Fresh green beans and mushrooms topped with crispy onions and baked in a creamy porcini mushroom sauce is a delicious alternative to the classic green bean casserole from the 1950’s. Dig into this updated, traditional side dish and I think you will be a convert too…fresh is best.
My updated green bean casserole came about after my husband requested that I make the side dish to go along with a honey baked ham we had bought. While wanting to prepare a dish my husband would enjoy, I had a problem in that I personally have never cared for the classic casserole from the 1950’s that is made using canned green beans and condensed mushroom soup. After expressing my concerns, we came to a compromise.
Tender fresh green beans were combined with mushrooms and shallots that were sautéed in butter until golden brown, mixed with a flavorful homemade porcini cream sauce and then topped with extra crispy French’s Fried Onions. We both agreed it was a delicious compromise that we both enjoyed and I believe that your family would as well. Whether you are cooking a roast beef, turkey or ham over the holidays, this side dish would be a good accompaniment to your meal. What is also nice is that the casserole can be prepared ahead of time, which is important if you are preparing a large holiday meal or just want to not have as much work to do when serving guests.
Creamy Green Bean And Mushroom Casserole
Preheat over to 350
Serves 6, adjust the recipe according.
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, rinsed and ends trimmed, cut on the bias into 2 inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter plus additional 2 Tbsp. butter
- 8 oz. sliced cremini, white button or other mushrooms of your choice
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 3/4 c. porcini mushroom broth* (see note below)
- 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- a generous pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. Wondra flour (see note below)
- 1 – 2 oz. crispy fried onions (I used 1/2 container of French’s)
Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and tender crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes depending on their size. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water then pat dry with paper towels.
Heat the olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté until the moisture has been cooked out and they start to turn golden. Add the shallots and continue to cook until they turn golden, then transfer to a plate. In the same sauté pan, add the additional 2 tablespoons of butter and when melted, whisk in the flour until smooth then pour in the mushroom broth, cream and season with salt, pepper and the cayenne pepper, if using. Bring to a simmer, whisking often, and cook until the sauce is thick and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Remove from the heat, add the green beans and mushrooms to the sauce and mix until coated. Put in 9 X 13 baking dish, top with the onions and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Porcini Mushroom Broth: Add 1 cup of water and 1/2 oz. (about 5 pieces) dried mushrooms to a saucepan. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat, and set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the cooking liquid through a very fine mesh strainer or coffee filter to remove the grit (I strain twice) and reserve the liquid for the recipe. You can also place the water and mushrooms in a microwave safe container and cook until water starts to boil, about 30 to 60 seconds depending on your microwave. The mushrooms will produce a dark, flavorful broth that may be made in advance and will keep a week, refrigerated.
The porcini mushroom broth will add an intense flavor to the mushroom sauce but you can also substitute with chicken or vegetable broth, half and half or milk.
If you don’t care for the texture of mushrooms, you can chop the mushrooms very fine instead of using slices.
It is important to season, first cooking the green beans in salted water, seasoning the mushroom and then seasoning the sauce. Before going into the oven, taste one last time.
Wondra is the brand name for a kind of finely ground instant flour that dissolves quickly in liquids and doesn’t form lumps. If you can’t find instant flour, all-purpose flour will work fine but you’ will have to whisk more to keep lumps from forming.
The casserole can be prepared a day in advance, just don’t add the onions. Store in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or foil. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake it, allow the casserole to sit at room temperature to warm up some. Just before baking, top it with the fried onions and bake according to recipe directions.
You can blanch the green beans and make the mushroom sauce the day before then assemble it the next day if you don’t have room for a big casserole dish in the refrigerator.
If baking from cold, the casserole may take an extra 10 minutes of baking. Cover the casserole loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes then remove the foil and continue to bake until the onions are brown and the sauce is bubbling.Cook’s Notes
Whether the pandemic has forced you to have a smaller holiday celebration or you always cook for your immediate family, you will still want your holiday meal to feel special. Making a family favorite, just updated using fresh ingredients is one way of doing that. I hope you give this updated version of the classic green bean casserole a try, I believe your family will enjoy it as much as we do.
The warmth of home, the love of family and the company of friends are all true blessings and are appreciated more this year than ever before. I wish to thank you for your friendship, it is the best gift I could receive Karen