July 1, 2009

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just two weeks away!  For the last ten years, we have spent Thanksgiving dinner at my mother-in-law's house.  The weekend before that is always my daughter's birthday party.  Since this happens to be a crazy time of year for us, I have been cooking our Thanksgiving meal two weeks ahead of time.  So, while most of you are in the middle of planning your menu and organizing what your guests will bring, my 2011 Thanksgiving feast is already complete!

My favorite side this year was the green bean and bacon casserole -- it was so delicious!  My husband (who is not a fan of green bean casserole) even loved it.  I get great satisfaction knowing this recipe doesn't require cooking from a can.  No cream of anything soup in this!  This recipe is my own version of Pioneer Woman's recipe.  If you're not a fan of the French's fried onions, you can sprinkle evenly 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs over all and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


  • 2 lb fresh green beans, snapped in half 
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 c onion, diced 
  • 1/4 c butter 
  • 1/4 c all-purpose flour 
  • 2 1/2 c skim milk, warmed 
  • 1/2 c heavy cream, warmed  
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste 
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste 
  • 1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
  • 1 1/2 c French's fried onions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the green beans.  Blanch for 4 minutes and immediately transfer to an ice bath.  

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon for 2 minutes.  Stir in the onion and garlic.  Continue to cook until the bacon is brown but not crisp.  Remove the bacon and onion with a slotted spoon and set aside.  In the same skillet, add the butter.  When the foam subsides, whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for 2 minutes.  Add in the milk and cream and continue to whisk for 2 minutes, or until it begins to thicken.  Turn off the heat.  Stir in the cheddar cheese until it melts.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Add the bacon/onion mixture to the sauce.  

Place the green beans in a bottom of a baking dish.  Pour the sauce over all and gently stir to combine.  

Bake the green beans for 25 minutes.  Top with the French's fried onions and bake for and additional 5 minutes.  

Allow the green beans to sit for 5 minutes before serving.


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