Fresh green beans full of flavor and soul! Simmered in smokey broth with lots of garlic, onions, and red pepper!

Visual learner? Watch me make these Soulful Green Beans from start to finish!

My grandmother grew a lot of vegetables in her garden. The variety would change every year but one thing that remained was those fresh green beans!

I have fond memories (and she still does this) of her sitting on the porch with a big bowl of fresh green beans ready for snapping. Newspapers were spread out to catch the ends. It was a relaxing chore that I could tell she enjoyed.

The night before Thanksgiving she’d give the task of snapping the green beans to my cousins and I. What would take her minutes took us about an hour!

Once you get in the rhythm of snapping fresh green beans you really can knock it out in minutes. And fresh green beans are so worth the extra prep.

This soulful green beans recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare them! Simmered long and slow in smoked-turkey infused chicken broth, they are a bit salty, peppery, smokey, garlicky, oniony, yep they are loaded with flavor and a single serving never seems to be enough.

southern green beans recipe

My kids eat these Southern-style green beans like they are candy. They can wolf down an entire bowl like it’s nothing. I’m not surprised though because these green beans are guuuuud!

I like to add in smoked turkey legs since we don’t eat pork but it’s optional. It really does give it a fantastic flavor though.

To add vinegar or not to add vinegar

Do you like vinegar in your green beans? I LOVE it! Something about that slight tanginess just does it for me. However, my family is not a fan of it at all so I always leave it out. I just add a splash to my own bowl, along with some hot sauce, yes LORDT!

These southern, soulful green beans are AMAZING the day you make them but the next day yall….oh ma goodness!

If you are making these for a special occasion make them the DAY BEFORE and then reheat them on the stove!!! Because honey… when they’ve had a chance to sit in that bomb flavored broth…mercy!


southern green beans recipe

Get the Recipe: Soul Food Green Beans

4.08 from 65 ratings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 lbs fresh green beans, washed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup white onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2-4 cups chicken broth, I use 3 1/3
  • 1-2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 smoked turkey leg, fully cooked
  • salt & black pepper, if needed.


  • Snap the ends off the green beans and then snap the beans in half. (discard the ends) Set aside.
  • In a large deep skillet or pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Saute onions until tender.
  • Add garlic and saute until fragrant and golden.
  • Add chicken broth, red pepper flakes, and turkey leg.
  • Simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove turkey leg, let cool and dice into small pieces. (set aside)
  • Add the green beans into the pot.
  • Return the bone and skin to the pot.
  • Cover and simmer for 2 hours (or longer) or until green beans are tender. (slow and low is the BEST way to cook them)
  • When green beans are done, taste the broth and add salt and black pepper if needed.
  • Stir in the chopped turkey leg.
  • Serve hot.


Cuisine: American, southern
Course: Side Dish, Vegetable
Author: Divas Can Cook
Serving: 0g, Calories: 0kcal, Carbohydrates: 0g, Protein: 0g, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 0mg, Potassium: 0mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 0g, Vitamin A: 0IU, Vitamin C: 0mg, Calcium: 0mg, Iron: 0mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook on Instagram or tag #divascancook.