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Green bean casserole in a white baking dish.
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Green Bean Casserole (from scratch!)

This is the ultimate green bean casserole recipe, made completely from scratch! It's made with crunchy fresh green beans, flavorful mushroom sauce with bacon (easy!), topped with sharp cheddar cheese, and homemade fried onions. This indulgent side dish is so flavorful, it may outshine the main course. Serve this casserole for a special occasion like Thanksgiving or just any other time of the year!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 350kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

green beans and mushroom sauce:

  • 2 pounds green beans 900g
  • 2 tablespoons frying oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 7 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound button mushrooms 450g
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 30-36%
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup beef broth or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce optional
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar 100g

for fried onions (or use about 1 cup French's fried onions):

  • 1 large onion or 3-4 small/medium onions
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or 1/4 cup milk + 1 ts lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3-4 cups frying oil

Instructions

Cook the green beans:

  • Trim the green beans (just the stem side) and cut them in half.
  • Bring a large amount of salted water in a large pot to a boil. Add green beans, bring to a boil again then cook for 4-5 minutes or until the green beans are soft but still have a bite to them. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the beans - just take one out and try if it's done. Don't overcook the beans.
  • Drain the beans, place them in a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process, set aside.

Make the mushroom sauce:

  • Cut the bacon into small cubes, the mushrooms into thick slices (about 1/4-inch or 5mm), dice the onion, press the garlic through a garlic press.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook it for a couple of minutes or until golden and most of the fat is rendered.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring from time to time, for about 4-5 minutes or until soft.
  • Add the garlic and thyme, cook for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer the content of the pan to a plate.
  • Cook the mushrooms in two batches: add the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil and 1 Tbsp of butter, increase the heat to high and add the first batch of mushrooms, spread them in an even layer. Don't stir the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes letting them brown then stir the mushrooms and cook them for 3-4 minutes until they released liquid and it's almost evaporated. You want the mushrooms browned and tender but not too soft. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
  • Add the mushrooms and bacon with onions back to the pan.
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed by the mushrooms and no white streaks are visible.
  • Add the white wine. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the wine is almost evaporated.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients for the mushroom sauce: broth, soy sauce, milk, cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and nutmeg.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. It should be thickened but can't be too thick or completely runny. If the sauce is too runny, cook it a little bit longer, if it's too thick, add some more broth to it. The sauce is the right consistency when you can draw a path across the back of the spoon. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Make fried onions:

  • Cut the onions into thin slices. Add them to a large bowl and add the buttermilk, toss until coated.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet, the temperature of the oil should be 350-375°F (175-190°C). There should be at least 1 inch (3cm) of oil in the pan.
  • While the oil is heating, stir flour with breadcrumbs and thyme, season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  • Toss the onions with the flour mixture until well-coated on all sides.
  • Fry the onions in batches until light golden in color. The onions should be a little lighter in color than you want them to be - they will darken a bit while resting and then some more while being baked.
  • Place the onions on a plate lined with paper towels. Spread them in a thin layer, they should not overlap much.

Assemble the casserole and bake:

  • Add the green beans into a 9x13-inch casserole dish (22x32cm).
  • Pour in the mushroom sauce and toss with green beans.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
  • Top with fried onions.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 375°F (190°C) until the sauce is bubbly and warm and the cheese is melted. Take out of the oven and let stand for 5 minutes then serve.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Ingredient notes:
    • Fresh green beans will give you the best results but you can also use frozen green beans - they will also be delicious but slightly less crunchy.
    • You can use button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, or even a mix of button/cremini mushrooms and wild mushrooms to make this casserole.
    • If you don't cook with wine you can add broth instead. You may need to add more lemon juice (wine adds acidity to the sauce).
    • Instead of bacon, you can use pan-fried prosciutto or leftover ham.
    • Frying oil - you will need a high-smoke point oil that is suitable for deep-frying like canola oil, sunflower oil, or refined coconut oil.
    • You can add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese instead of cheddar (we liked it more with cheddar).
    • If you're not a fan of fried onions, you can top this casserole with breadcrumb parmesan topping! You will need: 3 tablespoons butter (45g), 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (55g), and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (45g). How to make it: melt the butter in a small pot, take the pot off the heat. Stir in the breadcrumbs until combined, then grated Parmesan. Top your casserole evenly with this mixture and bake.
  • If your onions came out too dark, add them 5 minutes before the end of the baking time.
  • How to make this ahead: it would be best to store all the components of this casserole (green beans, mushroom sauce, fried onions) separately and assemble just before serving. Green beans can become too soft when stored in the sauce, the same goes for the fried onions. Reheated fried onions won't be as crispy as freshly made but they are still quite good (assuming you have stored them separately from the sauce).
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/8 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal