Smoked salt adds a hint of Southern style to this easy, vegan green beans and potatoes side dish.
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.
Southern Flavor Tips
Browning the onion first (and then the garlic for a shorter time) adds a rich flavor to the broth. Don’t be tempted to throw them into the pot with the beans uncooked. Smoked salt or Liquid Smoke are essential to get the smoky flavor right, but if you add them too soon, the flavor dissipates, so be sure to wait until just before serving.
More Southern Vegan Dishes
If you’re looking for more homestyle Southern recipes, give these a try:
- Confetti Cornbread
- Sausage-Flavored Breakfast Beans and Grits
- Real Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
- Vegan Chicken Gumbo with Soy Curls
- Southern-Style Banana Pudding
Homestyle Green Beans and Potatoes
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Nutritional info is approximate.
Please pin and share:
Gary LoewenthalJuly 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!
Gary LoewenthalJuly 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!
NicoleJuly 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm
This looks absolutely delicious! I love purple potatoes 😉
PattyAugust 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.
Florence, MontréalAugust 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!
dana@weightlossAugust 4, 2011 at 7:28 am
good food! yummy but less carbs. This is great! 🙂
bas bleuAugust 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!
Mel JAugust 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!
leaAugust 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!
JennOctober 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!!
Sharon MitchelFebruary 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!
ElleMarch 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm
I am cooking this recipe right now and it smells great! I cannot wait to try it!
MarciaJuly 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!
BarbaraApril 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm
Made this in the pressure cooker today. Yum, yum. Won’t have many leftovers here.
ConnieJuly 22, 2014 at 9:58 pm
We had this tonight. Very tasty! Thanks.
LYNN MillsJune 7, 2017 at 10:20 am
Very disappointed in your purple potato recipe. Where are the purple potato recipes that I googled?
Susan VoisinJune 7, 2017 at 11:22 am
Lynn, I really don’t understand your comment. I have two purple potato recipes. This is one and the other one is Nava’s Three Potato Salad. If Google is showing more, they must be on other sites.
JoleNovember 12, 2020 at 7:57 pm
Can you use canned green beans in this recipe? If so what adjustment would you make for cooking time?