Easy Skillet Green Beans and Bacon

Green beans and bacon

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
170 Calories
11g Fat
11g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 170
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 507mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 18mg 92%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 399mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When in season, green beans are a wonderful and colorful addition to your table. Filled with fiber, vitamin C, and folate, green beans are wonderful low-calorie vegetables that are also low in cost, making them great assets on your grocery list. Our quick and easy recipe preserves the crunch of the green beans in a decadent presentation. Coated in bacon drippings and butter, the green beans pair perfectly with crunchy bits of bacon.

Although we're still using some of the fat rendered from the bacon, most of it gets discarded, so you'll get the full flavor but not a lot of oil on your plate. This dish is perfect to serve alongside rotisserie chicken, steak, pork tenderloin, or even a firm white fish, and it's an excellent alternative to plain steamed green beans or a traditional green bean casserole.

If you can't find fresh beans, use frozen. Steam them following the package directions, and then follow the rest of the recipe. Either way, don't miss the chance to try this flavorful dish, as it might become a new favorite.


Click Play to See This Easy Skillet Green Beans and Bacon Recipe Come Together


  • 2 pounds fresh green beans

  • 8 strips bacon, diced

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for green bean salad
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  2. Top and tail the green beans by slicing off both ends. Cut them into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Reserve.

    Topping and tailing the green beans
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  3. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and fry it until crispy.

    Heating a large skillet with diced bacon
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  4. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain the excess fat. Reserve.

    Draining the bacon on a paper towel
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  5. Leave 2 to 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the skillet and reserve the remaining drippings for another recipe.

  6. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and add the beans. Boil for about 8 to 12 minutes, or until the desired doneness is reached. 

    Boiling green beans
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  7. Drain the green beans well and then add them to the skillet. Add the cooked bacon and butter. Toss well and heat until the green beans are thoroughly coated and hot.

    Drained beans, butter, and diced bacon in the skillet
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  8. Sprinkle the green beans with freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.

    Adding seasoning to the bacon and green beans
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  9. Enjoy.

How Can I Repurpose the Leftover Bacon Drippings?

Here are some ideas for repurposing the flavorful bacon drippings:

  • Use them to brown any meat before cooking it in the oven
  • Flavor goulashes, ragù, soups, or stews by browning some onions, carrots, and celery in the drippings to use as the base of your recipe.
  • Toss raw vegetables and potatoes in the fat before roasting them in the oven.
  • Make eggs, hash browns, or omelets by replacing the cooking oil with bacon drippings.
  • Use them as the fat in your popcorn.

If you have more drippings than you need for a new recipe, remember that drippings solidify when cooled off and might cause clogged drains. Don't pour them directly down the drain, but when discarding, place them in an empty container and once they are solid toss them into the trash.

Bake the Bacon

To bake rather than fry the bacon, heat the oven to 375 F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the strips of bacon in the pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 22 to 26 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. Reserve some of the drippings for the green beans and drain the bacon on paper towels. Proceed with the recipe.

Other Flavorful Additions

Add other vegetables and seasoning to the main recipe—mix and match to find your favorite combination:

  • Sauté a minced clove of garlic and a small chopped shallot for 2 minutes in the pan before adding the cooked green beans and rest of the ingredients.
  • For a colorful presentation, use a combination of yellow wax beans, purple beans, and green beans, and add a few strips of thinly sliced red peppers to the pan before adding the cooked green beans and rest of the ingredients. Allow the pepper to soften for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Don't salt the beans when ready, but instead use a generous handful of grated Pecorino Romano cheese and a squeeze of lime before serving.
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, "Beans, string, green, raw." 1 April 2020.