Ultimate Green Bean Casserole

Ultimate Green Bean Casserole

The quintessential American side dish for family gatherings, holidays, church socials, potlucks…the recipe clipping that virtually ever American woman has had lying somewhere at some point throughout the past gazillion decades.  Only this one is different.

This one’s the best.  Ever.

And it’s made from scratch.

If up until now you’ve just been kind of “meh” towards green bean casserole, prepare to experience a major paradigm shift in attitude.  This isn’t your Aunt Betsy’s green bean casserole.

A developed this recipe a couple of weeks ago when I had about two pounds of fresh organic green beans that I needed to use up.  I posted about it on my Daring Gourmet Facebook Page and on my readers asked me about a recipe for a green bean casserole.  So I made two dishes using up those green beans:  Southern-style Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon and this green bean casserole.  The bacon complemented the green beans so beautifully in the first dish, so why stop there, I thought?

Everything tastes better with bacon, right?

And cheese.

And cream.

Yes, let’s just combine them all.  Ultimate Green Bean Casserole.  The outcome was so fabulous that I made it again two days later for Thanksgiving.  And the proof in the pudding, so to speak, was when my brother tasted it.  My brother has hated green beans since he was old enough to say the word.  He has never relented to eating them.  Ever.  No exceptions.  But he ate this.  He ate this! Seriously, I don’t think you understand how monumental that is.  He ate it…and he liked it!

Yes.  Ultimate Green Bean Casserole.  The best.

This recipe take a little longer than the 2 minutes and 38 seconds required to open a can of condensed mushroom soup, mix it with water, toss it with green beans, dump the mixture into a casserole dish, sprinkle with French fried onions, and put it in the oven to bake (ie, the classic recipe first introduced by Campbell’s in 1955).  But this Ultimate Green Bean Casserole is still quick to make and to say that there is no comparison between the two is an understatement.  This isn’t called “ultimate” for no reason.   You’re going to love this version and it’s destined to become your new go-to recipe for green bean casserole.

The Daring Gourmet

Let’s get started!

Chop up the bacon, onions and garlic.  Note:  Bacon is WAY easier to dice while it’s still frozen.

Green-Bean-Casserole-prep-1

Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy.  Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent.

Green-Bean-Casserole-prep-2 edited

While the onions are cooking, chop the mushrooms.

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Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.  Transfer the bacon/mushroom mixture to a bowl and set aside.

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Melt the butter in the same skillet, add the flour, and whisk until combined.  Continue whisking for another minute until the mixture has slightly deepened in color.

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Whisk in the half-and-half and chicken stock and continue to whisk, letting the mixture simmer, until it has slightly thickened.

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Whisk in the white cheddar cheese until combined.

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Add the bacon/mushroom mixture and stir to combine.

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Add the salt and pepper.

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Let the sauce simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.

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Add the blanched green beans (see recipe box for instructions on blanching).

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Stir to combine.

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Pour the mixture into a 9×13 inch casserole dish.

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Since this is a made-from-scratch version, don’t go using nasty hydrogenated oil-packed French fried onions.  There are several good options out there.  I had two in my pantry to choose from.  I went with Lars this time.

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Sprinkle all of the French fried onions evenly over the casserole.

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Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.

Ultimate Green Bean Casserole

Dig in!

The Daring Gourmet Ultimate Green Bean Casserole

Ultimate Green Bean Casserole
 
:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces fresh button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed, halved, and blanched (boil 5 minutes, place beans in ice water for a couple of minutes, drain)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in the same skillet and whisk in the flour. Once combined, continue whisking for another 2 minutes until the mixture has slightly deepened in color. Add the half-and-half and chicken broth while constantly whisking to prevent lumps. Once slightly thickened, add the cheese and whisk until melted and combined.
  4. Next add the mushroom/bacon mixture along with the salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the green beans. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour the bean mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish and sprinkle the French fried onions all over the top. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

 

 

26 Responses

  1. wrote on

    I can tell just by reading the recipe that there is no comparison between this and the stuff made with canned mushroom soup. My sister loves green bean casserole, so I will make sure she gets this recipe.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks for passing this on to your sister, Susan!

  2. Beth Jenkins

    wrote on

    I can not wait to make this. I can not get condensed soup in Germany and have tried making it with powdered soup, but it does not work as well. I never thought of just using a white based sauce – well a jazzed up white base sauce! Thank you.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Beth! Fantastic, I’m happy you’re making this! Whenever you get to it, let me know what you think. In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas in Germany! In my opinion there just isn’t any place like Germany for enjoying the Christmas season – it’s magical. If you haven’t already been to Rothenburg ob der Tauber for the Christmas market and for the Kaethe Wohlfahrt store (talk about magical!), it’s a must! The Christmas market there isn’t one of the bigger ones, but it’s my favorite of all them because of the atmosphere. I love Rothenburg!

  3. Michaela

    wrote on

    I am dying to try this! I make a similar version and add a pinch of nutmeg, makes all the difference! I can’t wait to do this with bacon and cheese! Thank you for all your time and wonderful recipes.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi, Michaela! Thank you! This one’s a keeper, for sure. I’ll be making it again for Christmas :)

  4. wrote on

    Looks A-MAZING! It has to be good if it involves cheese, bacon and onion. :)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Oh, isn’t that the truth! It’s like I’ve been saying ever since getting back from my deep South vacation: The Southerners do it best – everything with bacon or bacon grease! :) Thanks so much, Carmel Moments, and thank you for visiting!

  5. Nita

    wrote on

    Hey there!

    Just bumped into your site and was amazed to see the recipe list.. great work :-)

    I would like to know any alternative for the below as i am a Vegge:
    1 cup half-and-half
    1 cup chicken broth

    Love,
    Nita

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, Nita, and welcome! You know, I really don’t know a whole lot about what kinds of vegan products are out there. I know there are vegan cheeses, and I would imagine there are probably vegan substitutes for cream as well. For the chicken broth simply substitute vegetable broth. And for the bacon, there are also vegan “bacon” products available. Good luck!

  6. Ayako

    wrote on

    I actually did a research on how to make this dish without dairy and soy because my friend who invited us over for X’mas can’t take them now due to her baby allergies. Looks like coconut milk can be the best bet to replace half-and-half. We’ll see. Daiya cheese is really the only option to substitute cheese…cheddar though…oh well.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Ayako! Yeah, I really don’t know a whole lot about good dairy substitutions. I don’t think I’d recommend coconut milk though – it has too strong of a flavor, the wrong kind of flavor. I’m pretty sure there are vegan “half and half” substitutes you can buy. And really most kinds of cheese will work well in this casserole. But then the problem with non-dairy cheese is that it doesn’t really melt too well. You know though, all these critiques are obviously coming from someone who eats dairy – people who are used to eating dairy free would probably think it all tastes perfectly normal and good :)

  7. Jeanie

    wrote on

    I cooked Christmas dinner this year for my in-laws who are old-fashioned not only in their life style but in their diets. I knew whatever I made had to be traditional and something they were familiar with, so what’s more traditional than green bean casserole! I tried this recipe and they loved it! We all loved it!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      That’s wonderful, Jeanie, I’m so happy to hear it was such a hit! Thanks for your feedback!

  8. Anonymous

    wrote on

    FYI – I did make this dish with coconut milk and Daiya cheese. It was still delicious, and coconut milk did not bother anyone. However the fake cheese didn’t melt as its package says! Sad to see cheese swimming in the sauce! Still enjoyable, so thank you.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Great, I’m glad you and your friends enjoyed it with those substitutions. I feel your pain about the cheese though. That’s the problem with fake cheese. Even though the package claims it melts, most of the pictures I’ve seen of vegan dishes that use fake cheese, like pizza for example, just show kind-of-sort-of melted blobs on top. Still, I think it’s awesome that you made a veganized version of this for your friends and the fact is, since fake cheese is what they’re used to, they probably didn’t even bat an eye at the swimming cheese ;)

  9. Ayako

    wrote on

    That fact is, nobody who had the dish was used to fake cheese. My friend was recently forced to go without dairy or soy due to her baby’s allergies. Bacon was actually used! Maybe that saved it. Still everybody liked the dish…you should be proud! BTW I did give away the fake cheese to my friend after that. Next time I totally will follow your recipe, exactly.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Haha! I’m totally proud of you, Ayako! Yes, make it the “right” way next time and you’ll love it! :)

  10. wrote on

    hey…. are these store brought French Fried Onions- or do you have a recipe for these???

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Karen! Yes, they’re store bought – if you scroll down through the prep pictures you’ll see the ones I used (some fantastic ones imported from Europe with no junk ingredients). I make most everything from scratch, but there are some items, like with these, where they’re so good store bought, and made with clean ingredients, that I save myself the time and use them.

  11. Robin

    wrote on

    I made this this week. I made a vegetarian version (no bacon, vegetable broth) for my daughter and the baconlicious version for the rest of the family. They loved it!! Even the carnivores liked the veggie version. Thanks so much!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Wonderful! I’m happy to hear that both versions were a hit in your family. I’m still in shock that even my life-long green bean hating brother enjoyed this casserole. He said the flavor was so good that it made the green beans tolerable :) Thanks for your feedback, Robin! Best, Kimberly

  12. Anonymous

    wrote on

    Made this for Easter and had to email the recipes to everyone as they LOVED it!!!! I wanted to make a Green Bean Caserole but did not want to use a soup!!!! This is now my FAV!!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Fabulous, I’m so happy it was such a big hit! Thanks for the feedback!

  13. Tiffany

    wrote on

    This was absolutely fantastic! I’m such a big fan of green bean casserole and have been craving it, but didn’t want to settle for the boring and processed traditional recipe, and wanted to utilize the fresh green beans I just picked up from the market! I served it with a grilled ham steak, and made a glaze with 1/4 cup fresh maple syrup, tablespoon dijon mustard, and tablespoon cider vinegar. Christmas in July! Yum!!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Tiffany, that sounds fantastic and your family/friends are a lucky bunch! You’ve got me seriously craving that entire meal right now :) So glad to hear the casserole was a hit and thank you for the feedback!

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