Homemade (Healthier) Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole has always been one of my favorite holiday side dishes.  Don't get me wrong, I hated green beans as a kid, and would most definitely refuse to eat them if they were prepared any other way.  But what kid remembers they're eating something healthy when it's smothered in cream-of-mushroom soup, cheese and fried onions?  I'm not sure about you guys, but I forgot real fast.  I still eat this delicious and traditional green bean casserole when we spend the holidays with my family and love every single bite, but I wanted to make something a little healthier and less processed this year.

This green bean casserole is just as delicious as the casserole I grew up eating, minus the questionable ingredients.  And, my favorite part? Whole sliced (fresh!) mushrooms.  I'm love mushrooms, so, in general, unless I'm eating soup, I would rather eat my mushrooms whole or sliced. This casserole still has the onions and "fried" breadcrumbs and cheese.  Lots of yummy yummy cheese.  So, don't worry, this casserole doesn't taste healthy, but it's fresh.  

Don't be intimidated by the ingredient list or directions written below.  It's not nearly as complicated as it seems.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Prep Time:  30 min  /  Cook Time:  30 min  /  Total Time:  1 hour
Servings:  8 (as a side)
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

 

Ingredients:

Casserole Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
Homemade mushroom sauce (see below)
Homemade onion topping (see below)

Crispy Onion Topping:

2 Tbsp butter, divided
2 medium onions, peeled, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mushroom Sauce:

2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
20 ounces white button or baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock (to keep it vegetarian)
1 cup milk of choice
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

 

Instructions

The order of preparation goes like this:  onion topping, green beans, mushroom sauce and assembly.  I did not follow this order the first time and ended up tossing uncooked green beans in with the mushroom sauce because I got so excited when the mushroom sauce was done I forgot to cook the green beans.  It still turned out wonderfully, but I had to improvise and cook them in the sauce in the oven for longer than I anticipated.  Basically, following the directions will save you a lot of time.

So let's get started...

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Over high heat, bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.

Onion Topping

  1. Heat half the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until just melted.  Add your sliced onions and saute for about 5 minutes until they are soft and starting to brown just around the edges, making sure to stir occasionally.  Once cooked and brown, use a spoon and transfer the onions to a separate bowl.
  2. Add the remaining butter and heat until melted.  Add the Panko breadcrumbs and mix with the melted butter until combined.  Continue to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so to prevent burning.  Continue cooking until breadcrumbs nice and golden brown.  Remove from heat and transfer to the same bowl as the onions.
  3. In the same mixing bowl as the onions and toasted breadcrumbs, stir in the Parmesan cheese and salt and toss until well combined.  Set aside.
     

***by now your large stockpot of water should be boiling.  Add your green beans and boil for 3-5 minutes.  Take care not to boil for too long, otherwise you will end up with mushy green beans.  Drain your cooked green beans and add to a bowl of ice water to prevent them from cooking anymore.  Set aside until mushroom sauce is finished.
 

Mushroom Sauce

  1. Grab your saute pan and heat your butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Add mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes until just cooked, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the garlic and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant (aka best smell ever).  Sprinkle in the flour evenly over the mushrooms and stir until combined.  Continue to saute and stir for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add in your chicken or vegetable broth, whisking to combine.  Whisk in the milk and bring to a low simmer.  Allow the sauce to cook for an additional minute or so until thickened.  Add your Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese is melted.
  3. Simmer your sauce on low until it is ready to mixed with the green beans.
  4. (if your sauce is too thick, slowly whisk in more milk.  Conversely, if the sauce is too thin, slowly add in more Parmesan cheese, until you reach the desired consistency)


Assembly

  1. Oven preheated? check.  Green beans boiled? check.  Crispy onion topping and mushroom sauce prepared? check.  
  2. Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large mixing bowl combine your mushroom sauce and green beans.  Mix until combined.  Pour into your greased casserole dish.
  3. Sprinkle evenly with the onion topping and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Serve warm.

 

Enjoy!

 

     

    Before the Sickness Hit...

    Vegetarian Chipotle Chili with Butternut Squash