Slow cooker green beans are tender and juicy, cooked on low in a mixture of broth, sautéed garlic onions, and a few simple seasonings. Don’t let the lack of bacon fool you – they’re just as tempting!
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Tender and crisp green beans are an easy and nutritious side dish that can pair with almost any main course! And when you find yourself busy using the stovetop and oven for large family holiday gatherings, having the slow cooker prepare an extra dish in the background sums up my definition of convenience!
But why plain green beans instead of classic Southern-style green beans, you may ask?! Omitting the bacon instantly reduces the total calories in this vegetable side dish and offers a vegan-friendly option. Plus, it’s every bit as tasty!
Slow Cooker Green Beans Recipe
The trick to mouth-watering slow cooker green beans is in the preparatory step of sautéing the subtly sweet yellow onion with olive oil and minced garlic in a heated skillet. This umami mixture is then added to the pot with the green beans, broth, and seasoning – left to cook slowly while all the flavors meld.
The tender and juicy green beans still have a slightly crisp texture once cooked and an inviting bright green color to add a pop of vibrancy to your dinner table.
While I love the simplicity of these slow cooker green beans, I’ve also added some ways that you could adapt this side dish to suit your flavor and dietary preferences. Yes, yes, I’ve even included bacon as an option!
Ingredients For Slow Cooker Green Beans
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Olive oil
- Onion – I use yellow onion in this recipe for subtle sweetness, but you can use white onion instead. Sauté the diced onion with minced garlic and olive oil before adding it to the slow cooker for a deeper flavor.
- Garlic – Two cloves of garlic equal about two teaspoons of minced garlic.
- Fresh green beans – Placing the green beans in the slow cooker pot in the same direction will help them cook evenly. Fresh green beans are the best for this recipe, but you can use frozen green beans instead. Just keep in mind that they’ll likely take a little longer to cook.
- Canned chicken or vegetable broth – I recommend low-sodium broth. However, water can be used in a pinch.
- Garlic salt
- Salt and black pepper
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Use leftover oven-cooked bacon. Or, cook diced bacon separately in a skillet with heated oil or butter, and toss it into the cooked green beans immediately before serving for a Southern twist.
- Add a kick of heat to this dish by including paprika, ground cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Make this recipe strictly vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- Keep the green beans long for a sophisticated presentation or cut them in half.
- Garnish with chopped almonds for extra crunch.
How to Make Slow Cooker Green Beans
- Prepare the slow cooker: Spray the inside of the pot with nonstick cooking spray.
- Saute the onion: Add the onions, oil, and garlic to the skillet, and sauté until the onions are tender and translucent.
- Combine the ingredients: Add the onion mixture, trimmed green beans, broth, and seasoning in the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cook the green beans: Secure the lid, and cook on low for 4-5 hours for tender and flavorful beans. Serve the green beans hot.
Your green beans are fresh if they make an audible sound when snapped in half!
How to Store Slow Cooker Green Beans
This incredible vegetable side dish can be enjoyed alongside any kind of main meal. Some of my favorite pairings include this Southern Meatloaf, Roast Turkey, and Roasted Pork Tenderloin. The possibilities are endless!
Leftovers could even be used up to make this Cheesy Mushroom and Onion Green Bean Casserole!
No. The slow cooker will soften the green beans enough while still leaving a slightly crisp texture. For softer green beans, simply extend the cooking time.
Yes! Frozen green beans will likely require a little extra cooking time as they take longer to heat through.
I don’t recommend using canned green beans since they’re already cooked and only require minimal heating time. Canned green beans will become overly soft and mushy if you use them in this recipe without substantial cooking time and ingredient adjustments.
Two pounds of fresh green beans take about 3 hours to cook on HIGH and 4-5 hours on LOW. This will result in tender yet slightly crispy green beans that are still bright in color.
Slow Cooker Green Beans
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pounds fresh green beans rinsed and trimmed
- 1 14- ounce can chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- Salt and black pepper
- Have a 6-quart slow cooker ready. Spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray.Nonstick cooking spray
- In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until they are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 yellow onion, 2 cloves garlic
- Place the sautéed onion and garlic, trimmed green beans, chicken or vegetable broth, garlic salt, and salt and pepper to taste in the slow cooker and give them a stir to combine.2 pounds fresh green beans, 1 14- ounce can chicken or vegetable broth, ½ teaspoon garlic salt, Salt and black pepper
- Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 4-5 hours, until the beans are tender and flavorful. Serve hot.
- You can use frozen green beans instead of fresh in this recipe (use 2 pounds of frozen green beans).
- To make this a vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth.
- You can serve the casserole with some toasted almonds or walnuts for garnish if you wish.