Green Beans with Bacon: Low Carb Side

Southern style green beans brings back family gatherings, holidays and sitting in Grandma’s kitchen. Traditional southern green beans with bacon also has potatoes, but to keep the dish low carb this version has all the taste and none of the carbs. This recipe is so easy that you’ll only need one pot to cook it and can make just enough to serve one or two people. Here’s a creamy low carb green bean casserole, too!

For this recipe, you’ll need: frozen green beans, white onion, bacon, butter, salt, and pepper.

Bright green southern green beans with bits of bacon, onion and seasonings.

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Southern Green Beans with Bacon Recipe Backstory

When I was still a single digit, my dad’s family would have big holiday gatherings at my Aunt Dean’s house. What a blessed childhood I lived with a large and loving family and so many wonderful aunts and uncles who poured into me. Aunt Dean was such a special woman. She was my great-aunt by marriage, but she was more of a mom to nearly everyone who met her. She wound up raising not only her grandchildren but some of her great-grandchildren and lived way into her 90s, still as spunky as ever until nearly the end.

Aunt Dean had these huge family dinners and she made sure that every single person had their favorite dessert and all the traditional sides, so southern green beans with bacon and potatoes were a must. I’ve been thinking about those green beans a lot lately. Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables.

I think they’re good to start out with as a cook, because it’s pretty hard to mess green beans up. You can cook them too long and they still taste great. You can not cook them long enough and they are just crunchy but have a good taste. I don’t remember a single gathering at a family reunion or holiday event that didn’t have a side of southern green beans.

I’m doing keto, so figuring out how to make them southern tasting but still keto friendly took a couple of attempts. On my first attempt, I used too much butter and they were a bit greasy. I also didn’t like the bacon in long slices, so I wound up making a second batch with a little more salt, a little less butter and bacon that was cut up into bits.

The result is the perfect side dish to add to any low carb or keto meal. I hate doing dishes, so I also made sure you can cook it all in a single medium size pan.

Simple ingredients make up this •Southern green beans recipe and keep it low carb.
You’ll only need a handful of simple ingredients to make this side.

Southern Green Beans with Bacon FAQs

How do I make southern green beans with bacon?

This southern green beans with bacon recipe is so easy to make that it will become your new favorite comfort food. It took me about 20 minutes to make up a batch that served me and my husband. 80% of that time was simply the beans simmering on the stove.

  1. Dice 1/3 of a small white onion.
  2. Cut two raw slices of bacon into small chunks.
  3. Heat a medium size skillet on low heat.
  4. Add a pat of butter to coat the bottom of the skillet.
  5. Throw in bacon bits and let them start to sizzle.
  6. Add 1/4 cup diced onion and cook until they become transparent but not brown.
  7. Add one small bag of frozen green beans.
  8. Cook until beans thaw and then add enough water to cover beans.
  9. Add salt and pepper.
  10. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 min.

What kind of beans are used for southern green beans recipe?

A lot of people swear that the beans have to be fresh to be “southern green beans,” but I don’t agree. I’ve tried green bean recipes both ways and found no noticeable difference in the flavor. Keep in mind that frozen vegetables are often picked at the peak of ripeness and then flash frozen. This seals in the freshness and gives you a taste very close to fresh. However, you do need to experiment and find the brand you like best. I used Private Selection green beans from Kroger for this recipe. You can, of course, use fresh if you prefer.

Why are my green beans rubbery?

You didn’t cook them long enough. Simply bring the water back to a heavy boil and then reduce down to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes, testing to see if they’re ready. Every stove cooks a bit differently, so the time that works perfectly on my stove may not work perfectly on yours.

Why are my green beans mushy?

Green beans get mushy when you cook them too long. I’ve experienced this several times in the slow cooker. It won’t affect the taste and you can still enjoy them, but the texture will be different than those pictured above.

Do I need to cut the ends off my green beans?

It’s totally up to you. If you’re using fresh beans, you may have some long stems attached. I would go ahead and remove those, because they could present a choking hazard. Some people snap off or cut off the ends of their beans and even snap the beans themselves to make the pieces smaller.  If the beans are stringy, you may need to snap the ends and remove the strings as well. How you prepare your beans boils down to personal preference.

The video below shows a simple way to string and snap beans.

Do they freeze?

Unfortunately, I’ve never found cooked green beans to freeze well. When they are cooked again, they tend to by mushy and lose some flavor. However, this dish is so easy to throw together that you won’t mind cooking them from fresh frozen beans or even fresh raw green beans. I don’t recommend canned. They do get mushy and lose a ton of flavor.

Variations to Keto Southern Green Beans Recipe

I find the recipe perfect, because it reminds me of happy times with people I loved. However, there are some different variations on southern green beans.

  • Spice this dish up by adding some red pepper flakes. Go easy, though! Too much and you’ll set your mouth on fire.
  • Add in some smoked sausage for protein and to give this some southern flare.
  • Try different types of green beans.
  • Instead of green beans with bacon and onions, leave out the onions. Some people on keto do avoid them. You can sub in onion powder or a bit of seasoning to add more flavor.
  • Cook in beef broth instead of water to add flavor.
  • Leave the bacon whole and remove it before serving if you don’t like the bacon bits.
  • Add bigger chunks of onion for flavor and dig it out before eating.
  • Top with crushed pork rinds just before serving for that extra crunch.

You May Need

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Thanks so much for being a part of Lowcarb-ology!

I love this recipe with the bacon cut into chunks. The best way to do this is BEFORE you add the bacon to the skillet and the easiest way to cut slippery raw bacon is with some very sharp kitchen shears. I really like these J. A. Henckel’s kitchen shears because you can take them apart for easy cleaning and they hold a sharp edge for years.

Southern Green Beans Recipe

This simple side of southern green beans with bacon is easy enough for a quick dinner or comforting enough to serve to guests. If you want to up your veggie intake, then green beans are a low glycemic way to add vitamins and fiber to your eating without upping your carb count by much. If this recipe takes you back to family gatherings the way it does for me, please consider giving it 5 stars. Thanks!

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Southern Green Beans with Bacon

The perfect keto-friendly side dish. These southern green beans are still full of flavor but lack the starch factor southern green beans with potatoes have. 
Course Side
Cuisine American - low -carb
Keyword bacon, green beans, keto, low carb, southern
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 86kcal
Author Lori Soard

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup white onion diced
  • 2 slices bacon chunks
  • 12 ounces green beans frozen
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Dice up about 1/4 of a white onion (enough for 1/3 cup).
  • Cut up 2 slices of bacon into small chunks.
  • Place medium skillet on stove top on low heat and melt 1 pat of butter.
  • Add bacon chunks and stir for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Toss in diced onion and cook until transparent.
  • Add bag of frozen green beans and stir until beans begin to thaw.
  • Top green beans with enough water to cover them.
  • Add salt and pepper and stir thoroughly.
  • Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. 

Nutrition

Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 378mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 12.4% | Vitamin C: 13.8% | Calcium: 3.5% | Iron: 4.9%

Main Dishes Green Beans Pair Well With

Easy Crock Pot Chicken Provencal – Crabby Housewife (Lori’s blog)

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs – That Low Carb Life

Keto Beef Brisket in the Instant Pot – I Breathe I’m Hungry

Last Updated 04/12/2019

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