Kentucky Wonder Beans Recipe: A Delicious and Easy Side Dish

Kentucky Wonder Beans Recipe: A Delicious and Easy Side Dish

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Kentucky Wonder beans are a variety of green beans that have been a staple in Southern cuisine for generations. They are known for their tender texture and rich, earthy flavor. They are also incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from casseroles to salads.

Kentucky Wonder Beans Recipe: A Delicious and Easy Side Dish

One of the most popular ways to prepare them is to boil them with bacon, garlic, and olive oil. This simple recipe allows the beans to shine and brings out their natural flavor. Another popular way to cook these beans is to fry them in a cast-iron skillet with onions and bacon grease. This method produces a crispy, flavorful side dish that pairs well with any Southern meal.

Kentucky Wonder Beans Overview

This is a type of green bean that is known for its meaty texture and long-lasting flavor. They are an heirloom variety that has been grown in the United States since the 1800s. They are sometimes referred to as “Old Homestead” or “Texas Pole” beans.

They come from a climbing plant that can grow up to 10 feet tall. They produce long, straight pods that are about 7 inches in length. The pods are green and slightly curved, with a string that runs along the seam. The beans inside are oval-shaped and light brown in color.

They are easy to grow and are a great addition to any home garden. They require full sun and well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8. Kentucky Wonder Beans need about 1 inch of water per week, but it’s important to avoid wetting the leaves to prevent plant diseases. If the soil gets too dry while the beans are blooming, the blooms will drop and yields will decrease.

This is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. They can be boiled, steamed, fried, or roasted. They are often used in soups, stews, salads, and casseroles. These beans are also a great source of fiber, protein, and vitamins A and C.

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Health Benefits

Kentucky Wonder Beans are a nutrient-dense food that offers several health benefits. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider adding them to your diet:

Rich in Fiber

They are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. A 100-gram serving of these beans provides around 4 grams of fiber, which is about 16% of the recommended daily intake. Fiber can help prevent constipation, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and regulate blood sugar levels.

High in Protein

Kentucky Wonder Beans are also a good source of plant-based protein. A 100-gram serving of these beans contains around 2.7 grams of protein, which is about 5% of the recommended daily intake. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, and it also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Packed with Vitamins and Minerals

These beans are rich in several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and iron. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps boost the immune system, while vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. Folate is important for cell growth and development, and iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells.

Low in Calories and Fat

Kentucky Wonder Beans are low in calories and fat, making them an excellent food choice for weight management. A 100-gram serving of these beans contains only 31 calories and less than 0.5 grams of fat. They are also naturally free of cholesterol and sodium.

Overall, these beans are a nutritious and delicious addition to any diet. Whether you enjoy them as a side dish, in soups and stews, or in salads, these beans offer several health benefits that can help you maintain optimal health and well-being.

Kentucky Wonder Bean Ingredients

Ingredients Needed

To make a delicious beans recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups trimmed heirloom green beans
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch coarsely ground black pepper to taste

The first ingredient is the star of the show: Kentucky Wonder Beans. These beans are a type of heirloom green bean that are long, slender, and have a slightly sweet flavor. They are perfect for this recipe because they hold up well during cooking and are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

The second ingredient is bacon, which adds a savory, smoky flavor to the dish. You only need one slice, but feel free to add more if you want a stronger bacon flavor.

The third ingredient is garlic, which adds a pungent, slightly spicy flavor to the dish. Make sure to mince it finely so that it distributes evenly throughout the dish.

The fourth ingredient is sea salt, which enhances the natural flavors of the beans and bacon. Use a good quality sea salt for the best flavor.

Finally, you will need a pinch of coarsely ground black pepper to taste. This adds a subtle, spicy kick to the dish that complements the other flavors perfectly.

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Choosing the Best Beans

When it comes to choosing Kentucky Wonder beans for your recipe, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you select the best beans:


Choose fresh beans that are crisp, firm, and bright green. Avoid beans that are dull, limp, or have brown spots.


These beans can grow up to 9 inches long, but the ideal size for cooking is between 4 and 6 inches. Smaller beans are more tender and flavorful, while larger beans can be tough and stringy.


Kentucky Wonder beans come in two types: pole beans and bush beans. Pole beans grow on vines and require support, while bush beans grow in a compact bush and do not require support. Pole beans produce a higher yield but require more maintenance, while bush beans are easier to grow but produce a lower yield.

Organic vs. Conventional

Choose organic beans if possible, as they are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. If organic beans are not available, choose conventional beans that are labeled as “non-GMO” to avoid genetically modified organisms.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you choose the best Kentucky Wonder beans for your recipe.

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Preparation Before Cooking

Before cooking these beans, it is important to properly prepare them. This section will provide you with information on how to clean and soak the beans.

Cleaning the Beans

The first step in preparing Kentucky Wonder Beans is to clean them properly. It is important to remove any dirt or debris that may be present. Here are the steps to clean the beans:

  1. Rinse the beans in cold water.
  2. Sort through them to remove any stones or debris.

Soaking the Beans

Soaking the beans is an essential step in preparing them. It helps to soften the beans and reduce cooking time. Here are the steps to soak the beans:

  1. Place the beans in a large bowl.
  2. Cover the beans with water, making sure there is enough water to cover them by at least an inch.
  3. Let the beans soak overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.

It is important to note that soaking the beans is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. If you choose not to soak the beans, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

By following these steps, you will ensure that your beans are clean and soft, making them easier to cook and more enjoyable to eat.

Cooking the Kentucky Wonder Beans

Cooking Method

Cooking Kentucky Wonder Beans is a simple process that can be done in a variety of ways. Two popular methods are boiling and pressure cooking.


Boiling is a traditional method of cooking Kentucky Wonder Beans. To boil the beans, first, rinse them thoroughly under cold water.

Cook the bacon

In a large pot, add your diced bacon slices and lightly brown them. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute – constantly stirring. Add the green beans and enough water to cover the beans by about an inch.

Add the green beans

Bring the water to a rolling boil, then add the beans and let them cook for around 10-15 minutes until they are tender. Drain the beans, season with salt and pepper, and serve them hot.

Pressure Cooking

Pressure cooking is a faster way to cook Kentucky Wonder Beans. To pressure cook the beans, first, rinse them thoroughly under cold water. Next, add the beans to the pressure cooker along with enough water to cover them by about an inch. Add salt to the water to enhance the flavor of the beans.

Close the lid of the pressure cooker and bring it to high pressure over high heat. Once the pressure cooker reaches high pressure, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for around 5-7 minutes until the beans are tender. Release the pressure from the cooker and serve the beans hot.

No matter which method you choose, Kentucky Wonder Beans are a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal.

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Serving Suggestions

Kentucky Wonder Beans are a versatile and delicious addition to any meal. They can be served as a side dish or incorporated into a main course. Here are some serving suggestions to help you get the most out of your Kentucky Wonder Beans:

Simple Side Dish

The easiest way to enjoy Kentucky Wonder Beans is as a simple side dish. After cooking, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve alongside your favorite protein. They pair well with grilled chicken, steak, or fish.


Kentucky Wonder Beans can also be added to salads for a healthy and flavorful crunch. Simply blanch the beans for a few minutes until they are tender-crisp, then toss them with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and your favorite dressing. You can also add some crumbled feta cheese or toasted almonds for extra texture and flavor.


Kentucky Wonder Beans can be used in casseroles for a hearty and satisfying meal. They pair well with other vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions, as well as with proteins like ground beef or chicken. Try adding them to a classic Shepherd’s Pie or a savory Vegetable Pot Pie.


For a unique twist on Kentucky Wonder Beans, try pickling them. Simply blanch the beans for a few minutes, then pack them into jars with a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and spices. Let the jars sit for a few days in the fridge, then enjoy the tangy and crunchy pickled beans as a snack or a topping for sandwiches and burgers.

Kentucky Wonder Beans are a delicious and healthy addition to any meal. Whether you serve them as a simple side dish or incorporate them into a more complex recipe, they are sure to please your taste buds and provide you with important nutrients like fiber, protein, and vitamins.

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Storage and Leftovers

Kentucky wonder beans are a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. If you have leftovers, it’s important to store them properly to ensure they stay fresh and safe to eat.


To store Kentucky wonder beans, follow these simple steps:

  1. Rinse the beans under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Pat the beans dry with a clean towel.
  3. Place the beans in a plastic or glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
  4. Store the beans in the refrigerator for up to five days.

It’s important to note that Kentucky wonder beans should not be stored at room temperature for an extended period of time, as they can spoil quickly.

Kentucky Wonder Beans Recipe: A Delicious and Easy Side Dish


If you have leftover Kentucky wonder beans, there are many ways to use them up. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add them to a salad for a quick and easy lunch.
  • Use them as a side dish for dinner.
  • Puree them into a soup or dip.
  • Toss them with pasta for a hearty meal.

When reheating leftovers, it’s important to do so safely. Always make sure the beans are heated to an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) before consuming.

By following these simple guidelines, you can enjoy delicious Kentucky wonder beans for days to come.

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Potential Recipe Variations

There are many ways to customize the Kentucky Wonder Beans recipe to suit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Spicy version:

Add red pepper flakes or diced jalapeño peppers to the water when cooking the beans for a spicy kick.

Vegan version:

Skip the bacon and replace it with smoked paprika for a smoky flavor. Use vegetable broth instead of water for added depth of flavor.

Sweet version:

Add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to the water when cooking the beans for a sweet and savory combination.

Herbaceous version:

Add fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or parsley to the water when cooking the beans for a fragrant and flavorful dish.

Cheesy version:

Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the cooked beans for a rich and indulgent side dish.

Crunchy version:

Top the cooked beans with toasted breadcrumbs or chopped nuts for added texture and crunch.

Experiment with different variations until you find your favorite. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different flavors and ingredients to create a truly unique dish.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to cook pole beans Southern style?

To cook Kentucky Wonder pole beans Southern style, you will need to use a few key ingredients such as bacon, garlic, and onion. Start by cooking bacon in a skillet until crispy, then add minced garlic and diced onion. Once the onion is translucent, add the pole beans and enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the beans are tender.

How long to boil fresh pole beans?

To boil fresh Kentucky Wonder pole beans, fill a pot with enough water to cover the beans and bring it to a boil. Add the beans to the pot and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they are tender. Be sure not to overcook them, as they will become mushy.

Kentucky Wonder Pole beans when to pick?

Kentucky Wonder pole beans are typically ready to be picked when they are about 6-8 inches long and have a bright green color. You should pick them before the seeds inside begin to bulge, as this is a sign that they are becoming overripe.

What to do with fresh pole beans?

There are many ways to enjoy fresh Kentucky Wonder pole beans. You can boil them, sauté them, or roast them in the oven. They make a great side dish for any meal and can be seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices.

Italian pole beans recipe?

To make Italian-style Kentucky Wonder pole beans, start by sautéing garlic and onion in olive oil. Add the pole beans and cook until tender. Then, add diced tomatoes, basil, and oregano and simmer until the flavors have blended together. Serve as a side dish or over pasta.

What are Kentucky Wonder beans good for?

Kentucky Wonder beans are a great source of fiber, protein, and vitamins. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy addition to any diet. Additionally, they are versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes, from soups and stews to salads and side dishes.