It always surprises me how green bean casserole is not more popular than it already is. In my household, it’s quite a hit and I would even go out on a limb and say that it extends across my whole family.
Sure, it’s gonna be present at a thanksgiving dinner, but even outside of that, we have green bean casserole pretty regularly.
It’s pretty tasty and then there’s the variety of things considering you can serve it with so many options.
So we’re gonna be using fresh green beans for this recipe. Some people can only get their hands on canned green beans, and if that’s the case with you, then I guess there isn’t much of a choice, but my preference is always gonna be for the fresh variation.
You’ll also notice that we’ll be topping off things with our french fried onions, which absolutely cannot be missing either.
If you at least like green beans, then this recipe will hit home for you and even if you don’t, I’d be surprised if this one still didn’t have quite the impact on you.
So, how will we be doing things today? I’m gonna start you off with some information that I consider to be helpful to know, then we’ll dive into the ingredients, preparation method, and that kind of stuff.
Here we go!
Variations and Tips for Your Green Bean Casserole
Alright, so these nuggets of wisdom need to be at the forefront of your mind whenever it’s time to make fresh green bean casserole if you want to get the best results every time.
Boiling Your Fresh Green Beans
If you’ve cooked with green beans before, then you know what their natural texture is like. With that being said, you will need to boil the green beans for a bit before you mix them in with the other ingredients.
However, you do run the risk of boiling them for too long, which is where you’re going to need to know how to strike the right balance. If you make them overstay their boiling welcome, the baking will make them mushy. If you don’t want to take that risk, you could try asian green beans!
This is actually one of the reasons I don’t suggest canned green beans, because you can’t exercise the same level of control. They have a preset soft texture and there’s really nothing you can do about them becoming mushy.
I would also say you should take the boiling period as a time to add some flavor to your green beans. To do so, simply add a tablespoon of salt to every eight cups of water being boiled.
Avoiding a Watery Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is meant to have a nice and creamy texture. If yours is coming out on the watery side of the fence, it’s usually an indication that something is off. Here are some insights that you should find pretty helpful in your pursuits:
- Frozen green beans can be used instead of fresh green beans. However, if you are going that route then you need to compensate by skipping the part where you boil them in water. You can thaw or steam them but ensure that any excess water is properly drained.
- Remember what I said earlier about striking a balance while boiling? It also means not undercooking your green beans. Cooked green beans can hold excess moisture when not done enough. What you want is a tender, but not soggy texture. Drain them and pat them dry too.
- After boiling the green beans, I would also advise you to use a light all-purpose flour coating for extra security.
- As the casserole dish cools, it will also thicken, and you want to pay attention as it does so. If you notice that it’s a bit on the soupy side, then consider throwing in a cornstarch slurry and then throw in the last of the french-fried onions.
Honestly, I think the green bean casserole recipe is fine as is, but I know that people have different taste buds. Therefore, you may wonder what kind of modifications you can make to make it more appealing to you. Some of the options I’ve come up with are:
- Using garlic salt to season
- Putting a little butter in with the green beans
- Putting in cooked crumbled bacon (see our crack green beans recipe)
- Sprinkling on a measure of cheddar cheese
Can a Slow Cooker Be Used for Green Bean Casserole?
Yes, people will often do this if they are tight on oven space. The recipe is quite similar, however, you will no longer blanch the green beans.
Once you wash and trim them, you can toss them in the slow cooker. Make your green bean casserole sauce as before and pour it over your beans.
You then mix everything and begin to cook the fresh green bean casserole recipe with a low setting for about 2 hours. Stir it well thereafter and top it with the french-fried onions. Start cooking again for 30-60 more minutes and then it’s ready to serve!
Quick Storage and Preparation Tips
- You don’t have to use french fried onions in your fresh green bean casserole dish. The panko bread crumbs are enough if you prefer it that way.
- Mushroom soup or mushrooms will mute the fresh green bean flavor a bit so you can leave them out if that is a problem.
- You can have your crisp, tender green beans whole if you prefer them that way. I think cutting them makes it easier.
- Any leftover green bean casserole can go in the fridge for 3 days once the container is airtight.
Now, you can make the best green bean casserole you’ve ever had! Wasn’t that easy? Just remember to keep an eye on your green bean mixture as it cools and add a cornstarch slurry for thickening if necessary.
You can serve your fresh green bean casserole alongside your turkey or whatever other delights you choose!
- 2 lb. fresh green beans (should be rinsed, chopped in half, with ends trimmed)
- 1 medium onion (chopped in half)
- 2 tbsp. salted butter
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flout
- 1 (8 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup (white button or baby bella mushrooms can also be used here)
- 1 c. half and half
- 1 c. chicken broth
- 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 6 oz. french fried onions
- We want the oven ready when it's time for our green bean casserole to get cooking, so start by preheating it to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring about a gallon of water to boil with about two tablespoons of salt to boil in a large saucepan. At the same time, set a bowl of ice water aside.
- As the water is boiling, you want to add the beans and allow them to blanch for about five minutes. Drain the beans immediately. One thing that people don't often realize is that a heightened temperature will cause things to cook even if they aren't actively over a flame anymore. The same thing applies here. Therefore, we're going to stop whatever cooking is going on by immediately plunging the green beans into the ice water. Then, drain the green beans and set aside.
- In a large skillet, begin to melt your butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and spend about 4 minutes sautéing until the onions begin to soften. If you are using mushrooms, you can add them here. Throw in your salt and pepper and allow the mixture to cook for about 1 or 2 more minutes.
- Sprinkle your flour over the onions and stir to combine the ingredients. Allow the mixture to cook for about 2 more minutes. Then, you can whisk in your chicken broth and mushroom soup (if using). You want to ensure that there are no lumps present, at which point your half-and-half can stirred in. Allow the mixture to get to a simmer and then let it cook until it thickens, while stirring occasionally. This will usually take about 6 minutes.
- Pour your sauce over your green beans and stir them to combine. Now, get a casserole dish that's about 9 x 13 inches and transfer everything to it. Sprinkle the mixture with your bread crumbs and your crispy fried onions.
- Bake the green bean casserole for about 20 minutes until it gets hot and begins to bubble. While you want your onions to be golden brown, you don't want them browning too quickly. So, if that starts to happen, simply cover the mixture with aluminum foil.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 897mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g