These Slow Cooker Bacon Parmesan Green Beans will be the star side dish on any table. They are a delicious but healthier alternative to those traditional green bean casseroles that are loaded with all the canned soups and carby fried onions. My whole family loves this delicious side.
A Much Tastier and Healthier Option for Traditional Green Bean Casseroles
I’ve never been a fan of traditional green bean casseroles that are popular here in the United States. That side dish can be found around many the holiday table during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Typically it is a mixture of canned green beans and loads of those processed soups that are so condensed they plop out of the can like a blob monster. Yuck, I shudder just thinking about it.
But despite my protest each year my son and husband insist they have some form of this dish on the table at Thanksgiving. They aren’t fans of the mushrooms though, so thankfully they don’t mind that I made some healthy changes and recreated that casserole into something that I don’t mind making for them.
And thank heavens, there are no cans of “blobby” canned soups or mushrooms required for this recipe! I’m so glad my boys can enjoy their favorite side and I know it isn’t loaded with junk foods.
These creamy green beans will be creamier and looser than those baked traditional green bean casserole because they won’t have all those extra carbs to make it overly thick.
To serve these you could just leave them in the slow cooker with a large spoon. This way the green beans will stay warm and everyone can help themselves during the meal.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- frozen green beans
- sour cream
- heavy cream
- chicken broth
- parmesan cheese
- egg yolks
- cream cheese
- cooked bacon crumbles
- garlic and onion powder
- nutritional yeast (optional)
- Xanthum Gum (optional for thickening)
It is so easy to whip up the creamy parmesan sauce for these green beans. This sauce is what will replace those highly processed soups and transform these green beans into a perfect lower-carb and gluten-free recipe that everyone will enjoy.
How To Make Bacon Parmesan Green Beans In The Slow Cooker
I love using my slow cooker during the holidays. Especially when I’m getting ready for big meals. As much as I dream about having double ovens, I don’t. So making the green beans in my slow cooker is a great way to free up valuable space in the one oven that I do have.
Another bonus of cooking this side dish in the slow cooker is that it doubles as a serving dish and the beans stay warm during the meal. So you don’t have to worry about them being lukewarm when your family and friends go back for a second helping.
The process for making these green beans in the slow cooker is simple. Thaw your frozen green beans and drain them very well. Combine them with the bacon in the slow cooker.
Next, mix up the creamy parmesan sauce in a blender or food processor. Next, all you’ll need to do is add it to your slow cooker and stir the green beans and sauce until well combined. Cook the green beans on high for 2.5 to 3 hours or until you are ready to serve.
They will do well on warm for a couple of hours but I don’t recommend longer than 2 hours after they have cooked. The green beans get too mushy for my family’s liking if they stay on warm for several hours waiting for us to eat.
What If I Don’t Have A Slow Cooker? Can This Recipe Be Baked In The Oven?
Yes, you can skip the slow cooker if you don’t have one or if you need this side dish ready in under an hour. Mix up the recipe per the recipe card below then pour it into a 9×13 baking dish.
Place the green beans into a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 45-50 minutes. Once baked, remove the green beans from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes before serving. This will let the sauce cool and set a little more on the green beans.
What Type of Green Beans Should Be Used In This Recipe?
This recipe is so flexible so it will work wonderfully with fresh-picked or frozen cut beans. Yes, you can use can green beans, but in my opinion, they get a little too soft when cooked in the slow cooker for a long time.
So I like to start out with green beans that aren’t fully cooked.
If you go with fresh uncooked beans, I would use two pounds and maybe steam them for a few minutes to take away a little of the bit of that crunch and let the waters in the beans start to cook out a bit before using them in this casserole.
Frozen is honestly my favorite to use because they are quick and have already been blanched, but not fully cooked. So I think they cook beautifully in the slow cooker. You’ll want to thaw the frozen green beans first and drain them well before starting the recipe.
I don’t recommend tossing them into the slow cooker frozen, trust me it will make the recipe too watery. You want the Bacon Parmesan Green beans to be nice and creamy and not overly runny.
Can This Recipe Be Made A Head?
This recipe a delicious and it is really easy to make. If you would like to make this casserole ahead you can. One way I like to get ahead of my holiday cooking is to mix up my recipes the night before so they are easy to cook when I need them the next day.
If you are looking to save some time, you can totally take a little time to mix up this side dish the night before and keep it in the fridge until you are ready.
The next day, at least 2.5 to 3 hours before you are ready to serve these green beans, dump the mixture into your slow cooker and let them cook while you focus on the aspects of your meal.
My favorite two things about this recipe for my family is that the slow cooker frees up space in my oven and it also is one of those recipes I can just dump in and forget until dinner.
Tips And Additions Options For This Recipe
- I like to use frozen green beans that I thaw and get the excess water out of them. We like our green beans to still have texture so I don’t cook mine first, but if you want them to be really soft when ready to e cat, you can steam them some before mixing them into the parmesan sauce.
- Fresh green beans can be used as well. Just steam them a few minutes first to help soften them up. You can even use canned green beans if you wish, just knows they may come out a lot softer than the frozen or fresh ones.
- Say you are hoping to make this more like the traditional green bean casserole for your holiday meal, well, good news. You totally can. Simply add in some chopped mushrooms when you are mixing up the green beans and bacon. I do recommend sauteing the mushrooms before adding them to avoid them releasing additional water into the cream sauce. You can even top with those store-bought crispy onions if your family wants them. You can also fry up your own onions for a healthier option.
- If you want to save time and not make your own Parmesan Sauce you can go with your favorite jarred alfredo sauce. Just watch the carb count if you are being mindful of that. If you use this method, just add the green beans, bacon, and all the spices to the crockpot then pour over your alfredo sauce and cook the green beans on high for two hours.
- Use freshly grated, shredded parm in the bags, or the grated parmesan in the green can. All three will work beautifully so choose whatever fits your budget or use whichever one you have on hand. The freshly grated is my favorite, but all are delicious.
- If you don’t eat pork then substitute the pork bacon for turkey bacon or leave it out altogether. Since it is your meal, it’s totally your what to add or omit.
- If you need this side dish ready in less time and you don’t already have an oven full of other foods, then you can opt to bake this recipe at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
- For some added flavor and additional texture add a low carb topping. Take 2/3 cup of finely crushed pork rinds, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and a tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese. Combine them and toast them in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Watch them very carefully so they don’t burn. When they are toasty remove them from the oven and let them cool completely. Sprinkle them over the green beans before serving or place them in a separate bowl and set it next to the slow cooker so everyone can add them if they want or leave them off.
- If you want to use a low-carb thickener you can. I don’t use it in our because I love the consistency without it. If you do, I would use about 1/4 teaspoon and mix it into the cream sauce in the blender.
Creamy Bacon and Parmesan Green Beans will be the star side dish on any table. They are a delicious but healthier alternative to those traditional green bean casseroles with all the canned soups.
- 3 (12 ounce) bags of frozen cut green beans
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth
- 8 ounces of very soft cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup of grated or shredded parmesan
- 1/3 cup of cooked bacon, crumbled
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of Xanthum Gum (optional for extra thickening)
- salt and pepper to your taste
- 3/4 cup of crushed pork rinds
- 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of melted butter
- Thaw the frozen green beans and drain them very well. Tip: I like to place the thawed green beans in a cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and press any excess water out of them carefully. This will ensure they don't make the creamy sauce extra watery.
- Into a blend add the heavy whipping cream, broth, cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, and Nutritional Yeast. Mix on high until all combined and there are no lumps of cream cheese.
- Taste the mixture for seasoning and more if desired. Salt and pepper to your tastes. Then add in the two egg yolks and the Xanthum Gum if you are wanting extra thickening. Then blend the mixture again.
- Add the green beans to the slow cooker, add the crumbled bacon. Slowly pour over the creamy parmesan cheese mixture and stir to combine very well.
- Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 2.5 to 3 hours. Mine are usually done by the 2.5 hour mark.
- If you choose to make the optional topping add the ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Place them on a small baking pan and toast in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Watch these very carefully. You just want to toast them a little. Remove them and let them cool. I like to serve these on the side and let people sprinkle them on their individual servings if desired.
If using fresh green beans I recommend steaming them or blanching them for a few minutes to soften them some before adding them to the slow cooker. Just make sure all excess water is drained well. On another note, if needed you can swap the heavy cream out for a lighter calories count, but the carb count would change slightly.
Serving Size1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 257Total Fat 20gTrans Fat 0gSodium 239mgCarbohydrates 8.6gNet Carbohydrates 4.83gFiber 3.8gSugar 2.4gProtein 8g
I am not a nutritionist. If you have strict dietary needs I always recommend using an online nutrition calculator to calculate your totals using your exact brands you're using in this recipe as values may vary per brand.
I am a southern girl through and through that loves to laugh, cook, read and spend time with family. My passions outside of home schooling my son are ministering to those in need and creating art in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure in our little house and I wouldn’t trade it or the chance to share here with you for anything!