Green Beans Like Your Grandma Makes


Like most people, I have a lot of memories of my grandmother in the kitchen. She made the best mashed potatoes. (Think your grandma did? Think again. Hers were the best — and one day I *might* share the recipe with you to prove it.) And her pies were insanely delicious. (I have not cracked the baking code on those yet sadly!) She always had angel food cake around, along with brownies and cookies. You know, just in case someone got hungry. Which was never.

But the one food of hers that I take time and time again to family gatherings? Her green beans recipe. Man, is it good. And man is it easy to make if you’ve got some time. (And, I like to think, a little grandma-love-of-cooking in your heart.)

Now, these are not for the bacon- or butter/ghee- (if you’re Paleo) fearing. These are very much Southern-style green beans. There is spice (my version has more spice than my grandma’s, for the record). There are long amounts of cooking. There is a holy richness to them. Besides starting with fresh green beans, they’re not exactly health food.

They start out so fresh and vibrant, huh?
They start out so fresh and vibrant, huh?

But that’s what balance and the holidays are all about, right? Right.

Now, before I share this crowd- and holiday-pleasing green beans recipe, I must give credit where credit is due. Because I sadly never got the official recipe from my grandma. Like most amazing home cooks, she never had one. Just did it. So, in order for me to make a version that was like hers, it took some research. And this recipe by Spicy Southern Kitchen is the one that I made and tweaked and tweaked again some more to get that exact grandma flavor (plus, again some spice — thank you, Spicy Southern Kitchen, for that kicked-up addition!).

I also decided to make mine in the slow cooker because it makes it ridiculously easy to get that all-day cooked flavor — and it doesn’t take up room on the stove. It also transports and stores well this way.

Green beans heavily seasoned in a slow cooker is a beautiful thing, huh?
Heavily seasoned green beans cooking in a slow cooker is a beautiful thing, huh?

And, guys, kind of like soup, these are even better the next day and the day after that. So feel free to cook ahead, make a double batch and eat them all week long.

Green Beans Recipe

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6

These are green beans like your grandma used to make, just a little kicked up.
  • 3 thick pieces of bacon
  • 2 pounds of fresh haricot verts, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 cups gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee
  1. Cook bacon until crispy in a large pan. Remove bacon and dice. Set aside.
  2. Place leftover bacon fat* in slow cooker and add all ingredients except butter/ghee in your slow.
  3. Set slow cooker to high and cook for 5 hours.
  4. Add in diced bacon and butter/ghee. Cook on low for 1 hour.
  5. Serve warm or store until your ready to eat it!
*This is super easy to do in just one pot if you have a slow cooker that has a removable insert that can cook directly on the stove. I have one like this and it's SO easy.

Do you have a holiday favorite recipe that you love and make every year? How greasy do you like your green beans? Would love to hear it. —Jenn


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1 Comment

  1. It would have to taste realgood for the amount of cooking time needed
    May try it one day if i have 6 hours to spare!