These easy sauteed green beans with bacon and shallots are the perfect side dish for any meal. Tender crisp green beans are mixed with crispy bacon and thinly sliced shallots with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
Green beans are probably one of my favorite vegetable side dishes to make for our family. They are so versatile and can be paired with almost any main dish.
This sautéed green beans recipe with bacon is a simple side dish, but it packs a ton of flavor. It would be a side dish for either a weeknight dinner or holiday meal. Plus, it's only made using 6 ingredients!
🥓 Ingredient notes
- Green Beans - I recommend using fresh green beans for this recipe. It will give you the best flavor and texture in the end. Good quality fresh beans should be firm and snap when bent. Make sure to wash them and trim off the ends before cooking. If you use frozen or canned green beans, skip the blanching step. Make sure to thaw frozen green beans completely and drain both canned or thawed green beans of any excess liquid. Frozen and canned green beans won’t give you the crisp texture of fresh green beans, but will still work.
- Bacon - Thick-cut bacon is my favorite because it will give you good-sized bacon bits. Pick your favorite flavor, such as peppered, applewood smoked, or regular.
📋 Substitutions and variations
- Vegetarian - Omit the bacon from this easy side dish and saute the shallots in a splash of olive oil instead.
🔪 Step by step instructions
First, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and also fill a large bowl about halfway full with ice water. Add salt to the boiling water and then drop the green beans in all at once.
Let them cook for 2-3 minutes and then use a skimmer or tongs to remove the green beans and drop them in the ice bath for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process. Remove them with a slotted spoon and let them drain on a paper towel.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat on the stovetop and add in the diced bacon. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the fat is rendered and the bacon is just crispy.
Remove the bacon and let it drain on a paper towel, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan. Add the thinly sliced shallots and crushed red pepper to the bacon grease and saute for 2-3 minutes until the shallots start to soften.
Next, add green beans back to the pan with shallots and saute for 3-4 minutes until heated through and tender-crisp. Lastly, season the green beans with salt and pepper and toss with the cooked bacon bits.
If you ever don't recognize a tool or skill that I mention, be sure to look it up in our Glossary of Cooking Terms and Definitions for more information.
⭐ Expert tips
- For best results, blanch the green beans. This makes sure they maintain their bright green color and don't become mushy. Steaming will also work, but they shouldn't cook too long or they will become mushy when you saute them in the bacon fat.
- Small pieces of bacon will burn more easily. Bacon continues cooking a bit after removing it from the pan, so only cook until it starts to become crispy and golden brown.
⏲️ Make ahead and storage suggestions
Blanch the green beans up to two days ahead of time and store them drained in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Follow the remaining directions for sauteeing the green beans as directed.
Leftover green beans will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a saute pan over medium heat on the stovetop.
🥗 More side dish recipes
If you loved these green beans with bacon and onions, check out these other side dish recipes that I know you will love too!
- Grilled Broccolini with Lemon
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Easy Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots
- 12 ounces fresh green beans washed and trimmed
- 4 ounces thick cut bacon diced
- 1 medium shallot sliced thinly
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus extra for green beans
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium high heat on the stovetop and fill a large bowl with ice water.
- Add a large pinch of salt to the boiling water and drop in the green beans. Let them cook in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes until bright green and tender crisp.
- Remove and place in the bowl of ice water for 5 minutes and then remove them from the water to drain on a towel.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat on the stovetop and then add the bacon. Cook for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy bacon to drain on a paper towel and pour out half of the bacon grease.
- Add the shallots to the pan with the remaining bacon grease and saute for 1-2 minutes until light golden brown.
- Next, add the green beans back to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes to heat through.
- Lastly, season the green beans with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, then add back the crispy bacon and toss to combine.
- Green Beans - I recommend fresh green beans and blanching them for the best texture and color. Steaming will also work as an alternative cooking method. If frozen or canned green beans are used, skip the blanching step. Frozen green beans should be thawed and drained and canned green beans should be fully drained.
- Bacon - Use peppered, applewood smoked, or regular thick-cut bacon.
- Vegetarian - Omit the bacon and use a splash of olive oil to cook the shallots.