How Can You Make Your Green Beans Taste Better?

To make green beans taste better, enhance them with bacon, bacon grease, or olive oil for a smoky flavor. Season with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and thyme. For canned green beans, cook with chicken or beef broth to add depth. Caramelized garlic in olive oil also boosts flavor.

When I was first married I would just open a can of green beans and add a little butter and salt. I heated them in a small saucepan until heated through. 

What can I say? I was seventeen and didn’t know any better although my dad was a professional cook. 

As I got older I thought “How can I make my green beans taste better?” There has got to be more than just butter and salt.  

My husband grew up in the country with a vegetable garden every spring and summer. I on the other hand lived in the “city” (gasp) and canned vegetables from the grocery store and had no experience with fresh veggies or a vegetable garden.

After we married, he planted our own vegetable garden and I was introduced to fresh green beans. My husband and I argued frequently. 

I didn’t grow up in the “city”. It was the suburbs. 

But to him, the two were the same. But anyway, needless to say, I was clueless regarding vegetables from a homegrown garden. 

But I learned fast. 

How Can I Make My Green Beans Taste Better?

With fresh green beans, bacon and bacon grease do wonders.  Go here to see the way I make fresh green beans. 

But what about canned green beans? Cook the green beans with chicken or beef broth. 

Low and slow. The broth will seep into the beans adding flavor. 

Bacon and bacon grease work well with canned green beans as well. No bacon grease? 

Use olive oil. The bacon adds a smokey and meaty flavor. 

Add onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and thyme will add flavor to those beans. Caramelized garlic.

Just saute the garlic in olive oil. Once caramelized add the green beans and heat through. 

There are many recipes to elevate the taste of those green beans. Such as green bean casserole. 

Unfortunately, I don’t care for green bean casserole. My favorite recipe is smothered green beans.

This recipe will jazz up your green beans. Especially if you like things more on the sweeter side.

Like me!

Fresh Green Beans vs. Canned

Many think that freshness is best when it comes to nutritional value. But canned can be almost as good. 

Why? Because most canned vegetables are preserved at the height of their freshness retaining more nutrients than you think. 

While fresh offers crunch and you can buy in season. Canned will last longer and is more convenient.

So go with fresh when you can get them. But there is no reason to feel bad about stocking your pantry with canned.

Watch the video below.

Should You Drain and Rinse Canned Green Beans?

Unless the recipes call for the liquid in canned green beans, then yes you should drain and rinse them. It lowers sodium by removing excess salt and starch and will improve the flavor as well.

It may also remove the metallic flavor that is often found in canned beans. Have you ever heard of the term Flat-Sour?

It is when canned green beans have an unappealing off-flavor. The cause: keeping jars of just processed green beans warm too long.

Example: leaving the jars in the canner or covering them with a towel.

How I Make My Green Beans Taste Better

When I am in a hurry I just add some bacon and some of the grease, salt, pepper, and onion powder. If I’m crunched for time I just add some bacon grease that I keep on hand in the refrigerator and skip frying up some bacon.

But if I have time my favorite recipe for great-tasting canned green beans is smothered green beans.  I just made them today for our family Easter dinner.

My son-in-law loves them. My daughter not so much. 

But then you can’t please everyone, can you? Continue reading for this awesome recipe. 

Smothered Green Beans Recipe

Smothered Green Beans

Do You Want To Make Your Green Beans Taste Better? Try This Recipe!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American


  • 5 15 oz cans cut green beans, drained
  • 1 pound Bacon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degress
  • Pour green beans in an ungreased 9×13 baking pan
  • Cook bacon until crisp, drain on a paper towel
  • Chop bacon and sprink;e on topof green beans
  • In a small bowl, whisk together, the brown sugar, melted butter, soy sauce and garlic powder. Pour over green beans
  • Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword green beans,, sidedish, vegetables

My Final Thoughts

  • To improve the flavor of green beans, add bacon, garlic, butter, or olive oil.
  • Using chicken or beef broth can enhance the taste of canned green beans.
  • Fresh green beans are preferred for nutritional value and taste but canned can be a convenient alternative.
  • Draining and rinsing canned green beans reduces sodium and improves flavor.
  • The recipe for “Smothered Green Beans” combines bacon, brown sugar, and soy sauce for a flavorful dish.

Nothing is blander tasting than green beans straight out of the can or fresh green beans with no additions. You can make your green beans taste better by adding flavorful ingredients such as bacon, bacon grease, garlic, butter, olive oil, or onion. 

Fresh green beans do have an edge over canned regarding the nutritional value and fresh is great when available, but canned will do nicely as well. Drain and rinse your canned green beans if the recipe doesn’t call for the liquid.

By doing so you will decrease the sodium and help alleviate that metallic taste that is often found in canned green beans. Many recipes will make your green beans taste better.

Smothered green beans is one. How do you make your green beans taste better?

Please leave me a comment below. And as always, have a wonderful day!

FAQ for “How Can I Make My Green Beans Taste Better?”

1. What are some methods to enhance the flavor of fresh green beans?

  • Cooking with Bacon: Adding bacon or bacon grease while cooking can significantly enhance the flavor of green beans by infusing them with a smoky richness.
  • Slow Cooking in Broth: For both fresh and canned green beans, simmering them slowly in chicken or beef broth can help the beans absorb more flavor, making them tastier.

2. How long should green beans be cooked to optimize their flavor?

  • Duration of Cooking: Cooking green beans for an extended period, such as 40 minutes to an hour, can improve their texture and allow them to absorb flavors better, especially when cooked with flavorful additives like bacon grease.
  • Monitoring During Cooking: It’s important to keep an eye on the water level during cooking and add more as needed to prevent the beans from drying out and to ensure they are cooked evenly.

3. Can green beans be preserved while maintaining their taste?

  • Preservation Methods: Canning and preserving green beans is a viable option to maintain their taste over time. This method allows you to enjoy the flavor of green beans long after the growing season has ended.
  • Benefits of Home Preservation: Besides prolonging their shelf life, preserving your green beans at home can ensure you have a ready supply of tasty vegetables year-round, which can be a rewarding process.

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