Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are astonishingly easy to make, make ahead friendly and extraordinarily delicious!  Win, win, win!

These Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are the perfect elegant side dish for any occasion, including upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas!  The mouthwatering little bundles look impressive but are super simple to make and can be completely assembled ahead of time then just popped in the oven to bake. To make, the green beans are bathed in a sweet and tangy brown sugar, balsamic butter sauce, wrapped in bacon then roasted to caramelized perfection. These Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are always a party favorite and is easy to double or triple for a crowd!

Turn boring green beans into extragradient green beans with these tasty recipes: Green Bean Casserole (no canned soups), Roasted Green beans with Creamy Gruyere Sauce, Maple Dijon Green Beans with Caramelized Nuts and Italian Green Bean Salad.  

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how to make bacon wrapped green beans video

top view of bacon wrapped green beans on a baking sheet

Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles

I am so excited to introduce you to Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles AKA the green beans everyone will LOVE! I have seen adorable green bean bundles floating around the internet for some time, but I was skeptical. 

  • Would the bacon be soggy? 
  • Would the green beans be flavorful? 
  • Was the presentation nothing more than show?
  • Were they worth making?

What I learned is Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are fabulous!  Some of the best green beans I’ve ever tasted, no joke.  In this recipe, I’ve set you up for success with helpful tips and tricks and a delectable sauce to create flavor bombs that are Thanksgiving worthy, company worthy and year-round favorite green beans worthy.  Here’s why you’ll love them:

Why this Recipe Works

  • Delicious.   The main difference between this recipe and other Bacon Wrapped Green Bean recipes is the sauce!  The green beans are coated in a tantalizing balsamic butter glaze, wrapped in bacon then sprinkled with brown sugar and rosemary to create irresistible candied-like bacon and tender-crisp green beans dripping with crispy, tangy, sweet and salty caramelized deliciousness.
  • Green beans have never been so beautiful!  This recipe transforms awkward, long and gangly, green beans into confident, charming, alluring packages everyone will be eager to gobble up!  These green bean bundles will awe your dinner guests at holiday dinners like Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. and every occasion in between.
  • Kid Friendly.  These green bean bundles will appeal to even the pickiest eaters because who can resist adorable bundles wrapped in BACON?! Bacon makes everything better.
  • Easy to make.  Although these Bacon Wrapped Green Beans look impressive, they are quick and easy to make without any fancy ingredients.
  • Crispy, baked bacon.  The bacon is par-cooked in the oven for easy, hand’s off baking and cleanup-up. Par-cooking the bacon helps it bake up nice and crispy.
  • Bright, crisp-tender green beans.  The beans are blanched to preserve their beautiful color and texture – no drab, mushy green beans here!
  • Prep ahead. To make things easy, you can prep the green beans 100% in advance then just pop them in the oven when you’re ready to serve.
bacon wrapped green bean bundles lined on a white platter

What Green beans should I use?

Take care to purchase French green beans, also known as haricots verts.  Haricots verts (pronounced “arr-ee-co vair”) is the French translation which literally means, “green” (vert) and “bean” (haricot). 

French green beans are longer and skinnier than regular green beans which are shorter and thicker.  French green beans are harvested earlier, so they tend to be more tender, more flavorful and they roast more evenly.

French green beans are usually pre-packaged in clear bags and should be available at most grocery stores.  I typically purchase them at Costco, Sprouts or Trader Joes in large bags for a reasonable price.  If you can’t locate them, look for small thin, standard green beans and be advised that they might take about 5 minutes or so longer to roast.

CAN I USE FROZEN GREEN BEANS?

Yes, frozen green beans are fresh green beans picked at the peak of freshness then blanched and flash frozen.  This means you can enjoy the freshness of green beans without having to blanch them first.  To use frozen green beans, thaw them first then dry them very well so they don’t make your bacon soggy.

CAN I USE canned GREEN BEANS?

No, I do not recommend using canned green beans because they are already soft and will become too soft when roasted with the bacon.

When Buying Green Beans:

You will need 1¼ pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.  Here are some helpful tips to select the freshest and therefore the most flavorful green beans:

  • Check for color:  green beans should be vibrant green.  They should not be yellowish or brownish and should be free from brown blemishes.
  • Check for texture:  the skin should be smooth and tight.  It should be free from bumps, bruises and blemishes.  These can indicate overripe green beans.
  • Check for freshness:  they should be firm to the point that they would snap in half if you bent them and not limp or flabby. 
  • Check for uniformity: select, thin, long green beans similar in size so they cook evenly.  Avoid large green beans that are excessively thick because they can be tough or stringy. If some of your green beans are a lot longer, don’t worry to much about it, the main factor is the thickness.

HOW TO STORE FRESH GREEN BEANS

If you’re making Bacon Wrapped Green Beans for Thanksgiving, you aren’t going to want to wait until the last minute to purchase your green beans or they could all be sold out!  Thankfully, green beans store very well.  To store fresh green
beans:

  • Do NOT wash the beans.  Wait until you are ready to cook your green beans to wash them otherwise moisture can be left on them which can cause mold.
  • Use a paper towel.  Line an airtight container or large freezer bag with a paper towel. The paper towel will absorb any moisture and prevent the green beans from growing mold.  
  • Remove excess air.  If using a resealable bag, try and push out as much air as possible before you seal it.
  • Store.  Store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for 5-7 days.
top view of bacon wrapped green beans on a white platter

HOW DO I CUT GREEN BEANS?

Fresh green beans are very simple to prep and trimming them yourself will save you money.  To trim green beans quickly, gather a small portion of beans into a small pile, lining up the tips on one side.  Trim the tips with one slice using a large knife.  Push the beans the opposite direction so they are flush with the other side and trim that end.  You can trim them straight or at a slight diagonal for a more gourmet look.

THE rest of the ingredients

  • Bacon: use regular bacon, NOT thick cut bacon.  Thick cut bacon is too thick and will not become crispy.  I like to use smoked hickory for extra flavor.
  • Brown sugar:  is sprinkled over the bacon and green beans instead of being added directly to the sauce so it can help caramelize the bacon.  The brown sugar offsets the tanginess of the sauce and is pure magic!
  • Butter:  creates the base of the balsamic butter sauce.  Use unsalted butter so we can control the salt.  If you only have salted butter, reduce the salt in the recipe.
  • Balsamic vinegar: adds a slight tanginess to the sauce to balance the brown sugar.  Use quality balsamic vinegar for the best flavor.
  • Lemon juice:  pairs beautifully with green beans and adds a pop of freshness to enliven the sauce.  Freshly squeezed is preferred, but bottled will also work because it’s such a small amount.
  • Dijon mustardI promise it won’t make your green beans taste like mustard! It adds a depth of complex tanginess.
  • Seasonings: dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper inject the sauce with a rainbow of flavor.
  • Rosemary: fresh rosemary not only adds beautiful pops of color to the bacon but adds subtle, complex pops of evergreen, citrus, lavender, pine, sage, pepper, mint, and sage notes AKA herb magic!
up close of bacon wrapped green beans garnished with rosemary

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

This recipe is easy to make in just a few steps,:

  • par-cook the bacon
  • blanch the green beans
  • toss the beans in the sauce
  • wrap the beans in bacon
  • bake

Here’s everything you need to know (full recipe measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post:

Step 1:  Par-cook the Bacon

The secret to crispy Bacon Wrapped Green Beans is cut the bacon in half and to par-cook the bacon.  We only want half a strip of bacon per green bean bundle otherwise the bacon will be rolled over itself and won’t continue to crisp up with the green beans. 

We need to par-cook the bacon because the bacon takes longer to cook than the green beans.  Par-cooking the bacon in the oven gives it a head start to render some of the fat.  If you don’t cook your bacon first, the fat won’t render and you’ll end up with soft bacon instead of crispy bacon.

To prep the bacon, line a large baking sheet with foil or a non slipmat for easy cleanup.  Line the bacon halves in an even layer so they aren’t touching. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees F or until strips are beginning to turn golden but are still pliable.  Remove the bacon from the oven and immediately drain the bacon on paper towels so it doesn’t continue to sit in the grease which will make it less crispy.  

showing how to make bacon wrapped green beans by cooking the bacon until golden but flexible on a baking sheet

Step 2:  How to Blanch Green Beans

What is blanching?  Blanching is a technique in which food (usually vegetables or fruit) is briefly immersed in boiling water.  It is usually followed by shocking, which means plunging the blanched food directly into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Blanching is used for different reasons but it is not meant to cook the food entirely.

Why blanch green beans?  Blanching might sound like an unnecessary step, but it is necessary to help preserve the beans bright green color, flavor and nutritional value.  I won’t go into great detail, but blanching destroys enzymes and bacteria in the beans that otherwise break down vitamins, color and flavor properties.  Like the bacon, blanching also gives the green beans a cooking head start so they don’t have to roast as long, again helping to preserve their pretty green hue.

What is an ice bath?  Before you blanch the green beans, you’ll want to prepare an ice bath.  Place ice cubes in a large bowl then fill it with water.  Keep the ice bath in the sink so you can easily add the blanched, drained green beans.  Once you drain the beans, submerge them in the ice bath to stop the cooking process.  If you don’t use an ice bath, the beans will continue to cook, and become unappetizingly mushy and a drab yellow green color.

How to blanch green beans?  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add a little pinch of baking soda and salt to preserve the beautiful bright green color.  Once boiling, add the green beans and boil them for two minutes. The time goes quickly, so make sure to set a timer!  Drain the green beans and immediately transfer them to the ice bath.  Once the beans are chilled, drain and pat them as dry as possible. 

showing how to make bacon wrapped green beans by blanching the green beans and placing in a water bath

Step 3:  Toss the Beans in the sauce

The sauce makes these Bacon Wrapped Green Beans and it’s so easy!  Simply whisk together the melted butter, balsamic, lemon juice, Dijon, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Add the beans and stir until evenly coated and the butter starts to thicken a bit.  This makes the beans easier to work with and ensures all the glaze goodness stays on the beans.

a collage showing how to make bacon wrapped green beans by  adding butter, balsamic and seasonings to a large bowl then adding the beans and tossing to coat

Step 4: How to Make the Bundles

Now for the fun part!  Arrange the beans in 14 even bundles (about 8-10 beans per bundle).  Wrap one bacon strip half around each bundle and place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.  You can use toothpicks to secure if you’d like, but I don’t find this necessary because the bacon shrinks up around the bundles.    

Sprinkle the brown sugar and rosemary over bundles, concentrating over the bacon and going lighter towards the edges.

showing how to make bacon wrapped green beans by adding brown sugar to the top of the bundles before baking

Step 5: Bake

Roast the green bean bundles for 15 to 20 minutes.  This will crisp up the bacon and caramelize the green beans, enhancing their natural sweetness and depth of flavor. 

Dig in!

top view of bacon wrapped green beans on a baking sheet with rosemary

Tips for Making Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Here is a summary of everything you need to know:

  • Use French green beans.  They are longer, skinnier, more tender and flavorful.  Look for them in pre-packaged clear bags.
  • Don’t skip the blanching.  I know it seems like a hassle, but blanching the green beans will preserve their beautiful color.  Just make sure to set a timer and don’t blanch for too long.
  • Don’t shock the green beans for too long. The key with shocking is to let it chill the green beans until no longer warm, but don’t let the beans sit in the water for too long or they will start to absorb the water.
  • Don’t use thick-cut bacon for this recipe.  It’s too thick to get crispy when wrapping the green beans.   Use regular/thin smoked bacon.
  • Look for uniform bacon.  Make sure to inspect the bacon before you purchase it.  Some packages of bacon have strips of bacon that are wider on one end and thinner on the other.  While this bacon will get the job done, the inconsistent sizes aren’t as appealing when the bundles are side by side.  
  • Don’t par-cook the bacon for too long. Cook the bacon until brown on the sides but still pliable so it can easily be rolled around the green bean bundles. 
  • Roll the bundles tightly.  This will make for the prettiest presentation and helps the bacon stay in place.
  • Use a toothpick as needed.  If your bacon is long enough to overlap a bit, then you likely won’t need a toothpick.  Simply place the bacon bundle seam side down on the baking sheet and the bacon will shrink when cooked and stay in place.  If your bacon is on the shorter side, then secure the bacon in place, bake, then remove the toothpicks after baking.
  • Why are my beans soggy?  The biggest mistake people make when it comes to green beans is over-cooking them.  Green beans should not be soft, chewy, mushy or tender-crisp, instead they should be crisp-tender.  To prevent soft or chewy green beans, only blanch them for 2 minutes, use a water bath and don’t roast longer than 20 minutes.

Recipe Variations

These Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles can take on any flavorings you like by tossing them in different sauces/seasonings before roasting.  Her are a few ideas:

  • Italian seasoning:  skip the basil and oregano and season with Italian seasonings instead.
    Cajun: 
    season with your favorite Cajun seasoning for a kick.  
  • Spice them up:  add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for a kick.   
  • Add lemon: swap the balsamic for lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon. I like to pair lemon with Parmesans or Italian herbs as well. You could also use lemon pepper seasoning instead.
  • Use dressing:  toss the green beans in your favorite dressing like Italian, lemon vinaigrette or even pesto before roasting.
  • Add cheeses to melt:  sprinkle the green beans and bacon with freshly grated Parmesan, mozzarella Gouda, Gruyere, etc. before baking.
  • Add cheeses to garnish: sprinkle with goat cheese, feta cheese or gorgonzola cheese after baking.
  • Add nuts: sprinkle with chopped pecans, pistachios, cashews, sliced almonds, etc.
  • Add seeds:  sesame seeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, etc..
  • Dairy-free: swap the butter for dairy-free butter or oils like coconut oil or olive oil.
  • Turkey bacon: I have not tested this recipe with turkey bacon, so I would plan on par-cooking it for less time – just keep an eye on it and remove the turkey bacon from the oven when it’s golden but still flexible.
up close of bacon wrapped green bean bundles with crispy bacon

how to make ahead

Assemble the Bacon Wrapped Green Beans, tightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.  When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and roast per directions, adding an extra 5 minutes or so to the baking time.

HOW LONG DO these bundles last?

These Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  

Can I freeze these green bean bundles?

Yes, you can freeze the Bacon Wrapped Green Beans either before or after baking but keep in mind the green beans will have a softer, more watery texture when you thaw and reheat. The bacon will also not be as crispy.

HOW DO I REHEAT the green beans?

  • Oven:  line the bundles on a baking sheet and reheat at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Microwave:  reheat for 30 seconds then at 10 second intervals as needed.  Microwave Bacon Wrapped Green Beans will not be as crispy.   
  • Stove:  heat a drizzle of oil in a pat and heat over medium-low heat.   Add the bundles and heat until warmed through, turning occasionally.
  • Air Fryer:  set your air fryer to 350°F. Heat for 5 or so minutes, turning the green bean bundles as needed, until they are warmed through.

WHAT CAN I SERVE these GREEN BEANS WITH?

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans go with EVERYTHING!

GREEN BEANS NUTRITION

Green beans are available fresh all year long, so Bacon Wrapped Green Beans don’t just have to be a Fall or winter commodity.  And once you taste how good they are for you, you will want to eat them ALL YEAR LONG.

  • A one cup serving of green beans has 30 calories and 3.4 grams of fiber!
  • They also contain anti-oxidants also known as catechins.  These catechins are known to improve heart health and help prevent cancer and help manage/prevent diabetes.
  • Green beans are a good source of potassium, and folate, and are an excellent source of protein, iron, and zinc.
  • If you are looking to boost your immune system look no further, green beans are a great source of vitamin C.

These green little gems sure pack a punch.  I hope you are convinced to utilize more beans into your life, starting with these Bacon Wrapped Green Beans!

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Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

These Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are the perfect elegant side dish for any occasion, including upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas!  The mouthwatering little bundles look impressive but are super simple to make and can be completely assembled ahead of time then just popped in the oven to bake. To make, the green beans are bathed in a sweet and tangy brown sugar, balsamic butter sauce, wrapped in bacon then roasted to caramelized perfection. These Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are always a party favorite and is easy to double or triple for a crowd!
Servings: 14 bundles
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds French green beans (also known as haricot verts), ends trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 7 strips smoked bacon, NOT THICK CUT, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary

BALSAMIC BUTTER SAUCE

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (may sub balsamic)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp EACH garlic powder, salt, pepper
  • 1/4 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried basil

Instructions

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or a slipmat for easy cleanup. Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt. Place a strainer in the sink. Prepare an ice bath by adding ice and water to a large bowl in the sink.
  • Par-cook bacon: Arrange bacon half strips on the baking sheet so they aren’t touching. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees F or until strips are beginning to turn golden but are still pliable. Drain bacon on paper towels.
  • Blanch green beans: Meanwhile, add the beans to the pot of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and transfer the beans to the ice bath. Once the beans are chilled, drain and pat them as dry as possible. Set aside.
  • Make sauce: In a large bowl (large enough to hold the green beans), combine the sauce ingredients. Add the green beans and toss until evenly coated and the butter starts to thicken.
  • Assemble: Arrange beans in 14 even bundles (about 8-10 beans). Wrap one bacon strip half around each bundle and place the bundles seam side down on the prepared baking sheet so they aren’t touching. Sprinkle the brown sugar and rosemary over bundles, concentrating over the bacon and going lighter towards the edges of the beans.
  • Bake: Bake the green bean bundles for 15-20 minutes at 400˚F or until bacon is golden brown and beans are crisp-tender. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Video

Notes

  • French green beans: are longer, skinnier, more tender and flavorful.  Look for them in pre-packaged clear bags.  If you can’t locate them, look for small thin, standard green beans and be advised that they might take about 5 minutes or so longer to roast.
  • To make ahead:  assemble the bundles, tightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.  When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and roast per directions, adding an extra 5 minutes or so to the baking time.
  • Storage:  store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  

HOW to reheat

  • Oven:  line the bundles on a baking sheet and reheat at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Microwave:  reheat for 30 seconds then at 10 second intervals as needed.  Microwave Bacon Wrapped Green Beans will not be as crispy.   
  • Stove:  heat a drizzle of oil in a pat and heat over medium-low heat.   Add the bundles and heat until warmed through, turning occasionally.
  • Air Fryer:  set your air fryer to 350°F. Heat for 5 or so minutes, turning the green bean bundles as needed, until they are warmed through.

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2 Comments

  1. Julie Underdown says

    I made these last night as a trial run for Thanksgiving. Oh my…delicious! I used regular green beans and the bacon would not fit around them so next time I’ll get the French green beans (should have listened to you! One question I have is I cannot figure out where the baking soda fits in to this recipe. I put it in the sauce…is that right?

    • Jen says

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them! If you can’t get the beans to fit, you can use less in a bundle ;). The baking soda is in step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place a strainer in the sink.

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