Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (2022)

4.9 from 51 votes

These Old Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans will have your house smelling amazing and your mouth watering with anticipation.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 2 hours

Jump to Recipe

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (1)

My low and slow method for cooking Old Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans with its beautiful, smoky ham hock broth for flavoring, will take you straight to the country no matter where you live!

I shouldn’t write this post. I know I shouldn’t. Before I write even one word, I know I’m going to be blasted. The green bean patrol is going to be all over me.

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (2)

I know that I’m supposed to like my fresh green beans just blanched. All bright green and crispy and crunchy. But I just don’t. I don’t. They taste like grass to me.

I like my green beans the way I grew up eating them — country style. That means nice and tender and richly flavored with smoky pork. So there.

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (3)

Besides, old-fashioned southern cooking gets enough bad press without me adding to it. I shouldn’t write this post. Sigh.

But I’m doing it anyway! Besides, you’ve never had MY southern style green beans before. Who knows, I may just convert you over to the country side. :-)

More Old Fashioned Southern Recipes

  • Caramel Layer Cake
  • Southern Butter Beans
  • Southern Fried Okra
  • Classic Macaroni and Cheese
  • Easy Hot Water Cornbread
  • Southern Streak o’ Lean
  • Baked Corn Casserole

What Are Southern Style Green Beans?

Southern, or country style green beans are slow cooked, fresh string or green beans simmered in a smoky broth made from a ham hock or bacon.

It’s worth making them just for the aroma alone. The smell of that smoky pork filling your kitchen and tickling your senses as it spreads through the house will have your family clamoring to get to the dinner table.

After the sweet torture of waiting for them to finish cooking, your fresh green beans will have transformed into a melt-in-your-mouth side dish.

(Video) Best Southern Green Beans | Green Beans Recipe

You now have the perfect companion to any southern recipe like my Real Simple Fried Chicken, Salisbury Steaks with Chunky Mashed Potatoes, Country Fried Steak, or Pot Roast with Rosemary and Garlic.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Three ingredients!
  • Minimal prep time
  • Classic smoky southern flavors

Ingredients You’ll Need

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (4)

This post contains affiliate links.

The ingredients list for this recipe is really short! Just three things:

  • Fresh green (or string) beans (look for ones that are firm, not wilted, and without any discoloration)
  • Meaty ham hocks (or substitute an equal amount of smoked turkey wings or legs)
  • Salt

That’s it! Could it be any easier?

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Old Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans

Make the Ham Hock Broth

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (5)

The most important thing about making this recipe is to have really good ham hocks. You want nice meaty ones. Some of the ones I see in the store these days are all skin and bones. Leave those in the case and look for big, plump ones.

Put your lovely, smoky ham hocks in a large, deep pot with just enough water to cover. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

What you’re making is a smoky, pork flavored broth. That’s what you’ll use to cook your veggies in and all that lovely flavor will go right into them. Delicious!

Prepare the Fresh Green Beans

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (6)

While the ham hocks simmer, prepare the green beans. I remove the “tips and tails” and just cut them into pieces. You can leave them whole if you prefer. If you have string beans, be sure to remove the strings as well.

(Video) 3 Simple Ingredients Make Green Beans Taste like Grannies! Granny Green Beans

Cook the Beans in the Broth

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (7)

Add the prepped beans to the pot. Bring the contents to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

Cover and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the green beans are tender but not mushy. Start checking them after about 50 minutes.

When they’re nice and tender and olive-colored (no, they will not stay bright green), remove the ham hock to a plate and allow them to cool for a few minutes until you can handle them easily.

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (10)

Remove and shred the meat from the ham hocks, discarding the skin, fat, and bones. Add the shredded meat back to the pot and stir it into the beans.

This is the simplest method that I know for making old fashioned country style green beans. People do add all sorts of other things like onions, tomatoes, hot pepper, parsley, and I do too occasionally, but I also appreciate just the simply beautiful smoky flavor of this method. Hope you’ll give it a try!

Serve in a Gorgeous Custom Serving Bowl (Great Wedding Gift!)

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (11)
Custom Red Ceramic Shallow Serving Bowl

from: Etsy

(Video) Cooking Fresh Green Beans Like Granny - in Appalachia

How to Store and Reheat

Southern style green beans reheat really well since you don’t have to worry about keeping a crisp texture. You can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container or resealable bag for 3 to 5 days. Reheat them on medium-low heat on the stovetop or even in a slow cooker (low heat for about an hour).

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (12)

Questions

Can I use canned or frozen green beans or do they have to be fresh?

Yes, you can use canned or frozen as a substitute. If you just can’t source fresh green beans, I’d suggest frozen over canned. The canned ones won’t pick up as much of that yummy smoky pork flavor because they’ve already been partially cooked.

Can I prepare the fresh green beans the night before I want to cook them?

Yes! You can snap (or cut) them the day before you need them. Just make sure to keep them refrigerated until you need them.

Can I use bacon instead of ham hock?

Yes, you can. If you just can’t find good ham hocks, you can substitute about a pound of bacon. Here’s how:

Brown all but two slices of bacon in the same pot you plan to use to cook your green beans. When the bacon is crisp, remove it and set it aside. Add the green beans, salt, and remaining two slices of uncooked bacon to the pot with enough water to cover. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. To serve, drain the beans and serve topped with the crumbled cooked bacon.

Any other tips/suggestions/recommendations?

A couple of things I would add: you can also substitute a smoked turkey wing or leg for the ham hock. It gives an equally nice, smoky flavor to the green beans and is suitable for anyone who doesn’t consume pork.

Also, don’t be afraid of overcooking these green beans. It’s nearly impossible :-)

(Video) The Most Delicious Southern Style Green Beans That You Ever Ate!

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
AND REMEMBER TO SIGN UP FOR MY FACEBOOK GROUP.
If you’d like to hang out with me and lots of other online Southern Comfort Food lovers, make sure to join my FREE PRIVATE Facebook group.

Recipe

Old-Fashioned Southern Style Green Beans (13)

  • 1 pound smoked ham hocks (or equal weight of bacon, smoked turkey wings, or smoked turkey legs)
  • 3 pounds fresh green beans washed, trimmed and cut in 2” pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Place the ham hocks (or other choice of seasoning meat) in a large pot with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  • While the ham hock simmers, prepare the green beans by removing the “tips and tails.” Snap the beans into approximately 2" pieces or leave whole if desired.

  • Add the beans and salt to the pot. Bring the contents to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

  • Cover and cook for 1 hour or until the beans are tender.

  • Remove the ham hocks to a plate and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  • Remove and shred the meat from the ham hock, discarding the skin and bones. Add the shredded meat back to the pot and stir it into the beans.

  • An equal amount of bacon, smoked turkey wings, or smoked turkey legs may be substituted for the ham hocks.
  • If using bacon — Brown all but two slices of bacon in the same pot you plan to use to cook your green beans. When the bacon is crisp, remove it and set it aside leaving the rendered bacon fat in the pot. Add the green beans, salt, and remaining two slices of uncooked bacon to the pot with enough water to cover. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. To serve, drain the beans and serve topped with the crumbled cooked bacon.
  • Frozen or canned green beans can be substituted for fresh.
  • Green beans may be cleaned, trimmed, and cut up to 24 hours in advance. Store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat over medium-low heat on the stovetop or slow cooker.

Serving: 1 | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 934mg | Potassium: 692mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1565IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

Pin Recipe

— This post was originally published on June 6, 2014. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

Lana Stuart

Lana Stuart is the cook, writer, and founder of Lana’s Cooking. Lana has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove and started this blog in 2009 to share her delicious home cooking recipes. You'll find about 700 recipes here so there's sure to be something your family will like!
More About Lana →

(Video) Old Fashioned Homemade Green Beans from a Can beef

FAQs

How do you make green beans more flavorful? ›

Garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, and pepper are all fantastic additions to make your green beans taste fresh and delicious.

How does Gordon Ramsay cook green beans? ›

Next add top and tail green beans to salted boiling water. And cook for just a couple of minutes.

What is a French style green bean? ›

French green beans (also called Haricots Verts) are slightly longer and skinnier than regular green beans and may be a little bit more expensive. They are harvested earlier then regular green beans, so they are thought to be more tender and more flavorful.

What's the difference between green beans and string beans? ›

Green beans and string beans are one and the same, but the "string" term is, for the most part, outdated. Green beans used to have characteristic fibrous "strings" running down the length of the pod that had to be removed bean by bean, just like snap peas.

Do you drain canned green beans? ›

Unless the recipe tells you to keep the canned beans in their liquid, you should drain your can and give the beans a good rinse before using. This will improve the flavor and texture of your finished dish.

What can I add to beans for flavor? ›

Add Aromatics (and Some Salt)

We're talking onions, shallots, garlic, and chiles. Or maybe some fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, bay leaves, and thyme. This is where the flavor really starts to build.

How can I dress up canned green beans? ›

Instructions
  1. Drain half of the liquid out of the green beans.
  2. Pour the green beans and the reserved half of the canning liquid into a skillet.
  3. Add butter, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until almost all of the cooking liquid has evaporated.
18 Oct 2016

How do I prepare green beans? ›

How To Prepare Fresh Green Beans - YouTube

How do you blanch green beans? ›

While you're waiting for the water to be ready for blanching green beans, fill a large bowl with ice water. Working in batches, carefully lower the green beans into the boiling water. Boil small beans for 2 minutes, medium beans for 3 minutes, and large beans for 4 minutes.

How do you cook green beans video? ›

Garlic green beans - YouTube

How do you cook Del Monte green beans? ›

1. Empty 2 cans (14.5 oz each) Del Monte® cut green beans no salt added into a microwave-safe bowl; cover. 2. Heat 4 to 5 minutes on high.

What are the flat green beans called? ›

Flat green beans – also known as Romano beans, Italian flat beans, runner beans and pole beans – are a nice change from the more common variety of green beans. They make a delicious side dish when quickly blanched, charred and drizzled with a simple vinaigrette.

Can dogs have green beans? ›

Are Green Beans Safe for Dogs? Chopped, steamed, raw, or canned—all types of green beans are safe for dogs to eat, as long as they are plain. Green beans themselves are not only safe for dogs, but veterinarians also recommend them as a healthy treat. Best of all, dogs seem to love them.

Why do you cut the ends off green beans? ›

How to Prepare Green Beans aka Broad Beans - YouTube

Do you need to soak green beans before cooking? ›

Should I Soak Green Beans Before Cooking? Fresh green beans do not need to be soaked. To help tenderize the beans, blanch them in a large pot of salted water.

Why are my green beans tough? ›

All beans are at their peak when freshly picked with tender young pods. One reason beans are fibrous, tough, and stringy may simply be that they are picked past their prime. Pod diameter, NOT length is the best indicator for harvesting beans, and freshness can be confirmed by an audible snap when the bean is broken.

Is it OK to use the liquid in canned beans? ›

Cook's Country suggests using the liquid from canned beans in recipes like soups, stews, or chili. You can also use it in dips, and you might want to try adding it to dishes like casseroles or even braises for added richness. But you do need to keep in mind just what you are adding to your recipes.

Why should you rinse canned beans? ›

The outlet concurs that the simple act of rinsing your canned beans before using them will cut down on that excess salt. The starch in the canned bean solution has its own implications in your cooking. It can alter the texture, composition, and liquid ratios of the recipe you are creating.

How can I make canned vegetables taste better? ›

Add flavor

"Use fat like butter or coconut oil to add flavor, along with fresh herbs. Citrus juice and zest give an extra oomph too."

What to add to beans while cooking? ›

Dried beans cooked with sea salt and water are delicious, but adding an onion, garlic, or other aromatics to the pot will make them even more flavorful! These simple additions turn the starchy bean cooking liquid into a fragrant broth that's just as tasty as the beans themselves.

How do you season beans for cooking? ›

Add a pinch of salt. If you have any aromatics lying around — things you'd use to make stock like onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves or woody herbs such as rosemary and thyme — add them to cooking liquid. You don't have to add aromatics, but they'll make your beans so much more flavorful.

Which beans are the creamiest? ›

Why We Love Gigante Beans, the Creamiest, Most Satisfying Legume Around. We like big beans and we cannot lie. If Jack and the Beanstalk were a true story and not a cautionary fairytale, I am confident that the titular beanstalk would have sprouted from a handful of gigante beans.

Are canned green beans healthy? ›

Canned green beans have almost similar nutritional value as of fresh beans. They provide the same health benefits to you. Green beans canned are good for the keto diet too as it contains fibers, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin K. You can also eat canned beans raw because they are cooked during processing.

What to eat with green beans? ›

Produce: lemon, potatoes, red peppers, onion, shallot, garlic, mushrooms, fennel, tomatoes, carrots, and squash. Herbs & Spices: lemon zest, basil, salt, pepper, ginger, tarragon, mustard, dill, mint, chilli pepper, and parsley. Protein: beef, fish, chicken, pork, almonds, bacon, pecans, turkey, and shrimp.

Can you add bacon when canning green beans? ›

While bacon and green beans are both low-acid foods, there are no processing recommendations for canning bacon. Therefore, can the beans by themselves. Then when ready to eat the beans, add the bacon just before serving.

How do you make Paula Deen's fresh green beans? ›

Add green beans to pan and sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add boiling water to pan and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, just until beans are tender. Add vinegar, butter and salt and pepper and stir.

What spices go well with beans? ›

In general, most beans go well with herbs like parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme. You usually can't go wrong with garlic and onions, either.

Is it better to boil or steam green beans? ›

Steaming green beans is better than boiling because it prevents the beans from overcooking and preserves a vibrant green color.

How can I make canned vegetables taste better? ›

Add flavor

"Use fat like butter or coconut oil to add flavor, along with fresh herbs. Citrus juice and zest give an extra oomph too."

Should you boil green beans before sauteing? ›

No, you don't need to blanch or steam green beans before sauteing them. They will become perfectly tender and bright green using this sauté method, and they're ready to eat in just about 10 minutes!

Should I soak fresh green beans before cooking? ›

Fresh green beans do not need to be soaked. To help tenderize the beans, blanch them in a large pot of salted water.

How do I prepare green beans? ›

Here's how to do it:
  1. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil.
  2. Season with salt liberally. ...
  3. Add beans and continue to boil for 2 to 5 minutes. ...
  4. To test doneness, use tongs to pull out one bean and rinse briefly under cool water. ...
  5. Drain the beans in a colander.
22 Oct 2018

Should you drain canned vegetables? ›

You can also drain canned vegetables to reduce sodium content by 36%, while draining plus rinsing with running water cuts sodium content by 41%. Fill up your pantry – or “cantry®” – with some canned vegetables to prepare quick, nutritious, everyday meals and snacks for you and your family.

Why are my canned green beans mushy? ›

Don't Over Process

The canning times for green beans from the USDA are 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quart jars. Canning beans for times longer then this is unnecessary and can cause them to go mushy.

Can you cook green beans without blanching them? ›

COOKING GREEN BEANS WITHOUT BLANCHING

Of course, you can always throw beans in a pan and cook them from scratch without blanching first. However, we prefer the texture and colour you get from blanching in boiling water.

Do you have to blanch green beans before cooking them? ›

It isn't necessary, but it does help to make sure the beans are not overcooked. Is it better to freeze green beans raw or cooked? Blanching green beans before freezing is better than freezing uncooked. Raw green beans that have been frozen and defrosted may end up with a mushy texture.

Are you supposed to blanch green beans before cooking? ›

Blanching brightens the color of vegetables. Blanching or par-cooking is especially beneficial for green vegetables like string beans, broccoli, snap peas, pole beans and asparagus. Blanching partially cooks the veggies making them perfectly crisp tender.

How do you make Paula Deen's fresh green beans? ›

Add green beans to pan and sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add boiling water to pan and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, just until beans are tender. Add vinegar, butter and salt and pepper and stir.

How long does it take for green beans to cook? ›

The key for the best beans is to master how long to boil green beans. Cook the green beans, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water until crisp-tender: 10 to 15 minutes for whole or cut green beans. 5 to 10 minutes for french-cut green beans.

Why are my green beans rubbery? ›

According to Eat By Date, beyond any brown spots you might see on older green beans, green beans that are in the process of spoiling will appear "limp and dry" and have a texture that feels "tough and rubbery." Notably, they are less likely to snap — as a fresh green bean should — when bent in half.

What can I add to beans for flavor? ›

Add Aromatics (and Some Salt)

We're talking onions, shallots, garlic, and chiles. Or maybe some fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, bay leaves, and thyme. This is where the flavor really starts to build.

What spices go well with beans? ›

In general, most beans go well with herbs like parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme. You usually can't go wrong with garlic and onions, either.

Why do you cut the ends off green beans? ›

How to Prepare Green Beans aka Broad Beans - YouTube

Videos

1. Slow-Cooked Green Beans - Amazing Southern-Style Green Beans
(Food Wishes)
2. Country (String) Green Beans: best green bean recipe
(Ray Mack's Kitchen and Grill)
3. How to make Southern Style Green Beans
(In The Kitchen With Gina Young)
4. Southern Green Beans | Best Green Beans Recipe | BBQ Sides
(Behind the Garage BBQ)
5. Old Fashioned Green Beans Youtube
(Joanna Cismaru)
6. Fresh Green Bean Recipe - Southern Style
(North Texas Vegetable Gardening and Cooking)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Otha Schamberger

Last Updated: 10/10/2022

Views: 6073

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Otha Schamberger

Birthday: 1999-08-15

Address: Suite 490 606 Hammes Ferry, Carterhaven, IL 62290

Phone: +8557035444877

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: Fishing, Flying, Jewelry making, Digital arts, Sand art, Parkour, tabletop games

Introduction: My name is Otha Schamberger, I am a vast, good, healthy, cheerful, energetic, gorgeous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.