Sauteed Green Beans with Caramelized Onions

I love sauteed green beans.  I only ever buy fresh green beans here in Arequipa.  I have combined two favorite flavors of mine in regard to green bean preparation when I cook them here.

First, a big shout-out to Denise Henderson.  We lived with the Hendersons for 6 months in our preparation year with the churches before leaving for the field.  Denise is an excellent cook, and she has lots of experience with cooking something quick, easy, and nutritious with 5 very active children in the picture.  While we were there, she would simply saute frozen green beans in a little olive oil with salt and pepper.  I personally love the little blackened bits that happen from the process.  Here in Arequipa, I chop a little onion, a little garlic, and saute the fresh green beans until they blacken.  Simple and delicious.

Second, I love green bean bundles.  Who doesn’t love the taste of bacon and brown sugar wrapped around those delectable bundles of green beans?  I am sold at brown sugar on just about any recipe.  I love the stuff.  Ever since making caramelized onions for a pizza I saw on Pioneer Woman, I caramelize onions for anything they go well with: hamburgers, sandwiches, green beans.

So one meal that I was preparing, I thought, “Why not combine these two ideas into one?!”  And so I did.  And you know what my favorite fan (Greg McKinzie) said?

“Wow.  These green beans have a ton of flavor.  What did you do to them?”

Caramelized Onions with Sauteed Green Beans

  • 1 kilo (a little over 2 lbs) green beans
  • 1 large onion
  • olive oil OR 3 slices of bacon
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar or as much as you like (!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  1. Put a splash of olive oil OR cook 3 pieces of bacon in a large pot.  When oil is hot OR when bacon is cooked, crispy, and chopped up, ADD diced onion, garlic, and brown sugar.  SAUTE onion until translucent (about 3-5 minutes) and caramelized.
  2. ADD snapped green beans to the pot and stir every 5 minutes until beans are blackened. (Medium-High heat; 15-20 minutes)  SPRINKLE salt and freshly ground pepper over the mixture for desired flavor.
Sauteed Green Beans with Caramelized Onions