How to make canned green beans taste better
Reality is that most people don’t have a garden. And if you want to get even more real, it’s probably safe to say you haven’t so much as stuck your pinky finger in any dirt to grow anything, ever. But you like yourself some good green beans and would love that home-grown, slow cooked taste on your dinner table. You can actually get it from a canned green bean. Here’s every tip you need to make canned green beans taste better–or dare I say–good enough you won’t even need a garden.
The secret to make a canned green bean taste better isn’t the least bit difficult, I promise.
And while my grandmother and even my mom still use the bacon or ham-hock approach to their beans, I’ve gone a different route over the last year or so and I have to say, they make some pretty fabulous green beans–leaving them tender and full of slow-cooked flavor when they didn’t take very long at all.
You can use my great bean approach with any style you like.
The trick here is simple: you need canned beans, some beef bouillon and two cooking times. Now don’t die…let me explain.
A note on salt and bouillon
You start by dumping your canned beans into a pot (don’t drain them).
Then I use my favorite beef bouillon called Better Than Bouillon or you can use a cube of it if you’d prefer.
You can find either of these in the soup section of your grocery store.
Certain brands of bouillon are very salty. Powdered ones are terrible. Please keep this in mind and start with half as much if you are afraid of over salting.
I’ve never had any issues with Better Than Bouillon being too salty but I cannot speculate on the others–some can ruin a dish easily so try to get what we know works.
Then you turn your beans on high heat and bring them to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-high and then cook about 90% of the water off.
When there’s a 1/2 left in the bottom of the pan, turn your beans off and walk away.
If you can, leave them sitting on the stove top for several hours. It’s fine to leave them there all day while you’re gone to work or you can put them in the fridge if that freaks you out and do the second step when you get in.
The final step is to bring them back to a low simmer and cook off the rest of the liquid and serve–that takes about 10 minutes or so.
A long rest between cooking gives the bouillon time to really get in to the beans and they take on a soft, slow-cooked flavor.
No one will ever know you don’t have a half-acre of them in the back yard.
I’ll attempt to make this in to a logical recipe you can follow.
How to make canned green beans taste better
- 2 14.5 ounce cans green beans of your choice canned in water
- 1 teaspoon beef bouillon base 1 cube beef bouilon would also work but watch the salt!
- In a medium sauce pan, empty in the cans of green beans with their water. Add the beef bouillon.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until the water reduces by 3/4. Turn off heat and set beans aside on the stovetop or in the fridge for one to two hours or overnight is fine.
- When ready to eat, bring the beans back to a simmer on the stove top and cook to remove the remaining water. Serve warm.
have you ever tried sauted onion in a small amount of bacon drippings then add a dash of tarragon vinegar and add small.amount of crumbled bacon all poured.over your 3/4 drained green beans
Nope I haven’t! Sounds great!
Wonderful way to make a can of green beans not just a can of green beans! Delicious!
the picture shows bacon bits in your green beans, yet it’s not on your ingredient list..
Right. They were just a garnish for the photo so it wasn’t just a bowl of plain old beans. 😉
I make very good and flavorful canned green beans on the stovetop. The problem I have is that the bean comes out of the pod and I don’t like that. What am I doing wrong?
That’s totally normal Debra!
This is the ONLY way I cooked store-bought canned veggies and hubby says it is unhealthy. HUMPH.
Well, depending on what part he feels is unhealthy Pam, he’s probably partly right. In the years since I wrote this recipe I have given up all bouillons because of their junk ingredients. Now I just use homemade stock (chicken or beef) in place of the bouillon and it works great but using those concentrates and certainly any kind of dry pressed bouillon cube isn’t the kind of food we want to eat a lot of on a regular basis. 🙂 –Rachel
Great recipe/trick! I did it exactly as you wrote AND added some bacon bits during the resting period. They even look like home snapped and cooked. Thanks!