For me, Thanksgiving isn’t complete without an obscenely large batch of green bean casserole. And by obscenely large, I mean there better be enough to feed 10 plus people AND enough leftovers to feed me for at least three days post Thanksgiving. I love the stuff. How could you not? Soft green beans entangled in a creamy, mushroom-laced sauce and topped off with crispy fried onions – it’s the perfect combination of creamy, crunchy and indulgent. Plus, it’s a heck of a good way to trick your kiddos into eating their veggies.
Typically, I tend to reach for the same classic recipe, but this year, I wanted to try my hand at a slightly richer, homemade version, because while I’ll all about tradition when it comes to holidays, tradition could always use a little tweaking. In my version, hearty crimini (baby portabella) mushrooms, onions and garlic sautéed in butter are the base and foundation of the casserole, while a splash of dry sherry aids in a sweet, almost nutty undertone. The cream portion is an equal mixture of whole milk and half and half, which I find to be the perfect combination to achieve that luscious, smooth as silk texture we all love about classic green bean casserole. A final splash of worcestershire sauce and a generous hand of salt complete the sauce.
Next up, the star of the show – Del Monte green beans. Because what’s a green bean casserole without the green beans? I love using these guys because they’re SO quick and require minimal preparation — and let’s be serious, when it’s Thanksgiving and you’re preparing a million dishes, an ingredient that’s ready to go is seriously welcomed. In this version I went with the French-style green bean, and used a half and half mixture of sea salt and no salt-added, so that I could control the seasoning going into the dish.
Annd of course our casserole wouldn’t be complete without that quintessential crunchy topping – fried onions. Again, I went with a homemade version, if anything, just to test the limits of my skills and see if I could achieve that perfectly crunchy, salty fried onion that grace green bean casseroles all across America. The consensus? French fried onion domination.
Thinly sliced onions are soaked in the unused whole milk from the sauce and then dunked into a bowl of lightly seasoned flour and plunked in a shallow pool of hot oil. Of course, if you’re short on time, or frantically trying to pull five million dishes together before guests arrive, feel free to take a shortcut and use the store-bought French fried onions, millions of people buy them for a reason – they’re good!
Oh, and that gaping hole you see there? In no way, shape or form did I inhale that by myself before it even got to the table…
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups chopped crimini mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup dry sherry
- ¾ cup whole milk, warm
- ¾ cup half and half, warm
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire
- 2 cans Del Monte green beans
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- For the casserole: In a large skillet, melt butter over a medium heat. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon salt. Stir. Reduce heat to low and whisk in flour. Cook one minute.
- Slowly whisk in sherry. Cook 30 seconds.
- Slowly whisk in whole milk and half half making sure to get all lumps out. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until thickened, about five minutes.
- Add in remaining salt and Worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat.
- Stir in green beans, mix until combined. Top with fried onions and pop into the oven until hot, about 10 minutes.
- In a medium skillet, heat about ½ inch of canola oil. Heat to 375 degrees or a medium heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk flour, salt and black pepper.
- Place milk in another small bowl.
- Working in batches coat the onions first in the milk, then flour (shaking off excess) and then into the hot oil to fry. When the onions become golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
This post was sponsored by Del Monte through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Del Monte, all opinions are my own.