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Easy Green Bean Casserole Recipe Ideas

14 Creative Ways to Jazz Up the Thanksgiving Classic

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Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Stephanie Gallagher
The green bean casserole. It's one of the classic Thanksgiving side dishes. But year after year, the same old recipe can get boring. Try these fun and different ways to make that green bean casserole more unique.

Try a Different Sauce

Cream of mushroom soup is the the sauce of choice for the traditional green bean casserole recipe. Here are a few ways to vary that:
  1. Make a white sauce. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour. Whisk until the flour starts to turn a golden color. Whisk in 2 cups of milk, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Use an alfredo sauce from a jar.

  3. Use a different creamed soup. Cream of chicken and cream of broccoli soup would make interesting substitutions. So would a condensed golden mushroom soup (make sure it's condensed; otherwise it won't be thick enough.

  4. Mix in Flavor

    Try adding one or more of these ingredients to the casserole. Keep all of the other ingredients and proportions in the recipe the same.

  5. Add 1 to 2 cups of shredded cheese. Cheddar, parmesan, swiss or Monterey jack would all make good choices.

  6. Add vegetables. Chopped roasted red peppers (from a jar), canned sliced mushrooms, diced pimento and finely-chopped shallots are excellent choices. If you prefer to use fresh vegetables, try sauteeing 1 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms or 1/2 cup of chopped red bell peppers in butter until softened.

  7. Add 1 can of drained water chestnuts.

  8. Add bacon. Is there anything that doesn't taste better with bacon? Fry 4 to 8 slices of bacon until crisp. Drain, crumble, then mix into the casserole before bacon.

  9. Add nuts. Chopped walnuts, sliced almonds or chopped pecans would all work well. Add about 1/2 cup.

  10. Add caramelized onions. Melt 4 Tbsp. of butter. Add 1 cup of sliced onions. Cook the onions over low heat until golden brown and caramelized, about 30 to 45 minutes. If the onions get dry, add a little more butter.

  11. Add sherry. Use 1 Tbsp. of dry sherry in place of the soy sauce.

  12. Change the Topping

    French fried onions are the classic topping for a green bean casserole. But there are so many more unique ways to top this casserole .

  13. Upgrade the onions. If you have the time and the inclination, make your own onion rings from scratch, and top the casserole with them. Alternatively, you can find large crispy bagged onions (compare prices) in the produce section of your local supermarket. Look for Lars or Fresh Gourmet brands.

  14. Use bread crumbs. Mix 1 to 1-1/2 cups of Panko or regular bread crumbs with 2 Tbsp. of melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the green bean mixture, and bake as the recipe directs.

  15. Try crackers. Crushed buttery round crackers, cheese crackers or even Goldfish crackers add a nice crunch to a green bean casserole. Use 1 to 1-1/2 cups.

  16. Use crushed corn flakes. Mix 1-1/2 cups of crushed corn flakes with 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole.

Check out: Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

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