Green Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole- There’s no canned soup or canned beans found in this version of a holiday menu staple.
November 11, 2023 by Nicole Collins
Today, we’re making Green Bean Casserole!
For whatever reason, I feel like green bean casserole is such a controversial dish on the holiday table. I personally love it. My mom, not so much. I think she let me have it one year and then never again.
Then fast forward to a small potluck I was invited to a few years ago where my pastor made the most delicious green bean casserole I’d ever tasted. I asked her what her secret was, and the answer was so simple…it’s all homemade. No canned beans. No canned soups. It was all fresh. And honestly, I didn’t even know that was an option. From there, I was determined to make my own homemade version. And now I can boldly say mine is the best green bean casserole I’ve ever had.
So lucky for you, I’m going to share it with you today!
I love green beans. They’ve always been one of my favorite vegetables. Nothing beats a fresh green bean if you ask me. So, we’re going to use fresh ones in this casserole. We’ll trim off the woody tips, boil them in some salted water just to get them started, then blanch them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and help them retain their beautiful green color. It’s really so easy and makes such a difference in my opinion. Now if you have to, you could get away with using frozen thawed green beans. They’re essentially frozen at right about the point we’d be pulling them out of the water anyway. You just lose the benefit of the first round of seasoning that you get from boiling the beans in salted water. SO, definitely try to use fresh if you can.
Now like I said, we’re not using any canned soups here. So, we’re going to make an easy breezy homemade mushroom cream sauce. We’ll start by sauteeing some minced baby bella mushrooms in a little butter in a large skillet. Now, you guys know I typically mince up mushrooms really small because I have a texture issue with them. But for this casserole, we don’t want huge chunks of mushroom to take away from the green beans. So, mince them up nice and fine so they melt right into the sauce.
We’ll add a little garlic and flour to the party, and then we can add our liquid. I’ve recently been experimenting with using Better than Bouillon to make chicken stock; and I have to say, I really love it. It’s great for smaller jobs because you don’t have to worry about what to do with the leftovers in a traditional can or box of stock. So, you can have the choice of using store bought chicken stock or a boiling water/bouillon mix. They both taste the same in the end, so do whatever is easier for you.
Get that chicken stock and some milk into the skillet with the mushrooms, let it come to a simmer to start to thicken up, and then it’s time for my secret ingredient. Parmesan cheese. Now I know cheese is not traditional in green bean casserole, but trust ya girl. The parmesan not only helps to add a nice creaminess to the sauce, it adds this beautiful note of umami that plays brilliantly with the mushrooms. You wouldn’t know it was there if I didn’t tell you, but you’d miss it if it wasn’t.
Once our sauce is ready, we’ll mix in our green beans plus some good ol’ French fried onions. We are going to used the canned stuff for the onions, because they’re just too good. Mix it all together, transfer it to a casserole dish, top it with some more onions, and to the oven it goes for just a few minutes to get golden and bubbly.
Honestly, if someone told me that I could only pick one item off the holiday table that I could eat, it would be this. It’s creamy and luscious and fresh and comforting and total happiness on a plate. This is one of those holiday recipes that I make more than once a year. It’s too good not to.
Alright, everyone! If green bean casserole isn’t your vibe (which I find hard to understand, but you do you), I have a second holiday veggie option that you guys are going to be obsessed about.
And in case you don’t follow me on socials, you should…duh. But, I’m doing a special small batch holiday cooking series where we’re tackling the full menu on a small budget that’s perfect for smaller tables serving 1-4 people. So if you fall into that category, be sure to check it out!
I hope you guys love this one. And, let’s eat!
Green Bean Casserole
Serves: 4 Print
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut to 2 inch pieces
1 tbsp + ½ tsp salt, divided
2 tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
½ cup freshly shredded parmesan
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup French fried onions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Blanch the green beans: Bring a large pot of water along with 1 tbsp salt to a boil. Add green beans, and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately transfer green beans to ice water, and remove from water after 10-15 seconds. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel to dry completely.
Meanwhile, make the mushroom gravy: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and cook for 7-8 minutes until the mushrooms start to brown. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add flour, toss to coat the mushrooms, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in chicken stock and milk until fully incorporated. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened. Whisk in shredded parmesan, ½ tsp salt, and pepper. Continue whisking until the cheese has melted. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce slightly thickens, and remove from heat.
Add green beans and ½ cup French fried onions to the skillet with the sauce. Toss well to fully combine. Transfer mixture to a 2 qt casserole dish, and top with remaining French fried onions. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the onions are golden and the casserole is bubbling. Serve, and enjoy!
*You’ll want to use freshly shredded parmesan cheese for this recipe and not the stuff from a bag or can. You can buy pre-shredded parm in the cheese section of most grocery stores, and it will say “freshly shredded” on the container. That also works just fine for this.
*To trim the green beans, just cut the little woodsy tips off of each end. You could use frozen green beans that have been thawed and drained in a pinch, but I prefer the texture of fresh green beans for this.