Green Bean Casserole Recipe

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Side dish casserole made with green string beans
Green Bean Casserole

We always grow lots of string beans in the garden. We always think we haven’t planted enough beans so you know the drill (pun intended) … we add “just a few more” to the drill for good measure. Well, those vines sure can produce!

Green Beans
Green String Beans

After a few “feeds” of boiled green beans served as a side veggie topped with butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, I find it’s time to do something else with them. A great way to serve the green beans is in a Green Bean Casserole which is my featured recipe today.

Basket of Green Beans
Green String Beans

Green Bean Casserole is a dish commonly associated with the American Thanksgiving dinner. This casserole is not what I would class as a main meal casserole but, rather, it’s more of a side dish and a dressed-up way to serve plain green beans. It’s called Green Bean Casserole well….because it is specifically made with green string beans and they are the primary ingredient in the casserole!

There are many recipes for Green Bean Casserole and what follows is my “loaded” version because I like lots of layers of flavor in my food and green beans can be rather, well, blah. They can, however, be flavor enhanced and that is what I have done with this casserole.

My recipe calls for fresh green beans though, if not available, I suppose frozen green beans could be used. I have not tested the recipe using frozen beans as my preference is always to use fresh product when possible. That said, if using frozen beans, they would need to also be par-cooked prior to using in the casserole.

Bean Casserole in White Baking Dish
Green Bean Casserole

So, when I say layers of flavor, I add bacon, mushrooms, red pepper, shallot and, of course, garlic. The traditional soup used in Green Bean Casserole is Cream of Mushroom Soup, a soup I find that does not have a lot of flavor. That’s why, instead, I use one of my favorite soups – Cream of Broccoli and Cheese. I pump up the flavor by adding sour cream, liquid chicken bouillon (always a great flavor booster), mustard, soy sauce, and nutmeg. The addition of cheddar and parmesan cheeses adds wonderful flavor and a lovely creamy texture to the sauce that binds the casserole ingredients together.

I have listed three herbs as optional – fresh tarragon and dill and dried summer savory. I like the casserole with the herbs added but, if you don’t have them, or don’t care for their flavor, simply leave them out and the casserole will still be tasty.

Following with the traditional topper for Green Bean Casserole, I have used French’s Crunchy Onion Toppers on top of the casserole in addition to some buttered breadcrumbs. The Crunchy Onion Toppers add both flavor and crunch to the casserole. In my recipe, I use half of the quantity of the Crunchy Onion Toppers mixed into the casserole base and then the other half added to the top of the casserole when it is just about baked. These Toppers brown quite quickly so I don’t recommend adding them until about 10 minutes or so before the casserole is expected to be fully baked. Be sure to let this casserole rest for at least 15 minutes after removing it from the oven and before serving it. This will allow it time to set and thicken slightly.

Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole with Crunchy Onion Toppers

The process for making the casserole starts with preparing and sautéing the vegetables, frying the bacon, and assembling the sauce ingredients then blanching the green beans in much the same manner as you would do if preparing them for the freezer.

Blanching the beans is a two-step process that involves cooking them for a few minutes in boiling hot water and then immediately plunging them into a bowl of ice water filled with ice cubes to “shock” them from the heat of the boiling water and to stop them from cooking further from their own residual heat. Blanching helps to keep the verdant green color of the beans, their flavor, and texture and helps to avoid the beans becoming limp. In the case of the Green Bean Casserole, it will also give them a head start on cooking as the baking of the casserole in the oven will not be long enough to thoroughly soften and cook the beans from completely raw to a tender al dente state.

Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole

While this side dish casserole pairs well with a roast turkey dinner, it can also be enjoyed with any roast poultry, pork, or beef as well as with any other meal you wish. It’s simply another way to serve green beans. This casserole is scalable so, if more servings are needed, simply double the ingredients and bake in a 2-quart shallow baking dish.

Fork full of bean casserole
Green Bean Casserole

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

Casserole Base:
¾ lb fresh green string beans

2 – 3 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

1 – 2 tbsp butter
3 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup diced red pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup French’s Crunchy Onion Toppers, amount divided in half

Sauce:
½ of 284ml/10oz can Cream of Broccoli and Cheese Soup
¼ cup milk
1½ tbsp sour cream
½ tbsp liquid chicken bouillon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp soya sauce
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
½ tsp chopped fresh dill (optional)
½ tsp dried summer savory (optional)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

Topping:
Apx. 1/3 cup bread crumbs
1½ tbsp melted butter
Remaining half of French’s Crunchy Onion Toppers

Method:

Wash and snip ends of beans. Cut beans into pieces about 2” long.

Grease 1-quart shallow baking dish.

Slice the mushrooms, dice the red pepper, chop the shallot, and mince the garlic.

Prepare the sauce by mixing the sauce ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.

Fry the bacon in skillet until crispy. Crumble bacon into small pieces when cooled. Discard all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat in the pan.

Bring a saucepan of approximately 6-7 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt.

Prepare a bowl with ice water and lots of ice cubes for plunging beans into to stop them from cooking from their residual heat following the boiling of them in hot water. Refrigerate bowl of ice water until needed.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Working in batches, blanch half the green beans in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, starting the 5-minute timing at the point at which the beans come to a boil. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop them from cooking further. Repeat process with remaining beans. Leave the beans in the ice-cold water for 5 minutes then drain in a colander. Add more ice cubes to the ice water for the second batch of beans.

While the beans are blanching, melt the butter in with the reserved tablespoon of bacon fat in skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 2 minutes then add the red pepper and shallots. Stir continuously and cook for about 2 minutes then add the garlic. Stir constantly and sauté only until garlic becomes fragrant, about 20-25 seconds. Do not let garlic scorch. Remove skillet from heat.

Transfer drained beans to large bowl. Add the sautéed ingredients to the green beans and stir in the sauce mixture to combine all ingredients. Gently stir in one-half of the Crunchy Onion Toppers. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.

Toss the bread crumbs in a small bowl with the melted butter. Sprinkle over top of casserole.

Transfer casserole to oven and bake for apx. 25 minutes then sprinkle remaining Crunchy Onion Toppers over casserole and return to oven for 10-12 minutes longer, or until edges of casserole are bubbling and Crunchy Onion Toppers are tanned. Let casserole stand for at least 15 minutes to set before serving.

Yield: Apx. 6 servings

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Green Bean Casserole

Tender fresh green string beans in a creamy and cheesy sauce topped with crunchy onion toppers makes a great side dish casserole to many meals, including poultry, beef, and pork.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword casserole, Green Bean Casserole, green beans
Servings 6
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

Casserole Base:

  • ¾ lb fresh green string beans
  • 2 – 3 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
  • 1 – 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup French’s Crunchy Onion Toppers, amount divided in half

Sauce:

  • ½ of 284ml/10oz can Cream of Broccoli and Cheese Soup
  • ¼ cup milk
  • tbsp sour cream
  • ½ tbsp liquid chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp soya sauce
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh dill (optional)
  • ½ tsp dried summer savory (optional)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

Topping:

  • Apx. 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • tbsp melted butter
  • Remaining half of French’s Crunchy Onion Toppers

Instructions

  1. Wash and snip ends of beans. Cut beans into pieces about 2” long.
  2. Grease 1-quart shallow baking dish.
  3. Slice the mushrooms, dice the red pepper, chop the shallot, and mince the garlic.
  4. Prepare the sauce by mixing the sauce ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  5. Fry the bacon in skillet until crispy. Crumble bacon into small pieces when cooled. Discard all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat in the pan.
  6. Bring a saucepan of approximately 6-7 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt.
  7. Prepare a bowl with ice water and lots of ice cubes for plunging beans into to stop them from cooking from their residual heat following the boiling of them in hot water. Refrigerate bowl of ice water until needed.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  9. Working in batches, blanch half the green beans in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, starting the 5-minute timing at the point at which the beans come to a boil. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop them from cooking further. Repeat process with remaining beans. Leave the beans in the ice-cold water for 5 minutes then drain in a colander. Add more ice cubes to the ice water for the second batch of beans.
  10. While the beans are blanching, melt the butter in with the reserved tablespoon of bacon fat in skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 2 minutes then add the red pepper and shallots. Stir continuously and cook for about 2 minutes then add the garlic. Stir constantly and sauté only until garlic becomes fragrant, about 20-25 seconds. Do not let garlic scorch. Remove skillet from heat.

  11. Transfer drained beans to large bowl. Add the sautéed ingredients to the green beans and stir in the sauce mixture to combine all ingredients. Gently stir in one-half of the Crunchy Onion Toppers. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
  12. Toss the bread crumbs in a small bowl with the melted butter. Sprinkle over top of casserole.
  13. Transfer casserole to oven and bake for apx. 25 minutes then sprinkle remaining Crunchy Onion Toppers over casserole and return to oven for 10-12 minutes longer, or until edges of casserole are bubbling and Crunchy Onion Toppers are tanned. Let casserole stand for at least 15 minutes to set before serving.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 6 servings

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Side dish casserole made with green beans and Crunchy Onion Toppers
Green Bean Casserole
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