Cooked green beans with onions and bacon is such a delicious way to use frozen green beans. We cook them a bit longer than fresh, about 15 minutes, to create tender, flavorful beans that make a wonderful side dish for any meal. This is a simple recipe that will always surprise you with how good it is!
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This recipe for long cooked green beans with onion and bacon is one of our family's favorite winter and spring side dishes.
And I also love that it uses our frozen unblanched green beans. With a freezer full of bags of frozen green beans we can have these delicious beans all winter long!
Anything we don't eat is frozen to use in the off season in soups, stews, casseroles and longer pan cooked like this recipe.
Although by long cooked I only mean 15 minutes! But that's longer than the 3 to 5 minutes fresh beans are cooked, so these frozen beans are longer cooked, for sure.
How and What to Cook with Unblanched Frozen Green Beans
One of my most popular preserving how-tos is how - and why - to freeze green beans without blanching them first.
I'm not surprised, since preserving green beans this way is super easy and results in a better product, in my opinion (and many others), even if it goes against the "expert" advice.
While I've gotten lots of questions on that technique (LOTS of comments!) over the years by far the most common question I get is "how do you cook with them?"
You DO need to cook them longer than fresh. After freezing, the beans texture changes (whether they are blanched or not), so they benefit from longer cooking or cooking in liquid.
Here are some recipes that use frozen green beans (unblanched or not):
- Thai Inspired Turkey or Chicken Vegetable Curry
- Cheesy Crust Ham Pie
- Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Chicken Vegetables
- Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner
- Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup
- Italian Vegetable Beef Soup
- Quick Bone Broth Chicken & Vegetable Soup
And now this recipe for a wonderfully flavored side dish that lets the green beans shine.
It's one of those recipes that seem so simple, yet I am always surprised to remember just how good these are when I make them!
Ingredients & Substitutions
The simple ingredients for this recipe to make long cooked green beans include:
- Frozen beans (about a 16 ounce bag) - can be either unblanched frozen or blanched.
- Bacon - only a couple pieces are needed, you can substitute turkey bacon if you'd like or leave out.
- Onion - this really adds to the flavor, so I always use onion.
- Chicken broth - we only need a quarter cup, but it does add nice flavor. You could use vegetable broth or water in a pinch (I'd add more salt when tasting, then).
- Salt and pepper - start with 1/4 teaspoon of each, and then taste to see if you'd like more.
- Optional Ingredients: Red pepper flakes - this is a nice addition since we're fans of spicy around here. Red bell pepper - adds a nice color and flavor, especially around the holidays. Fresh minced garlic - I often add this when I don't use bacon because the combo of the beans and onions with garlic is SO good.
- Large skillet or sauté "everything pan." This is similar to the stainless steel pan pictured, and I like this non-stick everything pan, too.
- Large bamboo spoon - I find they've held up better than wooden spoons.
How to Make Cooked Green Beans with Onions and Bacon
Like I mentioned, while this recipe is called "long cooked" they're really only cooked 15-20 minutes with three steps (detailed quantities and instructions are included in the full recipe box below):
Step 1: Chop and cook the bacon in a large pan (that has a lid).
Step 2: Add the chopped onions and cook right in the bacon fat with the bacon pieces.
Step 3: Add frozen green beans (no need to thaw!), chicken broth, and seasonings to the the pot. Boil, then lower heat and cover, letting it all cook until the beans are soft and tender and the onions translucent.
Three steps in one pan - the best kind of recipe, right?
Well, the best recipes are easy AND taste delicious - and this delivers!
Simple ingredients + simple cooking = amazing flavor.
That is the best kind of recipe, now that I think about it!
More Easy Side Dishes
- Amazing Garlic Green Beans Recipe (with Skillet or Grill Options)
- Simple Corn, Pepper and Onion Saute
- Green Beans with Caramelized Onions & Tomatoes
"We made this recipe last night using unblanched green beans from last summer. It was super yummy! The sauce almost seemed to caramelize a bit and had tons of flavor. We will definitely make this again!" -Megan
"These were the best green beans ever! Now I know what to do with all my frozen beans, thank you, the whole family loved them!" -Sandy S.
"Great recipe! I’ve disliked our frozen green beans for years because they never taste good like fresh ones. They needed this recipe! I followed the directions perfectly, and they turned out fabulous!" -Lani
Long Cooked Green Beans with Onions & Bacon
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1 pound frozen green beans or 1 quart bag
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cook bacon in a large saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat until almost cooked; add onion and cook another minute.
- To the pan add frozen green beans, chicken broth, and seasonings. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low (or low, to keep them gently cooking) and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until desired doneness.
- Optional: Remove cover & raise heat to medium to evaporate some of the liquid (I don't usually bother).
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in September of 2015.Disclosure: affiliate links in this article will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price. Click here to read our full disclaimer and advertising disclosure.