Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes

by on July 18, 2011
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Smoked salt adds a hint of Southern style to this easy, vegan green beans and potatoes side dish.

Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes

I know that after my recent talk about all the San Francisco restaurants where we dined on our vacation, some of you expected me to come back with ideas for fancy, cutting-edge dishes. Well, sorry to disappoint you, but here I am with something so un-trendy, so uncool, that most bloggers would be afraid to post it. Well, not me!

Boiled vegetables may have fallen out of fashion with foodies, but this side dish is one of those comfort food recipes that I associate with growing up in Louisiana. When we got fresh green beans, my mother would cook them up with potatoes, the broth forming a delicious “pot likker” that we would sop up with wedges of homemade corn bread. There would always be some black-eyed peas, lima beans, or other fresh field peas on the table, along with slices of home-grown tomato, summer-fresh corn on the cob, and maybe a pot of greens.

So, after a few days of eating out in some of the best vegan restaurants in the country, I came home and almost immediately cooked up an old-fashioned Southern meal. It felt good to get back to basics with some food that feeds my Southern soul.
Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes


Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I used a combination of small purple potatoes and tiny gold ones, but any small, new potatoes will do. Or, if you don’t have new potatoes, chop large potatoes into 3/4-inch cubes. But waxy new potatoes taste best in this and hold together better.
Serves: 4
  • 1 large onion, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 12 ounces small new potatoes, halved
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth or “no-chicken” broth
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked salt or liquid smoke
  • salt to taste (if using sodium-free broth)
  1. In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, cook the onion until it begins to brown, adding a splash of water when necessary to keep it from sticking. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the green beans and the potatoes and then add enough broth to barely cover the potatoes. Add black pepper to taste, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add the smoked salt or Liquid Smoke and cook for another minute. Serve with slotted spoon to reserve broth for another use or serve in a bowl with a piece of cornbread for sopping up all the flavorful broth.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 136 Fat: less than 1g Carbohydrates: 31g Sugar: 3.3g Sodium: 610mg Fiber: 6.7g Protein: 6g


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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

1 elenh ulver July 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

my mother cooks green beans and potatoes in tomato sauce and is marvellous!!!


2 elenh ulver July 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

*are marvellous!!!


3 Mandy July 18, 2011 at 11:16 am

You sound a little apologetic, but damn – good food is good food!! And this looks lovely 🙂


4 Julie White July 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

The liquid smoke is a great idea! For some reason, I never thought of that as a way to replicate the ham flavor from my mom’s original recipe.


5 Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan July 18, 2011 at 11:58 am

This looks so beautiful and it reminds me of home. Now I’m craving beans!


6 AikoVenus July 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

You know what’s funny? I was just thinking about purple potatoes yesterday and where to find them. This looks so pretty and sounds delicious.


7 Elise July 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm

It’s nice to hear what bloggers really eat, rather than specially eat so they can write about it (I am so guilty of this!). I loev beans & potatoes, I miss living with my parents for their allotment so I could have yummy fresh veg like this.


8 Pat July 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Sounds really good and I will be trying it after tomorrow’s farmers market – except I really prefer my green beans a bit crunchy, so I’ll add them later in the cooking process. Maybe with a “meat” loaf on the grill? Yummy!


9 Chery J July 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I looked at this recipe along with the beautiful pic and immediately thought of my late grandmother. Thank you for honest food and bringing back amazing memories. Looks so yummy I feel a farmer’s market run coming over me. LOL!!! Happy Summer


10 Get Skinny, Go Vegan. July 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I grew up on this stuff!!


11 Wendy (Healthy Girl) July 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Susan, I don’t normally do something like this, but I have a recipe for green beans and potatoes that I got at Weight Watchers (don’t even get me started) meeting. But don’t let that scare you. It is SO darned delicious and shocking that something so simple can be so incredibly flavorful and delicious. Anyway, here is a link to it on my blog. I hope you are not annoyed by this. It is, like, one of my favorite recipes of all time.


12 SusanV July 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm

It looks delicious, Wendy! Appropriate links are always welcome.

I also have a potato-green bean salad, but it’s very different from yours. Check it out if you get the time:


13 Wendy (Healthy Girl) July 19, 2011 at 7:36 am

Yum! Your recipe looks awesome!


14 Andrea @ Vegvacious July 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I love traditional comfort foods! I’m so glad you did a vegan version of this — I love southern green beans (I’ve never had it with the taters mixed in) and I never knew how to get the same flavour without the ham!


15 Izzy July 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

This is beautiful, just the way it is! Wish I could find some of those fancy, schmancy purple potatoes! Thanks for posting this, I think this is a beautiful dish.


16 Dawn July 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Gosh this would have been perfect when I pulled all the potatoes from my csa! I had purple, new, fingerling etc! I will bookmark this.
I actually came across your blog as I recently read the China Study and it sounds like you read it long ago. I’m just going through the process of trying to figure out how to make dinner for me, my husband who still eats meat and isn’t a huge fan of ethnic foods and a daughter who is allergic to everything! 🙂 Thank goodness she already eats pretty healthy (mainly do to the allergies funny enough) but cutting meat out would be the next big step.


17 Grandpa Ron July 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

So glad you had a great time (well, E was still smiling i spite of ….) in our great state and city. Your research is paying off for the restaurants you mentioned. I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT ANY OF THEM!
Now, when looking at each other wondering where shall we eat, I have a list.
Give a hug to E from her ole Grandpa Ron.


18 Susan Westover July 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Mom made green beans and potatoes with ham. Of course, I wouldn’t use ham but I sure would make these. I’m hungry for black eyed peas and field peas now. Yum.


19 Susan Westover July 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I wanted to add that while I normally like my veggies to be overcooked. I only like green beans that are cooked for a while.


20 Susan Westover July 18, 2011 at 8:51 pm

*Don’t like


21 Joann July 19, 2011 at 10:24 am

This is simple and healthy, and that’s fine by me. With the warm weather and a couple kids to entertain this sounds like a perfect recipe. In fact, we are going to make this tonight!


22 The Hoff July 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I can’t wait to try this! I just discovered the wonder of liquid smoke and am looking for ways to use it. Thanks!


23 Andrea July 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm

For those who don’t have hickory salt/liquid smoke, this is also good with sweet smoked paprika to replace the meat component.


24 Vicki July 19, 2011 at 6:46 pm

It is an amazing recipe. Being Greek, I grew up eating my mom’s green beans and potatoes cooked in fresh tomato sauce, olive oil and garlic. In Greece we call the recipe “fasolakia”. It’s very interesting to see similarities with the southern American cuisine. Definitely delicious!


25 michele July 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm

My grandma also made something similar to this recipe but she was from Italy. Simple, nutritious and feed the family.


26 Genki Kitty July 20, 2011 at 6:57 am

Looks so delicious! Sometimes we all just have to have a “welcome home” meal after a long trip. MMMM


27 Kelsey Bisset July 20, 2011 at 8:32 am

This looks delicious! I’ve been wanting this (without the ham of course) and the liquid smoke sounds awesome. Thanks!


28 Pete July 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Nice colour combination. Love this vegetable dish!


29 Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner July 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm



30 Diet Clinic July 21, 2011 at 6:37 am

This recipe will be interesting to try, Thanks for sharing.


31 Sue July 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I love potatoes and eat a lot of them. Filling and healthy.

I love this site. Been eating primarily vegan for over a year. Have been vegetarian for 36 years, and over the years have eaten largely vegan for some of them.

I’d thought that eating fat from plant foods would help me with satiety, but, alas, my cholesterol had gone back up to 230 from the low of 185 the year before. So, back to a fat intake of between 10 -15% most days. Apparently, my liver doesn’t process fat well, whether it’s healthy fats or not.

So, all that to say, I am so glad for sites like yours!! Even though I do love those naughty vegan high fat magic bars…


32 Karmalily July 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I love the yellow and purple potatoes with the green beans! So colorful! I’ve been on a green bean kick recently with all the local ones I’ve been getting my hands on. Yesterday I made green beans with potatoes but I roughly mashed the potatoes before adding the beans to them.


33 Lady Amalthea July 22, 2011 at 9:56 am

The fact that you included those gorgeous purple potatoes absolutely makes this blog-worthy. Yum!


34 stephanie July 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

You are brilliant! I just had green beans and potatoes for lunch yesterday but yours look so much better with those purple potatoes. What kid can resist eating this healthy meal when it has purple potatoes in it!


35 Natasha July 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Hi Susan,

I’ve been a browser of your blog for a long time, but have never left a comment.
My dad was from Tennessee, and my mom from Ohio. I’m originally from Ohio, but grew up pretty much equally in both places. I’ve been vegan for 3 years, and veggie for 7 total and have made it my undertaking to recreate my dad’s recipes in memory of him (awesome Southern cook).

I say that to say THANK YOU for bringing something so classically Southern into the mainstream. I love your blog even more now. 🙂


36 Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box July 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Just recently purchased some new potatoes at Trader Joe’s. They are so colorful that they can turn any plain recipe into an aesthetic culinary dish!


37 Danielle July 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Instead of 12 oz of potatoes, I just used 48 oz, because I just wanted to use up 2 little bags of both small yellow potatoes and small purple potatoes. I then increased everything else. Now, I have sooo much left over, lol. Do you have any suggestions for leftovers?


38 SusanV July 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I think you could freeze them with no problem. Now you have a side dish for the next three months! 🙂


39 Paula July 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Hi Susan. I made this recipe since we have a garden and I had purple & white new potatoes and picked some fresh green beans. I followed it, yet mine did not look as pretty as yours. As a matter of fact, my potatoes got a bit mushy. I guess that I cooked them too long. I just want to say thanks for having your blog and sharing so many recipes. I am a vegetarian that is bordering on vegan and with recipes like yours it shouldn’t be long before I am 100% vegan. Frankly since I have adopted this lifestyle, I have lost 30 pounds and have kept it off for nearly 9 months!


40 Amy July 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm

These are delicious! Finally, a way to duplicate the yummy taste of childhood dinners at Grandma’s in Indiana. The smoke adds just a hint of ham flavor. This will be a good winter dish. Thank you!


41 Brenda July 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm

This is on the menu for a gathering I’m having for friends tomorrow.
I just want to say I am confident it will be delicious: I have made a number of recipes from your site, and each and every one has been WONDERFUL. If you ever make a cookbook…..!
Thanks for taking the time to post all these ideas and techniques.
And good healing to E (I broke my leg last year—not a lot of fun!)


42 Christopher Kandrat July 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Great dish. Never can go wrong with green beans and potatoes. Low Cal high flavor dish.


43 Rachel July 25, 2011 at 10:26 am

Wow look so yum
I just made an amazing vegan recipe too!

I just started to blog so check it out!



44 Rachel July 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I am a veg Kentuckian living in California and your southern inspired recipes keep me sane! Thanks so much for all the healthy inspiration.


45 Claire July 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I just found your website, and I am so excited. I recently have gone vegetarian but am trying to move towards a vegan lifestyle. I am also trying to lose weight, so I think this blog will be super helpful!.. and so far every recipe I have read sounds delicious! Looking forward to becoming a regular reader!


46 FatFreeVeganFan July 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Thanks for this recipe! Susan I love your blog, it has been instrumental in helping me to follow a low fat vegan diet. I just wanted to ask do you have a recipe for oil-free oven chips (fries)? I really love chips but have given them up because I no longer cook with oil, but a fat-free version would be very much appreciated! 😉


47 SusanV July 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Thanks for your kind words! For oven fries, I just cut the potatoes into pieces (larger ones like steak fries), and place in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then I drain well and put them in a single layer on an oiled or silicon-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turn, and bake until done (about 15 more minutes). Sprinkle with salt or your choice of seasoning.


48 Gary Loewenthal July 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Yum! I made this tonight, with a mix of red and white potatoes. Down home and tasty. Yes, the liquid smoke is a nice touch!


49 Gary Loewenthal July 29, 2011 at 8:08 pm

The power of suggestion…I casually read your comment above mine and then all I could think about were steak fries. So I made those tonight!


50 Nicole July 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm

This looks absolutely delicious! I love purple potatoes 😉


51 Patty August 2, 2011 at 11:09 am

I tried this and it really hit the spot. I don’t usually like my green beans fixed this way. Must be a carryover from when I was much younger and mom would cook the devil out of them.

Thanks for sharing.


52 Florence, Montréal August 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

I’ve tried it and thought it was great. Simple but comforting, warm and very well appreciated : )

Thank you so so much for sharing your chef d’oeuvres with all of us!


53 dana@weightloss August 4, 2011 at 7:28 am

good food! yummy but less carbs. This is great! 🙂


54 bas bleu August 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I made this a few days ago. I LOVED IT. The hickory salt is a fine invention. I didn’t miss the bacon at all.

Confession: I made two changes.

I sauteed the onions in about 1 TB of olive oil (so my recipe isn’t fat-free, I’m afraid!).

Second, I prefer my green beans really wilted, so after the potatoes were cooked, I took them out and cooked the beans until they reached the stage I like.

And oh yes, I reduced the stock a bit and froze it. I look forward to using it in a hearty soup!


55 Mel J August 12, 2011 at 9:14 am

I saw this recipe and just had to try it last night. I used a mix of fingerlings, purple potatoes and red ones. Turned out fabulous! Every bit as good as what I used to make with a smoked ham hock, and in considerably less time, too. I didn’t have any liquid smoke, but some Bragg’s liquid aminos seemed to work just fine. This is definitely a keeper!


56 lea August 12, 2011 at 9:34 am

Made this recipe exactly as written last night and it is SOOOO delicious! Green beans with bits of meat used to be my absolute favorite as a child, though I would pick out the yucky little limp pieces of bacon. Having been a vegetarian since age 12 and a vegan more recently, I had not eaten those southern style green beans in years. Susan, these beans and potatoes are even better than the ones that I ate as a child! The liquid smoke is genius. I especially loved the yummy broth. I will make these again and again. To round out the meal I had some baked beans and roasted corn using your method, also delicious. Thanks Susan, as always, for creating such varied and interesting ( and typically easy to make) healthy vegan recipes!


57 Jenn October 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Just made this today and for a variation I added some red pepper flakes. It is quite yummy!! Thanks for the great recipe!!


58 Sharon Mitchel February 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm

We thoroughly enjoyed this dish. Reminded me of my grandmothers green beans and potatoes — minus all the salt and fat! Thanks!


59 Elle March 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I am cooking this recipe right now and it smells great! I cannot wait to try it!


60 Marcia July 18, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Thank you for once again, helping me fondly remember my Mother’s cooking! I can hardly wait to make these green beans and potatoes for my husband! T’aint nothin’ wrong with creamy taters and crunchy green beans – it’s good ole Southern magic at its best!

After getting the latest Forks Over Knives newsletter, I made your recipe for Burritos with Spanish Rice and Black Beans for dinner! IT WAS WONDERFUL! My husband was even impressed and thanked me numerous times! I can hardly wait to have the rest for dinner tomorrow!

May I suggest that you put your name under the title of each recipe so we will know where it came from? You deserve ALL the credit!


61 Barbara April 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Made this in the pressure cooker today. Yum, yum. Won’t have many leftovers here.


62 Connie July 22, 2014 at 9:58 pm

We had this tonight. Very tasty! Thanks.


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