This Green Beans with Bacon recipe combines fresh flavors of green beans and the rich and savory flavors of bacon, making this a perfectly balanced side dish that’s perfect for any weeknight or at your next holiday dinner. Or supplement an easy weeknight dinner with this great side dish.
The Best Green Beans with Bacon
Calling all bacon lovers! This is a recipe that you can enjoy and feel good about. We absolutely love this light and crisp side dish, complete with tender green beans, seasonings, and hearty bacon. If you love this simple side dish, be sure to check out our classic green bean casserole with bacon. They’re both sure to have you coming back for seconds.
What You Will Need
- bacon – Select thick-cut bacon from your grocery store for nice meaty bites.
- garlic – Just a little goes a long way to kick up the flavor.
- fresh green beans – Look for bright green, firm looking fresh beans. These always yield the best crunch.
- lemon zest – Just a bit to brighten all the flavors.
- red pepper flakes – For those who like some subtle heat.
- kosher salt & ground black pepper – Standard, but still important.
How To Make Green Beans with Bacon
Start by chopping your bacon into bite sized pieces while your large skillet comes to medium-high heat. Then add the bacon and move it around the pan for 5-6 minutes or until it’s fully cooked. Adjust the cooking time if you like crispy bacon, keeping an eye that it doesn’t get burnt.
Carefully remove the bacon pieces from the pan and place them on a clean paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Keep about two tablespoons of bacon drippings in the pan toss the rest. Then, in the same large sauté pan, add minced garlic and move it around the pan until it becomes fragrant.
Next, increase the heat to medium-high and add the green beans. Let them cook for 8-10 minutes or until they’ve reached your desired firmness. Just be sure to toss them often to ensure even cooking. Feel free to take test bites throughout the cooking process to decide what your preferred doneness is.
Now add in the bacon, lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, and toss to combine.
Take a taste and adjust the salt and/or ground pepper as desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!
What To Serve with Green Beans and Bacon
This recipe is definitely on the lighter side compared to some other classic side dishes, so feel free to pair it with a hearty main dish like our cast iron flank steak, dutch oven whole chicken, or smoked pork belly. And you can’t go wrong serving this at Thanksgiving dinner alongside any of our other spectacular side dish recipes.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full nutritional information.
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Green Beans with Bacon – a simple and delicious green beans with bacon recipe that is the perfect side dish for any meal!
- 8 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2–3 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- (optional) 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
- kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add bacon and move around pan until fully cooked, approx. 5-6 minutes (total cook time will depend how crispy or not you prefer your bacon).
- Remove with slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate; set aside.
- Leave approx. 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan and discard the rest.
- Setting the same skillet to medium heat, add the garlic and move around pan until fragrant. Increase heat to medium-high and add green beans. Let green beans cook approx. 8-10 minutes *or until they have reached your desired firmness* tossing them quite often. Test along the way as some people prefer a more crisp green bean, while others like them quite soft – taste and continue cooking and moving around the pan until they reach this point.
- Add lemon zest, red pepper flakes (if using) and the bacon. Toss to combine.
- Taste and add kosher salt and/or ground black pepper, as desired.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 4 oz
- Calories: 74
- Sugar: 1.9 g
- Sodium: 197.3 mg
- Fat: 4.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 4.7 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 11.4 mg
Keywords: green beans with bacon