Nov 20, 2012

Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole with Shallot Crumb Topping



Not your Momma's Green Bean Casserole!

Confession: I strongly dislike mushy green beans.

Year after year I've been asked to post a lighter green bean casserole, and I've opted out because the thought of mushy green beans in canned soup with fried onions just doesn't do it for me.  I'm very particular about how I like my green beans, I love them roasted so they get a little browned, cooked until tender crisp.  I like them sauteed with a little garlic and oil, I even love them in a salad... but frozen or out of a can... I can do without them.

But, seeing how so many of you love green bean casserole, and after getting a Williams Sonoma Catalog with a (not light) recipe inside, I was inspired to give this a try.


I blanched my green beans for 2 minutes so they wouldn't turn to mush. If you like your green beans soft, I would boil them for 5-7 minutes.


I made a mushroom sauce with milk and chicken stock instead of heavy cream. After tasting it, I thought it needed a little extra something, so I added some Pecorino Romano.


That fixed the flavor problem! Then came the topping, I wasn't about to fry onions so I chopped up some shallots and decided to go with a toasted bread crumb topping instead. Next time I may add a little bacon to this (yes, there will be a next time). Put it in the oven and crossed my fingers. When it came out of the oven I served myself a plate and thought it was pretty good! In fact, I had to servings, but this was my lunch so I didn't feel guilty.


Tips: Next time I make this I will cut the green beans in half, I think it would be easier to serve. Panko would work great in place of the bread crumbs. Adding a little bacon or pancetta to the crumbs would be delicious in my opinion. You can certainly halve this to feed a family of 4. Hope you enjoy!


Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole with Shallot Crumb Topping
Adapted from Williams Sonoma
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8 • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts 
Calories: 160 • Fat: 6 g • Carb: 22 g • Fiber: 4 g • Protein: 7 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 280.5 mg (without salt)


Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs green beans, cut in half, trimmed and washed
For the topping:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh)

 For the green beans:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots, minced
  • 16 oz sliced mushrooms, (I used cremini)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock (or vegetable for vegetarian)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions:

Boil a large pot of water, when boiling add green beans and blanch for 2 minutes (or 6-8 minutes if you like them softer). Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking.

Meanwhile make the topping, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Reduce heat to medium-low, add breadcrumbs, grated cheese and thyme; sauté until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, careful not to burn.  


Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms, stir constantly for about a minute, then slowly add chicken stock, then milk. Bring to a low boil, and cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in Romano cheese. 


Add blanched green beens and mix well, season with salt and pepper as needed; pour into prepared baking dish. 



Top with toasted bread crumbs and bake about 30 minutes.

69 comments :

  1. Gina, the topping on this sounds wonderful!

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  2. Looks looks wonderful. Should I just add one package of mushrooms?

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    1. It was 2, thanks for catching that!

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    2. No problem. I absolutely love you site. Fantastic recipes.

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  3. Is there any vegetable you think might be good to substitute for the mushrooms? My husband hates mushrooms :(

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    Replies
    1. I guess you can leave them out?

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    2. A lot of people don't like the "spongy" texture of mushrooms, but if your husband is alright with the flavor of them, then maybe you can use powdered mushrooms. If it's not too much of a hassle then you could also buy dried mushrooms in bulk and grind them in a spice grinder to make a powder and add it to the base (rue) so the flavor is there without the texture.

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  4. ok...just want to add the oil to the breadcrumb directions but I knew it was in there..... Sounds GREAT.

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  5. Mmmm looks and sounds de-li-cious!!! Can't wait to try...and I also don't like mushy green beans..I think they are so much better with some crispness! Thanks Gina!!

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  6. Any suggestions for a gluten free topping? Are fried onions (gasp I know) gluten free? I know Trader Joes sells a baked version of them, or at least they did last year.

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    1. I'm not sure if they are gluten free but (gotta love trader joes) a baked version would certainly be lighter. WHat if you sliced the onions, coated them with a little oil and baked them until they get crispy?

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    2. I have a kitchen secret for making gluten free breadcrumbs: I like to take Udi's gluten free frozen waffles and toast them, then break them down in my food processor with herbs and fresh pecorino. They're an amazing and easy to make!

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  7. Hi Gina
    Love your recipes, but I have a question about this one. In the directions above it says to add the shallots to a medium sized skillet and then the onions and saute about 3-5 minutes, but I don't see onions anywhere in the ingredients? Am I asking a dumb question here? lol
    Shannon

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    Replies
    1. hmm, I was cooking and typing at the same time when I wrote this. I will fix!

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    2. maybe it is supposed to say oil :)
      Tricia

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  8. This looks so much better than "traditional" green bean casserole. It actually looks like green beans. Is it rude to send this to the person bring green bean casserole as a suggestion :)

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    1. Hope its not rude -- 'cause I just send did!

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  9. one more typo found Gina...."In fact, I had to servings, but this was my lunch so I didn't feel guilty." Should say....I had two servings. Looks good though.

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  10. This looks really good! Could this be made the night before Thanksgiving?

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  11. This recipe sounds wonderful. I'll be trying this with a few alterations to make it gluten free though. And to another poster, I don't believe French's onions come gluten free. However, there is a brand I use frequently Kinnickinnick, that makes gluten free bread crumbs, panko style even. These would work great here. I get them locally (southern Cali) at Henry's market. But perhaps Amazon might sell them? Anyway, thank you again for another great recipe I can't wait to try!

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  13. Looks great! I will make this for sure. I love green bean casserole but did not want the traditional version. Doing great eating the foods from your site! Feel so much better!
    BTW: My husband and kids are loving all the cooking I'm doing! And you make it so easy to follow. Can't wait for the cookbook.

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  14. Green bean casserole is my absolute favorite holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and any other event I can sneak it into)side dish! I am so happy you posted a healthier option. I will feel much less guilty about eating half of the pan myself with this version :)

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  15. How much change in flavor will using yellow sweet onions in place of shallots cause? I've read that shallots have a denser, more garlicky taste - could I simply add some garlic powder, minced garlic or fresh chopped garlic to the mix to substitute?

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    1. Onions would taste great, and sure add a little garlic.

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  16. I am exactly the same as you when it comes to green beans! I hate mushy, canned ones, so I used to always ask my mom to use fresh ones in her casserole. I've been seeing a lot of lightened up green bean casseroles this week and I may just have to try one this year!!

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  17. Gina, this is a skinny version of the green bean casserole that's been a favourite in our house for a long time. I got very tired of it and not wanting all the fat (ours was made with cream and lots of cheddar cheese), I haven't made it in a while. I think now I might give this a try and see if anyone can tell the difference. Just a little suggestion for a flavour boost...our recipe called for soy sauce and a little shot of hot sauce in the mix. Also, we never topped it with crumbs or anything else and it was always good...so if people want to cut back a bit more on points...try leaving the topping off.

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  18. I love how easy this looks! Great healthy twist on the classic :)

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  19. Thanks so much! I will definitely try this one next time!

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  20. This looks great, thanks so much for sharing. The recipe I have/had calls for a dash (or teaspoon) of soy sauce ... Could that be the zing that you were missing?

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    Replies
    1. soy sauce, cheese, they both add unami to any dish. That I'm sure would work!

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    2. This looks delicious. I will need to leave out the cheese. Is the soy sauce a good substitute for the cheese? Or worcestershire? or more herbs?

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  21. I actually just had green bean casserole for the first time. I loved it -- so I'm glad I've found a lighter version!

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  22. How many shallots would I need to buy to get 1.33 Cups total? I think this looks fabulous!!! Thanks so much! I haven't been let down by your site yet, Gina! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  23. How many shallots would I need to buy to get 1.33 Cups total? I think this looks fabulous!!! Thanks so much! I haven't been let down by your site yet, Gina! Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. They vary in size, but I used about 3-4 large.

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  24. I bought fresh green beans today as our fresh vegetable for Thursday and may try this. I don't think everything on a Thanksgiving menu needs to have a fancy presentation or be rich and high in calories. This is a great recipe.

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  25. Can this be made the night before and then baked?

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    1. I don't see why not, I would add the crumbs just before baking.

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  26. I totally agree! That mushy green bean and mushroom soup casserole is a favorite in my family. Not for me - I'll opt to bring this instead and see how it goes over.

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  27. I'm not a huge fan of Green bean casserole, but my family insists it be on the table. I've lightened it as much as I could using skim milk and reduced fat and sodium mushroom soup. I never, ever use canned green beans, always par cook fresh or use par cooked frozen. I'd like to give this recipe a try and see what the masses think! :) thanks!

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  28. The original green bean casserole is a traditional dish at our family dinners.
    I would love to try this tho as my daughter's boyfriend sensitive to wheat, canned soup does not sit well with him. Which flour would you recommend adding to the mushrooms in this case?

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  29. This does look great. Thank you so much. I will also be trying a gluten free version of this. Also, would it be a big sin to use frozen green beans instead of fresh? What would you do different in that case?

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  30. wish the printer friendly recepies came with a picture option

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  31. Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful ideas and recipes :)

    Misty from belgium

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  32. I'm making this for Thanksgiving! Thank you for the recipe.

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  33. I'm salivating just looking at the photos! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    fellow admirable blogger

    bowtiquetoyou@blogspot.com

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  34. My favorite way to prep green beans: brush with a tiny bit of olive oil and garlic, grill. Let them get a crispy
    dark here and there. Wonderful.

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  35. Just made this tonight and it was a huge hit! I did not grow up eating green beans and I am at a loss when I want to make them but this was SO SO GOOD and not mushy at all. Thanks again Gina for a wonderful recipe! And happy thanksgiving. Thankful for this wonderful website with lots of wonderful recipes to cook from.

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  36. Hi, great recipe! At the end you mentioned you'd do a few things differently (like using less green beans)- does the ingredient list/recipe currently reflect what you would change, or the recipe you worked off of? Thanks.

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    1. I think by saying halving the green beans she meant she would cut them in half to make each green bean smaller and more bite sized. :)

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  37. Looks so good. Won't be able to make for this Thanksgiving (since it's today), but I will definitely be making it this season! I could eat this as a meal too!

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  38. Gina, I'm very picky about my green beans, too, but Trader Joe's frozen french green beans are excellent!! We can eat almost a whole bag between the two of us.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  39. Just made these for Thanksgiving. I was taking a bit of a risk because my mom insisted I don't make any of that "healthy crap" for Thanksgiving. Well, she LOVED it! This is so much better than the canned beans/cream of mushroom version! Yummmm!

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  40. Made this yesterday. Too many mushrooms for some reason. Came out runny too. Tasted great though.

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  41. This dish was a hit! I have yet to be let down by any SkinnyTaste Creation :) Thank you. I did "mince" the mushrooms so that my pickier eaters would not be "grossed out" by all the mushrooms... And, somehow I didn't use nearly any cheese - which is better on the waistline (I guess that's why I lost weight this Thanksgiving, yep - you read right!). But, I did use full fat buttermilk instead of milk. Wasn't trying to alter the recipe that much, but I originally was set up to follow Whole Foods GBC and then I stumbled on this jewel. So, I meshed to two recipes together and came out with something wonderful and delicious.

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  42. I just made this...it was fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing! I will definitely be making this again :)

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  43. Can this be made without mushrooms or would there be a good substitute? Also can this be made a day ahead of time?

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  44. This came out so good! I grew up in another country and have never had green bean casserole... So this was my first one, and I loved it!

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  45. I made this last night using your topping, it was delicious! Love this topping over the "traditional" fried onions, thanks :)

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  46. This looks amazing and I will be making this for Thanksgiving this year.
    May I ask, can I replace the flour with cornstarch or potato starch?

    Thanks, Jennifer

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  48. Wondering if 1% milk would work?

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  49. Thinking of this with swiss and sherry cheese sauce with the mushrooms....


    Steph

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  50. Anyone know if putting it together today but baking tomorrow would work? I would hate for my green beans to get soggy

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  51. If these will be baked and sitting on a sterno for a while, should I still blanch them??

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