Love it or hate it, green bean casserole is a polarizing side dish.
I’m in the “love it” camp. I love everything about it: the creamy mushroom soup, the salty canned green beans, the crispy French-fried onions.
I get why green bean casserole gets a bad rap, though. It is a bunch of less-than-stellar ingredients thrown into a baking dish. Cream of mushroom soup is a turn-off to a lot of people, as is canned green beans.
Green bean casserole doesn’t have to be that way, though. It CAN be made with fresh green beans, homemade cream sauce, and extra delightful ingredients like bacon and cheese. At least, that’s what is inside this dish.
I’m a die-hard fan of the OG GBC, but this is a fantastic replacement that a LOT of people will love. I’ve made a few tweaks to this recipe to make it better and I think I nailed it.
For crisp-tender green beans, blanch them beforehand. Blanching is easy: add green beans to boiling water for just a few minutes, then quickly dunk them in ice water. Blanching makes them crisp-tender (even after baking) and it helps retain that brilliant green color.
Here’s another tip: grate your own cheese. It melts easier than the pre-shredded cheese and I think it tastes better, too. The more cheese in this casserole, the better, so if you want to add more than it calls for, feel free.
Fully Loaded Green Bean Casserole
A cheesy, creamy green bean casserole with caramelized onions and bacon.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized, about 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain and add green beans to a bowl of ice water.
- Once onions are caramelized, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and melt. Add mushrooms to pan and cook until browned. Season with garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme.
- Stir in flour and let cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Let mixture come to a boil then reduce heat slightly, stirring until sauce thickens.
- Stir in half of the cheddar cheese and all of the Parmesan. Remove sauce from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large 13×9″ baking dish and add the green beans to the dish. Top with half of the crumbled bacon and all of the sauce.
- Top casserole with remaining bacon, cheese and French-fried onions. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
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