Place the chopped bacon into a saucepan over medium heat on the stove and cook until done to your liking. Remove, and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Remove most of the excess bacon grease from the saucepan but leave a bit in the bottom.
Add the onion to the saucepan and cook until they become tender. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds longer. Remove, and set aside.
Place the beans and chicken broth into the saucepan and bring to a light boil. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour. If needed, you can add water when the liquid runs low during the cooking process.
Drain the beans, add the butter, onions, garlic and bacon back into the saucepan, and stir to combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Adding salt to the broth helps tenderize the green beans faster and will add seasoning to them.To reduce carbs, you can omit or reduce the amount of onion in the recipe.If you want to save yourself time, use frozen green beans. Just let them thaw and get rid of as much water as you can before adding them to the frying pan.Make the bacon first. If you want to save time in food-prep, make your bacon ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.Reserve a little bit of bacon grease. If you make your bacon ahead of time, save some of the bacon grease. This is what gives the green beans their signature taste.FROM READER COMMENT: For authentic Southern Green Beans use a Crockpot or Instant Pot.For a Crock Pot, cook your bacon first, and then add ALL the ingredients into the Crockpot and cook on high for at least 1 ½ hours (whether or not you used fresh green beans or canned green beans). You want the flavor of the bacon to cook through the beans. Hickory Smoked bacon is even better. Look for bacon without nitrites preservatives, which these days, is getting easier to find. BE SURE to check on your bean if you Crockpot them, every 30 minutes or so, to ensure there is adequate fluid levels and give them a stir. If fluid level drops below the bean pods, add water to bring it back up. You do NOT have to use chicken broth to bring the fluid level back up. Instant Pot/Pressure cookers don’t have this problem to worry about cause they are relatively seal, so the water doesn’t escape as readily.If you use a Ham Hock, don’t salt until after the cooking is done and you taste it, because country hams are salted to preserve them and the salt from the ham will cook into the beans. If you use a country ham hock, increase cooking time to 2 ½ hours in a crock pot/slow cooker. The nutritional value shouldn’t deviate significantly by substituting a Ham Hock for bacon in this recipe.Using an Instant Pot/pressure cooker, you can usually get away with 45 minutes in cook time on high pressure (12 lbs. if you use traditional pressure cooker). Again, the goal is to get the flavor through the beans. Pre-canned beans don’t need as long to cook, because the bean pod (green bean) is already cooked, so all your doing is to trying to get the flavor through the bean. Fresh picked green beans take longer to cook, if you are looking for real ‘Southern Green Bean’. The pod should be relatively soft when chewed, not crisp/crunchy or ‘squeaky’, for southern green beans.