Bring comfort food to all of your special family gatherings this season with a healthy and fresh Green Bean Casserole with Bacon -- a simple side dish that's made from scratch!
It's that time of year, when I start dreaming of delicious sides that I can add to our family's dinners. Especially as the holidays approach, I get excited for all of the "extras" on the table that balance out our meals and make them feel a bit more special. And when I think of sides, a green bean casserole always comes to mind.
My mom prepared the classic French's Green Bean Casserole for us when I was growing up (which I still love), but this season I decided to update the traditional recipe by replacing the classic fried onion topping and the creamy sauce with a lighter broth-based sauce and some sliced almonds on top. This easy green bean casserole is made from scratch, without milk and without soup!
HOW TO MAKE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE FROM SCRATCH:
Making a fresh green bean casserole from scratch is still very simple -- even without the condensed soup and the canned fried onions!
Let's start with the green beans:
You can use either fresh green beans or frozen (thawed) green beans. Place the raw green beans in a casserole dish, without cooking them in advance. I prefer a casserole with slightly tender green beans, rather than soft, mushy green beans, so this recipe does NOT require any blanching or pre-cooking. So easy, right?!
How to Cook Green Beans for a Casserole:
If you prefer very soft green beans in your casserole, you can pre-cook them before placing them in your baking dish. To do so, simply boil the green beans in a pot of water for about 5 minutes. Then immediately transfer the green beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process (for now). Place the blanched green beans in the baking dish and proceed with the recipe as instructed.
Cook the Bacon, Mushrooms and Onions:
After placing the green beans in a casserole dish, fry the bacon in a large skillet just until it's starting to get crispy.
Add the mushrooms and onions to the crisp bacon, and sauté in the bacon grease until tender.
Prepare the Sauce:
Once the mushrooms and onions are tender, make a sauce for the healthy green bean casserole by pouring chicken broth, corn starch (to thicken), salt and pepper into the same skillet. Use a whisk or a wooden spoon to scrape up all of the bits from the bottom of the pan. This adds maximum flavor to the dish!
Allow the sauce to cook and thicken for about 5-10 minutes, and then pour the bacon mixture over the green beans in the casserole dish. Give it all a toss to coat.
Bake the casserole, covered, for about 35 minutes (or until the beans reach desired tenderness). Then remove the cover, sprinkle sliced almonds on top, and pop the dish back in the oven uncovered just until the nuts are a toasted golden brown. Yet another delicious layer of flavor and texture!
Can Green Bean Casserole be Made Ahead?
Yes! You can assemble this green bean casserole the night before! Prepare the dish through Step #5 (pouring the sauce over the beans), cover the dish, and keep it in your refrigerator until ready to bake. Allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature before proceeding with the baking instructions.
I hope that you'll mix it up this season and give this one a try. It's truly THE BEST Green Bean Casserole with Bacon!
What goes with Green Bean Casserole?
There are so many great ways to complete your meal, so here are a few of our favorites:
Green Bean Casserole with Bacon
- 24 oz. fresh green beans, washed, drained, and trimmed OR frozen green beans (thawed)
- 3 slices bacon, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 (8 ounce) container sliced white mushrooms
- 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray and place fresh green beans in the bottom of the dish.
- In a large skillet, fry bacon over medium-high heat until just crisp (about 4-5 minutes). Add onions and mushrooms; cook until just soft (about 5-7 more minutes).
- Add chicken broth, cornstarch, salt and pepper to the skillet and whisk to combine (scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet for maximum flavor!). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow sauce to simmer and thicken (about 5-10 minutes).
- Pour sauce over green beans and toss to coat.
- Cover casserole with lid or foil and bake for approximately 35 minutes (or until green beans are tender). Remove cover, sprinkle top of casserole with almonds, and return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes (or until almonds are toasted and golden). Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
This post was originally published in September, 2015. It was updated in September, 2018.