Like sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, no Thanksgiving feast is complete without a delicious green bean casserole. At Ekilove, we believe in keeping traditions alive while adding our own twist. That’s why we have more than 7(!) unique recipes for green bean casserole on our site, including gluten-free, slow-cooker, and even vegan versions. However, today we’re bringing you our most classic recipe, the one you can always count on.
The Beans: Fresh or Frozen?
Green beans may not be in season during November, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their delightful flavor. If fresh green beans aren’t available, feel free to use frozen ones instead. Frozen green beans are preserved at their peak, ensuring they taste just as good as fresh. Simply blanch them to achieve the perfect tenderness. And if you’re in a bind and only have canned green beans, they’ll work too!
The Aromatics: Building Flavors
Cream of mushroom soup is a staple ingredient in traditional green bean casserole recipes. However, we’ve decided to take things up a notch by creating a homemade cream sauce and adding sautéed mushrooms. This substitution guarantees a stronger and more pronounced mushroom taste. Sauté your favorite mushrooms (we recommend cremini) with thinly sliced onions in butter. Allow the flavors to develop and caramelize for a deep, rich mushroom goodness.
The Cream Sauce: Simplicity at its Best
Creating a cream sauce may sound daunting, but fear not. It’s incredibly simple! Start by melting butter, whisk in a little flour, and gradually pour in the milk. Let the mixture simmer and thicken on the stovetop until you achieve a creamy and velvety texture. Say goodbye to the gloppy texture found in canned soups and hello to a homemade delight!
To Cheese or Not to Cheese?
While not traditional, adding cheese to your green bean casserole takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness. If you’re feeling adventurous, sprinkle some shredded cheddar, Gruyère, Parmesan, or Monterey Jack into the green bean mixture. Be mindful not to go overboard, as too much cheese can overpower the other flavors. Stick to a maximum of one cup for the perfect balance.
Never Skip the Fried Onions
No green bean casserole is complete without the iconic fried onions. These crispy, salty delights add the perfect finishing touch to the dish. If you’re feeling ambitious, make your own fried onions from scratch (you can enjoy them year-round!). Alternatively, grab a classic store-bought option, like French’s. Either way, don’t skimp on the fried onions — they’re an absolute must!
Make It Ahead: The Time-Saving Solution
Thanksgiving can be a hectic time, so why not save yourself some effort? Prepare your green bean casserole ahead of time. Simply assemble the casserole, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. A couple of tips: allow the casserole to cool to room temperature before baking, or adjust your baking time to account for the colder temperature. And most importantly, don’t add the fried onions until after the first round of baking. This preserves their signature crispy crunch.
Storage: Leftovers Galore
Leftovers are a Thanksgiving tradition in themselves. To store any leftover green bean casserole, transfer it to an airtight container or cover your casserole dish with storage wrap. Properly stored, this side dish will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. And if you’re looking for creative ways to repurpose your leftovers, check out our Thanksgiving leftovers ideas for some tasty inspiration. Reheat your casserole in the microwave or oven for a quick and satisfying meal.
Remember, at Ekilove, we’re all about celebrating timeless recipes while infusing them with our own unique touch. Give our classic green bean casserole a try this Thanksgiving, and let us know how it turns out in the comments section below!