Perfectly cooked Smothered Green Beans get their flavor from Cajun seasonings, smoky bacon and ham, and an oniony sauce. It's a delicious way to dress up a plain old vegetable for an impressive side dish, Cajun-Style.
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If you're a 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 the green bean, but this tried-and-true recipe uses meat and potatoes to make a more satisfying and flavorful side dish.
They stretch a meal, real good!
How to smother foods
Smothering foods is a cooking method used in Cajun and Creole cuisine. The technique means to cook foods over low heat in a small amount of liquid, like in this recipe.
Below is a list of ingredients you typically find in a pot of cooked green beans, except maybe for the flour. The flour is for a light roux, which shows its Cajun roots. But it's just a small amount, enough to give the smothered beans a glossy and thickened sauce. Shhh, let's call it our secret sauce. Here are the ingredients:
- bacon - thick cut or throw in an extra slice if using thin cut
- Tasso or smoked ham - Tasso is a spicy Cajun smoked ham, but regular smoked ham can be used for its similar taste
- oil - vegetable, canola, or olive
- flour - all-purpose
- onion - white or yellow
- garlic - minced or pressed
- broth - chicken, beef, or vegetable
- green beans - fresh, canned, or frozen
- red potatoes - they have a tender bite while keeping their shape after cooking
- Cajun Seasoning - your favorite kind or substitute with salt and pepper
See the recipe card for quantities.
Some smothered green bean recipes call for sugar. Not here. These tasty beans have no need for added sugar, which is helpful to those who are watching their sugar intake. You may add brown sugar to suit your taste if you like.
To reduce carbs, the potatoes can be omitted. These beans are still delicious and satisfying without them.
The first thing is to cook the bacon and brown the Tasso. Tasso is a Cajun smoked ham, or you can use regular ham. (For another recipe with more about Tasso, see Introducing Tasso Macaroni and Cheese.) Browning the meat sets the stage for a tasty sauce to flavor up the beans.
Next, make a light roux with bacon drippings, oil, and flour. This gives body to the sauce. The roux looks 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 pan 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, bacon, ham, and seasoning all together. Cook them with the pot covered for about half an hour or until the potatoes and beans are tender.
- Using fresh beans instead of canned or frozen ones usually takes longer to cook.
- Substitute water for the broth; add a beef bouillon cube for more flavor.
- These beans freeze well for up to a month, which is helpful to make ahead and serve later or store the leftovers.
See how easy they are to prepare? The smothered green beans are another resourceful Cajun dish with filling ingredients able to stretch any meal when feeding a crowd. Enjoy!
What to serve with smothered green beans
More vegetable recipes
Another delicious green bean recipe is this Cheesy, Creamy Green Bean Casserole. It's like the traditional green bean casserole but much tastier with added creamy cheesiness and crunch from water chestnuts. Delightful!
Here are more veggie recipes:
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 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 heavy large Dutch oven 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
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