The humble green bean casserole has long been a favorite side dish that shows up on millions of tables every Thanksgiving. Created in 1955 by Campbell's Kitchen, the original green bean casserole typically contains condensed soup and a canned fried onion ring topping. This version has the same great flavors, but it comes together with fresh vegetables, a homemade sauce, and crispy baked shallots. This green bean casserole is an ideal choice for the cook who likes to avoid processed foods.
- For the Crispy Shallot or Onion Topping:
- 2 cups shallots (or onion, thinly sliced)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- For the Casserole:
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt (divided, plus more as needed)
- 1 1/2 pounds green beans (trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound mushrooms (cleaned, sliced)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Dash nutmeg (fresh grated)
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup chicken stock (low sodium or unsalted)
- 1 cup light cream (or half-and-half)
Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a bowl, combine the sliced shallots with 3 tablespoons of flour and 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Toss to combine.
Oil a large baking sheet with the 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Spread the floured shallots out on the pan in a single layer. Bake the shallots for about 35 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
Remove the browned shallots from the oven and set aside.
While the shallots are baking, cook the green beans. Bring about 2 quarts of water and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain well.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, remaining 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, and nutmeg; sauté for 3 minutes. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of flour over the mushrooms and stir to combine. Continue to cook, constantly stirring, for 2 minutes.
Gradually add the chicken stock and cream to the mushrooms while stirring constantly. Continue to cook until the sauce is thickened.
In a large bowl, combine the green beans with the mushroom sauce and about 1/2 cup of the baked shallots. Stir to blend the ingredients.
Turn the green bean mixture into a lightly greased casserole and sprinkle with the remaining crispy baked shallots.
Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and bubbling.
- To save time, feel free to use 1 1/2 pounds of thawed frozen cut green beans, or use canned French fried onion rings or store-bought crispy fried shallots.
- To lighten up the casserole, use reduce the butter to 2 tablespoons and replace the cream with whole or 2 percent milk.
- The casserole may be prepared a day in advance. Prepare and bake the shallots and set them aside. Prepare the green beans and sauce as directed, up to the baking step and fold in 1/2 cup of the crispy shallots. Cover the baking dish and refrigerate the casserole. Store the remaining crispy shallots in a covered container or food storage bag at room temperature. When it's time to bake, sprinkle the crispy shallots over the casserole and bake as directed.
- The casserole may be prepared and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Bake only enough shallots for the filling. Prepare the green beans and filling as directed and fold in the shallots and turn the mixture into a baking dish. Cover the baking dish and freeze the casserole for up to 2 weeks. About 45 minutes before you plan to bake the casserole, prepare and bake the shallots; set aside. Cover the casserole with foil and bake it in a 350 F oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and top with the shallots. Continue to bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly and the shallots are crisp.
- With Cheese: Add 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the cooked sauce and stir until melted. Top the casserole with about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese before you add the crispy shallots or onions.
- With Bacon: Cook 2 to 3 strips of bacon and drain well. Crumble the bacon and add it to the sauce mixture along with the green beans.
- Colorful Green Bean Casserole: Add about 1/3 cup of chopped red bell pepper to the sauce along with the green beans.
- Vegan Alternative: Use olive oil or vegan butter, replace the chicken stock with vegetable broth, and replace the cream with unsweetened almond milk.