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close up of southern green beans with potatoes in large white pot

Southern Green Beans

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Southern


These Southern Green Beans are the realest of the real, y’all! Tenderly braised green beans slowly simmered in a rich and flavorful broth with hearty pieces of smoked meat throughout. If you’re looking for the best southern-style green beans, look no further. So easy, delicious, and makes for the perfect side dish!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs smoked turkey wings- see notes
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth/stock, plus more as needed
  • 2 lbs fresh green beans, ends trimmed & then cut/snapped in half
  • 23 medium red potatoes, rinsed & cut into quarters
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • hot sauce, for serving, optional


  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, gently swirl the pot to evenly coat the bottom. Add in the smoked turkey wings (or alternate smoked meat), and let cook for 5 minutes, turning the meat every so often, until the pieces are nicely seared on all sides.
  2. Add in the chopped onion and stir together with the meat until the onions soften and become tender, about 4-5 minutes. Then add in the garlic and continue cooking for another 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant. Toss in the cajun seasoning and red pepper flakes (if using).
  3. Then pour in the chicken broth- making sure the meat is fully submerged. If not, add a few more splashes of broth into the pot until the pieces of meat are covered, and stir to combine. 
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the mixture to simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours- going back to the pot every so often to turn the meat.
  5. After simmering, the meat should be very tender. Remove the meat from the pot and let cool down for a few minutes before handling- do not shut off the heat. Use a fork or your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to tear the meat off the bones. Then discard the skin and bones and add the pieces of meat back into the pot.
  6. Add the green beans and potatoes into the pot. At this point, if any liquid has evaporated from the first simmer, add a touch more broth in to replenish the pot, only if needed. Stir everything well to fully combine, making sure the beans/potatoes are saturated.
  7. Cover the pot once more with lid. Let the green beans and potatoes simmer over medium-low heat for another 1 hour, until the green beans have broken down some and the potatoes are fork-tender.
  8. Uncover the pot, taste the green beans mixture, and season the pot with salt/pepper-to preference. Serve these southern green beans immediately alongside your favorite main entrees or simply as-is with a few dashes of hot sauce, if desired. Enjoy!


  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
  2. For smoked meat: use any pieces of smoked meat (smoked turkey legs or smoked ham hocks, etc.- the meatier, the better!).

Keywords: southern green beans, green beans, side dishes, southern recipes, southern food