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Fresh sauteed green beans with bacon, onions, and mushrooms – an easy to prepare green bean side dish cooked on the stove top with just 4 simple fresh ingredients and a dash of salt and pepper.
I have an admission to make, for YEARS I had no idea how amazing fresh green beans were. I was raised on the canned stuff, and when I first tried fresh beans, I had no idea how to cook them. Fast forward and sauteed fresh green beans are now a weekly staple on our dinner menu. I’ve perfected the process that yields tender crisp green beans and while I love them with a variety of different toppings and flavors, this version of sauteed green beans with bacon is certainly a family favorite recipe.
It actually began as a Thanksgiving green beans recipe, as an alternative for the green bean casseroles you see during the holidays. My family isn’t a huge fan of the creamy casserole but they love the perfectly cooked sauteed green beans with crisp bacon, soft flavorful onions, and earthy tender mushrooms.
It’s since become a standard green bean side dish in our house, though of course it still comes out as a Thanksgiving side every year too. Whether you choose it for a holiday side dish or you just need a quick dinner side, I think this is a green bean recipe will become a go to for your family too.
Fresh green beans, bacon, onions, mushrooms. Done. Okay, not really, there’s also salt, pepper, and water…but that’s really it! Few though the ingredients are, there a few key tips that help make each one shine.
- Fresh Green Beans – the key is fresh, firm and smooth green beans. Look for bright green color free of wrinkles, yellowing, bumps, or limpness.
- Thick Cut Bacon – Avoid the thin, cheap diner style bacon guys. Spring for the thick cut stuff with a good meat to fat ratio (a balance of white fat and pink meaty bits). The butcher counter at your grocery is a safe bet.
- Yellow Onion – Technically you can use whatever onion you prefer, but I really love the way the yellow onions and bacon taste when sauteed together.
- Fresh Mushrooms – My husband says this recipe has turned out best with shiitakes or portobellos. They’re both meaty and pack that umami punch you’re looking for, but if you can’t find either, go for cremini in a pinch.
- Salt & Pepper – Essential final touches to the dish, I recommend kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
How to Make Sauteed Green Beans
With your four main ingredients in hand, it’s time to get cooking. Start to finish this recipe takes about 50 minutes to an hour, prep included, and its mostly just stirring ingredients together so pretty easy! Plus since at the end you get lovely tender skillet green beans with bacon that’s all crispy and salty, it’s soooo worth it. I say this serves 6, but depending on how hungry you are…at least 4.
Aside from ingredients, you’ll also be needing:
- A large pot of boiling water
- A large bowl of ice water
- A wide, large saute pan (this is my preferred pan)
- A good sturdy pair of tongs.
Step 1 – Prep
Before you get cooking, getting everything all chopped and prepped makes the process a lot simpler. Since this is a side dish, and you’re likely cooking other things, being prepared is helpful.
- Before you get chopping get a large pot of water on the stove to boil and your large skillet heating over medium heat.
- Chop the stem end off of the green beans. Turns out you really don’t need to trim both ends!
- Dice the onion and the bacon.
- Clean and prep mushrooms. This will depend on the mushrooms you choose however.
- For Shiitakes – Remove the stems, they’re tough and woody, then slice caps.
- For Portobellos – Remove the stems and use a spoon to gently scrape the dark brown gills from the under side of the cap. Slice.
- For Cremini – Slice them whole, but check the bottom of the stem and cut off any dry ends.
Step 2 – Cook
Now you’re all prepped, let’s get cooking! Skillet green beans are easy to make, but as with most green vegetables, to truly get the right tenderness it’s useful to first blanch them.
To Blanch Vegetables
- When your pot of water is at a rolling boil, salt it liberally. When it returns to a boil, drop in the green beans.
- Allow to boil for 2 minutes, then remove the green beans from the water and shock them in the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- Leave in the ice water until cool to the touch, then drain and set on a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess water.
While you’re doing all the blanching, which is a fairly quick part of the process, you can be getting that bacon all crispy and the other ingredients sauteed.
- Saute bacon until mostly crisped, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add in diced onion and saute until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add in mushrooms and saute until tender, another 5 minutes or so.
- Finally, add in your drained and blanched green beans! Toss, and saute until they’ve reached your desired tenderness. For my family, that’s usually another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, that’s usually a half teaspoon of salt, and a bit more of that than pepper.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to serve!
No, at least not in the many, many, many times I’ve made this have I ever needed to. It may seem like a lot, but as you add the onions, then the mushrooms, then the green beans, it gets used up making a beautiful green bean saute.
If you can’t use fresh, I’d go frozen over canned any day for this recipe. Frozen, once thawed will be the most similar in texture. You can skip the blanching step for frozen green beans. I’d avoid canned, they’ll basically disintegrate as you cook them in with all the other ingredients.
I don’t recommend it, no.
Yes. Since this is dish is a green bean side for thanksgiving originally, I’ve definitely made this several hours ahead. Once finished cooking, for best results place in an oven safe dish and cover it. Then place in the fridge. When ready, place in a low oven until heated through and serve.
Of course! If you’re not into mushrooms or onions, go ahead and leave out what you don’t like. It will affect the overall flavor, so I recommend making it as listed first.
Other Side Dishes you may enjoy..
- Homemade Cream Style Corn
- Kale & Leek Potato Gratin
- Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Cornbread Muffins with Corn
- Homemade Garlic Bread Rolls
- Homemade Drop Biscuits
Serve these sides with..
- Stove Top Pork Chops in Orange Ginger Sauce
- Gnocchi in Fresh Tomato Sauce and Zucchini
- Citrus Soy Grilled Chicken
Whatever you decide to to serve this with, it’s going to be delicious! This is a fantastic side dish just as a regular old dinner side, or as a green bean side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I hope you have fun making this, and as always Happy Eating!
- 1 1/2 lb fresh green beans
- 1 lb bacon thick cut
- 1 1/2 cups mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cup onion, yellow diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and place a large, wide skillet on medium heat while you trim green beans, dice onions and bacon, and slice mushrooms.
- Add bacon to skillet and stir occasionally until bacon comes to a crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with water and ice and set near the stove. When water comes to a boil drop in green beans and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove green beans from water and place immediately into ice water to shock them and stop the cooking.
- Add the onions in with the bacon and saute until softened, about 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and saute another 5 minutes.
- Remove green beans from water and gently blot dry to remove excess water. Add to the bacon, mushroom, onion mixture and cook another 5 to 10 minutes or until green beans are desired tenderness. Add salt and pepper, adjust to liking.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!