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Savannah's Mom's Kentucky Wonder Green Beans with Bacon

Savannah Guthrie and her mother cook up fried chicken, "Kentucky Wonder" green beans with bacon, cheesy spoon bread and spiced smashed apples
TODAY Show: Savannah Guthrie's mom Nancy stops by Studio 1A to cook up a Guthrie-family classic: fried chicken, \"Kentucky Wonder\" green beans with bacon, cheesy spoon bread and spiced smashed apples. -- May 4, 2016Samantha Okazaki / TODAY


  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, cleaned, strung and snapped.
  • ½ piece salt pork or 6 slices bacon, chopped crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chef notes

    The liquid in Kentucky Wonder pole green beans is called pot liquor and contains all the vitamins, according to Savannah Guthrie's mom Nancy. If you can't find Kentucky Wonder pole green beans, use string beans instead. Just be sure to serve the beans with the liquid. You can sop up the liquid with cornbread or another thick bread or go ahead and just pour the liquid directly over spoon bread. This dish is also traditionally served with molasses. 


    Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    Place a large saucepan over medium heat and cook bacon until almost crisp. Add onion and cook until golden. Add garlic and continue to cook, adding tomato sauce or tomatoes. Cook one minute until garlic is soft. 

    Add beans to pan, along with chicken broth and seasonings. Bring temperature to high and then lower to a simmer. Cook slowly for about 1 1/2 hours. Taste and season again. Cook further until beans are soft, about 30 minutes. 

    Serve beans with the leftover liquid (it's called pot liquor and contains all the vitamins) to use for sopping up with cornbread or thick bread or to pour over spoon bread. 

    Serve with molasses.