Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans

published Sep 13, 2022
thanksgiving
Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans Recipe

Green beans with bacon get a glow-up.

Serves6 to 8

Prep30 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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A photo of a tray of small bundles of cooked green beans, with each bundle wrapped in a slice of thick bacon.
Credit: Tara Holland

Bundles of roasted green beans wrapped in candied bacon are a fun alternative to your standard green bean sides and a leveled-up version of green beans with bacon. It is also an excellent substitute for green bean casserole during the holidays, as you can prepare most of this dish on a baking sheet a day in advance. Then just pop it in the oven on the day for 15 to 20 minutes.

The bacon is cooked (without much color) in the oven, while the green beans are first blanched in salted boiling water and shocked in an ice bath, so they retain their vivid green color, and it also helps prevent them from being chewy after baking. The beans are tossed with rendered bacon fat, olive oil, and seasoning — then wrapped in bacon bundles. The bacon is topped with brown sugar infused with fresh thyme and then baked to caramelize the sugar-coated bacon and roast the green beans until browned at the edges.

What Are Haricots Verts?

Haricots verts are French green beans, also sometimes referred to as fine green beans, as they are the skinnier variety than their chubbier regular green bean siblings and have a crisper texture. If you can’t get your hands on any French green beans, then you could use the regular variety, but they will need an extra couple of minutes to blanch and may take a little longer to bake. 

Credit: Tara Holland

What’s the Best Type of Bacon for Making Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans?

Using thick-cut bacon is not advised, as it is harder to cook evenly and is too thick to roll. I tried a wide variety of bacon and I found center-cut bacon the best to use, as it has an even amount of meat-to-fat ratio, is the perfect length to fit 12 pieces on a baking sheet, and isn’t too thick. 

What Seasoning Is Good for Green Beans?

Although the amount of seasoning in this recipe may seem excessive for 1 1/2 pounds of green beans, they can take a lot of seasoning due to the slightly bland flavor. You can add a pinch of red pepper flakes or substitute the onion and garlic powder with a spice blend such as Cajun spice mix to give a kick of heat! 

What Pairs Well with Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans?

This dish pair exceptionally well with your Thanksgiving dinner or any holiday dinner. It also goes well with the following: 

Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans Recipe

Green beans with bacon get a glow-up.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 12 slices

    bacon (not thick-cut, about 12 ounces), preferably center cut

  • 1/2 bunch

    fresh thyme

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    fresh French green beans (haricots verts)

  • 3 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 12

    toothpicks

  • 3 tablespoons

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2

    small lemon, seeds removed (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange 12 slices bacon in a single layer on the baking sheet.

  2. Bake until the fat starts to render and the bacon is cooked but without much color, 11 to 13 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Trim 1 1/2 pounds fresh French green beans, if needed. Pick the leaves from 1/2 small bunch fresh thyme until you have 1 1/2 teaspoons and coarsely chop.

  3. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool slightly. Carefully remove the foil from the baking sheet and pour off 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat into a large bowl; discard the remaining or save for another use. Discard the foil and re-line the baking sheet with new foil.

  4. Add green beans and 2 1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt to the boiling water. Once the water returns to a boil, cook the beans for 2 minutes (they will be slightly undercooked). Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water.

  5. Drain the green beans in a colander, then transfer immediately to the ice water bath to cool completely. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.

  6. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl of bacon fat and stir to combine. Add the green beans and toss to coat.

  7. Divide the green beans into 12 portions (not more than 12 beans each) and arrange them into stacks. Line up the pointed tips at the same end if desired (you might like to have a paper towel at hand, as your hands may get greasy). Wrap one stack in bacon at a time: Arrange 1 bacon slice vertically with a short side closer to you. Place a stack of green beans horizontally at the bottom of the slice, centering it, then roll up until you get to the top of the bacon slice. Secure the bacon underneath (and through the beans, which helps keep it secure) with a toothpick. Place on the baking sheet seam-side-down, spacing them evenly apart.

  8. Reserve 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves for garnish. Place the remaining thyme and 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar in a small bowl and whisk or use your hands to combine. Divide the mixture over the bundles (about 1 teaspoon each) and use your hands or the back of the spoon to spread the mixture evenly.

  9. Bake until the bacon is fully cooked and crisp in spots, the sugar has caramelized in spots, and the green beans are lightly browned on the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the toothpicks from each bundle while still on the baking sheet. Using a flat spatula, carefully transfer to a platter. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 small lemon all over. Garnish with the reserved thyme leaves.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Prepare the bacon-wrapped green beans up to the step of sprinkling with the thyme-brown sugar mixture. Cover the baking sheet with the prepared bundles with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day in advance. Remove from the refrigerator and continue with the recipe.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.