Slow Cooker Green Beans

These Slow Cooker Green Beans are an easy and tasty way side dish. They’re perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas…or just a cold winter day!

These Slow Cooker Green Beans are an easy and tasty way side dish.  They're perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas...or just a cold winter day!

I’ve become a huge fan of my slow cooker recently. Sure, slow cookers have always been great for soups and roasts. However, I’ve been experimenting with various side dishes lately, and the slow cooker has certainly earned its spot on the kitchen counter!

As we leave the holiday season behind, we shift our attention towards more vegetables and soups. Enter these Slow Cooker Green Beans. This recipe is a delicious (and easy!) way to cook fresh green beans. With just 10-15 minutes of prep time, these green beans will be ready for the slow cooker…and perfectly cooked for dinner!

These Slow Cooker Green Beans are an easy and tasty way side dish. They're perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas...or just a cold winter day!

Slow Cooker Green Beans with Bacon

These green beans are packed with flavor! The beans simmer in a mixture of chicken broth, garlic, onions…and bacon. Yup, bacon. The bacon slices get discarded before serving as the texture is a bit too soft, but the flavor remains. These beans are delicious! (A ham hock is another great option for simmering with green beans, but we don’t often have a ham hock around.)

Can you overcook beans in a slow cooker?

One of my biggest pet peeves is overcooked, mushy vegetables. That leads to the question – can you overcook green beans in a crock pot? The answer is yes…but it’s easy to avoid this problem. The trick? Cooking the beans on low. I’ve included times in the recipe for both high and low, but I recommend cooking these beans on low. You can cook them on high if time is a concern, but do keep a close eye on them to avoid overcooking.

These Slow Cooker Green Beans are an easy and tasty way side dish. They're perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas...or just a cold winter day!

Can You Use Frozen Green Beans?

Yes! Just make sure to use whole green beans (sometimes called ‘fine green beans’ on packages). I haven’t tried this recipe with cut green beans yet, but I suspect you’d need to reduce the cooking time.

Can You Use Canned Green Beans?

Canned green beans are not the best option for this recipe. As canned green beans are already soft, you’d end up with overcooked, mushy beans. They’d have great flavor – but the texture wouldn’t be appealing at all. Stick to fresh or frozen here!

These Slow Cooker Green Beans are an easy and tasty way side dish. They're perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas...or just a cold winter day!

How to Make Slow Cooker Green Beans Vegetarian

This is easy! If you’re looking to make a vegetarian version of this Slow Cooker Green Beans recipe, just omit the bacon and sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil. The only other substitution would be to use vegetable broth (or mushroom broth) instead of chicken broth.

I’m not kidding when I say these beans are loaded with flavor! The bacon combined with the sautéed onions and garlic really boosts the taste of these beans. I also included a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes. The flavor is noticeable, but it isn’t overly spicy at all. You can certainly omit the red pepper flakes if you don’t like spicy foods.

These Slow Cooker Green Beans are an easy and tasty way side dish. They're perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas...or just a cold winter day!

How to Store Leftover Green Beans

If you have leftover crockpot green beans, just put them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply microwave the beans or use a skillet to reheat them on the stove top. These beans can also be frozen! Just transfer the cooked beans into a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 6 months.

If you’re looking for an easy green beans recipe, then put this one on the list! I hope you enjoy these beans as much as we do here in our house. Happy slow cooking!

Did you make a batch of these Slow Cooker Green Beans at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)- I’d love to see your version!

These Slow Cooker Green Beans are an easy and tasty way side dish. They're perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas...or just a cold winter day!

Slow Cooker Green Beans

These Slow Cooker Green Beans are an easy and tasty way side dish. They're perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas…or just a cold winter day!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 239kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. thick-cut bacon chopped into ¼” pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion sliced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans ends trimmed

Instructions

  • Using a large frying pan, add bacon and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is fully cooked.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet and pat dry with paper towels. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet.
  • Add the sliced onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until onion begins to turn translucent. Add minced garlic, stir and continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked onions and garlic into a slow cooker.
  • Add the chicken broth, water, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and half of the cooked bacon to the slow cooker; stir until well combined.
  • Add the green beans. (Tip: Make sure the green beans are all facing the same way – this will help them cook evenly. The beans should be mostly covered with liquid. If not, add a bit more stock or water until they are mostly covered – they don’t need to be entirely covered.)
  • Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours, or until beans have reached desired tenderness. Stir the beans occasionally during this time.
  • Once fully cooked, pour the contents of the slow cooker into a colander to drain the liquid. Discard the cooked bacon and onions (optional). Add the remaining cooked bacon and toss. Serve hot.
These Slow Cooker Green Beans are an easy and tasty way side dish. They're perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas...or just a cold winter day!

Looking for more easy side dish recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:

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18 Comments

  1. Cant wait to make this soon for me can i use mushrooms and vegetable broth cant wait to try this in my air fryer at home i never had slow cooker green beans before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

    1. Yes, you can definitely use mushrooms and veggie broth for this recipe, Ramya – that sounds delicious! I’m not sure how it would work in an air fryer though. If you try it out, let me know what changes you made for using the air fryer!

    1. The slow cooker is a versatile tool! It sometimes gets a bad rap. Give it a try for green beans – the slow and low method really works well here!

  2. 5 stars
    Happy New Year! I think I could get my boys to eat these green beans! They look so tender and full of bacon-y flavor!

    1. Using the slow cooker with the bacon really does add a TON of bacon flavor to these beans. This was an easy and tasty way to mix up veggies for the new year. Thanks, Michelle!

  3. 5 stars
    Happy New Year David! Green breans are one of my most favourite vegetables to serve, but I’ve never made them in a slow cooker before. Can’t wait to try out this recipe and I love the addition of the bacon too! Yum!

    1. You should definitely grab the slow cooker next time you make green beans, Neil! It does a fantastic job – and it’s hands off, too! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Love using my slow cooker too! And such a big fan of green beans! These would pair well with just about anything, especially since they have the salty, savoury addition of bacon. Time to break out the slow cooker again because these sound like a must try. Happy New Year!!

    1. The bacon flavor is really pronounced in this recipe…in the best way possible! This was a tasty way to mix up the flavors for this side dish. Happy New Year, Dawn!

  5. 5 stars
    I don’t use my slow cooker for making vegetables, but I don’t know why! These green beans are such a great idea and you just got to love the bacon! 🙂

    1. You should totally pull out the slow cooker next time you want a batch of green beans, Kathy! And don’t forget the bacon – the flavor is really pronounced thanks to the low and slow method of cooking here. Cheers!

  6. 5 stars
    Totally with you on the overcooked mushy vegetables! These on the other hand look perfect! Especially cooked in bacon + garlic 🤤 ! Love the tips on not overcooking these! A small group of us were hiking i. Your neck of the woods over the New Year weekend, if I had known u were making these we would have done a detour by! 😉
    Happy New Year to all of y’all, David!

    1. Ugh. Mushy veggies. I swear that’s why veggies often get a bad rap! The bacon and garlic here add a TON of flavor, and the slow cooker helps avoid the mush. So tasty! Also, next time you come to this area, you better hike right on up our front yard! 🙂

    1. I totally agree, Raymund! We hit the veggies hard after the holiday season, so I’m always looking for ways to make vegetable dishes interesting.

    1. I hear ya, Sherry! But I was thinking – I bet you could cook these beans with the bacon, but then discard the bacon after cooking and don’t actually eat it. The flavor would still be there! Just a thought. 🙂

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