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Southern-Style Green Beans and Potatoes Recipe

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Get ready to savor a taste of the South with our Southern-style green Beans and Potatoes recipe. These tender, flavorful green beans, and hearty potatoes, slow-cooked with a medley of aromatic seasonings, will transport your taste buds to a comforting Southern kitchen.

Close up of Southern Style Green beans and Potatoes Recipe.

Whether it’s a family dinner or a special occasion, this classic Southern dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser that the whole family will love. 

Southern comfort on a plate: Green Beans and Potatoes

Southern Style Green Beans and Potatoes is a classic Southern comfort dish that brings together the earthy goodness of fresh green beans and tender chunks of potatoes, infused with the smoky richness of pork such as Bacon or Hamhocks. This hearty and flavorful recipe showcases the essence of Southern cuisine, where simplicity meets soul-satisfying flavors.

In this dish, crisp-tender green beans and rustic potatoes are simmered to perfection in a savory broth, alongside sautéed onions and garlic, which add depth and aroma. The addition of smoky bacon or salt pork provides a delightful smokiness that elevates the overall taste. 

Green beans and red potatoes.
Photo Credit | Canva.com

Seasoned with salt and pepper, this comforting Southern staple embodies the heartwarming spirit of Southern hospitality, making it a beloved side dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of main courses. With its down-home charm and timeless appeal, Southern Style Green Beans and Potatoes is a true Southern classic that’s sure to please the palate and warm the soul.

Why you will love this recipe

  • It is an easy side dish to make
  • can be adapted to the slow cooker (Crock Pot)
  • Picky eaters will tend to like this recipe even if they do not like many vegetables.
  • Soul-Satisfying Comfort
  • Simple ingredients but big flavor
  • It is a very versatile side dish
  • Add smoked sausage or smoked ham to make it a main course meal

What to serve Southern Style Green beans and Potatoes with

Many people think that Green beans are just served around holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. In the South, that is not the only place you see them as they are a very popular side dish. They show up at potlucks, cookouts, BBQs, and just as a typical side dish for supper (what Southerners call Dinner).

Overhead shot of southern-style green beans and potatoes recipe.

This classic southern dish is great with many other dishes. 

Here is a list of my favorite dishes to serve green beans with:

How to Make Southern-Style Green Beans

Southern Green Beans and Potatoes is primarily characterized by the use of simple, hearty ingredients and traditional cooking techniques that are prevalent in Southern cuisine. This recipe is cooked on the stovetop, but It can also be adapted to a slow cooker (crock pot). 

Note: I will include additional notes on how to cook this recipe in the slow cooker down below. 

Ingredients

Here are some ways in which the Southern influence is reflected in this recipe with these simple ingredients:

Choice of Ingredients

  • Fresh Produce: Southern cooking often emphasizes the use of fresh, seasonal vegetables. In this recipe, green beans (also called snap beans or string beans) and potatoes which are staples in Southern gardens are used. We typically like red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes. Other great options are baby potatoes (new potatoes) or Russet Potatoes. Green beans are best if they are fresh but in a pinch, you can use frozen or canned. 
  • Bacon or Salt Pork: Many Southern recipes incorporate bacon or salt pork for flavor. In this case, the addition of bacon provides a smoky and savory element to the dish.  

Flavorful Aromatics

  • Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic are frequently used as a flavor base in Southern cooking. They add depth and aroma to the dish. I like to use sweet onions if they are available. If not, use yellow or white onions. 
Ingredients used to make Southern Style Green beans.

Slow Cooking

  • Simmering: Southern cuisine often involves slow-cooking methods to develop rich flavors. The simmering of green beans and potatoes allows them to become tender while absorbing the flavors of the aromatics and bacon.

Seasoning

  • Salt, Pepper, Sugar: Simple yet essential, Southern cooking relies on the proper seasoning of dishes. Salt and black pepper are foundational seasonings in this recipe. The small amount of sugar is not noticeable in making the dish sweet, but it brings out the flavor of the green beans and potatoes in a big way. It wakes them up and I feel it is an essential ingredient as salt is. 

Broth or Water

 The use of chicken broth or water to create a flavorful liquid for simmering is common in Southern cooking. It enhances the overall taste of the dish.

Garnishes

Southern dishes often include garnishes for added flavor and visual appeal. Options like fresh herbs or crispy bacon bits can be added to enhance the dish’s presentation and taste.

Variations

Southern cuisine is known for its regional variations and adaptations. This recipe can be customized to reflect different Southern flavors, such as adding Cajun spices for medium heat or using smoked ham hocks for a Southern Appalachian touch. Instead of a ham hock, you could also use Smoked Sausage. 

The Southern influence in this Southern-style Green Beans and Potatoes recipe is evident in its use of fresh ingredients, classic seasonings, and slow-cooking methods that are characteristic of this Classic Southern side dish. The combination of green beans, potatoes, bacon, and aromatic seasonings creates a hearty and satisfying dish that pays homage to the culinary traditions of the American South.

Equipment needed

  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Garlic Press

Note: For brands that I recommend, check out our Kitchen Essentials page.

Prep

This recipe is very simple to cook and only takes a little bit of preparation. 

  • If you have fresh-picked green beans, start by washing them. 
  • Next, you want to cut the ends off (or snap them off) and then cut or snap the beans into 2-inch sections.
Cutting green beans into 2 inches sections for green bean recipe.
Note: If the beans are not young and tender, they may have a string that goes down the length of the bean that will have to be pulled out (hence the name "string beans") If not, they will be stringy and fibrous. 

Snapping green beans was traditionally done sitting on the porch or gathered around a table and “snapping” the green beans into sections. It was an activity that involved the whole family and sometimes friends. Although it was work, it was also a social time. While you worked, you would listen or tell stories, etc.

Snapped green beans ready to be cooked.
Snapped green beans ready to be cooked or preserved
How to “Snap” green beans
  • If you have frozen green beans, you shouldn’t have to worry about the string step.
  • Next, Wash and scrub the potatoes in cold water so that you remove all the dirt. 
  • It is typical to leave the peelings on. Cut the potatoes into 1 or 2-inch chunks. Then, place them in a large bowl and cover with water until you are ready to use them. This will keep them from oxidizing (turning brown). 
Red potatoes cut into fourths.
  • Peel and chop the onion. 
Chopping a sweet onion up to add to southern style green beans.
  • Peel and mince the garlic or use a garlic press if you have one (my favorite way).
  • Cut up bacon into smaller pieces. 
Cutting bacon into small pieces.

Cooking the Green Beans

  • ​Start with the large pot on the stove on medium-high heat. 
  • Add in a little tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or bacon grease, then toss in the bacon.
  • After the bacon fat has started to render out, add the onions and garlic to the pot. Make sure to stir constantly to keep the garlic from burning. 
  • Next, after the onions have turned translucent add green beans and potatoes. 
Adding potatoes and green beans to stock pot.
  • Then, add enough water to cover the ingredients, then the salt, pepper, and sugar. 
  • Stir to combine the ingredients. 
What the ingredients look like in the stock pot before cooking southern style green beans and potatoes.
The recipe like before cooking

Simmer

  1. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. 
  2. After it has come to a boil, turn the burner down to low and let it simmer for 50 to 60 minutes or until you have tender potatoes and the liquid has reduced.  I like my potatoes falling apart slightly.

Serving

  • This dish is typically served “family style” where the bowl is brought to the table and each individual serves. 
  • You can also ladle the green beans and potatoes onto individual plates or bowls. If you do not want any juice, use a slotted spoon to drain the juice. 
  • Garnish with chopped herbs, sliced almonds, or crispy pieces of bacon. 

Slow Cooker Instructions

  1. Saute Bacon, onions, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet.
  2. After the onions turn translucent, add them to the slow cooker.
  3. Add water to cover the ingredients.
  4. Add in green beans, potatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar.
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours making sure the potatoes are tender before being done.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Southern Style Green Beans and Potatoes is a delightful dish that captures the heart and soul of Southern cuisine. Its simplicity, rich flavors, and comforting appeal make it a beloved addition to any table. 

From the earthy goodness of fresh green beans to the rustic tenderness of potatoes, and the smoky allure of bacon, this recipe offers a harmonious blend of ingredients that resonate with tradition and warmth.

Whether you’re seeking a comforting side dish for a family dinner or a crowd-pleaser for a special gathering, this recipe delivers on all fronts.

Its versatility allows you to customize it to your liking, adding your personal touch to a cherished Southern classic.

As you savor each bite of tender green beans and flavorful potatoes, you’ll be transported to the heart of Southern hospitality, where food isn’t just sustenance but a means of bringing people together. So, prepare a pot of Southern-style green Beans and Potatoes, and share in the joy of good company and great food, all while celebrating the time-honored traditions of the American South.

hanks for stopping by Southern Food Junkie. It is our hope that you enjoy this recipe and would want to share it with friends, family, and coworkers. Make sure to take time to give thanks to the creator, God, by which all blessings flow.
John 6:35

-Ronnie | Let’s Get Food Junked
Yield: 8

Southern-Style Green Beans and Potatoes Recipe

Southern-Style green beans and potatoes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of green beans
  • 1 pound of Red, Yukon, Baby, or Russet potatoes.
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 2 cloves of garlic or 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt

Instructions

Prep

  1. If you have fresh-picked green beans, start by washing them. 
  2. Next, you want to cut the ends off (or snap them off) and then cut or snap the beans into 2-inch sections. If the beans are not young and tender, they may have a string that goes down the length of the bean that will have to be pulled out (hence the name "string beans") If not, they will be stringy and fibrous.
  3. Next, Wash and scrub the potatoes in cold water so that you remove all the dirt. 
  4. If you have whole potatoes, it is typical to leave the peelings on. Cut the potatoes into 1 or 2-inch chunks. Place them in a large bowl and cover with water until you are ready to use them. This will keep them from oxidizing. 
  5. Peel and chop the onion. 
  6. Peel and mince the garlic or use a garlic press if you have one.
  7. Cut up bacon into smaller pieces. 

Cooking the Green Beans

  1. ​Start with the large pot on the stove on medium-high heat. 
  2. Add in a little tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or bacon grease, then toss in the bacon.
  3. After the bacon fat has started to render out, add the onions and garlic to the pot. Make sure to stir constantly to keep the garlic from burning. 
  4. After the onions have turned translucent, add green beans, potatoes, and enough water to cover the ingredients in the pot. 
  5. Next, add in the salt, pepper, and sugar. 
  6. Stir to combine the ingredients. 

Simmer

  1. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. 
  2. After it has come to a boil, turn the burner down to low and let it simmer for 50 to 60 minutes or until you have tender potatoes and the liquid has reduced.  

Slow Cooker Instructions

  1. Saute Bacon, onions, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet.
  2. After the onions turn translucent, add them to the slow cooker.
  3. Add water to cover the ingredients.
  4. Add in green beans, potatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar.
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours making sure the potatoes are tender before being done.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 460mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 7g

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