How to Cook Fresh Green Beans: Paula Deen's Delicious Recipe

Updated on March 17, 2016
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Paula Deen's recipe for fresh green beans, seasoned with chicken broth, bacon or salt pork and onions.
Paula Deen's recipe for fresh green beans, seasoned with chicken broth, bacon or salt pork and onions. | Source
Snapping beans by yourself can get tedious, but when done as a family project, it's actually fun, relaxing, and a great opportunity to tell jokes and stories.
Snapping beans by yourself can get tedious, but when done as a family project, it's actually fun, relaxing, and a great opportunity to tell jokes and stories. | Source

Paula Deen's Green Bean Recipe: rated #1 by this family of country cooks

Over the years, I have learned to trust Paula Deen's recipes, as those that I have tried are some of the most delicious dishes I have ever tasted. However, she has come under fire for years, mainly because of the high fat and sugar content of many of her recipes. When Paula Deen publicly announced that she has diabetes, I don't think anyone was surprised, especially if we can assume that she regularly eats the decadent dishes featured on her cooking show and in her magazines and cook books.

However, this green beans recipe could be one of her healthiest, and in my opinion it is certainly one of her most delicious. In this recipe, fresh green beans are steamed and simmered in chicken broth with thinly sliced onions and new potatoes. Although the recipe calls for seasoning the beans with salt pork, bacon drippings and butter, you can easily cut the amount of these fats listed in the recipe. I use the full amount, though, because it adds such a wonderful smoky flavor, and most of the fat from the butter and pork drips into the broth, which is left in the pot when you use a slotted or pierced serving spoon to serve the beans.

My own mom was raised by city-dwellers and thus did not learn the ways of country cooking, and therefore neither did I. However, my mother-in-law is a terrific country cook. She asked me to bring green beans to an Easter gathering a few years ago, and that's when I found this recipe. I was thrilled when my husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sisters-in-law and their husbands all agreed that these were the best green beans they had ever tasted. These are people that know their country cooking. This suburban girl had not only successfully cooked a classic Southern country dish, I had won my in-laws' blue-ribbon seal of approval. I used to always bring a green bean casserole to these get-togethers, but now instead they specifically request these green beans -- every time.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: 8-10 servings


  • 3 pounds fresh green beans
  • 1/4 pound smoked salt pork or bacon, sliced
  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings*
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 teaspoons Paula Deen's House Seasoning**
  • 12 new potatoes, (small red potatoes)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter*
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
Chop the salt pork or bacon into small pieces, then brown lightly in your stock pot or Dutch oven.
Chop the salt pork or bacon into small pieces, then brown lightly in your stock pot or Dutch oven. | Source
Chop or snap the stems and ends off of the beans. You may also snap the beans in half, or leave them whole if you prefer.
Chop or snap the stems and ends off of the beans. You may also snap the beans in half, or leave them whole if you prefer. | Source
After the beans are fully cooked and wilted, they are tender, perfectly seasoned and delicious. The thin onion slices are just about invisible at this point in the cooking process.
After the beans are fully cooked and wilted, they are tender, perfectly seasoned and delicious. The thin onion slices are just about invisible at this point in the cooking process. | Source

Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash the green beans, culling out any leaves, stems and limp, shriveled beans. Snap or cut in beans two. This can be tedious when you do it on your own, but when my family sits around and snaps beans together, it's actually quite fun. If I'm alone and in a hurry, sometimes I'll skip the snapping and leave them whole -- they turn out just as well.
  2. Chop the salt pork into small pieces, and in a large pot or Dutch oven, fry it over medium heat until lightly brown.
  3. Add the bacon drippings to the pot. Allow the drippings to melt, then place the green beans in the pot and toss the beans to coat them with the salt pork and bacon drippings.
  4. Add chicken broth and House Seasoning (or its substitute, below). Set the stove to medium low, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and allow to cook for 30 minutes. If you are accustomed to completely covering your green beans in liquid, it will seem as though there is not enough chicken broth -- but don't worry. Just make sure the lid stays on the pot, and the beans will steam until they're tender.
  5. While the beans are cooking, wash and scrub new potoatoes. Use a vegetable peeler to peel a strip around the center of each potato. If I'm in a hurry, sometimes I'll cut the potatoes in half instead. If the potatoes are very small, I'll sometimes use them whole without peeling a strip or cutting them.
  6. Cut the onion in half, then slice each half into thin slivers.
  7. After the 30-minute cooking time is up for the beans, add the potatoes and onions to the pot. At this point you may also add in a quarter or half cup of additional chicken broth if you like.
  8. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and allow to cook about 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. It's a good idea to lift the lid and take a peak every now and then, to make sure a small amount of liquid remains.
  9. Once potatoes are tender, tilt the lid to allow some steam to escape, and continue cooking for about 15 more minutes, until the beans have wilted.
  10. Add butter and pepper, stir to mix all ingredients evenly, and serve.

Recipe Notes and Comments

* Frying the bacon or salt pork will likely provide you with enough drippings to coat the green beans. You may omit the bacon drippings and butter, or reduce their amounts, for a healthier recipe.

** If you do not have Paula Deen's House Seasoning, in its place substitute one teaspoon of onion powder, one teaspoon of garlic powder and one teaspoon of seasoned salt.

Leftover beans are just as delicious the next day. I often make a large pot of these beans for a weekend supper, when I have more time to cook. The recipe makes much more than our family of four will eat at one meal. When supper is over, I plop the lid on he pot and put it in the refrigerator. During the week, when our schedules are crazy and I need to get dinner ready quickly, I simply grab the pot of beans and reheat them on the stove for a few minutes. It's so handy having a ready-made side dish that's this delicious.

As I stated above, my in-laws request these green beans for basically every family gathering. Often, mashed potatoes and gravy are also on the menu. When I know we're having mashed potatoes, I usually leave the new potatoes out of this recipe (as I did in the green beans in my photos) and add an extra half pound of green beans, because new potatoes seem redundant if we have mashed potatoes. Additionally, new potatoes are quite expensive in my little part of the world, so this also saves a bit of money.

These folks have a wonderful spot to sit and snap beans.

Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how you liked it!

3.5 stars from 154 ratings of Paula Deen's Fresh Green Beans Recipe


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    • profile image

      Linda Black 

      4 weeks ago

      Thank you for the very best Green Beans & Potato recipe.

    • profile image

      Kip Roberts 

      8 months ago

      I would like to no to cook Paula Deans green bean tomato and onion casserole?

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      Loved this! I have been married for 31 years and never cooked fresh green beans before. I was always afraid. Not anymore !! Made this recipe twice in a week . I usually only eat green beans on holidays but will definitely be enjoying them much more during the year!

    • profile image

      Stacy Le'Gette 

      11 months ago

      Absolutely amazing!!! Will be the only recipe I ever use for green beans again!!! Takes a while to cook but totally worth it!!! DELICIOUS!!!!

    • profile image

      Charlotte Karam 

      16 months ago

      The green bean recipe (including the family snapping) is identical to the recipe we use in our family. Identical! We serve it with steamed white rice!

    • profile image


      19 months ago


    • profile image


      24 months ago

      Have made these for over 30 years but add minced garlic for added flavor.

    • SmartAndFun profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Texas

      Personally, I cover the pot, juice, fat, meat and all, and put it in the fridge. Then I heat the beans up again in the same pot for the next meal. If there are any left at that point, I will move them to a smaller covered storage container. Thanks for commenting!

    • DeniseGreen profile image

      Denise Green 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Do you remove the fat/meat from the beans before putting them in the fridge to store? Do you store the beans with all the juices?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Question: When did 1/2 stick of butter become 1/4 cup. A of butter is 8 oz or 1 cup, thus 1/2 half stick butter is 1/2 cup. The short butter sticks are called half sticks. So which is it, 1/2 stick of 1/4 stick/cup?

    • profile image

      Judy kk 

      4 years ago

      I have made this recipe a number of times and it is absolutely fabulous! Great southern/country style. LOVE THIS!!!!

    • Hendrika profile image


      4 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      This is very interesting. In South Africa our traditional way of cooking beans are very similar. We boil the finely chopped beans with chopped onions and chopped potatoes and a small fatty lamb shop. When the vegetables are soft and all the water has cooked away we remove the meat, add salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Then comes the unhealthy part! We mash all this up with LOTS of butter. Yummy.

    • profile image

      Jennifer Suchey 

      6 years ago

      These are similar to the green beans my sister makes, which I have made a couple of times as well. I don't think she uses butter, which sounds like a great addition, but for sure bacon, bacon drippings and onion. Thanks for sharing this recipe and your story of how you tried it and was a hit with the in-laws. Way to go! ;)

    • SmartAndFun profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Texas

      I love stir-fried green beans! I love them in some olive oil with a bit of sea salt, and maybe a few almond slices thrown in. This recipe is for the softer, mushier, Southern-type green beans, full of bacon and butter. Delcious, but definitely not as healthy as the stir-fried variety. Thanks for commenting, and let me know if you make these beans!

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      @SmartAndFun -- these beans look so delicious and really filling. I've cooked with string beans before but I will definitely try your recipe. :)

      I think the stir-fried green beans is great too because it retains much of the color and nutrients.

      Whenever I prepare with string beans I usually strip off the stringy part on the sides. Otherwise the I would feel the stringy parts in my mouth whenever I eat the beans.

      Thanks for sharing! Voted up and useful. :)

    • SmartAndFun profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Texas

      I love stir-fried green beans -- I think they're delcious when they're crisp! Maybe you could put your stir-fry recipe here on HubPages. This recipe is very different, because the beans are cooked quite a long time in lots of steam and liquid until they're soft and wilted. Either way they are yummy! Thanks for stopping by.

    • peachpurple profile image


      7 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Your green beans look soft. Mine is always kind of raw because I stir fry them. Maybe I should change the cooking method to yours. Thanks!


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