Homemade Green Bean Casserole
Put aside the canned soup and processed onions. Take this traditional delight to the next level by going homemade. Gluten-free version also available.
For the onion topping
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 6 tbsp of flour
- Oil for frying
For the casserole
- 4 tbsp of olive oil plus oil for greasing a baking dish
- 1 shallot, peeled and minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 8 oz of bella mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tbsp of butter
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/4 tsp of thyme
- 2 lbs of fresh green beans, cleaned with the ends trimmed, and cut in half
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preparing the onion topping
- Place the sliced onions into a bowl with the flour.
- Mix the flour and onions with your hands.
- Pull the onions out, shaking off excess flour, and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, fill it with about 1-inch of oil.
- Heat up the oil on medium-high.
- Working in batches, fry the coated onions in the oil until golden or slightly tan.
- Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside for later.
Making the casserole
- Preheat your oven to 350º. Lightly grease a baking dish with a little oil.
- In a stock pot, heat up 4 tbsp of olive oil on medium.
- Add in the shallot and garlic, cooking until soft and fragrant.
- Place the mushrooms in, cooking until they soften.
- Set the mushroom/onion/garlic mixture aside.
- In the stock pot you just used, melt the butter.
- When the butter is a liquid, add in the flour and stir continuously to make a light roux.
- Slowly pour in the stock, stirring continuously, then again with the milk.
- Season with salt, pepper and thyme, then bring the liquid to a near boil.
- Lower your heat and simmer until the liquid thickens into a near gravy.
- Add back in the mushroom/onion/garlic mixture and stir.
- Place the green beans into the mushroom sauce, gently stirring to coat the beans.
- Transfer your casserole to the baking dish. Spread it into an even layer.
- Cover the top of the casserole with the fried onions.
- Place the whole dish in the oven and bake for roughly 30 minutes.
I'll be brutally honest. It was a pain in the butt to make those fried onions. Unless you're looking to go gluten-free, I'd suggest taking the easy route and buying a can of French fried onions. However, if you're a purist, then go for making your own.
Be sure to stir gently when handling the mushrooms and green beans. You don't want to break them up into bits under the heat.
Watch your heat when dealing with the butter. Your goal is a light tan roux, so lower your heat if it seems things are moving too fast.
If it seems like your sauce is a paste, don't worry. The beans will let some water go, thus bringing back the gravy consistency. I once added in more stock, worried about the consistency, but ended up with a watery casserole.
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free: I recently was challenged to make this recipe for a guest who is on a diet free of gluten, dairy, and soy. What I did was to use 6 tbsp of olive oil and no butter, as well as a gluten-free flour. For the milk I actually used unsweetened almond milk. Worked wonderfully. For those who want gluten-free but do not want to fry up onions, consider maybe some fresh sliced onions mixed with gluten-free breadcrumbs. The whole topping will toast in the oven nicely.
If you wish to go vegan, then use 6 tbsp of olive oil and no butter. Also use a vegetable stock.