Creamy Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
Creamy, comforting green bean casserole made completely from scratch. This undeniably rich side dish will put that Thanksgiving turkey to shame!
Photos updated in 2016.
A few of Kevin’s favorite things:
- Coors Light
- Reese’s peanut butter cups (uh, he’s the brains behind this operation)
- Building stuff
- Fixing stuff
- The Ravens
- Green bean casserole
When I told Kevin I was making green bean casserole to post on my blog, the look on his face was priceless. It was as if he’d won the lottery. A lottery of peanut butter cups and coors light. On a snowy day. After a Ravens win.
What made this great news even better news was that I had to make this green bean casserole twice last week to test and tweak the recipe based on what we liked/didn’t like. Best week ever.
I personally can’t remember a single holiday season without a batch of good ol’ green bean casserole. You know, the kind made from condensed soup and those addicting, undeniably calorie laden greasy fried onions. Like my husband, I looooove green bean casserole. But I decided to make it completely from scratch, right down to the fried (baked!!) onions sprinkled on top. And we couldn’t be happier with the results. You haven’t had green bean casserole until you’ve had green bean casserole from scratch.
This classic side dish will put the thanksgiving turkey to shame.
Let’s not ignore the fact that green bean casserole is, for lack of better words, heavy. Rich, buttery, heavy comfort food. It’s certainly not something either of us eat all the time– hello stretch pants– which makes it all the more special around the holidays. I feel the same way about candy cane fudge. So every creamy bite is savored. Of this stuff AND the fudge.
Ugh that fudge is ridiculous.
If you’re going to fatten up innocent green beans, this is the recipe to do it. I’ll leave you with the recipe and then after that, a few step-by-step shots so you know what you’re doing. PS: it’s easy.
Creamy Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
Creamy, comforting green bean casserole made completely from scratch. This undeniably rich side dish will put that thanksgiving turkey to shame!
Baked "Fried" Onions
- 1 large onion1
- 1/2 cup (62g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (45g) Panko2
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
Green Bean Casserole
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced into halves or quarters
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (minced roasted garlic is great here)
- 2 Tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (180ml) chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 and 1/4 cups (300ml) half-and-half3
- Preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- For the onions: (while the onions bake, you can blanch the green beans-- next step.) Thinly slice the onion. Pour flour in one small bowl, Panko + salt + pepper into a medium bowl, and whisk the egg and milk together in another small bowl. To bread the onion slices, you'll want to use one hand for dry and one hand for wet. It helps things move a little quicker and easier. First, dip a few slices into the flour. Then into the egg mixture. And finally, give them a nice dunk into the Panko and coat them well. Place onto baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the onions. Bake onions until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Flip them twice during this time. Set them aside. Reduce oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Bring a gallon of water and 1 Tablespoon of salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and immediately place into a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and set aside.
- For the casserole: Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a large 10 - 12 inch ovenproof skillet. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give off some of their moisture-- about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir until combined. The flour will soak up all the moisture. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 3 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Stirring occasionally, cook until the mixture is thick-- about 10 minutes or maybe more if you prefer a thicker sauce.
- Remove from the heat and add 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Give it a nice stir, combining the sauce and beans. Top with remaining onions and bake until bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy! Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat as desired.
Make ahead tip: Prepare everything as directed, except turn oven off after the onions are done, do not heat to 400°F (204°C). After the sauce is finished and the casserole is assembled, set aside and allow to cool. Cover tightly either in the skillet or carefully transfer to another dish. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, bake for 15-20 minutes at 400°F (204°C) until bubbly.
- If you're not really into the baked "fried" onion thing, feel free to use a small or medium onion instead. Or leave it out completely and sprinkle the top of the casserole (before going into the oven) with 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.
- Panko is a Japanese style breadcrumb found in all major grocery stores or anywhere breadcrumbs are sold. I prefer it for these onions because of its hearty crunch factor.
- I tested this recipe with varying amounts of half-and-half-- this amount does the trick. You can use heavy cream instead of the half-and-half for a richer sauce if you prefer. I do not recommend whole milk or buttermilk (or any other lower fat milks) instead. You want a thick, rich sauce.
Want to double the recipe to feed a larger crowd? It's easy! Simply double the ingredients. Then in step 5, remove the skillet from heat then pour the bean mixture into a large 9x13 (or similar size) casserole dish. Top with onions, then bake until bubbly, around 20 minutes.
Adapted from Alton Brown-- he likes to add fresh ground nutmeg, but I wasn't really a fan. You can add some though!
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Onions. Coat them in flour, then beaten egg + milk, then Panko. Bake.
Now the fresh green beans. I do not recommend frozen. Rinse them, trim them, halve them, blanch them.
Melt some butter down with the chopped mushrooms on medium-high heat. Add a little salt and pepper, then some garlic for flavor. Next, add some flour to soak up all the moisture that the mushrooms have released in the cooking process. Add the chicken broth and allow to simmer, then add the half-and-half while switching the heat to medium-low.
Per the written recipe above, allow the mixture to simmer and thicken– while stirring occasionally. The mixture will begin to bubble and after around 10 minutes, the mixture will be plenty thick.
Add some of your breaded onions and all of the green beans, then give it a nice stir.
Then, top with the rest of the onions and bake in the oven at 400°F (204°C) for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly. That’s about it! From scratch always wins.