Southern Style Green Beans and Potatoes in a white Dutch oven, with a wooden spoon

Indiana has a bit of an identity crisis on its hands. I’ll be the first to tell you, we certainly aren’t Southern. We might be considered Yankees. We are decidedly Midwest, but really, what does that mean in terms of food? To me, it means that we get to pick-and-choose our food identity. What we are left with is the best of all worlds! I can fit in just as well at a hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint just as I can at the Finnish pancake house in my husband’s hometown in Northwestern Ontario. It’s nice to get to pick and choose!

Like, for example, this Southern Style Green Beans and Potatoes is the perfect thing to go along with a summer barbecue—we might not be in “the South,” but we sure do enjoy the heck out of a dish like this. This was a standard growing up in my house, but I normally only ate the potatoes because my deep love for green beans only showed up a few years ago.

Diced onion on a wooden cutting board, next to green beans and new potatoes
Ham simmering in a pot of beans and new potatoes

The key to the awesome flavor of this dish is using a smoked ham hock or a leftover ham bone. You slow simmer the green beans and potatoes with the ham hock and some chicken broth, and they end up having so much rich, intense flavor. It’s my favorite way to eat green beans! And, like a lot of these slow-cooked dishes, the flavor of this gets better and better as it rests in the fridge. I usually make a big ole batch of this when green beans are coming off in the garden, and reheat as a side dish all week long.

You’ll want to use new potatoes for this dish. Russet potatoes cut into chunks work in a pinch here, but you get really amazing pillowy bites of potato if you use small Yukon gold or small red new potatoes.

Close up of a wooden spoon in a pot of beans, ham, and new potatoes

If your leftover ham bone or ham hock has a lot of meat on it, you’ll want to remove the ham bone after cooking, chop the extra meat and add it back into the pot. If your ham bone is looking a little skimpy, you might want to pick up a pack of diced ham to add back into the mixture—the little morsels of ham add a ton of great flavor and texture that Southerners and Northerners alike can enjoy!

Southern Style Green Beans and Potatoes in a white Dutch oven, with a wooden spoon

Southern Style Green Beans and Potatoes

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Southern Style Green Beans and Potatoes just get better with time, so make them now to savor as a side all week. It also makes the perfect contribution for pitch-ins and other parties!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 ham hock or leftover ham bone
  • Water
  • 1 pound new potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup additional chopped ham, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until just softened, about five minutes.
  2. Add in the green beans, broth, and ham hock. Add water until it just covers the beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes, or until the cooking liquid turns a deep green/brown and beans are well-done.
  3. 20 minutes into simmering, add potatoes and additional ham, if using.
  4. Remove ham hock or ham bone, chop ham off the bone, and return to the pot—discarding the bone. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve by straining cooking liquid using a slotted spoon.

Notes

  • Ham tends to be very salty, so you might not need to add any salt at all to this dish. Make sure to taste before seasoning!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 521mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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19 Comments

  1. This recipe was great. Instead of the ham hock I used bacon grease. I then added just a touch of vinager. Add black pepper. No salt.