Crack Green Beans

Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Kayla Berman

Crack Green Beans are the ultimate side dish recipe! Made with fresh beans, bacon, soy sauce, light brown sugar, and butter … these southern smothered green beans are sweet, savory, saucy, and delicious. This easy to prep dish is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every family dinner in between. Even picky eaters and kids will love them!

Sweet & Savory Smothered Southern Green Beans

This crack green beans recipe, also known as smothered green beans or southern green beans or smothered southern green beans, is sure to turn all the green bean haters in your family into green bean fans.

I mean who wouldn’t like a vegetable that is covered in a sweet and savory glaze and topped with crispy bacon pieces?

This recipe has crack in the name for good reason! It is addictively delicious. It will have everyone at your dinner table going for the vegetable side over the potato side. Well … unless it is my unbelievably cheesy au gratin potatoes.

Anyway! This green bean dish is typically made with canned green beans. It is easy and comes together with all pantry staples. But my take is made with fresh green beans to liven and brighten up the dish. I just love the crisp, crunch, and flavor of a fresh vegetable.

Next time you need a side dish recipe, whether it’s just an average family dinner or Thanksgiving, you have got to try this one. I promise you won’t regret it!

green beans with bacon in a casserole dish

Ingredients

This delicious recipe calls for only a few simple ingredients! Pretty much pantry staples and then fresh green beans to liven up the dish.

Ingredient Notes

  • Green Beans: Green beans are of course the star of this side dish show! You will need 24 oz of fresh beans.
  • Bacon: Crispy bacon adds an incredible flavor here. I mean it can pretty much turn any vegetable dish into one that I want to eat! Add 8 slices.
  • Brown Sugar: To give this simple dish it’s sweet and savory flavor, you’ll need 1/4 cup light brown sugar. It is absolutely scrumptious!
  • Butter: Unsalted butter is the base of the savory glaze here. 1/4 cup butter is perfect.
  • Soy Sauce: 3 teaspoons soy sauce adds another delicious layer of flavor here. It really brings on the salty and is a great addition!
  • Garlic & Onion Powder: This recipe calls for 1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder. They’re super easy ingredients that pack in the flavor.

Substitutions

There are a few substitutions you could make to this side dish for it to meet your personal preferences, tastes, or needs!

Green Beans: You can replace the fresh beans in this recipe with cans of green beans or even frozen beans. The cooking process will just be slightly different! Check out my tips below for more information.

Bacon: Bacon adds a delicious taste to this dish and is a key element! But if regular bacon is not your thing you could substitute turkey bacon or even slices of ham.

Garlic & Onion: Garlic powder and onion powder are used here for ease and simplicity, but they could totally be swapped with finely diced fresh onion and garlic. It would probably make for an even better recipe!

crack green bean ingredients

How To Make This Recipe

Cracked green beans are such an easy side dish to whip up! They take about 15 minutes of prep time and then you just bake ’em and forget ’em.

Now that is my kind of dish!

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1: Set the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Start by chopping the bacon slices into small pieces.  Then cook them on the stove in a pan over medium heat until crispy.  Remove from the pan and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess grease. Set aside.

cooked bacon pieces in a pan

Step 3: Next in a medium or small bowl combine the melted butter, light brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder.

soy sauce, melted butter, brown sugar, and garlic & onion powder

Step 4: Add the green beans, cooked bacon pieces, and the crack sauce mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Toss until each green bean is thoroughly coated.

Step 5: Transfer the green beans to a large prepared baking dish or casserole dish.  Spread evenly.

Step 6: Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Until the green beans are tender and soft.

Step 7: Serve and enjoy!

Expert Tips

Bake the bacon! This is a great way to cook bacon – it is super easy and makes less mess than frying.

Steam the green beans for a few minutes before baking. This will reduce the overall cook time.

Trim the green beans if you would like! I know some people do not like the ends of fresh green beans so if that is you, just trim them. It is an easy extra step.

Reserve some bacon. Instead of mixing all the bacon into the dish you could save some to use as a crunchy topping. Since baking it in the sauce will make it less crunchy, and a bit more chewy.

Different Beans

Frozen Green Beans: If you are using frozen beans, allow to thaw before baking. Then simply follow the same instructions as for the fresh.

Canned Green Beans: Canned green beans require all of the same steps as written. However, since they are pre-cooked they will require less baking time. This is a great alternative if you are looking for a quicker recipe!

green beans side dish recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I prepare this recipe ahead of time?

I don’t recommend fully preparing this recipe ahead of time, but I do you think you could prepare some ingredients to make things easier and save some time when you are cooking the full recipe. Especially on a big cooking day like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!

I think the bacon would be a super easy thing to prep ahead of time. Simply cook it beforehand and then store the cooked pieces of bacon in the refrigerator until it is time to assemble the full dish. This would also be a great way to dirty one less dish on a busy holiday.

You could also trim the green beans ahead of time if that is a step you are taking and measure out the savory sauce elements. That way it will be super easy to just throw everything together and bake the dish!

How to best store this recipe?

You can store this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for about 3-5 days!

How to serve this recipe?

This recipe can be served as a tasty side to any main dish at family dinner or a dinner party. Like with herb crusted salmon or chicken apple sausage sheet pan dinner.

It also makes an amazing holiday side to serve at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even Easter. It will have all the veggie haters going back in for more.

green beans with bacon and sweet & savory glaze in a casserole dish

Love this recipe? Check out some similar ones

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Connect With Me!

If you make this green bean recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.

cracked smothered green beans recipe

Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.

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Crack Green Beans

Crack Green Beans are the ultimate side dish recipe! Made with fresh beans, bacon, soy sauce, light brown sugar, and butter … these southern smothered green beans are sweet, savory, saucy, and delicious. This easy to prep dish is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every family dinner in between. Even picky eaters and kids will love them!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start by chopping the bacon slices into small pieces.  Then cook them on the stove in a pan over medium heat until crispy.  Remove from the pan and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess grease. Set aside.
  3. Next in a medium or small bowl combine the melted butter, light brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  4. Add the green beans, cooked bacon pieces, and the crack sauce mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Toss until each green bean is thoroughly coated.
  5. Transfer the green beans to a large prepared baking dish or casserole dish.  Spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Until the green beans are tender and soft.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Keywords: crack green beans, cracked green beans, smothered crack green beans, crack green bean recipe, crack green beans recipe

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