Pennsylvania Dutch Green Beans with Bacon ♥

Pennsylvania Dutch Green Beans with Bacon
Today's vegetable recipe: A hearty late-summer or fall side dish. (Thanksgiving? Yes that too, especially Canadian Thanksgiving which falls in mid October when it's often still quite warm.) The beans are topped with a sweet 'n' sour sauce, crispy bacon and a chopped egg.

Cookbooks are always welcome gifts but The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food by Ian Knauer was an inspired choice. For starters, these inscriptions were penned by two of my favorite cook's grandchildren. Yes, they brought tears:

Dear PopPop, I like gardening with you. Teach me how to cook from the garden. I love you, A.J.
Dear Grandpa, I like your garden! Here's a book on how to cook with it! Love, E.

Two days later, "PopPop" aka Grandpa and the kids selected recipes from the cookbook, shopped for groceries and set up to cook dinner. What a feast! A venison loin rubbed with mustard, oil and fresh herbs. Homemade biscuits, light as air! Green beans topped with a sweet-sour sauce, bacon and a chopped egg. "How are the green beans?" I asked at the table. "Fantastic!" murmured E., reaching for another bite.

Twas grand.

If this dish seems like a hearty farm dish, it is. If you lived on a farm with a surplus of bacon and eggs, and a garden full of green beans, isn't this what you'd make? Me too. About that bacon? A Note to Vegetarians.


Hands-on time: about 30 minutes (estimate)
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 8

1 hard-boiled egg, chopped, see Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs

2 quarts (8 cups) water
1 tablespoon table salt
1 pound green beans, trimmed
Large bowl ice water

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

EGG If needed, cook the egg.

BEANS While the bacon cooks, bring water and salt to a boil in a large pot. Add the beans and cook for about 6 minutes, until cooked but still bright green. Drain and drop into ice water for 1 minute to stop the cooking. Drain and let the beans dry on paper towels.

BACON SAUCE In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy, stirring often. Lift the bacon out of the skillet to drain a bit on paper towels, leaving the bacon grease in the skillet. Stir in the onions and cook until soft, stirring often. In a bowl, combine cornstarch, brown sugar, dry mustard and salt, then slowly stir in the milk. Pour milk mixture into the skillet and bring to a boil, let cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Whisk in the vinegar.

TO SERVE Place the beans on a platter, pour the sauce over top. Top with bacon pieces and chopped egg.

TO MAKE AHEAD Cook the egg, beans and bacon sauce ahead of time and refrigerate. To serve, return beans to room temperature (or for hot beans, warm in a skillet), rewarm the bacon sauce and serve.

To my taste, the egg isn't that necessary, though provides nice creaminess in contrast to the crispy bacon.
Snap the beans in half, especially if you want them to go further.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. That bacon sauce is kinda nifty. I like the addition of the milk and dry mustard. Looks great on the beans, but I'll bet it would be nice on all sorts of things. Good stuff - thanks.

  2. Thanks for sharing. My mom would love this cookbook - a great Christmas present. And the green beans look divine.


  3. That looks delicious! I can't wait until I get beans in the farm share. I have everything else on hand. Perhaps my kids would even eat beans this way. Worth a shot, and we'll enjoy the leftovers if they don't. I bet the sauce on cauliflower would be divine.

  4. Sounds like an interesting variation of German Potato Salad.

  5. Looks like dinner! (With a couple extra hard boiled eggs.). Never had this type of green bean dish with white sauce - looking forward to giving it a try. Love your blog, and all that accompanies it. Nice also to find a good source for veggie recipes that is not 100% vegetarian. I love my bacon! Susan

  6. I am in my mid 60's, not quite retired to put what I am about to say in some kind of timeline context. I grew up calling my Grandfather PopPop and until I read your email today, I had never heard of anyone else ever calling their Grandfather PopPop. My grandparents lived in Western PA, in the country, and this is the kind of dish my Grandmother would have made...and of course we did not call her Grandma, we called her "Mo". She made the best chocolate chip cookies ever....I've tried over the years to replicate them, but she either put something in (other than lots of love) a did something in the mixing process that I have never been able to figure out...

    Thanks for bringing good memories to the surface....

  7. I'm Lehigh Valley PA Dutch and some things just NEED bacon dressing! ;)

  8. Made these today for Thanksgiving and they are not relish, darn you autocorrect, they are Delish! I also think they would be great for Easter as the egg and bright green make a pretty combo.

    Thanks, Alanna!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna