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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
Slow Cooker Green Beans
- 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
- 2½ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds fresh green beans ends trimmed
- 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.
Looking for more easy side dish recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: