If you’re a native of the Natural State, then you know it’s practically against the law to eat normal green beans around here. All vegetables must be spruced up a bit, especially for Thanksgiving. Sour cream and cheese in the mashed potatoes, Rotel in the corn, and bacon in the beans are a must! I’ve lived in Arkansas my whole life, but I’ve recently just learned that my favorite green bean recipe is actually called Arkansas Green Beans! Who knew? If you’re in charge of the veggies for Thanksgiving this year, take a stab at this incredible recipe to shake things up!

What Exactly is an Arkansas Green Bean?

Arkansas Green Beans are a mouthwatering delight that combines the Southern-style green bean with a concoction of brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and (most importantly) bacon. Holy Moly, I could drink, or possibly bathe in, this sauce. It’s so good! The hearty, smothered green bean is an ideal side to pair with warm mashed potatoes and your perfectly juicy turkey.

Prep Time:

15 mins

Cook Time:

40 mins

Total Time:

55 mins




  • 5 (15 ounce) cans of green beans, drained.
  • 7-8 slices of bacon- If you want your beans to be authentic, then there’s no choice other than the strips from the amazing Arkansas bacon company, Petit Jean Meats!
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 7 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
A hand picking up fresh cut green beans in a farmers market, the perfect bean for Arkansas green beans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain green beans and place in a 9×13 baking dish
  3. Fry bacon in a frying pan for 1-2 mins. You want it to crisp up, but not be completely fried. You’re going to add it to the oven bake for more cooking.
  4. Dice bacon into small bits
  5. Mix butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic powder in a small bowl.
  6. Pour the mixture over your green beans and toss.
  7. Top with the chopped bacon.
  8. Place in the oven on the center rack for 40 minutes for fully cooked Arkansas beans.

Alternatives and Tips:

While we don’t suggest you mess with the recipe too much, as it’s a delicate mixture that can get off balance easily, cooking is a personal art, and there’s no wrong way to go about it! Here are a few alterations you might consider.

  • Use your choice of green beans- I prefer fresh green beans, but my family likes the recipe better with canned. You can also use frozen. Pick what your clan likes best. Just know you may have to increase the cooking time for fresh green beans.
  • Some taste buds find this recipe to be too sweet. This original will result in an almost candied green bean. If you don’t like sweet veggies, cut the brown sugar in half.
  • Some recipes suggest microwaving the bacon, but this will result in limp, floppy bacon, which is not acceptable. Frying is the preferred method. An air fryer could be acceptable.
  • I personally prefer trading the garlic powder for 1/4 cup of fresh, roasted garlic. I’ve also tossed some jarred minced garlic. and that worked well too. Just add it to the soy sauce mixture.
  • The 40-minute cooking time will result in a very soft bean. If you like your beans more al dente, cut it down to 30 mins.

Prepare for Praise!

This yummy green bean dish is an Arkansas comfort food that will have your taste buds screaming for leftovers! Perhaps, you should go ahead and double the recipe from the get-go. We hope you found this Arkansas green beans recipe helpful, but if you’re looking for more, check out our Pumpkin Pesto Pinwheels! Hearty, filling, and seasonal, they’re the perfect appetizer for your Thanksgiving get-together!

Thanksgiving gatherings are a wonderful time to take new family photos! Take a few cues from “5 Creative Fall Family Picture Ideas!”

Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll!

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