How to Cook Fresh Snapped Green Beans

Y'all know about my good neighbors, Randy and May? They bring over fresh vegetables from their garden from time to time. And this week, they shared fresh green beans.

I had to ask May how to cook them. I had no idea how long it would take to get them tender.

She said, "bout an hour."

By today's cooking standards, I KNOW this fresh veggie never makes it to the dinner table. Come to think of it. My own Memaw rarely cooked up fresh green beans. She opened up that can on a regular basis. Who could blame her?

Now, I've had home canned green beans plenty of times and they are the BEST! After cooking these beans, I could see why someone would cook up a large batch and then can them for eating later. I don't know enough about canning or putting up foods, but with today's grocery prices, maybe I best start studying the art and science to save my greenbacks.


  • 3 to 4 handfuls fresh green beans
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • bacon drippings (absolutely necessary for down home cooking)

Wash the green beans thoroughly. Snap off the ends of the pods 1/4 inch or so, where ever the pod naturally snaps and discard the ends. Sometimes the string on the side of the bean pod comes off, too, that's fine. Pods that don't want to snap; shuck them for the beans inside and add the beans to the cooking pot.

Place all the snapped green beans and loose beans in a 3 quart cooking pot, cover with 1 inch water. Add in salt and one to two tablespoons of bacon drippings. Bring water to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, until tender.

Set a timer and check the water level on the green beans about half way through the cooking time. Make sure the water is not boiling out too fast. You just need the beans to simmer not boil.

Next time, I'll throw in small red potatoes and see what happens.

  • Francie

    This is the ONLY way to cook fresh green beans. As soon as bean season hits and the small new potatoes are in the market, I throw on a pot of these with a bit of bacon (trust me, it used to be fatback) and let em simmer til they just fall apart. I know that’s not the fashion to cook beans and they lose some nutrition in the cooking water, but as you know from Texas, you soak up the cooking water with cornbread, right?Yum!!!!

  • Jill

    AMEN, Sister Francie!

  • jessica

    i have looked a few places for a recipe of some green beans i got. the only recipes that popped up were ones that called for frying the beans. i knew you could boil them i just couldn’t find it. well, until i came here. thank you so much for this recipe. i am making them now. you rock!

  • [email protected]

    Yeah Jessica! and thank you. I love love love fresh green beans.
    I can’t call myself a vegetarian, but I wouldn’t be sad if all I ever ate were veggies.

  • Yvonne Wacky Tims

    Onions garlic hickorey smoked bacon about three slices fried in bean pot add water beans garlic onions, and smoked hame cut in one onch square, cook about 30 minutes , add cut up one inch pieces of small red potatoes. Cook 20 more minutes.