Craving a soul food side dish that is so groan-worthy good you’re tempted to forget about the entree and even skip dessert? This Southern green beans with roasted garlic recipe, inspired by Divas Can Cook, is the best green beans dish you’ll ever eat.
Bite after bite, you’ll drool over the tender green beans and smoky sweet chunks of ham intensely flavored with the tongue-tantalizing heat of red pepper flakes and the melt-in-your-mouth cloves of sublimely roasted garlic. The only downside to this dish? You’ll have to wait for it to simmer on the stove for an hour before you can dig in. Don’t worry—the wait is worth it.
It’s true: An entire head of garlic is used for this four-serving recipe. Sound offensively excessive? It would be if you added the garlic raw. But when you roast the pungent bulb, the cloves become butter-soft gems of irresistible caramelized flavor. We suggest roasting more than one head of garlic and pop the roasted cloves out of their paper-thin jackets onto toasted, butter baguettes for a quick comfort food spread.
To roast garlic, slice off about 1/4 inch from the top of the head of garlic, revealing the tops of the garlic cloves. Set the head of garlic, cut-side up, on a sheet of foil. Generously drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the foil around the head of garlic and roast at 400°F for 45 minutes or until the cloves are soft, golden, and fragrant. Remove the roasted garlic from the foil and use your fingers to squeeze the roasted cloves out of their papery coats. Add the roasted garlic to your green beans or any other garlic-happy dish.
These Southern-style green beans are ideal for Sunday dinner, holiday feasts, or even for a decadent midday meal when you have the time to savor every single bite. When you’ve had your fill of smoked ham, you can swap in smoked turkey for a scrumptious, equally satisfying change. If you’re out of smoked meat, simply make it meat-free and enjoy nibbling on the luscious cloves of roasted garlic.
No matter how you serve these Southern-style green beans, your family will clamor for you to make this soul food side dish as often as possible.
Butter gives richness to this Southern-style side-dish. In a large pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
Cook the onions, garlic, and smoked ham
Add diced onions, 5 cloves of roasted garlic, and the smoked ham to the butter. Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour in chicken broth and season
Add the chicken broth to the onion mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Cook the green beans
Pour the green beans into the pot and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and add the remainder of the roasted whole garlic cloves, stirring to combine.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the green bean mixture to a serving dish, leaving the cooking liquid in the pot. Serve these Southern-style green beans hot.
Smokey ham and tender green beans
The perfect comfort food for a special gathering or any day of the week