Homemade Green Bean Casserole
Hello friends. I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is just next week. The holiday comes a little early this year, but honestly even if it was the following week, it would feel like it crept up on us too soon! One of the favorite Thanksgiving (and Christmas) dishes in my family is green bean casserole. I have made the “traditional” version of this dish with canned condensed cream of mushroom soup many, many times, but ever since I perfected a recipe for Homemade Green Bean Casserole, we have never turned back. I gained inspiration from a compilation of different recipes online and then made it my own, as I always do when I’m researching new recipes. Using fresh ingredients always makes a huge difference and the extra effort is totally worth it.
I know that the holidays can be difficult for some. If you are separated from your family, whether it be from a pending divorce, or children away at school or deployment, the holidays can be lonely. I also know that they can be very sad for people that have lost loved ones. I lost my father in 2014, and although I have a few holidays under my belt since our goodbye, I still miss him like crazy and that feeling is exacerbated around this time of the year. Christmas is especially difficult for me. I want you to know that if you’re feeling lonely, please do not lose hope. You are not alone! If you need a friend, please feel free to reach out to me. You can leave a comment below, or send me an email at email@example.com and I’d be happy to befriend you.
We are hosting Thanksgiving this year at our home, and we have a couple of new guests this year. One woman is a divorcee that works with a friend and another guest is new to the area. I take such great pleasure in opening our home to people that don’t have a place to go to celebrate the holidays. If you have an extra seat at your table, will you join us and welcome a new friend into your home?
I’m so excited to share this recipe for Homemade Green Bean Casserole with you today! This recipe does take more time than using canned goods, but the fresh ingredients make it worth the extra effort. Fresh ingredients always make a huge difference. Real food versus processed food has such wonderful flavor and texture.
Although using canned or frozen green beans is obviously more convenient, please make this recipe using fresh green beans. Fresh green beans are inexpensive and are very easy to prep. Simply wash them and then trim off the ends and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Next, blanch them in boiling water for about 7 minutes to soften them.
Remove them from the boiling water and drain them in a colander and then put them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. If you skip this step, they will continue to cook and will become mushy and soft and will lose their bright, green color. Having a little texture to them will enhance the freshness of the dish and your guests will appreciate that they taste like real green beans, versus canned or frozen. There is nothing wrong with frozen green beans, but there is no comparison to fresh. Personally, I do not like canned green beans at all. They taste metallic and they are soggy and limp. Trust me, using fresh will change your perspective on convenience foods.
While the green beans are taking their bath, sauté some mushrooms seasoned with a little S&P in a little bit of butter. Depending on how you like your mushrooms, you can adjust the cooking time. If you prefer softer mushrooms, cook them down a little bit longer, but I like mine with a little more bite to them, so in the photo below is a visual of how far I like to take mine until I add the additional ingredients.
Note: You can use any mushrooms, but my preference is baby bella mushrooms in this dish. They are rich in flavor and have a meaty texture that is delightful for both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!
When the mushrooms reach the desired doneness, add some fresh garlic and nutmeg and cook until the garlic has softened. Next, add your thickening agent. Flour or corn starch are interchangeable as a thickening agent. This recipe calls for flour, but feel free to substitute corn starch if you prefer. After the thickening agent has cooked completely, add chicken broth and cook for one minute. Add some half-and-half and cook until the mixture thickens. It will start to form bubbles and will stick to the back of a spoon. When it reaches this point, you will know it’s ready for the next step.
When the mixture has thickened, add the drained green beans and mix well. Bake in the oven, covered for 20-30 minutes and then remove from the oven, uncover and top with French Fried Onion Strings. If you are feeling brave, make your own onion strings, but I find that the canned version is just as delicious. In fact, I buy the generic version and they are absolutely delightful! Using mostly fresh ingredients gives me a little leniency to take some help from the store with one prepared ingredient without too much guilt.
Isn’t that a beautiful site? Notice my favorite Pioneer Woman Casserole Dish that my sweet hubby gave me for Christmas last year. This set is currently out of stock, but I hope she brings them back. They are inexpensive, dishwasher safe, and too pretty for words!
Please take a chance this Thanksgiving and make my Homemade Green Bean Casserole instead of using canned ingredients. Using fresh ingredients is always best. You have my word that the extra effort will pay off.
Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours. I hope that you have a day filled with laughter and joy and make happy memories that will last for years to come.
Please stop by and leave me a comment if you try this recipe and let me know how it turned out. I’d also love to see your photos on Social Media! Be sure to tag #ketchumkitchen so that I don’t miss your photos!
Thank you for stopping by my kitchen, where everything, without exception, is made from the ♥
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