counter create hit

Just 4 ingredients, turn green beans into a slow cooker side people go crazy for

Southern-Style Slow Cooker Braised Green Beans: A Classic Side Dish with a Twist

Introduction:

Southern cuisine is renowned for its comforting flavors and hearty dishes, and braised green beans are no exception. This beloved side dish combines the sweetness of fresh green beans with the rich, smoky taste of bacon, creating a dish that’s perfect for any Southern-style meal, from picnics to Sunday suppers. In this recipe, we’ll explore how to make traditional Southern braised green beans with a modern twist, utilizing the convenience of a slow cooker to simplify the cooking process.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup cooked bacon, roughly chopped (about 1 pound before cooking)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Preparation: Begin by preparing the green beans. Wash them under cold running water, then snip off both ends and cut the beans in half.
  2. Assembly: In a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, combine the chicken broth, water, cooked bacon, minced garlic, diced onion, salt, and pepper. Stir well to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. Cooking: Cover the slow cooker and cook the green beans on low for 6 hours. If you’re short on time, you can opt to cook them on high for 2 to 3 hours, though the low and slow method yields the most flavorful results.
  4. Serving: Once the green beans are tender and infused with flavor, serve them using a slotted spoon to prevent excess liquid from pooling on the plate.

Tips:

  • For a vegetarian-friendly version, substitute 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika for the bacon and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • To add a hint of sweetness, consider incorporating a tablespoon of brown sugar into the cooking liquid.
  • Experiment with additional seasonings such as thyme, smoked paprika, or red pepper flakes to customize the flavor to your liking.
See also  I swear this recipe is what breakfast dreams are made of!

FAQs:

Q: Can I use canned green beans instead of fresh?
A: While fresh green beans are preferred for optimal flavor and texture, you can certainly use canned green beans in a pinch. Just be aware that the cooking time may need to be adjusted, as canned beans are already partially cooked.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time and reheat it later?
A: Absolutely! Braised green beans reheat well and can be made in advance for convenience. Simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and gently reheat them on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

Q: How can I make this dish spicier?
A: To add a kick of heat to your braised green beans, try incorporating a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to the cooking liquid. Adjust the amount to suit your personal preference for spice.

Q: Can I freeze leftover braised green beans?
A: Yes, you can freeze any leftover green beans for future enjoyment. Allow them to cool completely, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. They should keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Simply thaw and reheat before serving.

By following this simple slow cooker recipe, you can enjoy the classic flavors of Southern-style braised green beans with minimal effort. Whether you’re serving them alongside cornbread at a summer picnic or pairing them with fried chicken for a cozy family dinner, these tender, smoky beans are sure to be a hit.