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Sweet, salty and smoky, these Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon are an easy side dish for any meal. Tender green beans are baked in a sweet-and-savory brown sugar soy sauce…and then finished with crispy bacon! Your family will love this classic Southern combination of flavors and textures.

Close up front shot of Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon

If you want to encourage your kids (or husband!) to eat some veggies, then these Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon are a must on your next dinner menu! The Southern side dish recipe is easy to throw together with frozen green beans, but you can also use fresh or canned green beans if you prefer.

What are Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon?

This recipe has been in my virtual “recipe box” for over a decade, so I have no idea where I originally came across the concept. I’ve tweaked the dish over time, but they’re basically just Southern-style green beans with bacon.

Southern-style green beans are slowly cooked in a broth that has been infused with bacon or ham hocks. They’re tender, salty and incredibly flavorful! I’ve made Southern Green Beans with Bacon in my Crock Pot many times, but this particular oven-baked recipe is quicker and easier to prepare in smaller quantities.

Overhead shot of green beans with bacon in a casserole dish on a wooden surface

How to make Southern-Style Green Beans with Bacon:

This simple side dish comes together with just a few minutes of hands-on prep time and some basic pantry staples!

Ingredients:

  • Green beans
  • Bacon
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic powder

How to cook Green Beans:

I like to cook the green beans until they’re tender before adding them to the baking dish. They will continue to soften in the oven, but it’s nice to give them a head start in order to achieve super-soft Southern-style green beans in the end.

I’m using frozen cut green beans here, because I find that they offer a really delicious, fresh taste without the time-consuming task of trimming fresh green beans. You can certainly use fresh green beans or even canned green beans in this recipe as well.

To cook the green beans, place them in a microwave-safe dish with a couple tablespoons of water. Cover and steam in the microwave for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Spread the green beans in a baking dish and season with salt and pepper.

Two bags of frozen cut green beans

While the green beans are in the microwave, cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet just until it’s done (but not too crispy). Then sprinkle the bacon on top of the green beans.

Green beans with bacon in a casserole dish before baking

Next, in a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, melted butter, soy sauce and garlic powder.

Brown sugar sauce for green beans in a white bowl with whisk

Finally, pour the sauce over the green beans and bake the dish in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes.

Close overhead image of Southern Green Beans with Bacon in a baking dish

What to serve with Green Beans with Bacon:

You can pair this green bean recipe with just about any entrée. Here are a few easy options that go really well with the side dish:

Preparation and Storage Tips:

  • You can assemble the green beans and bacon up to 24 hours in advance. Cover the dish and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. Before baking, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  • Leftover baked green beans will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • The leftover baked green beans can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 3 months. Be aware that when thawed, the dish will be more watery and the texture of the green beans will be more mushy.
  • To reheat the green beans and bacon: Loosely cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree F oven just until heated through (about 15-20 minutes).

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • You can substitute with 3 (15 ounce) cans of green beans, drained. There’s no need to cook the canned green beans before placing them in the dish.
  • If you prefer to use fresh green beans, you will need about 7 cups of fresh cut green beans. Trim and cut the green beans, and then steam them or boil them until tender. Place the cooked green beans in the baking dish and proceed with the recipe instructions.
  • Fry the bacon just until it’s done — but not crispy. The bacon will continue to cook in the oven and will become perfectly crispy in the end, but you don’t want it to burn.
  • Make your green beans with bacon and onion. To do so, finely mince a small Vidalia onion and sauté in a skillet until tender. Toss the cooked onion with the cooked green beans in the dish, then proceed with the recipe instructions.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake in a smaller (1 – 1 1/2-quart) baking dish.
Overhead shot of Southern Style Green Beans in a baking dish with wooden serving spoon

More green bean recipes that you might enjoy:

Close up front shot of Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon

Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 6 – 8 people
Calories 151.4 kcal
Sweet, salty and smoky, these Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon are an easy side dish for any meal!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 (16 ounce) bags frozen cut green beans
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 11 x 7-inch dish (or another 2-quart baking dish) with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Steam green beans until tender (I cooked mine in a covered dish in the microwave for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through). Spread green beans in prepared baking dish and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Give them a good stir.
  • Cook bacon in a skillet just until done, but not too crispy. Sprinkle bacon on top of the green beans.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, butter, soy sauce and garlic powder. Pour over the green beans.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Notes

  • You can substitute with 3 (15 ounce) cans of green beans, drained. There’s no need to cook the canned green beans before placing them in the dish.
  • If you prefer to use fresh green beans, you will need about 7 cups of fresh cut green beans. Trim and cut the green beans, and then steam them or boil them until tender. Place the cooked green beans in the baking dish and proceed with the recipe instructions.
  • Fry the bacon just until it’s done — but not crispy. The bacon will continue to cook in the oven and will become perfectly crispy in the end, but you don’t want it to burn.
  • Make your green beans with bacon and onion. To do so, finely mince a small Vidalia onion and sauté in a skillet until tender. Toss the cooked onion with the cooked green beans in the dish, then proceed with the recipe instructions.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake in a smaller (1 – 1 1/2-quart) baking dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 151.4kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 4.9gFat: 5.8gSaturated Fat: 3.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17.8mgSodium: 256.9mgPotassium: 288.4mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 12.2g
Keyword: green bean recipe, green beans with bacon, Southern green beans
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello Blair, this green bean recipe looks very yummy! The instructions are very easy so I am going to make it at home. One question and that is there any alternative to brown sugar?? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Annie! No problem — you can swap out the brown sugar for almost any sweetener that you have on hand. Honey, maple syrup or even white sugar will all work. Enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I made a small batch using some green beans that needed to be eaten. Since I like my beans “tender crisp” I didn’t precook them and they came out just as I like them. I’m making them again tonight but minus the bacon (we’ve already had bacon today).

    1. Awesome! I’m glad that you liked it, Leslie! Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note and let me know!

      1. Could you help me out with exact measurements and how many cans of green beans I would be needing if I am tripling the recipe?

        1. Sure, Carla! The specific measurements are all included in the recipe box at the bottom of the post, but I’ve copied and pasted them here as well:
          2 (16 ounce) bags frozen cut green beans
          6 slices bacon, chopped
          ¼ cup brown sugar
          2 tablespoons butter, melted
          1 tablespoon soy sauce
          ¾ teaspoon garlic powder

          If you’re using canned green beans instead of frozen, you’ll need 3 (15 ounce) cans of green beans, drained. To triple the recipe, that would mean 9 (15 ounce) cans. Hope you enjoy!

  3. I love these green beans! I wondering if you think it would work to make these then keep them warm in a crock pot for a few hours? Would they get mushy? Or could I possibly cooking them in the crockpot?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi, Sarah! Yes, you can either keep them warm in the slow cooker on the “warm” setting so that they don’t get too mushy. I would sprinkle with the cooked bacon just before serving so that it doesn’t get soggy.

      They wouldn’t work quite as well cooking them in the slow cooker, since you leave them uncovered in the oven. The lid on the slow cooker will trap moisture, making the sauce much thinner and watery, and the bacon won’t get crispy. 🙂