!
PAN FRIED SALMON (SOUTHERN GREEN BEAN PAIRING IDEA)
Okay, so this isn’t salmon, but this salmon recipe goes great with these Southern Style Green Beans. This Pan Fried Salmon is one of my favorite easy dinner recipes. Serve it with Southern Green Beans for a quick, yet nutritious weekday dinner.
HOW TO COOK SOUTHERN GREEN BEANS IN A CROCK POT
If you want to make a healthier version of the traditional recipe, while still keeping it super simple and mess-free, make your Southern Green Beans in a crock pot. Seriously, I think I might be in love with my slow cooker!
Southern Green beans are cooked low and slow in a slow cooker so there’s plenty of time for those wonderful flavors to develop. Remember the taste of your grandma’s green beans? This is as close as it gets and it’s good for you as well.
In case you’re wondering, Southern Green Beans prepared in a crock pot are definitely good for you. Cooking in a crock pot is a great way to cook healthier because you don’t need to use a ton of oil or fats, and the food still cooks over time so it creates a ton of flavor.
Southern Green Beans cooked in a crock pot are made without additional oil and processed fats, with added nitrate-free bacon slices for some extra flavor.
Want to learn how to make a healthy southern green beans? I outlined how to do this step-by-step below. Comfort food never tasted better...or healthier!
- 4 nitrate-free bacon slices, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, de-stemmed and sliced into 1 1/2-in. pieces
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
- sea salt, as needed to taste
In a deep stock pot or large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Reserve drippings and keep heating over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, cayenne, and black pepper, and cook for an additional minute.
Add the green beans and cooked bacon and stir to combine. Add enough chicken stock to just cover the green beans.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, covered, 40-50 minutes, depending on preferred level of tenderness. Check flavor again and season to taste as needed. The longer you cook them, the more tender they’ll be.
Remove from heat and serve hot.
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7 thoughts on “How to Cook Southern Style Green Beans”
This is great. My family is from Mississippi. The only adjustments I make when i make mine are: i add about 2 teaspoons (this is a guestimate- i never measure when i cook lol) of liquid smoked flavor, a teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning, instead of chicken stock I add water and then a teaspoon or two of powdered pollo flavor (or chicken flavor) by Knorr, instead of cayenne pepper I use crushed red pepper, and I add a splash of apple cider vinegar, and a sprinkle of sugar. If I even need it I add the sea salt dead last because the knorr and lemon pepper have salt in them. I simmer on low until the liquid reduces and the beans are fork tender. Cant go wrong with such a flavorful dish. If you want to make it hearty you can add cubed white potatoes and cubed ham steaks. Mmmmm mmm mmmnh!!!!
These are soooooooooooo good! I didn’t use the shallot, but I used everything else. These are the way green beans should be. 🙂
Yes! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Stacy. Thanks for your comment 🙂
Can I make these ahead of time–are they good as leftovers?
Yes, ma’am! 🙂
I am cooking these now and wondering when I put the bacon back in? Thanks!!
Sorry, Denise! Put it back in when you add the raw green beans 🙂
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