When I tell you that I got REALLY excited about this Green Beans with Bacon Recipe, I’m not even kidding. Who knew that green beans could be so exciting? I was obsessed and made them several times in just one week.
Green beans make a delicious addition to any table, but pair that with crispy bacon (and a few other secret ingredients) and you’ve got yourself a side dish that can function as a whole meal. Quick and easy, make it for lunch, dinner, or meal prepping for the week, you are going to love the flavors it has to offer.
Green Beans with Bacon Recipe
This green bean side dish recipe is made from the freshest string beans and cooked until tender. But, if that isn’t good enough, they are finished off with a healthy topping of deliciously crispy bacon- just enough to coat the beans and also give a salty crunch.
But everyone has a basic recipe for this, what makes ours different? CHEESE! Yep- creamy, cool and totally rich burrata cheese, more on this below. But it doesn’t end there… now we had leafy herbs like mint and basil giving this traditionally winter dish more of a summer swing.
And then brighten the whole thing with lemon just and PINK peppercorns, yes I just said pink!
- Green Beans: I recommend using fresh green beans as they are the star of the dish. However, if you need to substitute, you can with either frozen on canned green beans.
- Bacon: I recommend using finely diced thick cut bacon.
- Onion: A white onion sliced super thin with all the perfect flavor without being too bold.
- Cheese: For this recipe, I used creamy burrata cheese which I believe really balances out the dish.
- Delicious Greens: There is nothing better than fresh herbs in a dish. For this recipe I used both fresh mint and basil.
- Lemon Juice & Zest: The juice from 1/2 a lemon mixes perfectly with the green beans. Lemon juice and zest give very different lemony flavors- adding both gives the best balance.
- For Cooking: Kosher salt and pink peppercorns to taste.
*For a detailed list of ingredients and measurements, please reference the recipe card down below.
How to make Green Beans with Bacon
This side dish comes together in just 20 minutes, but looks super fancy. Here is how you make it…
- Cook the bacon. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5-6 minutes, until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels.
- Drain the excess fat. Pour out excess fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon.
- Cook the onion. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes or until translucent and slightly caramelized.
- Cook the green beans. Add the green beans to the pan along with 2 tablespoons of water or chicken broth. Season the green beans with salt. Cook the beans, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes and bright green. Just before removing from the pan, mix in the lemon juice and half the basil and mint.
- Serve. Transfer the green beans with bacon and onions to a serving dish. Top with bacon, remaining herbs, torn burrata, and pink peppercorns.
How to Prepare Green Beans
Before cooking you are going to want to prepare your green beans.
If you are using fresh green beans (after washing them), you are going to want to snap off the stem end. Depending on where you bought your green beans, this may already be cut off/detached. If your green beans still have them attached, just snap off the very end of the stem of each green bean.
If you don’t feel like snapping them off one by one, you can line them up and cut them off with a knife. This is much faster.
Tip: Snapping the ends off green beans is a great activity to give kids who want to help in the kitchen!
However, you don’t have to cut the ends off if you don’t want to. You can leave them stem on the green beans and bacon and eat them if you’d like. The reason the stems are cut off is mostly aesthetic. However, the stems can also be hard and uncomfortable to eat. You can choose to leave the stems on and even eat them and it would be completely safe!
What are Pink Peppercorns?
If you are unfamiliar with pink peppercorns, you may be surprised to learn, they are not actually pink! Pink peppercorns are red in color and adds great color to whatever you are making!
In terms of flavor profile, pink peppercorns are similar to black pepper but much milder, a tiny bit sweet, and highly fruity.
I’ve recently become a regular user of these in my cooking for both flavor and aesthetic reasons. If you haven’t used pink peppercorns before and/or don’t have them in your spice rack, I recommend them for this recipe and others. I prefer them whole and then put them in a grinder, this ensures they have the best possible flavor.
Before you know it, you will be topping salads, chicken, and more with it.
What is Burrata Cheese?
Burrata is an Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and stracciatella. The outer casing is solid mozzarella cheese, while the inside is a loser stracciatella and cream.
It stays together in a jiggly ball, but when you cut it open, it oozes a little like the yolk of an egg. The umami flavors of this are wonderful with fresh salads and citrus.
Where can I buy burrata? You can usually find a ball in the specialty cheese section or deli counter of your grocery store. You can serve it with olive oil and spices on bread or crackers too, or place a small amount on nearly any Italian pasta dish. I also like mine in salads.
What can I substitute for burrata? Fresh mozzarella cheese or goat cheese are good comparisons.
Canned vs. Raw Green Beans
Nothing beats the texture, flavor, and crispness of fresh green beans for this green beans with bacon recipe. However, if you need a substitute, I recommend using frozen green beans before canned.
Admittedly, frozen green beans are not as good as fresh, but they’re miles better than canned ones. The nice thing about frozen green beans is that they’re quick frozen and uncooked. What this means is they retain that beautiful green color and also the nutrients.
Green beans, in general, are best consumed cooked rather than raw.
More vegetable side dishes:
- Sherry Steamed Green Beans
- PF Chang’s Spicy Green Beans
- Green Beans in Mascarpone Cream Sauce
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
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Green Beans with Bacon
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5-6 minutes, until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels.
- Pour out excess fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon.
- Add the onion to the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes or until translucent and slightly caramelized.
- Add the green beans to the pan along with 2 tablespoons of water (or chicken broth). Season the green beans with salt. Cook the beans, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Just before removing from the pan, mix in 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and half the basil and mint.
- Transfer the green beans and onions to a serving dish. Top with bacon, remaining herbs, torn burrata, fresh lemon zest and pink peppercorns.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!