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!
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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 bacon green beans 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!
How to Make the Mushroom Cheese 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 this Casserole?
Yep! It’s super 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.
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans
- 12 large cremini mushrooms or baby bellas
- 2-4 rashers of bacon
FOR THE CREAM SAUCE
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic; minced
- 5 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp dried tarragon
- 2 tbsp seedy mustard
- 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 - 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups half and half or 18 % cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano
FOR THE TOPPING
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup Panko crumbs
- 1 cup French fried onions
- Wash and trim the ends of the green beans. Trim into bite sized pieces.
- To Blanch the beans: Set a medium pot of water to boil. Add half of the bean pieces and boil for 4 minutes. Remove and immediately place in a bowl of ice water. Repeat with the second half of the beans.
- Slice the bacon rashers into small bits and fry in a small frying pan. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe pan out.
- Add cremini mushrooms to the bowl of a food processor and process until mushrooms appear as in photo in the post. Fry the mushrooms in bacon pan until they no longer release moisture.
- Place blanched beans, bacon, and mushrooms into a medium baking dish.
- Pre-heat oven temperature to 350 F.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add minced garlic and sauté for a few minutes on low. Add flour and stir into butter to make a roux.
- Cook roux for a few minutes but do not allow it to turn colour. Add cream and whisk until smooth.
- Continue to whisk until thickened slightly. Add Parmesan Reggiano, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk until cheese is incorporated into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour sauce over casserole ingredients and mix well.
- Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 F oven.
- While the casserole is baking, melt the 2 tbsp butter in the frying pan. Add panko and fry until it becomes golden. Remove from heat.
- When the casserole is hot and bubbling, remove from oven and top with crispy panko crumbs and French fried onions.
MAKE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS: Prepare the casserole as described and stop before the baking step. Place in refrigerator for a day or two. Remove and finish as directed.
*This recipe uses commercially available French fried onions.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 815Total Fat: 62gSaturated Fat: 36gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 1247mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 22g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.