If you are looking for a really simple side dish, that will be the perfect addition to any roast dinner, then give these Slow Cooker Green Beans a try. Green beans cooked with shallots, garlic and bacon are a side dish that the whole family will love.
We love using our slow cooker to cook side dishes, as it saves room in the oven and on the hob. Whilst green beans aren't usually complicated or time consuming to make, the slow cooker version means they take on the flavour of the shallots, garlic and bacon for a side dish with a difference.
This is a must for the Christmas dinner table. Looking for some other roast dinner favourites to serve these with? Why not try our Honey Roast Duck, Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli or Garlic Spring Greens.
Why you will love it
- A really simple and flavour packed side dish - Think green beans are boring? Think again!
- A new way to cook with green beans - Didn't know that you could cook green beans in the slow cooker? They are so much better than boiled.
- Space saving side dish - Save room in your oven when making a roast dinner and use your slow cooker for the sides.
- Great for feeding a crowd at Christmas or Thanksgiving - You can easily double the batch as long as your slow cooker is big enough for everything.
- Green beans - The star of the dish. Always use fresh green beans, not canned, as they will go too mushy. You can save yourself some time by buying them already trimmed. We keep them as long green beans, but you can cut them in half if you prefer.
- Stock - We used chicken stock for extra flavour. Try to use the best quality chicken stock that you can, as you will honestly taste the difference, even though you will be draining the beans from the stock before serving. Use low salt stock if you are making this for younger children. You can also use vegetable stock.
- Bacon - This adds so much flavour to the dish. Use smoked bacon for extra flavour. If you want to make this a vegetarian side, then you can leave it out. If you leave these out, then don't worry about cooking the shallots and garlic first, and you can just dump everything in the slow cooker and leave it.
- Shallots - These are a nice base to the green beans. We diced them, so you hardly know they are there. You can use a finely diced white onion instead, but we like the sweetness that comes with use shallots.
- Garlic - Garlic and green beans are a perfect match. Fresh is always best, but you can use the ready crushed lazy garlic if you prefer.
- Mushrooms - This might seem a bit of a random one, but we find that it really packs out the dish and gives it some extra texture. You can leave it out if you prefer.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Chop up the bacon and add it to a frying pan with oil. Gently cook for 4-5 minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the shallots, mushrooms and garlic to the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes more.
Two: Add the green beans to the slow cooker. Add the bacon mix on top and pour the stock in. Cook on high for 3 hours.
Health benefits of green beans
Green beans aren't really one of those vegetables that you immediately think of when you think of a nutrient dense food, but they are bursting with health benefits.
Not only are green beans low in calories, but they are a great source of iron, vitamin C and K, dietary fibre, folate and silicon, which is needed for healthy bones, skin, and hair.
What to serve it with
These slow cooker green beans are a must with any roast dinner. Here are some of our favourite roast dinner sides and mains that go perfectly with it:
- Easy Roast Potatoes
- Perfect Roast Chicken
- Balsamic and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
- Slow Cooker Roast Beef
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Cauliflower Cheese
- Slow Cooker Red Cabbage
- The BEST Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Mustard and Honey Roasted Parsnips
- Vegetable Mash
- Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Garlic and Parsley Roasted Carrots
Yes, we recommend only adding raw green beans to the slow cooker, and there is no need to pre-cook them.
Slow cooking them does tend to make them lose some of their colour, so they won't be as vibrant. If you were boiling them, you would put them in an ice bath right after, however this wouldn't work with this recipe as they would loose all the flavour they were cooked in.
Yes, if you want to make this more of a filling side dish, then you can add cubed potatoes and they will cook at the same time as the green beans. They might need a little bit longer, if they are still a little hard when you test them with a knife. However, the green beans will be fine to cook for a little longer.
Yes, if you use a gluten free stock then this can be a gluten free side dish.
• How long you cook the bacon for really is a preference thing. Some people like their bacon really crispy, in which case cook it for a couple of minutes longer.
• The bacon softens a little when cooking, so you can save some of the crispy bacon to sprinkle on top before serving.
• You can make this a more filling side dish by adding diced potatoes and cooking them all together. They might need cooking a little longer, but the beans will be fine with longer in the slow cooker.
• Always use fresh green beans, not canned.
• You can make this a vegan side dish by leaving out the bacon and using vegetable stock.
• Add some extra flavour to the finished dish with a sprinkle of red chilli flakes.
More slow cooker recipes
Slow Cooker Green Beans
- 500 g green beans - trimmed
- 3 bacon rashers
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 garlic cloves - crushed
- 80 g button mushrooms - sliced
- 3 shallots - diced
- 350 ml chicken stock
- Chop up the bacon and add it to a frying pan with oil. Gently cook for 4-5 minutes until the bacon starts to crisp.
- Add the shallot, mushrooms and garlic to the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Add the green beans to the slow cooker.
- Add the bacon mix on top.
- Pour the stock in and cook on high for 3 hours.
- How long you cook the bacon for really is a preference thing. Some people like their bacon really crispy, in which case cook it for a couple of minutes longer.
- The bacon softens a little when cooking, so you can save some of the crispy bacon to sprinkle on top before serving.
- You can make this a more filling side dish by adding diced potatoes and cooking them all together. They might need cooking a little longer, but the beans will be fine with longer in the slow cooker.
- Always use fresh green beans, not canned.
- You can make this a vegan side dish by leaving out the bacon and using vegetable stock.
- Add some extra flavour to the finished dish with a sprinkle of red chilli flakes.