Cook Healthy, Delicious Side Dishes with Green Beans

Green beans are a versatile vegetable that can be cooked in a number of ways, Easter H. Tucker, interim family and consumer sciences program leader for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins.

Tucker said she recommends the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service recipe for green beans with potatoes and smoked turkey.

“This is an excellent side dish with a smoky flavor that pairs frozen green beans, potatoes and onions with smoked turkey,” she said. “The dish is so tasty that you might consider including it on this year’s Thanksgiving menu.”

3⁄4 cup or 4 oz smoked turkey legs, deboned 
2 cups or 16 oz water
1 cup or 4 oz fresh red potatoes, unpeeled, diced 1⁄2 inch
1 tablespoon margarine, trans fat-free 
1⁄2 cup or 2 oz fresh onions, chopped 
1 1⁄2 teaspoons garlic, minced 
1⁄8 teaspoon ground thyme 
1⁄8 teaspoon ground black or white pepper 
1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder 
2 3⁄4 cups or 11 oz frozen green beans, thawed and drained 


  1. Shred turkey legs into small pieces.
  2. In a large saucepan, add turkey, water, potatoes, margarine, onions, garlic, thyme, pepper and onion powder. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 8 minutes. Stir well. About half of water will remain in the saucepan while the rest will cook away. 
  3. Add green beans. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Do not overcook. Green beans should be bright green in color. Drain excess liquids if needed.
  4. Critical Control Point: Heat to 165 degrees or higher for at least 15 seconds.
  5. Pour green beans and turkey mixture into a medium size serving bowl.
  6. Critical Control Point: Hold for hot service at 140 degrees or higher.
  7. Portion and serve with 4 oz slotted spoodle (1⁄2 cup).

Source: USDA Food and Nutrition Service

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