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Quick Bacon Green Beans

The perfect healthy side to serve at Thanksgiving! This dish is made with tender, flavorful green beans, butter or olive oil, salt + pepper, and fresh garlic. Jazz things up with crisp bacon pieces and toasted nuts (optional) and watch this crowd-pleasing side dish fly off the platter!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegetables
Keyword Easy Thanksgiving Sides, Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Author Stephanie Simmons


For the Bacon Green Beans

  • 4-6 slices bacon
  • 2 lbs fresh green beans
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • 5 tbsp salted butter
  • 6 large cloves minced garlic

Optional Add-ins

  • a pinch of lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup your favorite nuts, toasted I recommend Almonds or Macadamia Nuts


  • Cook the Bacon: Cook your bacon according to package directions (I recommend doing it in the oven! It's efficient and hands-off!). Prep the beans while the bacon cooks. When the bacon is done, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to remove excess grease. Then, crumble into bite-sized pieces.
  • Cook the Green Beans: Rinse your green beans and add them to a large pot or dutch oven. Fill with water so that the beans are covered. Add a few pinches of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the green beans for 5 minutes. They should be a bit soft. Drain the water from the pot, then return it to medium-low heat. Add the butter, and stir until melted. Add the minced garlic, and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Beans will be bright green. Check the tenderness of the green beans, and cook for 3-5 additional minutes if you want them a bit more tender.
    Add your cooked bacon and toasted nuts (if using) just before serving. You could also keep these in small bowls on the side so any guests with dietary restrictions can choose whether or not to add them to their serving.
  • Serve + Store: Serve while nice and warm! Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • Make ahead tip: This dish can be made 1-2 days before Thanksgiving, and reheated in a pot on the stovetop for a few minutes before serving. If you make it ahead, I recommend waiting to add the cooked bacon and toasted nuts (if using) until just before serving.
  • Toasting Almonds or Macadamia Nuts: Add slivered almonds or chopped macadamia nuts to a small non-stick pan over low heat, and toast, stirring every 10 seconds or so, until they begin to turn golden brown (a few minutes). Remove from the pan and set aside until ready to use.