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Sautéed Fresh Green Beans Recipe with Garlic and Bacon

In this post I’ll be sharing a delicious sautéed Fresh Green Beans Recipe with Garlic and Bacon.

Y’all, I do declare, there is nothing quite like the taste of good ole southern cooking for everyday meals and holiday dinners. Today, I have a delicious side dish that is packed with flavor to share with you.

I’m talking about sautéed fresh green beans, my friend, and let me tell ya, these little green gems are a true Southern delight.

Now, if you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting these tender, crispy green beans that have been kissed by the skillet, well, you’re in for a real treat. So, prepare yourself for a flavor explosion that will delight your taste buds!

Sautéed fresh green beans, sizzling in a skillet with bacon fat and fragrant garlic, are taking a walk on the wild side with a glaze from a sweet heat sauce that’ll leave your taste buds tingling and begging for more.

So, why wait? Fire up that skillet and let’s get ready to sauté these green beans to perfection!

Sautéed Green Beans Recipe

holiday sauteed green beans on a serving plate

When it comes to Thanksgiving, it is all about celebrating with a bountiful feast, and fresh green beans have earned their place as a beloved perfect side dish on the holiday table. Doesn’t that look amazing?

These vibrant green beauties bring a burst of color and a touch of crispness to the Thanksgiving spread.

Whether you sauté them, bake them into a creamy casserole, or cook ’em up country style like Granny used to make, fresh green beans add a tasty and nutritious element to the feast, balancing out the richness of the other dishes.

Best Sautéed Green Beans

fresh green beans recipe blanched then sautéed with garlic and bacon

WHAT to serve with sautéed green beans?

Sautéed green beans can be a delightful flavorful side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses. Here are some ideas for what to serve with sautéed green beans:

  1. Turkey: whether the holiday roasted turkey or family meal with an easy turkey breast tenderloin, green beans make a great side dish to the meal.
  2. Grilled Chicken: The crispness of the green beans complements the smoky flavors of the chicken.
  3. Roast Pork: Whether it’s a succulent roast pork loin or crispy pork chops, sautéed green beans add a fresh and vibrant element to the plate.
  4.  Baked Salmon: The mild and flaky nature of baked or grilled salmon pairs beautifully with sautéed green beans. Consider adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a lemon-butter sauce or a light dill sauce for extra flavor.
  5. Seared Steak: A perfectly seared steak goes wonderfully with sautéed green beans. The savory flavors of the steak and the earthiness of the green beans create a harmonious combination.

And, of course, serve sautéed green beans along with your other favorite holiday sides, like the cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, roasted butternut squash, or macaroni and cheese casserole.

Remember to season your sautéed green beans to your liking, whether with garlic, lemon zest, toasted almonds, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, to enhance their flavor and make them even more versatile for pairing with various main courses.

What you’ll need to prepare these Fresh Green Beans

Ingredients on a cutting board to prepare sauteed fresh green beans

Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to prepare these easy sautéed green beans: 

  • Water: for blanching the green beans which helps to soften them a bit and give that bright green color.
  • Fresh Green Beans: the star of this green beans recipe are easily found at your local grocery store. Wash the fresh beans well.
  • Bacon: adds nice smoky flavor to the dish from the crispy bacon pieces and added texture. The rendered bacon fat also adds flavor to the green beans.
  • Garlic: minced fresh garlic cloves or minced garlic from a jar will work fine in this dish to add wonderful aromatics and flavor.
  • Sauté Sauce: a tasty combination of chicken stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and a small pinch of red pepper flakes. 
  • Salt Flakes: to taste for added flavor to the final dish.

If you’re particularly sensitive to heat then you can leave the red pepper flakes out, but I do recommend including them. The pepper flakes add a nice zing, not in every bite, that compliments the other sweet and savory flavors to create the best green beans you’ve ever tasted.

Prep the Green Beans

a colander with washed green beans

Before you begin your prep work, go ahead and get a pot of water on the stove top to boil.

The first thing is to wash those fresh beans. Add them to a colander and rinse well under cold water then check to remove any stray stems or pieces of vine from the plant that made their way into the bunch of beans.

Simple Holiday Green Beans

Trimming the stem ends off of fresh green beans with a chef knife

The next step is to trim the beans by removing the stem end, with a knife or snapping them away. Check the other end and trim if needed. 

If you find yourself with any beans that are really long, snap them in half.

Great Thanksgiving Side Dish

Blanching fresh green beans

The prepped green beans go into the boiling water to blanche for a few short minutes to brighten their color and to soften them a bit.

I usually blanche them right before I plan to sauté the beans, but the blanching step can be done in advance.

If you do plan to blanche in advance then you’ll need to have an ice bath ready to stop the cooking process in the beans. Then, the beans can be placed into an airtight container and refrigerated overnight until you plan to use them to sauté.

The Glaze Sauce is WONDERFUL

Saute sauce for fresh green beans with chicken stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes in a glass measuring cup

Take a quick moment to prepare the sauté sauce, or glaze, whatever you want to call it. This sauce adds so much wonderful flavor to this easy side dish.

In a measuring cup, whisk or stir together the chicken stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and small pinch of red pepper flakes together, then set aside until needed.

Bacon Time

chopping bacon on a cutting board

Chop up a couple of strips of bacon into small pieces.

Homemade Bacon Bits are the way to go.

Frying bacon pieces in a stainless skillet

Cook the bacon pieces in a large skillet over medium heat until they are nice and crispy and have rendered their fat.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon pieces to a small bowl. Reserve the cooked bacon to use later in the green bean recipe.

How to make Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic and Bacon

Blanched fresh green beans in a skillet with bacon fat for sautéing.

Drain the blanched green beans well. Turn up the heat under the skillet to a medium-high heat. Next, add the green beans and toss with the flavorful rendered fat that was rendered from the bacon.

Sauté for a couple of minutes.

Garlic Time!

Sautéing green beans with minced garlic.

The next step is to add that aromatic minced garlic and sauté for another minute.

Flavorful Side Dish with Sweet Heat

Pouring the sauté sauce into the skillet with green beans.

Then it is time to add the wonderful sautéing sauce that was mixed together. Once the sauce is added continue to sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced a bit.

Printable Recipe Card

Sautéed Fresh Green Beans with Garlic and Bacon on a serving plate with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Transfer the skillet sautéed green beans to a serving platter or bowl, the top with the reserved cooked bacon pieces and season with a pinch of salt flakes.

I like to add another very small pinch of red pepper flakes to garnish the green beans.

You can clearly see all of the wonderful elements of the sautéed green beans and why it is perfect for your holiday menu. 

Below if the printable recipe for what I know will become one of your favorite recipes for fresh side options.

Yield: 1 Side Dish

The Best Sautéed Fresh Green Beans Recipe with Garlic and Bacon

A platter with fresh sautéed green beans in a sweet and spicy sauce with garlic and bacon

These sautéed fresh green beans are a true Southern sensation. We're talking crispy bacon, tender green beans, garlic and a sweet heat glaze that's downright heavenly. Made with chicken stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and a kick of red pepper flakes, this dish is perfect for family suppers or your Thanksgiving spread. It's comfort food with a Southern twist that'll have everyone asking for seconds. Get ready to savor the flavor!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 3 quarts Water
  • 1 pound Fresh Green Beans, washed and ends trimmed
  • 2 Slices of Bacon, sliced into thin pieces
  • 3 teaspoons Minced Garlic (or 3 cloves)
  • ½ cup Chicken Stock (or broth)
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (optional, but recommended)
  • Pinch of Salt Flakes, or to taste


  1. Add the water to a large pot, cover with a lid, and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Transfer the prepped green beans to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Prepare the sauté sauce by combining the chicken stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes together in a glass measuring cup or small bowl; set aside until needed.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add the bacon pieces and cook until crispy and the fat has been rendered. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a small bowl; reserve for garnish.
  5. Drain the blanched green beans well and transfer to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium-high and sauté the green beans in the bacon dripping for 3 minutes.
  6. Next, add the minced garlic to the skillet with the beans and sauté 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the sauté sauce to the beans and continue to sauté 3 to 5 minutes longer, or until desired tenderness in the beans and the sauce has reduced.
  8. Transfer the fresh sautéed green beans to a serving platter and sprinkle the crispy bacon pieces over the beans. Sprinkle a pinch of salt flakes over the beans.
  9. Optional: add another very small pinch of red pepper flakes over the sautéed green beans to garnish then serve.


See the full post for additional tips and serving suggestions for sautéed fresh green beans.

The sauté sauce adds incredible sweet heat flavor that cannot be beat in this side dish.

Sautéed fresh green beans are great for family meals or your Thanksgiving dinner.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 58Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g

Number of servings depend on appetite and desired portions.

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Sautéed Fresh Green Beans Recipe with Garlic and Bacon

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am so glad that you did!

So, there you have it, Y’all, the versatile sautéed green beans that can turn any meal into a culinary delight. I know this easy recipe will become one of your favorite ways for preparing green beans.

Whether you’re planning an elegant dinner party, weeknight dinner, or a cozy family gathering, these green beans are your trusty sidekick, ready to add color, flavor, and a touch of crispness to your table.

The next time you’re pondering what to serve with those tender green spears, remember that sautéed green beans are a classic choice that will always leave your guests satisfied.

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Happy cooking, and may your plates be filled with love and deliciousness!

Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

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