Sweet and Spicy Carrots and Green Beans are an easy, healthy side dish that’s loaded with flavor! Tart apples and thick-cut bacon are a knockout alongside tender fresh veggies and a sweet and sour sauce.
Carrots and Green Beans with Bacon
Are you looking for a side dish with a different spin? Then this spicy, sweet, and tangy recipe for green beans and carrots needs to make it to your menu! Sautéed with crisp apple slices and smoky, thick-cut bacon, it’s one side dish you’ll make again and again.
These sweet and spicy carrots and green beans are similar in flavor to German potato salad, with a sour, juicy note from the apples, and the sweetness of brown sugar. The spicy twist comes from a little bit of HOT sauce! 🔥
Trust me, a side of carrots + green beans + apples + crispy bacon (!!!) is a side dish that is going to be hard to keep passing around the table. You’ll see! 😋
What You’ll Need
So what exactly do you need to make this easy side dish? Let’s take a look! Each ingredient is fresh, wholesome, and easy to find.
- Carrots: Wash and peel the carrots, and then cut them into 1-inch pieces.
- Green Beans: The green beans should be washed and drained, with the ends trimmed, and each bean cut in half.
- Bacon: Thick-cut bacon stands up best in this hearty side dish.
- Onion: Dice one small onion. I usually use yellow onion, but any kind will be fine.
- Apple: I recommend a firm, tart apple like Granny Smith or Pink Lady. Leave the peel on, and cut into half-moons.
- Hot Sauce: My go-to is Frank’s Red Hot sauce.
- Brown Sugar: A spoonful of brown sugar.
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make Sweet and Spicy Carrots and Green Beans
Making the dish is as easy as can be! It’s perfect to whip up alongside a simple baked or pan-fried main course. All you have to do is blanch the veggies, and then sauté everything in a skillet.
- Blanch the Carrots and Green Beans. Bring a medium saucepan or pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cut carrots and green beans to the boiling water, and cook them for about 3 to 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain the water, and set the veggies aside.
- Cook the Bacon and Onions. While the veggies are cooking, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced bacon and cook for about 5 minutes, or until just starting to crisp up. Stir in the diced onions, and cook for 3 more minutes, until the onions have softened and the bacon is crispy.
- Add the Apples, Hot Sauce, and Sugar. Stir the apple slices into the skillet, followed by the hot sauce and brown sugar. Cover and cook for 4 minutes.
- Add the Veggies. Finally, add the carrots and green beans to the skillet. Give everything a good stir, and cover the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, or until heated through and tender. Season with salt and pepper; taste, and adjust as needed.
Tips for Success
Are you excited to try this spicy, sweet, and tangy recipe? I hope so, because it is so incredibly goooood! But, before you start cooking, let me share a couple of helpful tips with you!
- Use Frozen Green Beans: This recipe is also really good with frozen beans! Just add them to the blanching water about 3 minutes after the carrots, and proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.
- Cut the Heat: If you’d like a mild version of this recipe, substitute a small amount of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar for the hot sauce.
- Sweet Swaps: Honey, maple syrup, or monk fruit sweetener are all fine to use in this recipe. Keep in mind that each sweetener varies in intensity, so start small and add more until it tastes a bit sweet, but not overwhelming!
To serve sweet and spicy green beans and carrots, I like to make a simple main course like pork chops or chicken thighs. Here are some easy favorites!
- Pork Chops: These juicy, baked Ranch Pork Chops are seasoned with a savory blend of herbs and spices you won’t be able to resist!
- Chicken: If you want a fast and easy way to make boneless thighs, try this Juicy Stovetop Chicken Thighs recipe! Is versatile and full of flavor.
- Sausage: Andouille Sausage with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts is a sheet pan dinner that’s a snap to make, thanks to a quick seasoning blend of garlic powder, onion powder, and dried herbs.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To refrigerate, place leftovers in airtight containers and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat, place the desired portion in a skillet or saucepan over low heat. Cover, and cook until heated through.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
- Yes! Just pack cooled leftovers into freezer bags or airtight containers, and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Sweet and Spicy Carrots and Green Beans
- ½ pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ pound fresh green beans, washed, ends trimmed, and each bean cut in half
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 granny smith apple, core removed, peel on, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the cut carrots and green beans to the boiling water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the veggies are just tender.
- In the meantime, set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and heat it up until hot.
- Add the diced bacon to the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until just starting to crisp up.
- Stir in the diced onions and cook for 3 minutes, or until softened.
- Stir in the apple slices, hot sauce, and brown sugar; cover and cook for 4 minutes.
- Add the carrots and green beans to the skillet; stir and cover, and continue to cook for 2 more minutes, or until heated through and tender.
- Season with salt and pepper; taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
- Remove from heat.