Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole
A lightened up, healthier version of the classic green bean casserole made from scratch, no canned soup.
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). I 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 two servings, it’s a keeper!
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
- 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
- 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.