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Southern green beans in serving bowl with spoon.

Southern Style Green Beans

Easy Southern green beans on the stovetop with canned green beans, seasonings and bacon.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword boiled green beans, green beans, southern green beans
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 104kcal
Author Kelly Wildenhaus | the hungry bluebird


  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans whole green beans
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon, cut in half cross-wise
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste


  • Dump green beans into medium pot and add all of the remaining ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil and then turn down to low and cook, uncovered, at a steady simmer for 4 to 6 hours. Add water as needed as it reduces to keep green beans from burning. Stir gently when adding water.
  • After 4 to 6 hours, if needed, break up bacon into pieces/shreds. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately or hold on the stove for later.


  • Thick cut bacon is best and as it cooks down for several hours, it will naturally shred into pieces.
  • You can make a bigger batch if you like, adding another can or two of green beans. Add another cup of water to start, and a little more of the other seasonings (although you shouldn't have to double everything).
  • Stir occasionally and gently because you don't want to break up the beans which are already tender. Just let them cook down and shrivel and stir gently when adding more water.


Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg