It’s hard to believe, but summer is already winding down and fall is right around the corner. For me, it’s a time of excitement as I anticipate all of my classic fall recipes and create some new favorites along the way. Aside from all things pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon, green bean casserole is such a classic, savory staple this time of year. When I was a kid, green bean casserole (or as we called it “crunchy beans”) didn’t do much for me, but over time it became one of the best parts of a turkey dinner.
Little did I know, these delicious Crunchy Beans were actually full of ultra-processed ingredients. Canned green beans aren’t so bad, but who knows what goes into condensed soup. And the shelf-stable “onions” don’t resemble anything like the bulbs coming out of the ground. To solve the dilemma, I came across a recipe for Irresistibly Creamy Green Bean Casserole from Scratch by Little Spice Jar. It looked so intriguing, and makes green bean casserole much more “farm to table”, but it was a whole year later before I got around to trying it. After making it a few times, I’ve come up with my adapted recipe below. You’ll want to roll up your sleeves because this one is a bit involved, but it is totally worth the extra effort!
The first step is soaking the onion slices in buttermilk. In the meantime, whisk the flour and spices together in a bowl to have ready for later. It’s also the perfect time to slice the green beans, onions, and mushrooms for the filling.
When all the veggies are prepped, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until tender (10-15 minutes). It’s okay if they’re a bit al dente because they will cook for a few more minutes in the creamy mushroom sauce.
Creamy Mushroom Sauce
While the beans are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the diced onion and saute until it begins to soften and appears translucent. Alternatively, you could continue cooking them until they begin to caramelize for additional flavor. Add the minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds, being careful not to scorch the garlic.
Next, add the mushrooms and continue to cook another five minutes or so. Then add the leftover flour mixture from the French-fried onions. Cook for another minute and stir constantly. Add the broth and thyme and allow the mixture to thicken for about five minutes. Continue to stir often.
When the sauce is starting to get thick, add the cooked green beans and half and half. Increase the heat and cook until it is as thick as you like. If it’s still pretty runny, add another tablespoon of flour. Transfer the creamy beans to an 8×8 casserole dish and set aside.
Crispy French-Fried Onions
To make the crispy, French-fried onions, pour 1 1/2 inches of expellar-pressed grapeseed oil into a small saucepan and heat to 375 degrees. I use a meat thermometer to check the temperature, but it maxes out at 300 degrees. When it reaches that point, I let the oil heat for another minute or two before adding the onions.
Working in small batches of about ten onion slices at a time, remove them from the buttermilk and toss them in the flour mixture. Transfer them to the hot oil and fry for about 3-5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Then, remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels to absorb the grease. Sprinkle with sea salt and repeat with the remaining onions. When they are all done, spread them over the green beans.
In almost all situations, I am anti-anything-deep-fried. Cooking things in a vat of oil simply disgusts me. However, I do make two exceptions: falafel and French-fried onions (but only for green-bean casserole). As much as I would love to make these onions just to eat, I know that would be a very unhealthy decision. (They’re slightly addicting. 😉) When making these onions, I also add as little oil as I can. It seems wasteful to fill an entire pot-full when an inch or two will suffice.
The type of oil is also very important. I only use expellar-pressed grapeseed oil. (Olive oil won’t work because of its low smoke point.) If it’s not expellar-pressed, the oil is extracted from the seed using chemical solvents, meaning there could be hexane residue in the oil. I don’t know what kind of health implications that has, but I’d rather not find out. The reason I use grapeseed oil is that it is less processed than canola or vegetable oil which are also genetically modified so that more chemicals can be sprayed on the plants.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments if you give this a try! It may not be as simple as traditional green bean casserole, but trust me–it’s totally worth it! 😊
More Dinner Recipes to Try
- Falafel with Pita & Tzatziki
- Garlic Paremsan Risotto & Broccoli
- Vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna Rolls
- Baked Spinach Asparagus Risotto
No-Bake Green Bean Casserole
Crispy, French-Fried Onions
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp Celtic sea salt
- ½ tsp Hungarian paprika
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Expellar-pressed grapeseed oil
- 1 lb green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- 2 Tbsp salted butter
- ½ cup onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 8 oz mushrooms thinly sliced or diced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- ⅓ cup half and half
Crispy, French-Fried Onions
- Place the sliced onion in a bowl and cover with buttermilk. Set aside for 1 hour.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, onion powder, sea salt, paprika, and pepper. Set aside 2 tablespoons for later.
- When the onion is ready, pour 1 ½ inches of grapeseed oil into a small saucepan. Heat the oil to about 375°.
- Take approximately 10 onion slices and toss them in the flour mixture.
- Transfer the the hot oil and fry for 3-5 minutes. When the onions are golden brown, remove them from the oil and place on paper towels. Sprinkle with additional sea salt if desired. Repeat with the remaining onions.
- While the onion is soaking in buttermilk, wash the beans, trim off the ends, and cut them into 1 inch pieces.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the beans. Cook until tender (about 10-15 minutes). When the beans are ready, drain the water and set the beans to the side.
Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet.
- When the butter begins to brown slightly, add the diced onion and suate until it is at least translucent. For additional flavor, let the onion brown slightly. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until the mushrooms soften.
- Stir in the leftover flour mixture from earlier and cook for another minute.
- Add the veggie broth and thyme sprigs. Allow the sauce to thicken for another 5 minutes. Stir often.
- Add the green beans and half and half. Increase the heat and continue cooking until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. If needed, add an extra tablespoon of flour.
- Transfer the beans and sauce to a casserole dish and top with French-fried onions.