Southern Green Beans with New Potatoes and Bacon!

 
 
We love green beans cooked just about any way, but there is nothing better than fresh green beans right out of the garden cooked with new potatoes and garnished with bacon and onion.   This is one of those things that some southerners might refer to as a mess...as in, "I picked me a mess a green beans out of the garden this morning"   It's debatable just how much 'a mess' is, but I have always taken it to mean enough for a meal.   I used to hear my mother use this term a lot when I was a kid, especially when someone had gone fishing, she would always ask, "Did you get you a mess of fish?" when they got back.  Being the analytic kid that always asked too many questions, I asked her one day why she used the the word mess and how much was  a mess.  Her answer was that it was enough for a meal. I asked her how a mess for one family could be the same as a mess for another, because her family growing up had 13 people in it,  our family only had 4 people in it.  How could  a mess be the same thing for both?  Her answer to me was very simple and so Mama,  "For my family growing up, that was a big ole mess, for our family now, that's a little ole mess."  lol   That answer worked.  This recipe is a more of a 'big ole mess', cook half as many for  a 'little ole mess'. 

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs. fresh green beans, washed and broken with strings removed.
3-4 slices bacon
1 medium Vidalia onion
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
2-3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
9-10 small red potatoes

With your kitchen shears or a knife cut your bacon in pieces and brown in a dutch oven. I like to use my cast iron dutch oven for this. 

Once the bacon is crisp, remove it to a paper towel lined plate.




Chop the onion and put the chopped onion and the Tbs. of garlic in the bacon drippings.  There won't be a lot of drippings from that much bacon and that's fine, you want just enough to season the beans, not have them swimming in it.  Saute until just soft.

Add the green beans to the hot bacon drippings and sauteed onion/garlic mixture and stir to coat them.  Add the salt and black pepper.

Add 2-3 cups of chicken broth or just enough to cover the beans.  You can use canned or the chicken bouillon cubes.   Bring to a boil and then turn down to low,  cook on low and covered for about 30 to 40 minutes.  Don't cook on heat set too high or they will scorch.

Wash the potatoes and if they are really small, just peel a strip right around the center.  If they are  little bigger, like mine were, halve them or quarter them and place them on top of the beans.  Sprinkle the potatoes with a little salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for about 30-40 more minutes or until fork tender.  It's important to not overcook the green beans.  They should still be 'green' at the end of the cooking time, but it's also important to not under cook them. Fresh green beans need time to cook on low heat,  remember that unlike canned beans, they haven't been processed at all.

Once the potatoes are cooked, give the whole pot a stir to mix the potatoes, beans and cooking liquid.  Taste for seasoning.  You might need to sprinkle with a dash more salt and pepper depending on how many beans you cooked. Sprinkle with the reserved bacon.  You have 'Southern Green Beans with New Potatoes and Bacon"!

COOKING TIP:   If you don't have fresh green beans and want to use canned, and you want them to taste more like fresh, drain all of the canning liquid off of the beans and rinse them.  Then follow this recipe as directed, but cut the cooking time in half and reduce the salt to taste,  since the canned beans have already been processed.






85 comments:

  1. I love this dish! Thanks for the tips on how to make it!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it! Thank you for commenting! :)

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    2. Janice D. StricklandDecember 12, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      I will be making this recipe for Dinner today and can't wait!! I want to thank you for sharing this as well.

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    3. I love this dish..I don't add onions or Bacon..Didn't think of it..:)
      but my family is tired of this dish.lol..

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    4. I promise you they'll change their tunes when you add the onions and bacon! Especially the bacon. I know it's not nearly as healthy adding the fat in but it doesn't take much really. Try it!

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  2. I remember my mom and grandma making a mess of this or that. And, somehow, they managed to feed as many people who happened to show up, no matter how many. Magically, they had all the necessary ingredients. There was always plenty for everyone, plus leftovers for at least one more meal. I think that is an innate talent, one that I didn't inherit.

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    1. My mother has that same talent. Somebody was always 'dropping in' right at dinner time and Mama just told them to get them a plate and sit down. We always seemed to have plenty.

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    2. My mom always said we was having a mess of green beans for dinner and i loved smelling them cook. and than we would have fried corn bread which some call it ho cakes. But my mom also put some pinto beans in them which were very good in the green beans.

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    3. Your mom might have not added pinto beans. When I used to cook green beans that were the true "stringed beans", some of them were so large we would shell them...usually were white but looked like pintos when cooked. My sister-in-law planted dried pintos one year and they came up as green beans.

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    4. Yep... those are "shelly beans"... they got so big that the green bean would be tough so we shelled them and put them in... shelly beans... lol

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  3. I can't wait to try this... especially in the winter when I can't find the fresh brean beans. No one likes canned beans in this house so maybe I can pull one over on them...LOL :-)

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    1. This does make the canned beans taste good. I hope they like them.

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    2. I use frozen green beans for this and it is almost like fresh from the farm. I grew up eating this with fresh beans from my grandfather and grandmother's farm and just can't do canned veggies. I make a BIG ole' mess of them!!

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    3. Shawna Rae, if you want to make green beans taste fresher, it's really simple. Pour the green beans in a pan, put in a little onion (or not, a little bacon grease (that's the secret) & watch them as they cook away on a low low boil. Someone told me to do this & I can't tell you how many times I've been told how good the fresh green beans were.

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  4. Thanks for the recipe. I grew up down South, but don't cook a lot of the foods I grew up with. This dish was always one of my favorites - this is a great reminder to get back to those cooking roots!

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    1. I was surprised how a pot of green beans with new potatoes brought back so many good memories for folks. I am so glad I posted it. It's funny how food lives in our memory for such a long time and we think of those who cooked it for us when we see it. Thank you for commenting.

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    2. I grew up on all of this. I still make it. and love it.

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    3. thanks for the recipe!! I grew up with this dish, but before I really cared about cooking, my grandparents were gone and so was my mom!! so a lot of recipes i'm stuck wondering how to cook them

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  5. Looks great - brings back good memories. I can't wait to try it.

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    1. I am so glad and I hope you do try it. Thank you for taking time to comment. Let me know how they turn out!

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  6. Seeing the photo of this dish takes me right back to the 1950's when my Mom, Dad & I would go to Tennessee to see my aunts, uncles & cousins. My Aunt Maude set a lunch spread you wouldn't believe and these green beans were always one of the dishes served along with fresh tomatoes, greens, fried chicken and hot water cornbread with peach cobbler for dessert!

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    1. I think it took a lot folks back to another time. I have never gotten such response from something that I really didn't think was 'interesting' enough to even post. Just goes to show that you never know what will appeal to people. Your Aunt Maude sounds a lot like all of my aunts and my mother. They never can have enough food or always afraid they won't. Thank you for sharing that with me!

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  7. Takes me back to my Granny's house on Sundays. Wow what a mess of food we would have and no matter how many people showed up Granny always seemed to have plenty. Gonna have those green beans tomorrow night for dinner. Linda, I have heard of hot water cornbread but have never been able to find out exactly how it is made. Please share!

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  8. I am thrilled to have found this site. My grandmother was from East Texas, but so many of these recipes are what she cooked. I have looked for some of them online, and they are just not 'right'. Yours are right :) Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I have had many meals of green beans with chicken and dumplings and scalded cornbread on the side.

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  9. I am so happy to have found this site. These are recipes my grandmother on my daddy's side used to make. She was a hellion, but she could cook :) Matter of fact, she often cooked a full meal three times a day. That was how she showed she cared. Anyhow, I have finally found recipes that I know are right b/c I remember watching her do it. Your pictures look like the dinner table of my youth. And my grandma called her cornbread "scalded cornbread". I have only succeeded in making it like hers one time b/c she never measured. She just knew how much.

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  10. Thank you, Heather. I appreciate that! It's most food I grew up on or that my mother grew up on. I am glad you found us!

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  11. I love this dish in the summer. We add smoked saudage or kielbasi for a little extra meat with the meal. My mother was German so vinegar, butter, salt & pepper is what made it so good!
    Thanks for doing this blog ... your ideas are always great!

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    1. My Great-Grandma cooked hers with vinegar and sugar, guess the vinegar is a German thing :)

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  12. I love gb's 'n new potatoes. Something that always showed up at family get togethers, holidays and dinner on the ground (if you're from the south, you'll know what that is lol), probably because my grandother always had a garden. I've had them cooked with bacon, ham hocks, salted pork, just about any type of seasoning meat you can think of. One question...is scorch a southern word? We've always used it and I'm from MS. When I saw that you used it too, it made me wonder. Thanks for you blog, I enjoy it very much. You always have things that remind me of my childhood and my roots. God Bless.

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  13. Oh my sweet baby Jesus, I didn't think no one could ever cook like my grandma, or my mom. But, I guess today I was proven wrong.I will always refer to this site to get some good ole' fashioned Southern Cooking recipes. I'm a Country Girl from a small town in Mississippi. This site has took me way back to my childhood days. So pleased to have been linked to it. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Have a blessed day.

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  14. I love your site.....thanks for sharing....ole time cooking...the best..:)

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  15. Thanks so much to all of you for your sweet comments. I love when a dish brings back good memories for everyone and for some reason green beans with new potatoes does for a lot of us. Most of my old, classic recipes came from my mother who fortunately taught them to me.

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  16. Today has been my lucky day ~ all because I have found you! What a find! Just wondering if this could be made with frozen green beans? I'm in Virginia and fresh from the garden isn't available now. This looks just like how my momma made hers ... she called it "depression soup" Thank you for such a delightful site!

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  17. Thanks for the great recipe how to cook green beans, im gonna try it just in time for thanksgiving, sounds mighty good thank you so much

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  18. I'm cooking a gluten free meal for Thanksgiving. This seems to foot the bill without having to be altered.
    Can you think of any other "simple" Southern favorites that might be gluten free without any (or much) recipe alteration?

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  19. Lord have mercy...I'll grant you the bacon instead of ham hocks or fatback...I'll give you the chicken broth instead of plain ol' spring water or well water...but garlic in Southern green beans? Bless your heart...no. Mama would roll in her grave!

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  20. If you use frozen green beans would you change the cooking time?

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  21. I want to know what hot water cornbread is!!!!!

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  22. how many servings is this, I am thinking of trying it?

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  23. Oh I was so happy to see this recipe first off my Grandma used to make something like this the minute I saw the picture I jumped for joy :) cant wait to give it a try

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  24. I have made many versions of this, but never tried adding garlic to it. I use my canned green beans out of the garden so my cooking time is longer, but the results are the same. Can you tell us what hot water cornbread is? Thanks, and by the way, I love your site!!

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  25. As a side dish this amount will serve 6-8 people easily with leftovers more than likely. You don't have to cook this much though.

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  26. Great recipe and similar to what I grew up with and still make. Biggest difference is the beans themselves. Being from the deep south we always used pole beans rather than green beans. I believe that is the way He intended it to be.

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  27. This is something my mamaw always made when I was a kid. I make it now with just a couple changes I put ham in ours, use frozen green beans and cook it in slow cooker.And almost always make cornbread to go with it.

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  28. Lane, these are Kentucky Wonder beans, which is a pole bean. There are many varieties of pole beans and different types grow better in different regions of the south, but they are still green beans generally.

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    1. Hi, Kentucky Wonders are all I will cook when I can find them otherwise I cook Jade's... To me and my sisters they are the best! Living In Michigan not many people grow them, so hard to find, I cant have a garden any more so miss them. Bacon is a must and no matter how many i am feeding 2 or more i always cook 3 lbs.. Love the left over with Green onions and a couple slices a big tomato! Happy Happy!

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  29. I love fresh green beans and new potatoes!! I also grew up eating these, too. I could hear my Mamma snapping them and smell the "fresh" garden smell...oh, it was so good. I found some fresh green beans and new red potatoes yesterday and it's the middle of February!! I'm going to cook mine in a minute...just checking here again how you cook them. The bacon, onion and garlic just make them delicious!! Can't wait to fix them and some hot water cornbread!!!

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  30. I've been reading here people wanting to know how to make Hot Water Cornbread...here is how I was taught by my precious Mother-in-Law when I first married.
    HOT WATER CORNBREAD:

    2 cups of white cornmeal
    salt to taste
    BOILING water

    Put the cornmeal and salt (about 1 & 1/2 tsp.) in a large bowl. Take the boiling water (it has to be boiling), pouring a little at a time into the cornmeal mixture , stirring real good until the mixture forms a stiff paste. Have a bowl sitting close by of cold water to dip your hands in...take a large spoonful of the cornmeal paste and make a oblong patty...get a large skillet with some oil hot...lay the patties in it and fry until brown on one side then turn them over and fry until they are brown. The boiling water cooks the cornmeal some so the frying part finishes cooking them. This is so good!! My kids will eat them cold out of the fridge. You can make more by adding more cornmeal and salt. You can use any cooking oil or shortening. I've also made crackling fried cornbread just like this...just chip up some cracklings into the cornmeal and salt.

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  31. I noticed that there are some who never added garlic to their green beans...my Mom never did, but, I do...it just makes them taste so much better. I don't add quite as much..instead of 1 TBSP, I just add 1 tsp., really depending on the amount of green beans you have. Mine are cooking now...they smell so good, can't wait for them to get done. Garlic added to canned green beans make them taste like fresh ones. I drain the juice from the can into a saucepan that I'll be cooking my beans in, add some chopped garlic and a little salt, bring to a boil, then add the beans and heat. Makes them taste so good.

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  32. These are the green beans my mom made when I was a kid. Funny thing is, I bought some fresh green beans today and am making a mess tomorrow. Potatoes, onions, bacon and all!

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  33. Love the recipe and the comments. This is one of our favorites. I usually add ham, but I am going to try the bacon. Also I had Louisiana Hot Sauce (just a little) and it brightens up the taste. Although you can always add the hot sauce to taste for each serving too. I am new to your site and loving it.

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  34. LOL, only 4 slices of bacon? I use a whole pound and I chop it up and add it while everything is cooking together. It's not greasy either.. Either way y'all fix it ~~ DELISH..

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  35. I grew up in the Deep South, and fresh was always on the table, as my granny didn't get a freezer until I was about 12 (around 1960). She always canned her own beans and tomatoes, butterbeans, etc...her pantry was so beautiful with all the bright colors.
    Later in life, i used to eat at a country kitchen in Gainesville Ga, and the green beans were delicious, even in winter. I bugged the cook until she gave up the secret: wash the canned taste off the beans by pouring off the liquid and then washing the beans with dlean water twice. Then she used bacon grease and salt and pepper, along with the red potatoes. Her beans tasted like "fresh".

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  36. My mother was a wonderful mother, but a very plain cook. When I was about 10, I discovered there was such a thing as fresh vegetables (at a friend's house), and how GOOD they were. I thought green beans came from a can. Period. When I went home RAVING about the bacon and garlic and ONIONS in the green beans, my mom took a walk on the wild side and added.....the bacon. From then on we had canned green beans with (just) bacon. I thought that was such a gourmet treat! I wish my mother had used more imagination in her cooking endeavors, but she made up for it in so many other ways! And today, I am very experimental, not afraid of spices, and willing to try many new recipes! Best of both!

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  37. This is how my sweet mama made these except I never saw her use chicken broth or garlic in hers! And we always had a big pan of cornbread with them! Thanks for the memory Kathy!

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    1. Yes yes yes cornbread is the finishing touch. Living in Kentucky, this meal is a staple on our table! A few sliced tomatoes and some green onions and you r good to go!

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  38. If you're using bouillon cubes & water in place of canned broth taste before salting as bouillon is VERY salty. I'm not a fan of new potatoes & am a lover of the gold ones so I'd probably use the gold.

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  39. My grandma use to me these and we'd have sliced cucumbers with vinegar, "fried" corn, tomatoes, crispy fried corn bread and some good old southern fried chicken with of course ice cold sweet tea. Wow, I miss my grandma. Those were the days.

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  40. I grew up loving green beans and new potatoes. Used to watch my great aunt or my grandmother "scrape" the new potatoes instead of peeling them before cooking. Did notice the other day when I peeled my potates there was an awfully big pile of peelings and realized it was such a waste. We always used fat back, streak-a-lean or bacon grease for seasoning but no onions. They would have it ready by 10:00 am and I would reach in for a boiled potato. Once when I was sick, all I wanted was green beans and boiled potatoes.

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  41. my granny simmered ham hocks all day, then took the meat off the bone and added the green beans to that stock and simmered and so on.

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  42. Can you use frozen green beans? If so what changes should be made to the recipe?

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  43. I was brought up eating this dish sometimes using a Ham hock in stead of bacon. No garlic in mine either but dont see the harm in that. The best green bean, in my opinion, is the white half runner. It's only grown in certain parts of the country and Mexico. Another poster mentioned Kentucky Wonders which are also good. This is one of my all time favorite foods. But I have to take exception to one of your directions. Stirring the beans breaks them which doesn't really affect the flavor but certainly takes away from a nice presentation.

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  44. AM NOT FROM THE SOUTH BUT AM GOING TO MAKE THIS CAUSE IT SOUNDS SO GOOD

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  45. the frozen green beans are better than the canned but of course fresh is even better

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  46. My grandmothers used to use White Half Runners. Those arfe the beans I like the most. They are made basically the same way as you do. Our "Mess" is a Mess of beans and we add cucumber,viadalia onion,anything else you want to add and you have a Mess. But you have to have a pone of cornbread!!

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  47. I make my beans just like this. But I prefer Pole Beans. I always like having these with cornbread (:

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  48. What is all the fuss! kathy it seems normal to me I didn't know there was any other way to cook these are all momma's recipes thank you for sharing we use to cook what was called Kentucky wonder green beans and they would turn the outside of the peeled potato brown which made them yummy I could eat the hole pot

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  49. I used to love it when it was late in the bean season and we e would get old green beans, they'd be big and kind of fuzzy and have big inside. We called them "shelly" beans. My aunt would add ham to it, and cook them in the crock pot all day until they were really soft.

    I always had summer complaint after that.

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  50. Just had a BIG ole mess of fresh garden Half Runner Beans & new potatoes, summer squash casserole, corn bread, Fried pork Chops and garden oxheart tomatoes & cucumbers on the side for dinner YUM

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  51. The smell of the beans cooking takes me back to my childhood, my Grandma on the farm making the same recipe (some times she would use a hamhock intstead of bacon). Thanks for sharing and I see a pot of beans in my future.

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  52. Can remember my grandma from Pennsylvania cooking these and at the end she would "cream" them adding a mixture of flour and milk. So good.

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  53. what is the reason for peeling a strip around the small potatoes?

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    1. I suspect to allow some of the potato starch to release into the cooking liquid an provide just a tiny bit of thickening effect.

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  54. I can't get these recipes to print. I hit the printer friendly button and nothing happens. I don't want all the adds on the recipe. Can anyone help?

    Debbie N.

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    1. Someone else who had this problem said they had to update their Adobe Flash and then it worked. It might be that you don't have the latest version of it.

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  55. I was born in Ark but moved to Ind when I was a baby. Mom always made the "Southern cooking" meals so this is one I grew up with. It was summertime when we got to have this with cornbread, fried okra, fresh corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes. The meat did not matter as long as we had the veggies! Mom taught a lot of northern ladies to cook southern as they taught her to cook "northern". Have moved back to the south and still cook her way, but really glad you have these recipes so my grandkids and nieces can have the measurements. Mom and I did not measure except for cakes..lol

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  56. Add some carrots with this dish... yummy.. Wal Mart's Great Value WHOLE green beans in a can will cook down nearly identical to fresh in taste. Try them!

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  57. Loved it! Would you have a recipe for 3 or 4 bean salad?

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  58. Just two words - POLE BEANS

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  59. Grandma would always make a "mess of beans" and it was SO good! My mom never really made it because my dad wanted a meat "side" with his meals. But I'll never forget granny's cooking! I've made these in the past and they have always been a hit. Came here looking for a "refresher" recipe since it's been a while since I have made them, Always use Chicken stock, Bacon is required and the potatoes don't have to be "new", just small! Putting this on the menu this week, but I think I will also look for smoked turkey breast in the store to add along with the bacon. MUST HAVE bacon! Recently made collard greens for the first time with smoked turkey and the flavor was amazing. I also use onion and a touch of garlic, along with seasoned salt in the bean recipe. Serve this with cornbread (Sweet Northern Style for me) and it's a whole, satisfying meal! And yes, they need to be cooked for a long time. And yes, I know that's not the way to get the nutrients out of green beans, but "crisp-tender" doesn't work here. The object is a green bean "gravy" that you ladle over the potatoes with butter for a very good down home meal! I even use the "gravy" over the cornbread! Excellent! 5 stars!!

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  60. This recipe it's delicious. Green beans are also very healthy :)

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  61. what if you have no chicken broth nor any bullion cubes

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  62. what if you have no chicken broth nor bullion cubes

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  63. My mom makes delicious snap beans and potatoes, but the thing is shes in Alabama and im in Washington st and she doesn't follow a recipe,but i think this is very very close to what she make. Can i substitute the bacon for ham.

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