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Step into the heart of the South with every bite of these Southern Green Beans with Smoked Turkey. Slow-cooked to perfection and infused with the rich, smoky flavor of smoked turkey, this dish is a true taste of Southern comfort. The tender green beans are seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices that bring out the natural sweetness, and the smoked turkey adds a depth of flavor that will thrill your taste buds.


Vegetables are usually the black sheep of a lot of meals because they can be pretty boring or bland if not prepared well. This recipe however is full of flavor! Pair this with yellow rice –Perfect Yellow Rice and any meat, and you have a delicious dinner! Because of the large serving, it also would be perfect for barbecues or family events that you may be hosting this summer. More of the dishes I think will go well with these Green Beans wit Smoked Turkey is this Weeknight Oven Jerk Chicken and Weeknight Balsamic Oven Leg Quarters

What are southern green beans?

Southern-style green beans are a traditional side dish in Southern cuisine. They are typically made by slow-cooking fresh or canned green beans with bacon, onions, garlic, and various seasonings until they are tender and flavorful. The addition of bacon and other ingredients gives the green beans a rich, savory taste that is characteristic of Southern cooking.

In some variations of southern green beans, a tomato-based sauce or broth is added to the pot to provide additional flavor and moisture. Smoked turkey or ham hocks are also sometimes used to add depth and smoky flavor to the dish.

Southern green beans are often served as a side dish with meat-based main courses such as fried chicken, barbecue, or meatloaf. They are also sometimes served as a main dish in themselves, often with cornbread or rice.

How to choose the best green beans for this southern-style green beans with smoked turkey recipe

When choosing green beans, look for the following:

Freshness: Look for green beans that are bright green in color and have a crisp, firm texture. Avoid beans that are yellow, wilted, or have soft spots.

Size: Choose beans that are similar in size so that they cook evenly.

Shape: Look for beans that are straight and have a uniform shape. Beans that are bent or have a rough texture may be tough and fibrous.

Snap: Give the beans a gentle snap. They should break cleanly and not have strings or seeds visible.

Season: Choose green beans that are in season, as this is when they are at their peak in terms of flavor and texture.

If you can, purchase green beans from a local farmer’s market or a specialty grocery store that focuses on fresh produce. This will ensure that the beans are as fresh as possible. When shopping for canned or frozen green beans, look for brands that have a reputation for quality and have been processed using high-quality methods.

How to cook Green Beans with Smoked Turkey the southern-style?

Detailed step by step is at the bottom of this post, you can jump to recipe with the below button.

Jump to Recipe

Serving suggestions

Here are some serving suggestions for Southern-style green beans with smoked turkey:

As a side dish: Serve the green beans alongside grilled or roasted meats, such as chicken, steak, or pork chops.

With rice or potatoes: Serve the green beans with a side of fluffy white rice or mashed potatoes.

With cornbread: Serve the green beans with warm, crusty cornbread for a complete Southern-style meal.

In a salad: Serve the green beans on a bed of greens with other veggies, like cherry tomatoes and red onion, for a light and healthy salad.

With pasta: Serve the green beans over a bed of al dente pasta with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

As a main dish: Serve the green beans as a main dish by adding a protein like grilled chicken or tofu to make it a complete meal.

These are just a few ideas, but feel free to get creative and serve the green beans in a way that fits your taste and dietary needs. Enjoy

What is the difference between string beans and green beans?

String beans and green beans are often used interchangeably to refer to the same type of vegetable, which is a type of legume. However, the term “string bean” specifically refers to an older variety of green beans that was named for the string-like fibrous material that ran along the length of the pod and needed to be removed before eating.

Today, most commercially available green beans are a newer, “stringless” variety that does not require this step. However, the terms “string bean” and “green bean” are still used interchangeably, and many people still refer to green beans as “string beans.”

In summary, the difference between “string beans” and “green beans” is that “string beans” refer to an older variety of green beans that had a string-like fibrous material, while “green beans” refer to the more modern, stringless variety that is widely available today.

Recipe variations and substitutes

Here are some variations and substitutes you can try in your Southern-style green beans with smoked turkey recipe:


Spices: Try adding different spices and herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, or cumin, to vary the flavor of the dish.

Vegetables: Add other vegetables to the dish, such as sliced carrots, diced bell peppers, or chopped onions.

Meat: Substitute the smoked turkey with other types of meat, such as ham hocks, bacon, or sausage.

Broth: Use chicken broth, vegetable broth, or even white wine instead of water for added flavor.


Green beans: Try using other types of beans, such as wax beans, snap peas or haricots verts.

Smoked turkey: If you can’t find smoked turkey, use cooked, diced ham or bacon.

Onions: If you don’t have onions, use shallots or leeks.

Garlic: If you don’t have fresh garlic, use garlic powder or minced garlic from a jar.

Remember that these variations and substitutes may change the flavor and texture of the dish, so feel free to experiment to find what you like best.

How to store leftovers and reheat

Cool the leftovers to room temperature as quickly as possible.

Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Label the container with the date and contents.

Store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Microwave: Place the green beans in a microwave-safe dish and cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or wrap it with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Stovetop: Place the green beans in a saucepan and add a splash of water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Oven: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the green beans in an oven-safe dish and cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Regardless of the reheating method, be sure to stir the green beans occasionally to ensure that they heat evenly.

Meal prep tip

Cook the green beans according to the recipe.

Allow the green beans to cool completely.

Divide the green beans into individual portions, if desired.

Store the green beans in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer.

Glam Kitchen Tips

  • You can use any type of smoked meat
  • Fresh green beans are always best however if you’re in a time crunch and want to use canned green beans just cut the cook time in half

Commonly asked questions

Should you soak green beans in water before cooking them?

Soaking green beans before cooking can help reduce cooking time and improve their texture, but it is not necessary. If you soak the beans, be sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly before cooking.

Some people prefer to blanch the green beans in boiling water for a minute or two before draining and rinsing them in cold water. This method can help to set the color and retain the crunchiness of the beans.

Should I rinse the smoked turkey before cooking it?

Most households rinse the smoked turkey before they cook it but its not necessary.


Southern Green Beans with Smoked Turkey

Step into the heart of the South with every bite of these Southern green beans with Smoked Turkey. Slow-cooked to perfection and infused with the rich, smoky flavor of smoked turkey, this dish is a true taste of Southern comfort.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 239 kcal


  • 2 pound fresh green beans (cut into 2 inch pieces and washed)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 medium red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 -2 pounds Smoked pork or turkey
  • 10 cups water
  • 1+ 1/2 teaspoon Seasoning salt ( I prefer the Lawry's brand)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic


  • In a large pot, bring water and smoked meat to a boil on medium high heat and cook for 2 hours or until meat is falling off the bone
  • Remove meat from pot, and remove meat from bones and set aside
  • Save 4 cups of the juices in the pot and set it aside
  • After discarding the rest of the juices from the large pot, add olive oil and allow it to heat for 2-3 minutes
  • Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic then sauté on high heat for 2-3 minutes or until softened
  • Add green beans, smoked meat, and potatoes to the pot and reduce to medium heat
  • Pour the reserved juices into the pot then stir
  • Generously Season the pot with seasoning salt, Black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder , and vinegar -then stir
  • Allow pot to cook for an hour, stirring every 10 minutes -Taste the green beans and adjust seasoning to taste if more is needed
  • Remove from heat and serve !
Keyword green beans and smoked turkey