This classic green bean casserole, made with green beans, mushrooms, and a cream sauce, is a Thanksgiving tradition. Just say no to the can opener.
The precursor to this green bean casserole recipe was cleverly conceived by Campbell’s Soup in the ’50s to encourage the use of their products. The result has been millions of bastardized versions of a perfectly good dish. Here we make it from scratch. I am always surprised at how much taste the green beans have in this recipe. Originally published October 12, 2013.–Alex Guarnaschelli
LC Can Opener Not Required Note
We understand that some things are sacred. Honest, we do. We also understand how sometimes even tradition can stand for some fine-tuning. Which is why there’s no can opener required for this contemporary take on green bean casserole.
Special Equipment: deep-fry thermometer
Classic Green Bean Casserole
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 15 M
- Serves 8 to 10
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed, beans halved crosswise
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 pound white mushrooms, stemmed and sliced into 1/2-inch slices (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 cups canola oil, for frying
- 2 medium red onions, cut into thin rounds
- 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Set a colander in the ice water.
- 2. When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt and the green beans. Cook until the beans yield slightly when pierced with the tip of a knife but are not cooked through, about 4 minutes. Using a strainer or a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans from the hot water and transfer them to the colander in the ice water. Swirl the beans around so they cool quickly. Lift the colander out of the ice bath, let the beans drain, and set aside.
- 3. In a 10-inch cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt, up to 1 teaspoon cayenne, if using, and the mustard. (If kids will be partaking, you may wish to tone down the cayenne.) Stir to blend and cook until the mushrooms give off most of their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a whisk, add the garlic and 2 tablespoons flour. When the flour has been incorporated, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Stir in the cream and sour cream and gently simmer over low heat until the mixture thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. You should have about 2 cups. Turn off the heat and set the skillet aside.
- 4. Pour the oil into a frying pan and heat it over medium heat until it registers 350ºF (176ºC) on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel and set out a slotted spoon.
- 5. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup flour and cayenne to taste, if using. Toss the onion rounds in the flour mixture and shake off any excess by shaking the rounds in a strainer. Test the oil by dropping in a single onion slice. It should begin to bubble and fry gradually. Drop a small batch of onions into the oil and gently swirl them as they fry. When they are light to medium brown, which ought to take 1 to 2 minutes, remove them with the slotted spoon and lay them out on the kitchen towel to cool. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all of the onions have been fried.
- 6. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (176ºC).
- 7. To assemble the green bean casserole, stir the green beans into the skillet containing the mushroom mixture. Simmer over low heat just until the green beans become tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in half the onions. Transfer the skillet to the oven for 10 minutes to give the green bean casserole a baked effect. Top with the remaining onions and serve immediately.