Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Week - Green Bean Casserole

Available from Berkley Prime Crime now.

By Peg Cochran

We came to the concept of green bean casserole late in my family.  My father did not eat casseroles.  Period.  I doubt either of my parents, both of European heritage, had ever even heard of anything like a green bean casserole. I can't remember when I decided to try it--but I was determined to make it with fresh ingredients and sans the mushroom soup.  My girls took to it like a duck to water, and now it is de rigueur for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I made this up right to the point where you top it with the French fried onion rings and bake it.  I wanted to be able to freeze it for Thanksgiving and have one dish out of the way! So you will have to use your imagination when it comes to the final product.

2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 8 oz package white mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 container of French fried onion rings (store brand is fine)

White Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare green beans and add to boiling water.  Cook 6 to 8 minutes, until partially cooked but still firm. They will cook the rest of the way in the oven.  Plunge under cold water to stop the cooking and preserve the bright green color.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in saute pan.  Add sliced mushrooms, thyme and salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms begin to yield their juice.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in saucepan.  Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 to 60 seconds to cook flour.  Slowly stir in milk, pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.

Sliced mushrooms browning in pan.

Nicely browned mushrooms.
Blanched green beans

One of a set of nifty "mise en place" bowls my sister-in-law gave me.

Flour added to butter and browning slightly for white sauce

Add mushrooms to white sauce and combine with beans (it's helpful to do this in a large bowl).  Add to casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly--approximately 20 to 25 minutes.  Top with onion rings and bake until onion rings brown, approximately 10 minutes more.

The frozen pizza I made for dinner because I was making this green bean casserole. <g>

Top with onion rings before baking. This is going in the freezer for Thanksgiving
Available from Berkley Prime Crime now.


  1. Ha ha Peg, you cracked me up! I looked at that pizza and thought, she didn't say anything about pepperoni!

    Green beans sound delish!

  2. Joining Lucy with the laughter, Peg. You got me with that pizza!! I am totally on board with your **"NO soup for you!"** green beans. We make it nearly the same way--except we use Wondra flour instead of standard flour and instead of mushrooms we use crunchy water chestnuts. This is a keeper recipe, really delicious, so much better than the souped-up version, and cooks can easily play with ingredients. Thanks for sharing and...

    Happy Thanksgiving, Peg!
    ~ Cleo

    **That joke is for anyone who remember the "Seinfeld" soup Nazi.

    P.S. Lovin' your mis en place bowls!

  3. ROFL I love the NO Soup for you! Peg thank you for sharing this recipe as my family hates the souped up version. I am going to try this and mess around with the ingredients and see if I can't get my family liking this version.

    The pizza threw me off I was like wait did she mess up with the pictures :). Cute.


    Babs Book Bistro

  4. I had the same reaction as Lucy. Pepperoni on green bean casserole? Actually, that might be good!

    I'll have to give this a try. I've only made green bean casserole once, and let's just say it was not a favorite at my Thanksgiving table. Thanks for sharing your method of making this classic.

    ~ Krista

  5. Peg, this has always been a family favorite, but using all the canned goods. When I couldn't eat gluten any more, I set it aside and started serving green beans by themselves, but I still have people craving this. So I'm going to make your recipe, but gluten-free. I'll let you know the results. Think I'll fry up some sliced shallots for the top.

    ~Avery aka Daryl

  6. Hurray! Green bean casserole without the high sodium (among other things) of canned soup! Well done.