Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions

Green bean casserole with crispy onions on top is a tradition in many households for Thanksgiving, except for ours. The whole family seems to feel that something “green” on the buffet table means steamed or sautéed, but as “clean” as possible. There are so many starchy things that having a fairly plain vegetable is a welcome sight.

Having said that, I figured that I should branch out this year and try to update the traditional green bean casserole. In this recipe, I eliminate the canned crispy onions (which, I confess, I really like!) and the canned mushroom soup. Instead, I make my own crispy onions that are so addicting! Make sure you make plenty so that you can snack on them as you’re cooking!

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions
Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions
Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions
Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions

I also make my own mushroom sauce that use fresh mushrooms and garlic combined with chicken or vegetable broth. It feels more updated and maybe a bit healthier. Either way, it is delicious!

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions


Makes: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


Crispy Onions:

2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsps panko or plain breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Canola, safflower, peanut or other high-heat oil, for deep-frying


Mushroom Sauce:

3 tbsps butter

12 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped

Few gratings fresh nutmeg (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 tsp Kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsps all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 to 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved

Make the crispy onions: Toss onion with flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Heat a 1/2-inch or so of oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet until a drop of water flicked into it will hiss and sputter. Add onions, just a handful at a time in something close to a single layer, and fry until a light golden brown (they’ll get more color in the oven; I overcooked mine a bit, forgetting this). Remove with a spider or large slotted spoon, let oil drip off a little, back into the skillet, then spread onions out on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining onions. Set aside until needed; this makes a lot.

Heat oven to 400°F. Prepare the beans by bringing a large pot of salted water to boil and boil greens for 5 minutes (for standard green beans) or 2 to 3 minutes (for haricot vert, or skinny ones). Drain beans, then plunge them into ice water to full stop them from cooking. Drain again, and set aside.


Make the Mushroom Sauce:

Over medium-high heat, melt butter in the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and sauté them until they start releasing their liquid, anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how they were chopped. Add the garlic and sauté one minute more. Add the flour and stir it until it fully coats the mushrooms. Add the broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring the whole time. Simmer mixture for 1 minute, then add cream and bring back to a simmer, cooking until the sauce thickens a bit, about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Assemble and Bake:

Add cooked greens beans to sauce and stir until they are coated. Sprinkle crispy onions over the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and onions are a shade darker. Eat at once.

Do ahead, a few ways: Onions can be made long in advance (up to a day) and keep at room temperature, loosely wrapped (they’d get soggy in an airtight container). Green beans can be cooked and kept in fridge until needed, at least one day. Green beans can also be combined with mushroom sauce and kept refrigerated for up to a day. Add onions and bake shortly before serving. Finally, it’s less ideal, but the entire dish can be cooked, loosely wrapped (so the crispy top doesn’t get soggy) and then rewarmed in a low oven before serving. Just keep an eye on the topping so it doesn’t get too brown while reheating.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

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