Fresh Green Bean Recipe with Bacon and Shallots is a quick and easy side dish made with tender-crisp beans coated in a sweet, buttery, balsamic sauce and served topped with crunchy onions, crispy bacon, and shallots. They’re a classic side dish for all kinds of occasions, especially around the holidays!
This recipe using fresh green beans with shallots and bacon has to be one of my favorites. It’s so easy to pull together and it ends up being very impressive! There are just a few moving parts like cooking the bacon and onions and blanching the beans. Other than that, it’s just a matter of making a simple glaze and that’s it!
It is so good, has the perfect balance of sweet, smoky, savory, and tartness, and all the crispy, tender and crunchy textures you need in one bite!
I mean, to be honest, my kids and I could eat a plateful all on its own but it’s also great when paired with other simple sides. Honey garlic shrimp or chicken Madeira are two easy weeknight ideas, but for something a little extra serve it on the side of a turkey, grilled meat, fish, pork, you name it!
Ingredients Needed for Fresh Green Bean Recipe
- Fresh green beans – Look for beans that are nice and green with little to no brown spots. You want to make sure they are firm, not limp, and have no soft spots.
- Shallots – Sliced into thin rings. These are much less pungent than yellow or white onions and have a lovely mellow flavor.
- Olive oil – Use for frying shallots.
- Balsamic vinegar& packed brown sugar – Together these made a wonderful glaze and when cooked down it becomes thick, sticky, and so good!
- Butter – When added to the glaze it helps add a smooth velvety texture and just a bit more buttery sheen.
- Salt and pepper – To taste
- Bacon – You can bake about 8 strips of bacon (more if you’re using some for other things) ahead of time or just before using, it’s up to you. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes or until crispy texture, cut into pieces
- Fried onion pieces – I love adding crispy fried onions as a garnish for a bit of added crunch! I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but they’re usually available at most grocery stores. It’s an optional garnish so no worries if you can’t find any.
How to Cook Green Beans on the Stove
First thing’s first, we need to make sure our beans are perfectly cooked! Not overdone and mushy, and just tender enough to still remain crisp.
Step 1: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Adding salt to the water not only helps water boil faster but will also help the beans not stick together.
Step 2: Place the beans in the pot of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. At this point, your beans will go from dull green to bright green! This is known as blanching.
Step 3: Drain the water and immediately submerge them into the bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process to ensure they do not become overcooked.
Step 4: Drain the beans and set them aside.
How to Make this Fresh Green Bean Recipe
Step 1: Slice shallots into thin rings then add olive oil into a skillet up to about 1” depth.
Step 2: Heat oil over medium heat and add shallots to cook for about 2-3 minutes. They should look golden in color. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.
Step 3: Wipe the skillet clean or grab another one and add sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until the mixture has reduced by half. Stir occasionally until nice and thick.
Step 4: To the sauce, add in the butter and stir until melted.
Step 5: Add back in the beans and sauté until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 6: Remove beans to a serving tray or big bowl and garnish with bacon, shallots, and onions.
Enjoy while warm!
Tips & Variations
- For a cleaner more uniform look on your beans, you can trim the tips on both ends if you’d like.
- Don’t skip the ice water, otherwise, your beans will keep cooking and may become mushy.
- The ice water helps to preserve the bright green color as well.
- Add in some minced or finely chopped garlic into your reduction if you enjoy that garlicky flavor on your beans.
- You can replace the bacon with diced ham if you’d rather.
- For a vegetarian version, completely omit the bacon or replace it with slivered almonds.
- If you’re not feeling the glaze idea, that’s ok! You can simply sauté some garlic and onion in some butter, toss the beans in that and serve with bacon, onions, or even parmesan cheese.
What to Serve with Green Beans
When I am serving a crowd or wanting to complete the meal, I always have mashed potatoes as a second side. I don’t know why, but I always associate mashed potatoes with green beans! Either that or easy cheesy scalloped potatoes.
I love to have them as the veggie portion to a big plate of crockpot macaroni and cheese and if I have bacon leftover I’ll use some strips for these bacon-wrapped asparagus to go along with it.
For special occasions or the holidays, I’ll make them as a side when preparing creamy chicken pasta, a NY strip steak, chicken piccata, or a whole turkey.
How long to boil green beans?
Boiling green beans isn’t complicated at all but you want to make sure to follow the directions as listed, as timing is key. Boil in salted water for about 3-4 minutes.
Drain and submerge in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Blanching the green beans (boiling in salted water) gives it the opportunity to soften just enough, so 3-4 minutes is perfect.
Fresh Green Bean Recipe with Bacon and Shallots
- 1 1/2 lb green beans fresh, washed
- 5 shallots sliced into rings
- olive oil for frying
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- salt & pepper to taste
- 8 slices bacon baked at 400F for 10 minutes, cooled & cut into pieces
- fried onion 100% optional for garnish, got it from Trader Joe's
- Bring a pot with salted water to a boil, add beans and bring it to a boil, cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Drain the water and add beans into a ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Slice shallots into thin rings. Into the skillet add olive oil about 1 inch in depth. Add shallot rings and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until shallots are golden color. Transfer onto a plate lined with paper towel using slotted spoon.
- Using a large skillet, add sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook over medium/high heat for 5 minutes or until reduce in half, stirring slowly. Add butter, Stir.
- Add green beans, and saute until heated thru about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve on a tray or a big bowl. Garnish with bacon, shallots and onion pieces. Enjoy while warm.
Do YOU like this Fresh Green Bean Recipe?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
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A bit different ingredient but I also made the taste good. Thank you for sharing this!
Thank you, Malissa!
This recipe is amazing-the beans are so flavorful!! Everyone in my family loves these!!
Thank you, Mary Ann! I am so happy you and your family like this recipe! 😀
Looks good but after reading twice I don’t see how much balsamic to use, it’s not actually listed in the recipe ingredients.
Oh no, updating it right now, thank you for letting me know, it’s 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar.