Green Beans Are Way Tastier With A Caramelized Bacon Sash

If you want to elevate your basic green bean side dish into something spectacular, consider wrapping a bundle in caramelized bacon. This adds extra depth of flavor and a crunchy texture, plus it just looks impressive on the plate. The sweet bacon pairs well with the salty green beans, while savory umami punches everything up to the next level for a mouth-watering result.


In stark contrast to the crisp green beans, the texture of the bacon is key. Whether you want it chewy or crispy, you can customize the bacon to your preference by cooking it in the oven. Given its salty-savory flavor and added texture, it's not surprising that bacon pairs well with so many foods, including green beans.

The presentation wows a crowd, but it's easy to do. All you need are the ingredients and a toothpick to keep everything together. You're rewarded with individual bundles that will become the star of the plate. You can experiment with different thicknesses of bacon to create a dish that takes simple green beans up a notch.

Adding umami with caramelized bacon

There are five basic flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savory (also known as umami), and this dish hits three of them. The green beans are salty, especially if you boil them briefly in salted water before roasting. Not only does this result in a striking green color, but it also adds flavor to the beans. The addition of bacon amps up the saltiness, and the caramelization takes care of adding some sweetness to the dish. The umami comes from the meaty bacon.


Umami can be difficult to describe, but many chefs agree that it adds richness to your cooking and is especially strong when it's paired with other flavors. Umami makes salt taste saltier and sweetness taste sweeter, which is why it works so well when you combine caramelized bacon with green beans. The sweet and salty flavors are enhanced by the umami. It is this balance of multiple flavors at once that makes umami dishes taste rich and deep, with new tastes blending and working together in every bite.

Wrapping the caramelized bacon sash

Start by boiling your green beans in salted water for just a couple of minutes to bring out the color, but don't cook them all the way. After no more than three minutes, take them out of the water and immediately dunk them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This ensures they will maintain their crisp texture and salty flavor.


Cook the bacon on a baking sheet for around 11 minutes, taking it out as the fat starts to bubble. Like the green beans, don't cook the bacon all the way just yet. Remove the bacon from the pan to let it cool and set the bacon grease aside to use later. It will add plenty of umami flavor to the green beans.

Coat the green beans in a mixture of melted bacon fat, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Bundle up to 12 green beans together and wrap a slice of now-cooled bacon around them. Use a toothpick to keep the green bean and bacon bundle together, then spread a mixture of chopped thyme and brown sugar over the entire thing. As the bacon and green beans roast, the sugar mixture caramelizes, adding sweetness to the dish. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the green beans start to brown. You can play with flavor even more by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or cayenne pepper to create unforgettable bacon-wrapped green beans.