Green Bean Casserole

One of my favorite Thanksgiving foods is green bean casserole, but it hasn’t always been.  It didn’t occur to me until just a couple of years ago that I didn’t have to use green beans out of a can or that fresh mushrooms would be a nice addition to the Cream of Mushroom soup I was already using.  Thus, my own Semi-Homemade Green Bean Casserole was born.  It’s one of the very few dishes I figured out how to make on my own, and for which I don’t use a recipe.  Ergo, it’s a favorite.

This casserole is perfect to make ahead and throw in the fridge or even the freezer, and I make it throughout the fall and winter.  It’s too good to save for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I know this dish is completely doable from scratch, but I don’t mind cutting a few corners now and then, especially when there are lots of other dishes on the menu.

Here’s what I use:

  • 3 C fresh green beans
  • 4 T butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 4 shallots, small diced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms (I like Baby Bellas, but buttons are fine too)
  • ¼ C white wine
  • ½ C milk (I’ve been known to use skim, whole, half and half, or cream, it just depends on what is in my fridge)
  • a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • a (large) can of French’s French Fried Onions
  • salt
  • pepper

Those last two are the semi-homemade part, although with a little extra time on your hands, you could make your own cream sauce, and fry your own onions (or roast them, like Alton).

Here we go:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cook the green beans in boiling, salted water until they are a brighter green and still crisp-tender.  They will cook more when you bake the casserole, so if a fork goes through easily now, your beans will be mushy by the time you’re done with them.  Some people like to add extra flavor by cooking the beans in chicken stock.  I don’t find this necessary.

Anyway, melt the butter in a large sauté pan.  Add the shallots and mushrooms with some salt and pepper, and stir occasionally until the shallots have softened and started to brown and the mushrooms have released their liquids.  Pour in the white wine and let it cook off for a minute or two.  Add the milk, and finally, the Cream of Mushroom soup.  When everything is incorporated, add the cooked green beans, and a little less than half the can of onions (or significantly less if you snack on them like I do).   Pour in a casserole dish, or if you’re a busy bee and you happen to cook with All-Clad, just throw the skillet in the oven!

Bake for 25 minutes, pour the remaining onions on top, and bake for 5 more.

4 thoughts on “Green Bean Casserole

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