If you’re looking for an easy, flavorful side dish to get you through summer, these barbecue green beans are for you. Fresh green beans are one of the ultimate summer veggies, since they’re in season from May through September, so it’s no wonder we like to use them as much as possible in our summer cooking routine. That being said, no one wants to turn on the oven to whip up a heavy casserole in the middle of July, so we skipped the oven completely and only use our stove top (briefly) and slow cooker for this yummy dish.

Now you’re more than welcome to use store-bought BBQ sauce and leave it at that, but we’ve found that it’s SUPER easy to amp up one of your typical grocery store varieties with just a couple pantry staples. Seriously, the difference in flavor is huge, plus, you can have everyone thinking you whipped out a treasured, passed-down family BBQ recipe.

Once you’ve spruced up your sauce, dump your beans and bacon into your slow cooker, then stir everything together and you’re all set! The result is a smoky, saucy dish that you can easily get cooking early in the afternoon and then forget about while you’re outside soaking up the sun (- hopefully with a nice cold beer or other frosty beverage to boot).


2-3 hours

  • 4 (14.5 oz.) cans green beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 slices thickly-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled, 2 tablespoons drippings reserved
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, honey, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. If using, heat 2 tablespoons reserved bacon drippings in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and sauté until softened and translucent. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, then remove from heat.
  3. Place green beans and onions (including remaining bacon grease) in a lightly greased slow cooker, then pour BBQ ketchup mixture over them.
  4. Mix everything together until incorporated, then top with crumbled bacon.
  5. Cover slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 4-5 hours. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Spicy Southern Kitchen