Perfectly cooked smothered green beans with potatoes get their flavor from Cajun seasonings, smoky bacon and ham, and an oniony sauce. This delicious dish dresses up a plain old vegetable for an impressive yet easy side dish, Cajun-style.
I’m an Amazon Associate. Please note there are Affiliate Links with Amazon in the content of the Louisiana Woman Blog, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. Thank you!
Another great way to serve green beans is this Cheesy, Creamy Green Bean Casserole. It's like the traditional green bean casserole but much tastier, with added creamy cheesiness and a crunch from water chestnuts. It's another perfect side dish.
For more recipes to go with these green beans all year round, check out 20 Cajun Thanksgiving Recipes For Your Holiday Menu. From appetizers to desserts, they may steer you away from your traditional Thanksgiving meal, but they won't disappoint!
What Are Smothered Green Beans?
Smothering is a cooking method used in Cajun and Creole cuisine. The technique means cooking foods over low heat in a small amount of liquid, covered. It can also involve braising, which is browning meats and/or vegetables and then cooking them in a small amount of liquid until tender.
If you're Cajun, there's no doubt that you or someone in your family cooks green beans this traditional way. Of course, there are simpler ways to prepare green beans, but this tried-and-true recipe uses meat and potatoes to make a more satisfying and flavorful side dish.
We Cajuns know how to stretch a meal, real good!
Below is a list of ingredients you typically find in a pot of cooked green beans, except for the flour. The flour in this recipe is for a light roux (not browned), which shows its Cajun roots. But it's just a small amount, enough to give the smothered beans a glossy and thickened sauce.
- Bacon - use a thick cut or throw in an extra slice if using a thin cut.
- Tasso or smoked ham - Tasso is a spicy Cajun heavily smoked ham, but regular smoked ham can be used for its similar taste
- Oil - vegetable, canola, or olive
- Four - all-purpose for the light roux.
- Onion - sweet yellow or white onion, chopped.
- Garlic - minced or pressed cloves.
- Broth - beef, vegetable, or unsalted chicken broth
- Green beans - fresh beans, frozen, or canned green beans, also known as string beans or snap beans.
- Red potatoes - they have a tender bite while keeping their shape after cooking; fresh new potatoes are the best for their size and adding much flavor.
- Cajun Seasoning - your favorite kind or substitute with salt and cayenne pepper or dry Creole seasonings.
The ingredient amounts and nutritional information are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
The first step is to cook the bacon and brown the tasso in a large Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat. Tasso is a heavily smoked flavored Cajun ham; you can use regular smoked ham. (For another recipe with more about tasso, see Introducing Tasso Macaroni and Cheese.)
Tear or chop the bacon into bacon pieces. Browning the meat sets the stage for a greater depth of flavor to the beans.
Next, make a light roux with bacon grease, oil, and flour. This gives the sauce body. The roux will look darker because of the browned drippings left in the pan.
Add the onions to the roux and cook them until they are clear and tender. Since garlic burns quickly, stir them into the sauteed onion for a few minutes after the onions are cooked.
Now, it's time to add the broth and stir to deglaze the pan. Deglazing dissolves the stuck-on particles and blends them into the sauce, giving that great flavor.
And the last step is to simmer the beans, potatoes, crispy bacon, ham, and seasoning. Cook them with the pot covered for about half an hour or until the potatoes and beans are tender.
Smothered green beans are another resourceful Cajun dish. Its filling ingredients can stretch any meal when feeding a crowd. Enjoy!
- The cooking time may vary depending on whether you use frozen, canned, or fresh beans.
- Using fresh green beans or frozen ones usually takes longer to cook than canned ones.
- Substitute water for the broth and add a beef bouillon cube for more flavor.
- To reduce carbs, the potatoes can be omitted. These beans are still delicious and satisfying without them.
Some smothered green bean recipes call for sugar. Not this one. These tender green beans do not need added sugar, which is helpful to those who are watching their sugar intake. However, you may add brown sugar to suit your taste.
This green bean side dish keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It also freezes well for up to a month, which is helpful if you want to make it ahead and serve it later.
- 2 slices of thick-cut bacon
- .5 cup or 3 ounces of cubed Tasso or smoked ham
- .5 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- .5 cups chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1.5 cups unsalted broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
- 16 ounces fresh (cleaned, de-stemmed, and cut), canned (drained), or frozen green beans
- 2 cups peeled and cut up medium red potatoes (2 potatoes)
- 1.25 teaspoons House Seasoning or Cajun Seasoning Blend
- Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven or skillet on both sides until brown; remove bacon from pan and set aside.
- Brown ham in bacon grease; remove ham from pan and set aside.
- Add oil and flour to bacon grease and brown flour to make a light roux.
- Add onion to the roux and cook until tender, for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic for about a minute.
- Pour broth into onion and roux mixture and stir to deglaze the pot.
- Add beans, potatoes, ham, bacon, and seasoning to the pot; stir to combine.
- Cook on medium-low heat with the pot covered for 30 minutes or until the potatoes and beans are tender.
- Garnish with bacon bits.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to a month.
- Potatoes can be omitted.
- You may substitute water for the same amount of broth.
- Cook the roux until it begins to brown; no dark roux is needed here.
- Fresh green beans may take longer to cook than canned or frozen beans.
- Brown sugar can be added to sweeten the beans for a sweet version of smothered green beans.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: smothered green beans, green beans, Cajun green beans, Louisiana smothered green beans, Cajun-style green beans
You know I love hearing from you. Be sure to sign up for my emails to keep in touch. If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the reply box below.
Have a nice day!
"Since your thinking has a direct bearing on your performance, your thinking must be based on sound input."Zig Ziglar