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Green Bean Casserole

green-bean

Convert your greatest casserole skeptics with a from-scratch, homestyle take on this classic side.

Green bean casserole is a fixture of my childhood. I remember sitting down to Grandma’s table each holiday season and eagerly eyeing the soup-drenched green beans and crunchy friend onion dish.

It wasn’t until I met my best friend that I realized it was even possible to dislike such a heartwarming, timeless holiday side. To my dismay, she wasn’t alone. I later found out my husband disliked it, my children disliked it and as I started to read the soup ingredients, even I began to dislike it.

But is a holiday without green bean casserole worth having at all? I decided to try my hand at a healthy green bean casserole made completely from scratch, no soup involved, and the results were incredible. Suddenly everyone liked green bean casserole. And my skeptical best friend? She had two helpings.

No-Soup Green Bean Casserole

Casserole Ingredients

  • 3 ½ lbs of organic green beans, cleaned and cut, or (4) 14.5-ounce cans of organic green beans, drained
  • Organic mushrooms, sliced (I used about ½ pound, but include as little or as many as you’d like)
  • 5 tbsp. butter from grass-fed cows
  • 3 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose organic flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Crispy Onion Ingredients

  • One large organic onion, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose organic flour
  • 2 tbsp. bread crumbs (toasted bread ends mashed in baggies by kiddos works really well – and they freeze wonderfully!)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Olive oil or butter to lightly coat a baking sheet

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. We’re going to get those onions started first because they take a while to get crispy.
  2. Combine your thinly-sliced onions, ¼ cup flour, breadcrumbs, and salt in a bowl. Make sure all the little onions are nice and coated.
  3. Coat a cookie sheet with olive oil or butter to keep the onions from sticking. Evenly spread your coated onions on the sheet.
  4. Bake the onions for about 30 minutes, tossing every 10-15 minutes or so and checking for a deep, golden brown color. Close your eyes and inhale the scent of heaven.
  5. While your onions are baking, melt the 5 tbsp. of butter in a large pan. Use a deep pan or saucepan because you’ll be stirring everything later on.
  6. Add your flour and whisk, whisk, whisk. We’re making a roux. Go ahead and show off your fanciness by speaking to your kids or cat in French. Keep whisking for a minute or so, until the flour and butter begin to get golden brown.
  7. Slowly add the chicken broth and milk. Keep whisking while you turn up your burner to medium-high. Let the mixture boil and thicken while whisking away.
  8. Add your green beans and mushrooms. Stir and smile.
  9. Transfer the green bean mixture to a glass baking dish. I used a medium-sized Pyrex bowl, but a 13-by-9-inch dish would work well, too.
  10. Sprinkle your homemade fried onions on top and bake everything at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Dessert Now, Dinner Later.

JENNIFERJennifer Ludwigsen is a homesteading mom in Crystal Lake, freelance copywriter, blogger at Flaws, Forgiven and recently became a Food Shed Co-op board member. Reach her at jen@jenniferludwigsen.com.

 

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