I’m not ashamed to admit that for much of my life, I loved the version of green bean casserole made with a few cans and pop-the-top crispy onions sprinkled over the top. It’s what most of us have grown up knowing and that flavor profile has a special place in my heart (stomach?) Aside from mashed potatoes, green bean casserole was always my other favorite side dish at Thanksgiving. So much so that while some people may have considered it a once a year kind of recipe, I made it on plenty of regular days not involving turkey. Now that making things from scratch has become a passion of mine, a homemade version of green bean casserole has been high on my list of recipes to make over.
I’ve tried a few versions in the past and while good, they really didn’t quite mimic the flavors of the classic. I was honestly ready to give up and go back to the cans, but finally I found a recipe I love enough to take the place of the original. Though it requires a bit more effort than opening cans, it is still quite simple to make. Blanch green beans, make a quick mushroom sauce, and fry shallots while the casserole bakes. The casserole portion can be made in advance and refrigerated. I’m not sure exactly how long the fried shallots stay crisp for, but I fried mine a few hours before using them and they were still nice and crisp so they last at least that long. Now I can finally say with certainly that green bean casserole has made its way back into my ranks of favorite turkey day sides. Even though I had it this weekend, I’m really looking forward to Thursday :)
From Scratch Green Bean Casserole
Yield: 6-8 servings
For the casserole:
1¼ lbs. green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
10 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp. minced shallots
3 tbsp. flour
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the topping:
Canola oil, for frying
2-3 shallots, sliced thinly
Flour, for dredging
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish. Add the green beans to a large sauté pan and cover with a few inches of water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook until fork tender, about 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release most of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in the flour and cook briefly, about 1 minute. Stir in the half-and-half, broth, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the drained green beans, season with salt and pepper to taste, and transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish. (At this point, the casserole can be covered and refrigerated.) Bake for 20 minutes, until browned and bubbling (30 minutes if it has been refrigerated).
To make the topping, add some canola oil to a small saucepan to about 1-2 inches deep. Heat the oil to 350˚ F. While the oil is heating, dredge the sliced shallots in the flour, shaking off the excess. Add to the pan with the hot oil and fry until the shallots are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
Sprinkle the fried shallots over the warm casserole. Serve immediately.
Source: barely adapted from Williams Sonoma