Creamy and comforting, this Green Bean Casserole is made completely from scratch. The extra effort of using fresh green beans and a zesty homemade mushroom cheese sauce really improves upon this classic holiday casserole. Topped with golden buttery panko crumbs and French’s fried onions, it’s practically iresistible.
This post first appeared over at Noshing With The Nolands where I’m a contributor. Now, I’m so excited to be able to share this update on classic Green Bean Casserole with YOU!
Zesty Green Bean Casserole Recipe
This holiday season, surprise your family and friends, with the ultimate turkey dinner. Bake up some delicious Spinach Stuffing Balls and set this Green Bean Casserole down on the table in a place of honour. They’ll be tempted to reach for seconds of this irresistible Green Bean Casserole featuring fresh green beans in a creamy mushroom sauce made from scratch. How can you go wrong with a crispy top layer of buttered panko crumbs and crispy fried onions? Don’t be surprised when everyone asks for the recipe!
Green Bean Casseroles have been appearing on dinner tables for decades but you have just made the most delicious version of all. Fresh green beans, a sumptuous homemade Béchamel sauce seasoned with garlic, Worchestershire Sauce, seedy mustard, and tarragon.
You dip the serving spoon into the casserole, breaking through the golden crispy layer of Panko crumbs mixed with French Fried Onions and serve your first guest with a smile.
Who Wrote the First Green Bean Casserole Recipe?
During the days of early convenience cooking, when processed food was becoming vogue, Campbell’s employed a team to develop recipes using their canned products.
The original Green Bean Casserole was invented in 1955 by Dorcas Reilly who simply mixed a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken soup) with canned green beans.
What resulted was an unappetizing grey-green mush which really held no appeal at all. As it turned out, the best thing to do was to top the casserole with French’s fried onions.
The crispy onions added a textural component to the dish in addition to covering up the hideous casserole. Problem solved!
How to Make A Beautiful Green Bean Casserole
This green bean side dish is entirely made from scratch and it is a little more work than the original. However, that extra elbow grease pays off when you see and taste the final dish.
As the old saying goes; ‘we eat with our eyes’ and this casserole is very visually appealing. On first glance, you see the crispy golden top layer but where this casserole really shines is inside.
Here are a few recipe tips to help you create the very best green bean casserole:
Blanch the beans. The second thing everyone notices in this dish are the vibrant green beans. Blanching vegetables is a very easy technique and can be used in so many applications.
The fresh beans take a quick 4-minute dip in a pot of boiling water where they partially cook. Next, the beans are removed from the boiling water and plunged into an ice water bath so that the cooking process stops immediately.
Voila…now you have beautiful green beans!
Green Bean Casserole Sauce
Making mushroom sauce from scratch may not be as easy as opening up a can of soup, but it adds so much more flavour to this casserole. Start with a basic Béchamel or ‘white sauce’, then build your own flavours.
The ‘Zesty’ in this recipe comes from the addition of Worchestershire Sauce, Grainy Mustard, and finely grated Parmesan Reggiano. This trio is a powerhouse flavour combination!
Let’s not forget the mushrooms! By blitzing them in a food processor, their surface area for flavour release increases dramatically.
Next, frying them until their juices are released condenses their flavour even more. They add such an earthy, subtle flavour to this casserole that is not to be missed.
Can You Freeze Green Bean Casserole?
Green Bean Casserole is easy to freeze and re-heats well which makes it THE perfect make-ahead Thanksgiving dinner side dish.
To freeze, follow the recipe until you reach the baking step. Instead of baking the dish, wrap it well with plastic wrap and freeze for up to two weeks.
Finally, on the day of your dinner, just thaw and follow the remaining steps in the recipe.