We are in full blown Turkey Season – aka just over three weeks away from Thanksgiving. So going forward we will be all-Thanksgiving themed all-day e’ry-day. I guess its no surprise that I love a holiday that is pretty much based all around a meal. I love the turkey, the dressing, the pies (ooooh, the pies), the cranberry relish, and this fresh green bean casserole. Which, I think we can all agree, is far superior to canned green bean casserole. Right?
Right. Not to step on any mom or grandma toes here, but fresh green bean casserole is where its at. I promise you, one bit of this and you will never want to go back to the mushy, canned green bean atrocity that is the traditional casserole.
Wow. That took a really harsh turn. OK. Deep breath. Soooo…tell me all about your Thanksgiving?! Do you have the same menu every year? Do you get all trendy with it? Do you make tons of food? Do you have every relative you could ever be remotely related to over?
Lane’s family lives all over the place and my family all live nearby, so usually we spend Thanksgiving with my family. For the past 10(?) years we’ve been going to our old neighbors’ home but now that we have two kiddos and some of their kids have little ones and COVID is trying to destroy all our hopes and dreams we are hosting Thanksgiving in our new home.
I’m super excited because I love hosting people (big surprise). I enjoy setting a fancy table, creating the menu, adding special touches, and sitting back and watching others just enjoy something that I was able to create. I think that’s why I enjoy cooking so much – I mean I love good food, but more than that I love watching others enjoy the food that I have made.
Like this fresh green bean casserole. Y’all. I kid you not. Lane and I almost ate the whole pan by ourselves when I made this over the weekend 😳. To be fair, we ate it as a late lunch. But still. 😳😳😳 It just that good though. And what’s not to love? Bacon….cheese…French fried onions…and oh-so-tender fresh green beans and mushrooms.
And y’all remember my nutrition philosophy: if it has a fruit or veggie its basically a salad, and salads have no calories…amIright? So, if you’re wanting to serve this for Thanksgiving you can label it “fresh green bean casserole” or “fresh green bean salad” on your menu. I’m cool with either.
- Remember when we made our béchamel sauce? Well, we are at it again – with a slight variation. This version has cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt in it, delish!
- It’s important not to skip any of the veggie steps in here. I know some of the fresh green bean casserole recipes just put the green beans and mushrooms in without cooking them first. DO NOT be those people. Fresh green beans are much crispier than canned. Good for salads, not so great for casseroles. And fresh mushrooms have a lot of water in them that needs to cook out or it will cause your sauce to separate 🤢
- Like things a little on the spicier side? Add in some hot sauce!
- Not one for heavy cream. A.) we need to work on our friendship…we might be frenemies now but B.) no problem, just replace the cream with milk, but be aware that you will probably need less milk to thin out the sauce.
- Make this ahead of time 🥳 and store it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. This is not a great freezer meal because, again, the sauce will separate.
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- 1 lb green beans ends snapped off and green beans snapped into small pieces
- 3 T water
- 1 T butter
- 8 oz mushrooms washed and diced
- 3 T butter
- 3 T whole wheat flour
- 3 T Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 c milk divided
- 1/2 c cream or milk, if preferred
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- white pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- 1 c shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 6 oz can french fried onions divided
- 6 slices bacon cooked crisp and diced
- If making the same day, preheat the oven to 350 and lightly spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. Place green beans in a large sauce pan, add 3 T of water and a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove cover and return to medium-high; allow any remaining water to boil off.
- Add 1 T of butter to the skillet and allow it to melt. Add in the diced mushrooms and sautee until most of the water from the mushrooms has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.
- In the same skillet, melt the 3 T of butter over medium heat. Allow butter to brown. With a wooden spoon, stir in the whole wheat flour until a paste forms. Stir in Greek yogurt.
- Once Greek yogurt is mixed in, slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of milk. Once the milk has been whisked in, slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of cream. Once the cream has been whisked in, whisk in the remaining cup of milk very slowly – you may not need the whole cup depending on how thick you like the sauce. However, be aware that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cooks (on the stove and in the oven) so you will want to make it a little thinner than desired. I usually use the full cup.
- Once your sauce has reaced the desired level of thickness, remove from heat and stir in the garlic powder, white pepper and salt to taste, and 1/2 c of shredded cheddar cheese. Add sauce to green bean and mushroom mixture. Stir in 1 c of French fried onions. Spoon mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
- Top casserole with remaining cheddar cheese, bacon, and remaining French fried onions. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Allow casserole to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Follow directions up to topping the casserole. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Remove from fridge 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven, and top the casserole with the remaining cheese, bacon, and remaining French fried onions. Place in oven and continue follow directions. Enjoy!
Let the Thanksgiving countdown begin! Share in the comments below: what is your favorite side dish? What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?
If you make this fresh green bean casserole…
Please share your results & leave a comment below and post a photo on Instagram with #braisedinakitch