Make double the amount of these copycat Cracker Barrel green beans because they’ll beg for seconds.
The green beans at the famous Cracker Barrel restaurant is one of their most popular side dishes. They are certainly delicious and most consider them to be the perfect side dish.
My neighbor and I recently went for lunch there and you guessed it, both of us ordered the green beans. Then I got to thinking how I could make this at home and maybe improve upon it just a bit.
The hack is very simple–use fresh!
Green Beans: Fresh Or Frozen Is The Next Level
Cracker Barrel uses canned cut green beans in their side dish. This is really practical since they are made in bulk and kept warm for serving on a steam table.
However, at home, we don’t have to keep dishes hot for long periods of time since we cook then eat immediately–or shortly after.
Using fresh or flash-frozen green beans really–I mean really–improves the flavor of these beans exponentially. I also decided to cook them to a crisp-tender stage where they maintained their bright green color. This is also very pleasing to the eye. But if you like your veggies cooked a bit more, then by all means cook them to the stage your family prefers.
Bacon Lovers Rejoice
Since I love bacon (and who doesn’t) I added a bit more than they do in the restaurant. I think Cracker Barrel uses a very smoky variety of bacon, which accounts for a great amount of flavor and it may be specially processed for them. If you can find a deep-smoked variety in your store, that’s the one I’d advise using. However, you can use a “standard” variety. I did because it’s what I had on hand. You can get more smoke flavor by adding a bit of liquid smoke if you like.
- 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed (see NOTES)
- ½ cup diced bacon
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbs unsalted butter
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp liquid smoke (optional)
- In a large skillet, cook diced bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and place on paper towels. Drain all but 1 tbs of the fat.
- In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the green beans, salt, pepper and stock to the pan. If using the liquid smoke, add it at this point. Stir to combine.
- Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 min.