5 Ingredients or Fewer

Stovetop Green Bean 'Casserole'

November  5, 2018
27 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

Watch This Recipe
Stovetop Green Bean 'Casserole'
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 8
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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cecille Daniel
    Cecille Daniel
  • kumalavula
    kumalavula
  • Tina Mulkey
    Tina Mulkey
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

29 Reviews

Cecille D. December 7, 2020
I am thinking of making this dish but I am sodium sensitive and wonder how much salt I can leave out of this dish? I cook with very little salt, knowing people can always salt their food at the table. It's not perfect, but it helps me to be able to eat wonderful food
 
sharskee December 7, 2020
I think you can cut back a fair amount— the fried shallots add a lot of flavor as does letting the sauce reduce significantly to get mushroom flavor. You might want to sub something like miso paste for some/all of the salt you plan to use so you’re adding in flavor depth even though you’re taking away the saltiness.
 
Daniel S. November 24, 2020
This has become a staple for my Thanksgiving dinner for the last couple of years now and I can tell you it’s a lifesaver and definitely one that gets eaten first and never any leftovers. Have tried a couple of variations of this with asparagus and substitutions with boxed onions 😑 however this recipe is amazing on its own and needs no changes. 😋
 
sharskee November 23, 2020
Delicious! I bumped up the mushroom "soup" with a bit of miso and it was a VERY good choice. Left it a little less runny than I think the directions called for so I could serve it over rice for a pre-Thanksgiving meal that still gave us Thanksgiving vibes.
 
Andreamyers November 18, 2020
I had all the ingredients on hand except the green beans, so I used asparagus instead- so, so, so good!!!
 
kumalavula April 27, 2020
thank covid-19 quarantine for making me crave comfort foods. have no idea why but in the face of so many inexplicable things going on, i went with my craving. i happened to have almost all the ingredients and subbed half and half for full cream and a cartelized onion for the shallots. holy moly, is this GOOD! i will definitely make it again and recommend it to others i know who are venturing into unchartered cooking territory during this period of self isolation. i cook a lot and am very adventurous about mixing and matching, subbing and deleting. this is a winner recipe and easily pulled together as a side dish or even a main with some rice or quinoa underneath.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. April 30, 2020
Yum, love the idea of serving with rice or quinoa underneath! And thanks for reporting back about the swaps.
 
RedGoddess January 1, 2020
I made this for Thanksgiving for a large crowd and for a small New Year’s Eve family meal and this dish topped the list as the favorite both times. It is seriously the MOST delicious version of green bean casserole I have ever had! There is considerable work involved but I was all in to try a new approach to the can of cream of mushroom mess with French cut green beans topped with cloying canned fried onions. OMG, fried shallots, despite the chopping and long frying time, are flipping amazing! These and the mushroom sauce, also labor intensive but worth it, truly elevate this dish! My one “cheat” was to use Trader Joe’s bags of prepped green beans that cook in the microwave in under five minutes. I cut the beans into smaller pieces first and nuked them right as the mushrooms finished cooking. Family members groaned in ecstasy with each mouthful! This dish will be on my holiday menu from now on!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 2, 2020
Yay, so happy to hear that! (And the TJ's shortcut is such a great idea!)
 
wulfferine75 December 2, 2019
I used an air fryer for the shallots. Worked great but you have to really keep your eye on it and stir every 1-2 minutes.
Also, I had a lot left over (about 2/3; not as many guests as expected) so with the leftovers I warmed it up in a skillet with a package of Boursin cheese and a ladle of pasta water, and stirred in 1/2 box aldente penne
That was really good!
 
judy November 15, 2019
This is an interesting approach to homemade green bean casserole. I get the approach to making crispy onions for the topping, but boy is that a LOT of oil, and then to throw away...not down my drain. For the sauce, instead of heavy cream I have a version of homemade condensed soup that works great, but without the preservatives. I make a large mount as a base, and then flavor as needed for whatever recipe from green bean casserole to beef stroganoff. And it works great. The
basic recipe for condensed soup base is
2 cups milk powder
1/3 cup EACH cornstarch and arrowroot powder
2 Tablespoons EACH onion powder and garlic granules
1/2 tsp EACH dried basil and thyme (or to taste


Store in air-tight container until ready to use.

To Use
TO USE:
1 tsp of bullion flavor that complements your meal or use broth in place of water
1/3C mix and 1 -1/4C liquid
blend together until all dry ingredients incorporated.
Salt to taste

How I used in this recipe

1. cooked up my mushrooms with lid on to retain mushroom broth from sweating the mushrooms with a little butter. Remove mushroom pieces and leave browned bits and liquid behind as much as possible.
2. In same pan stirred in soup and stirred over low heat until thickened and begins to bubble to cook out the starches
3. Add back in the mushrooms,

Now I have mushroom condensed soup to pour over my green bean casserole.

The shelf life is indefinite. The flavor profiles are endless: celery, asparagus, cheese, broccoli or cauliflower. Well, you get the idea. This soup mix base has become a staple in my kitchen. If I want it very rich, I will use cream or whole milk for my liquid, but I find that this is pretty good just the way it is. The original recipe called for dried chicken bullion. But I learned to leave it out, so that I could add whatever flavor I was interested in for my recipe of the moment. And with this recipe, just think of the calories saved.

I use both arrowroot and cornstarch to avoid being so slimy. I have also used 1/2 cornstarch and 1/2 AP flour. So experiment, make it your own as I have. So Versatile.
 
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.
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!