Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without green bean casserole, and I’ve grown to adore this fresh green bean casserole recipe over the last few years.  This recipe was inspired by Ree Drummond’s recipe.  I added mushrooms and bell peppers, and I also decided to be super indulgent and use bacon grease instead of butter for the roux.  No cans are involved in this recipe, so there are lots of extra yummy flavors going on.  It makes my taste buds happy in a way that cans simply cannot.
Feel free to make this right before your Thanksgiving meal, or make it ahead earlier in the week and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it.  I’d just recommend cooking it about 30-40 minutes instead of what’s stated below, and I would also recommend only putting the crispy onion topping on for the last 10 minutes so they don’t burn.
I hope you enjoy this delicious side dish as you gather with your family this Thanksgiving!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 package of bacon (or about 6 slices) …keep the grease!!
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (half a package)
  • 10 ounces frozen onion, red and green pepper blend (about half a bag)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 12-24 ounces fresh green beans, tipped (I only used one package, but there’s enough sauce for two packages)
  • 3 ounces of crispy onion crunchy topping (about half a package)
  • Salt and garlic pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large saute pan, cook the bacon.  Leave the grease in the saute pan, and remove the cooked bacon.  Let the bacon drain on a plate with some paper towels to absorb the grease while it cools. When the bacon has cooled, chop into pieces.
Saute the mushrooms, garlic, and the onion pepper blend in the bacon grease at about medium heat.  When the veggies are tender, sprinkle them with 1/4 cup of flour.  Stir the flour around until all the vegetables are evenly coated.  Let it cook for a minute or two.  Add the milk and parmesan cheese and stir often it while the sauce thickens.  The longer you cook it, the thicker the sauce will become.  If it gets too thick you can add more milk, or some chicken stock.  When it is to the thickness you desire, add the bacon pieces.  Salt and pepper the sauce to taste (I used garlic pepper).
Boil the green beans in a pot of salted water for a few minutes, or until they are just beginning to soften. Be careful to not overcook them or they’ll be mushy in your casserole.  Drain the green beans and stir them into the cream mixture.  Pour into a casserole dish and cover with crispy onion crunchy topping.  Bake at 375 for about 10-15 minutes, or until warm and bubbly and the onions are golden.   Enjoy!

© Terri Demarest Photography
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