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Fresh skillet 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 they’re now a weekly staple on our dinner menu. I’ve perfected the process that yields crisp tender green beans and while I love them with a variety of different toppings and flavors, this version of fresh green beans with bacon is certainly a family favorite.
A Fantastic Holiday Side
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 one for dinner, I think this 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
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.
Tips for Perfect Green Beans
Since this is a side dish, and you’re likely cooking other things, being prepared is helpful. This is not a complicated recipe by any means, but here are my best tips for success!
- I prefer to make this in one pan – by first blanching the green beans in the same saute pan I cook everything else in. It comes to a boil faster in a shallow wide pan, and less dishes!
- IF however, you prefer a quicker cook time, start a separate pot of water to boil and blanch you green beans then start the bacon in a saute pan. This shaves about 10 minutes off your cook time!
- Prep, prep, prep! I like to have everything ready to go before I begin cooking.
- 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.
- It’s so important to cook in stages. Let the bacon crisp almost completely before adding the onions. Then let the onions soften and brown before you add the mushrooms. This allows them to caramelize, instead of just steam and get soft.
- Don’t skip the blanch. I know it’s tempting, but blanching and shocking the green beans helps them achieve tenderness without shriveling.
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. If you have particularly greasy bacon and after you saute your mushrooms the pan is still swimming in it, go ahead and drain off all but 1 tablespoon or so before adding the green beans.
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. 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
- Cheesy Bacon Rice
- Asiago Biscuits
Serve these sides with..
- Dinner Recipes – A collection of 200 ideas!
- Stove Top Pork Chops in Orange Ginger Sauce
- Gnocchi in Fresh Tomato Sauce and Zucchini
- Citrus Soy Grilled Chicken
- Orange and Chicken Braise
- Crock pot Pineapple Pork Loin
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 while you trim green beans, dice onions and bacon, and slice mushrooms.
- Place a large wide skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon 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!
One Pan Instructions
- To cook all in one pan, use a large, wide skillet with sides and begin by boiling the water in it. Once the green beans are blanched and in the ice water, dump out the water and return the pan to the heat. The remaining water will evaporate quickly and you can begin cooking the bacon.
I’d love to hear what you think, feel free to tag me on Instagram @theflourhandprint so I can see how it went! Until next time, Happy Eating!
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.