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A bowl of southern style green beans cooked in a crock pot with ham, bacon, and red bell peppers.
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5 from 10 votes

Crock Pot Southern Green Beans

These Crock Pot Southern Green beans have so much flavor - they are a family favorite. They are the perfect easy side dish for any holiday menu.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time7 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: crock pot green beans, southern green beans
Cooking Method: Crock Pot
Servings: 8
Calories: 229kcal
Author: Kari



  • 1 cup leftover ham diced
  • 1 ham hock


  • Cook the bacon until it is crispy. While the fat is rendering out of the bacon, snap the ends off the green beans.
    4 strips bacon, 8 cups fresh green beans
  • Once the bacon is nice and crispy either remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon leaving the bacon grease behind in the pan (or just keep the bacon in the pan.)
  • Sauté peppers and onions in the bacon fat until the onions are translucent.
    ½ cup yellow onion, 1 red bell pepper
  • Add the garlic, and cook it just until the garlic is fragrant. It doesn’t need to cook much - it will cook for hours with the green beans.
    4 - 6 cloves garlic
  • Next, in the slow cooker, add the snapped green beans and mix them with diced ham.
    1 cup leftover ham
  • Combine the snapped green beans with the crispy bacon pieces, onions, garlic, red bell peppers, and all of the grease from the pan. That’s where all the flavor is hiding.
  • Add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, minced onion, minced garlic, and cayenne, then mix.
    1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon dried minced onion, ½ teaspoon dried minced garlic, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Cover about 75% of the green beans with broth. Add any optional mixins, red potatoes, smoked turkey necks, or a ham hock, now.
    2 cups chicken stock, 1 ham hock
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 - 7 hours or high for 4 hours.


Recipe Variations

There are a few different ways to play around with this recipe. I think you always need the bacon, but you can switch out the ham for sausage, add leftover smoked turkey or chicken, or you could add a ham hock in with the green beans while they cook. A couple of other popular additions are:

  • Red potatoes - Always a great addition.
  • If you don’t have chicken broth or stock, you can use vegetable broth or a bouillon cube dissolved in water. If you use a bouillon cube, make sure to taste the broth and adjust the salt accordingly. (One bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon of jarred bouillon dissolved in 1 cup of hot water should be the equivalent of 1 cup of broth. Just taste it as it might be saltier than you think.)
  • Add Brown Sugar to the beans - a little sweetness can completely change the taste of these beans!

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to add the bacon grease to the crockpot - it adds so much flavor!
  • Stir the green beans a few times as they cook to make sure they get an equal amount of time cooking while submerged in the delicious broth.
  • If you have time, cook on low heat for a long time instead of high heat for a short amount of time. Both will taste good, but the texture of the beans when cooked for a longer amount of time is so much better - the beans are so soft and just fall apart when you bite into them.
  • Save some of the bacon to sprinkle on top. We don't really care about this for a weeknight meal, but if you are serving green beans for a holiday dinner, sprinkling some crispy bacon pieces on top is a nice garnish.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 719mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1254IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg