Stovetop Green Bean “Casserole”

November 5, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: The original green bean casserole had a short ingredient list: canned green beans, condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, and French’s Crispy Fried Onions. This ingredient list is even shorter. It’s fresher, too: green beans, mushrooms, cream, and shallots. The whole thing come together on the stovetop, which, sure, means it isn’t technically a casserole. But when your oven is full with turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving, something tells me that no one will mind. Emma Laperruque

Food52 Review: This is one of our Big Little Recipes. Read more here: A Stovetop Green Bean Casserole With 4 Ingredients (None of Them Canned).The Editors

Serves: 8
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, more or less as needed
  • 2 pounds green beans, stems trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 pounds cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Fill a big pot with water (at least 6 quarts), cover, and set on the stove over high heat.
  2. While that comes to a boil, pan-fry the shallots: Find the largest skillet you have (mine is 12 inches in diameter) and add enough vegetable oil to create a thin (figure about 1/4-inch) layer coating the bottom. Add the shallots in an even layer, then set on the stove over high heat. (Yep, this means you’re starting the shallots in room-temp oil. It’s on purpose!) When the shallots start hissing and bubbling, lower the heat to medium. Cook until deeply golden brown—lowering the heat and stirring as needed to ensure even cooking—about 15 minutes. Remove to a paper towel–lined surface to cool. Season with a pinch of salt.
  3. Discard the oil and wipe out the skillet to remove any excess. Add the butter and set on the stove over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms. Season with a big pinch of salt. Use tongs or a wooden spoon to toss the mushrooms, making sure they’re evenly coated. Cook, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes—until all the mushroom-y liquid is gone and they’re beginning to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour the cream into the pan with the mushrooms. Add 1 teaspoon salt plus the black pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning, for about 13 minutes, slowly reducing the heat toward the end. (Psst: For most of this time, the boil should be rolling and exciting, not timid. This intense heat not only reduces the cream, but also infuses all that great mushroom flavor and color.) By the end, the sauce should be chestnut-y in hue, intensely flavored, and so thick that if you drag a wooden spatula or spoon across the bottom of the pan, it leaves a distinct trail for a couple seconds, like with a thick gravy.
  5. While the cream is reducing, cook the green beans: Add 6 tablespoons salt to the boiling water. (This is estimating 1 tablespoon Morton’s kosher salt per 1 quart water. If you’re using Diamond Crystal, use 2 tablespoons. And, of course, this can be adjusted to personal taste. This is the ratio I like best.) Now add the green beans. Cook for 3 1/2 minutes until bright green and just tender. Drain immediately and spread out on a towel to dry as much as possible. You don’t want them at all wet when they go into the cream sauce.
  6. When the mushroom sauce is as thick as you want it, cut the heat and season with salt to taste. Add the green beans and toss to coat completely. Top with the crispy shallots and serve.

More Great Recipes:
American|Green Bean|Mushroom|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Thanksgiving|Vegetarian|Side|Dinner

Reviews (18) Questions (2)

18 Reviews

SmallLion December 26, 2018
Great dish. My wife is from the midwest and is therefore a connoisseur of green bean casserole. There was a considerable amount of eyebrow raising when I remarked on a plan for "stovetop" casserole "from scratch". I cheated on the recipe. The fresh greenbeans looked lousy -- as they often do in December -- so I bought frozen small whole beans which were great and saved a few minutes. I used French's onions instead of the 1lb of shallots. I just used 1 large shallot (about 1/2 cup) to make the shallot-flavored oil and mixed those perfect shallots in with the mix and topped with french's. The result was amazing with high reviews from the table. Tastes "Fresher" and "Brighter" than the mushroom soup version and I think stovetop gives you better control over the green bean "mushiness" factor.<br />If I had to do it again, I would probably take the extra time to do the full pound of shallots properly. Although I've used this recipe: https:// www. chinasichuanfood.com/fried-shallots/ for shallots and it produces more shallot-flavored oil and prevents the "burnt on one side, raw on the other" types of shallots produced by the thin slick of oil methods.
 
Arpita December 2, 2018
I love green beans in all forms, and I love the traditional Thanksgiving green bean casserole, so I was primed to love this iteration. It is really wonderful! My only changes were to use less heavy cream (a scant 2 cups for 1 cup of mushrooms) and to sprinkle some nutmeg into the cream sauce. I wonder if adding a bit of sherry--to the dish, not my wine glass!--would make it even more fun?
 
Author Comment
Emma L. December 3, 2018
Mmmm sherry sounds delicious! I would add a small splash after sautéing the mushrooms and before adding the cream.
 
Monica L. November 23, 2018
I love how this is a wonderfully tasting make ahead recipe! Green beans and shallots I prepped the day before, and cooked everything together at the host’s home. Yes the cream did take longer to cook that I expected but totally worth every minute! No more canned recipe after this! Thank you for giving me a new Thanksgiving classic!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 25, 2018
Thanks so much, Monica! "New Thanksgiving classic" means a lot to me :)
 
sarahhtk November 22, 2018
So delicious! I love green beans, but never loved green bean casserole. This was exactly what I wanted and the rest of the family loved it too. Thank you!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 25, 2018
Always felt the same way about loving green beans, not loving green bean casserole. So happy you and your family enjoyed the recipe!
 
Jera N. November 22, 2018
This was a hit at our Thanksgiving. As in, the hostess couldn’t stop nibbling on the few beans leftover as we cleaned the kitchen until gone. Will definitely make this again! Frying the shallots and reducing the cream did take a bit longer than the recipe indicated but I may just need to be more agressive with the heat.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 25, 2018
So, so happy to hear y'all enjoyed it!
 
Tina M. November 22, 2018
This was fun to make! Love the crispy shallots!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 25, 2018
Thank you, Tina!
 
BPaula November 20, 2018
Can this be prepared the day before?
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 20, 2018
Hi! I'm sure it could be—then rewarmed gently in the oven or on the stove—but it's best if prepared the day-of. Here are some ways to get ahead: You can cook the green beans the day before; just bring them up to temperature before tossing with the mushroom-cream sauce. And you can fry the shallots the morning-of. Hope this helps and happy Thanksgiving!
 
BPaula November 20, 2018
Thank you, Emma, and Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Daniel S. November 19, 2018
This was a great side dish for our thanksgiving dinner. I wasn’t sure how this would go over since no one really cares for the typical green bean casserole, but the only complaint here was that I didn’t make enough. It was delicious. I did mess up the conversion for the mushrooms 🍄. I had only 3/4 instead of 1 1/4 lbs. for that step I didn’t want to over cook them before adding the green beans, so I added the cream in just before they dried up and it was still delicious.. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 19, 2018
So happy you enjoyed it!
 
BR95510 November 9, 2018
Well I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, so this will seem way off topic. I wanted to make one of my homemade pizzas tonight. I make the crusts and freeze them individually and just pull them out, top and bake. Tonight I started with vegan pesto, some vegan Parmesan cheese, a little bell pepper and then.....then.....I topped it with the fried shallots! I removed them from the cast iron pan and put them on the paper towel and gave them a light sprinkle of salt. By the time I was ready to put them on the pizza, they were crispy and wonderful! I could have eaten them just off the paper towel! Husband said it was one of the best pizzas I've made! He loved the shallot topping! Thank you for the great recipe!
 
BR95510 December 24, 2018
This is review #2 because I made the whole casserole for Christmas Eve dinner tonight. It was just the two of us, so I halved the recipe, and still had leftovers. I subbed in Rippl non-dairy half and half for the heavy cream and Earth Balance for the butter. Everything worked perfectly and tasted wonderful! The sauce thickened and browned just as the recipe calls. This dish will definitely remain on the holiday "must make" list! (Side note: I had leftover shallots and guess who ate them straight off the paper towel after the other leftovers were put away?) ;) Thanks again for a great recipe!