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Thanksgiving Classic Green Bean Casserole

This is a perfect side dish for any special occasion.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword classic green bean casserole, green bean casserole, green bean hotdish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 295kcal
Author Joe

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 lbs. fresh green beans, stems removed you can substitute frozen beans, see notes
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt, for the blanching water
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 med. yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into 1/2" pieces I used baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste, (2" of paste)
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth, I used Better Than Bouillon chicken base
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 6 oz. can French's fried onions
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Use a large stock pot filled with water and 2 tablespoons of kosher stock and bring to a boil. Add the fresh green beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Use a strainer to remove the beans from the water and place them into the ice water. Once the beans are cooled, remove them from the water, drain well and reserve until the mushroom béchamel is finished.
  • Preheat the oven to 375° F, 190° C.
  • Use a dutch oven or large skillet with high sides and melt the butter on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until their water is released and evaporated, 10 minutes.
  • Add the chopped onion along with the anchovy paste if you are using it. Stir to dissolve the paste and cook for 4 minutes until the onion become translucent.
  • Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat the vegetables and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add the thyme sprigs at this time.
  • Pour in the chicken broth gradually while vigorously whisking to prevent lumps. Once fully blended, add the half and half and whisk . Bring to a slow boil and cook to thicken about 3 minutes. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as desired. I added about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • Remove from the heat and fish out the thyme sprigs. Add the green beans and fold together with the sauce.
  • Spray a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, then pour in the beans and sauce. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to even out the beans in a layer. Cover with aluminum foil, place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Take the casserole out of the oven and remove the aluminum. Sprinkle about half of the fried onions on top and use tongs to lift and combine the onions into the sauce and beans. Sprinkle the remainder of the fried onions in an even layer on the casserole. Place back in the oven uncovered for 5 minutes to allow the onions to brown and become fragrant and crunchy. Serve hot.

Notes

  1. Frozen green beans can be used also. Just thaw them. No need to blanch so that step can be skipped. Reduce baking time to about 15 minutes. You want the sauce to be bubbling and hot. Add the fried onions per instructions.
  2. By all means, don't try to make this recipe with canned beans. 
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme to substitute for fresh sprigs.
  4. Anchovy paste is optional but recommended. The paste will last 18 months in your refrigerator and can be used in lots of other recipes.
  5. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven or microwave.
  6. The casserole can be made a day ahead, just don't add the fried onions until heated in the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcal