Green bean casserole is probably the most common supporting character of a classic Thanksgiving menu. And basically 95% of my generation grew up with the same version. Canned green beans, canned soup, and French’s Fried Onions. If you are thinking that maybe, just maybe, there is a better way, you would be correct. A luscious creamy mushroom sauce, fresh green beans and crispy fried shallots. This is next level green bean casserole and your family will thank you.
And here is where I level with you. Just in case you thought for even a minute that I don’t completely goof (there is another word I would use here, but my parents will read this) in the kitchen from time to time. This weekend, I wanted to make a nice batch of green bean casserole to photograph and share with all you lovely folk that DESERVE to have this on your Thanksgiving table. And for me, to have in my belly!
On Saturday, Alan took the 5 year old on his first hunting trip- an event I’m fairly certain he has been anticipating since the day the ultrasound revealed our first Baby was in fact, a boy. Point being, after the NEW baby boy nursed at 5am and went back down, I had a nice quiet house. So, I do what makes me most happy in those early, dark, quiet hours. I made my coffee and started playing in my kitchen. I blanched my green beans, I chopped my onion and mushrooms and made a gorgeous homemade sauce that is so superior to the canned stuff we all grew up on, it just isn’t even fair to compare the two.
Then I popped the whole business in the oven to do its thing and made my crispy fried shallots.
But guess what-I forgot to cover the pan when I put it in the oven. I blame under-caffeination. I know better than to attempt anything too important on anything less than two cups. Anyhoo, out comes my casserole with the sauce…. shall we say, quite condensed?
First of all, be smarter than me. Do as I say and not as I do. Secondly, if you do forget – here’s how you fix it. Add more half and half and a little chicken stock to loosen the sauce. Taste and re-season for salt and pepper as needed. Then smother the whole thing with these delightful crispy fried shallots and no one will be the wiser.
And here’s the second time I’m going to level with you today. That handsome, darling husband of mine still really loves the green bean casserole he grew up on. French’s onions, condensed soup and all. This one is better, way better, but what can I say- we are a house divided. So rather than make two pans of one, I make one of each. There are worse disagreements to have in a marriage, I suppose.
When I, as you now have, started to think that, yes, there is a better version of the classic green bean casserole, I turned to the interwebs. My green bean casserole is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which is adapted from an Alton Brown Recipe. And then the chick over at Damn Delicious thought to add Worcestershire, which I think is genius. Sally makes a homemade version of the onions, which involves slicing, egg-washing, panko breading and baking the onions. They are delightful, but soooo labor intensive. These crispy fried shallots, which I usually use to top pan seared tuna (I really owe y’all that recipe) are AMAZING on top of the casserole and way less work.
Green Bean Casserole
Scratch made Green Bean Casserole with a luscious cream sauce topped with crispy fried shallots.
- 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and blanched (see instructions)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 5 oz Baby Bella, Shitake or Cremini mushrooms, stemmed and chopped (feel free to use up to 8oz if your family loves mushrooms)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Blanch the green beans-bring a large pot of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil.
- Boil green beans 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Drain and set aside
- Melt butter over medium heat in an ovenproof skillet.
- Add onions and mushrooms with a pinch of salt and cook until mushrooms start to give off moisture and onions start to turn translucent- about 5 minutes
- Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
- Stir in the flour and cook one minute.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add the half and half and Worcestershire sauce.
- Stir to combine
- Add green beans to pan and stir
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste
- COVER the pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- While it bakes, make the Crispy Fried Shallots
- Remove casserole from oven and top with shallots.
- Reheat uncovered if necessary.
- ** Make ahead tip. Assemble casserole day before. Allow to come to room temp before baking. Do the shallots the day of. Can also sub French's Onions for the Fried Shallots if you are short on time or stove space.
Crispy Fried Shallots
These Crispy Fried Shallots are amazing on everything- try them on your casseroles, salads and grilled fish and meat.
- 3-4 large shallots, ends trimmed, outer layers removed and sliced into thin rings.
- 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
- Grapeseed Oil (can also use canola or vegetable oil)
- Generously coat the bottom of a 12-inch skillet with cooking oil and heat over medium high.
- Place shallot rings in a plastic baggie with flour and shake to coat.
- Remove shallots from bag and shake off excess flour.
- Working in batches, so as not to crowd your pan, fry shallots until they start to turn golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Stir around frequently. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle with salt