Green Bean Casserole with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

Green Bean Casserole is an unsung hero of the holidays. When the rest of the dishes for Thanksgiving are carbohydrate and sugar laden and driving you into a coma, this green bean casserole provides the vegetables your body is craving. This recipe is something I developed while trying to remove all processed food from our diets. Removing processed ingredients tends to also improve the quality and flavor of the final dish. Those fried onions of our mothers green bean casserole were just flavorless hunks of saturated fat and don’t get me started on that soup concentrate that is banned from my kitchen. This recipe uses only fresh vegetables and will forever change your mind about green bean casserole.

If you need help pulling together your holiday menus, please read my Thanksgiving favorites menu. There is also a guide to taking the stress out of preparing that holiday menu in my How to make Thanksgiving Dinner without breaking a sweat article.

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Green Been Casserole with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword casserole, green bean, thanksgiving
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Candie


For Topping

  • 2 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
  • Nonstick cooking spray

For Beans

  • 3.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb green beans rinsed, trimmed and cut into 3 inch portions
  • 6 pieces thick slices bacon sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 12 oz fresh Crimini or Baby Bella mushrooms trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Saute onions over medium-low heat with olive oil and 1 tsp of kosher salt. You will need to stir regularly but not to often because it will prevent caramelization. Once the onions are a rich brown color remove from heat and set aside.
  • Spread panko on a sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  • While Bring a gallon of water and 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

  • Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet or uncoated stainless steel pan set over medium-high heat and add bacon pieces. Stir bacon occasionally until evenly browned. Remove bacon from pan and set aside but leave bacon fat in pan.
  • Add half the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally. When the mushrooms start to brown add the second half of the mushrooms. When the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid and are starting have a consistent brown, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions, 1/2 the bacon and all of the green beans. Top with a blend of the remaining onions, bacon and panko. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

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