Green Bean Casserole

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I love green bean casserole. It’s always been one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner. Over the past year and half, I’ve been making an effort to cut out processed food and our classic green bean casserole is the epitome of that – canned beans mixed with canned soup.

I jumped at the chance to make a version with fewer processed ingredients. It still uses canned fried onions, but the rest of the ingredients are fresh.  I didn’t think it was possible to love it more, but I totally do. And my husband who was never a huge green bean casserole fan loved this version too. It’s completely worth the extra effort.

Green Bean Casserole
(from Brown Eyed Baker)
Serves 10-12 as a side

For the Topping:
4 slices white bread, each slices torn into quarters
2 T. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. ground black pepper
3 c. canned fried onions (about 6 ounces)

For the Beans and Sauce:
2 T. salt
2 lbs. green beans, ends trimmed, and halved
3 T. unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. heavy cream

Pulse bread, butter, salt and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with onions; set aside.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 2 tablespoons salt and beans. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain beans in colander and plunge immediately into ice water to stop cooking. Spread beans on paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

Add butter to now-empty pot and melt over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook until fragrant. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Add cream, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in an even layer in 3-quart (or 9×13-inch) baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.


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