Green Bean Casserole Reinvented

Serving Size: 8
Prep Time:
Total Time:

Here is my attempt at presenting to you a delicious, filling and lighter Green Bean casserole. How did I get creative? This casserole only uses fresh ingredients and nothing out of a can. I also tried to cut down on the fat so this may not look like your typical casserole... thick, creamy and cheesy.

I seriously have a newfound love for broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, mushrooms and squash. I absolutely love the green beans and mushrooms in this casserole. And hey, you can’t have a Green Bean casserole without crunchy, baked onions on top, can you? They are here and they are seriously delicious. When making this recipe, I was inspired by a Lemon Ricotta Béchamel so that’s in here too.  And I actually used 2% milk for the béchamel sauce (remember lighter, and this is actually the only kind of milk we have in the house) and Country Crock! It was delicious!

For the casserole

  • 3 Tbsp Country Crock® spread
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • fresh ricotta cheese; in small chunks or crumbles (use as much or little as you want)
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley; diced
  • 0.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 0.33 cup flour
  • 1 fresh garlic clove; minced
  • 1 Pound fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil; split
  • 4 cup cremini mushrooms; sliced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme; leaves only
  • 1 medium onion; cut in half and thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat the Country Crock spread in a large pan over medium-high heat. After it starts melting a bit, add the garlic and then after a couple minutes, add the fresh green beans and cook until softened, for about 4 minutes.
  3. While the green beans are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. After a minute or two, add the mushrooms, onion powder and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mushroom juices are almost evaporated, for about 3 to 5 minutes. During the last minute or two of cooking, add the fresh thyme and continue cooking. Combine the green beans and mushrooms, pour into the baking dish and set aside.
  4. Whisk the flour, paprika, garlic powder and salt in a separate shallow dish. Add the sliced onion and toss to coat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. After a minute or two, add the onion along with any remaining flour mixture and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and crispy, for about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

 

For the B

  • 3 Tbsp Country Crock® spread
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour (start with 2 and add another tablespoon if needed)
  • 2 cup milk; whole or 2%
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the Country Crock over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and whisk until smooth; you will have a semi-thick batter. Warm the milk in a separate saucepan or in the microwave and add in the milk, 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, whisking constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt, nutmeg and lemon zest. Whisk to combine and pour over the green bean and mushroom mixture into your casserole dish.
  2. Mix altogether so the green beans and mushrooms are coated with the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle on the ricotta cheese, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (just enough to lightly cover the top) and crispy onions to cover the top and then sprinkle on the fresh parsley.
  3. Bake the casserole until bubbling, for about 15 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Special Equipment: shallow baking dish

NOTE: You’ll see some recipes using lemon juice for the Béchamel. I prefer lemon zest but if this is too much for you, use a little less than a tablespoon of lemon juice instead of the lemon zest.

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