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Green Beans and Potatoes: A Classic Southern Side Dish

Green Beans and Potatoes is a traditional Southern side dish that pairs beautifully with everything from grilled chicken to fried fish. This easy-to-make recipe is loved by all for its delightful combination of tender green beans and golden, seasoned potatoes. Follow this recipe to create a delicious and versatile vegetable side dish that will surely become a family favorite.

Ingredients and Preparation


  • 1 lb. green beans (trimmed)
  • 2 medium-sized gold potatoes (cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 191 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 23 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 8 mg
  • Sodium: 35 mg
  • Potassium: 615 mg
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Vitamin A: 882 IU
  • Vitamin C: 31 mg
  • Calcium: 67 mg
  • Iron: 2 mg


Preparing the Green Beans

  1. Boil the Green Beans: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until they are bright green and tender-crisp, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  2. Cool the Green Beans: Plunge the cooked beans into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once completely cool, drain the beans in a colander.

Preparing the Potatoes

  1. Season the Potatoes: In a large bowl, combine the cubed potatoes, olive oil, basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Stir to coat the potatoes evenly.
  2. Cook the Potatoes: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the seasoned potatoes. Cook until the potatoes start to brown, stirring occasionally.
  3. Tenderize the Potatoes: Lower the heat to medium-low to avoid over-browning. Continue to stir occasionally. Cook until the potatoes are golden brown and tender.

Combining and Finishing

  1. Combine Green Beans and Potatoes: Add the well-drained green beans to the skillet along with the butter. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  2. Final Cooking: Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Tips for the Best Green Beans and Potatoes

  • Use Fresh Green Beans: For the best flavor and texture, use fresh green beans and trim the ends off.
  • Choose the Right Potatoes: Yukon Golds are recommended, but red potatoes and Russet potatoes also work well.
  • Chop Potatoes Uniformly: Cut the potatoes into small, even cubes to ensure they cook evenly and are tender by the time they are golden brown.
  • Ice Water Bath: Always plunge the green beans into ice-cold water after boiling to stop the cooking process and maintain their bright color and crisp texture.
  • Cover the Skillet: After browning the potatoes, you can speed up the cooking process by covering the skillet with a loose piece of aluminum foil.
  • Add Fresh Garlic: Fresh minced garlic cloves can be used, but add them during the last 30-60 seconds of cooking to prevent burning and bitterness.
  • Enhance Flavor: For added flavor, try incorporating chopped onions about 10 minutes before the potatoes are done or adding crisp cooked bacon.
  • Spice It Up: A couple of pinches of Cajun seasoning can add a flavorful kick to your green beans and potatoes without making them too hot.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen green beans for this recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen green beans if fresh ones are not available. However, fresh green beans provide a better texture and flavor. If using frozen, make sure to thaw and drain them well before cooking.

What other herbs can I use instead of basil and oregano?

Feel free to experiment with other herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or parsley. Fresh herbs can also be used, but you’ll need to adjust the quantity accordingly (usually double the amount of fresh herbs compared to dried).

How can I make this dish vegan?

To make this dish vegan, simply omit the butter or replace it with a plant-based alternative like vegan butter or additional olive oil.

Can I prepare this dish in advance?

Yes, you can prepare this dish in advance. Cook the green beans and potatoes separately, then combine and reheat them in a skillet with butter just before serving.

What can I serve with Green Beans and Potatoes?

This side dish pairs well with a variety of main courses such as grilled chicken, fried fish, roasted meats, or even as part of a vegetarian meal with other vegetable dishes and grains.

How long can I store leftovers?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

Can I add other vegetables to this dish?

Absolutely! Adding other vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, or mushrooms can enhance the flavor and nutritional value of this dish. Just adjust the cooking times accordingly for the added vegetables.

Green Beans and Potatoes is a simple yet flavorful dish that is perfect for any meal. With these tips and variations, you can make this classic Southern side dish your own. Enjoy!