This creamy green bean casserole, with a savory umami twist and crunchy panko topping, will have you reaching for seconds … and thirds!
Green beans are one of my favorite veggies.
I love them steamed fresh out of our garden (with a little butter and salt), as part of the “Asian buffet” at Wegmans when I’m working while my oldest is at dance, and even in the traditional green bean casserole we all have fond (or not-so-fond) memories of from Thanksgivings past.
Most folks know green bean casserole as “the dish made with cream of mushroom condensed soup.”
Like canned cranberry jelly, that sort of thing is nostalgic, even if it isn’t the tastiest thing on the planet.
And, even though it kinda gets a bad rap—similar to meatloaf and other retro recipes—with a few modern tweaks and the addition fresh ingredients, green bean casserole can become the star of your tablespace!
It only takes a few ingredients to make this creamy green bean casserole come to life, some of which you probably already keep in your pantry, like soy sauce and panko breadcrumbs.
For this creamy green bean casserole, it all starts with fresh green beans that have been chopped to bite size, then blanched for a few minutes on the stove-top.
They’re blanched (cooked quickly then drained and chilled in a colander to stop the cooking process) so the beans won’t be too tender.
They’ll continue cooking in the oven as the casserole’s baking and overcooked green beans tend to become mushy. Ew.
Next up, I sautéed sliced mushrooms and the white part of the green onions in butter, olive oil and a little sesame oil until the mushrooms are golden.
The “umami” taste provided by soy sauce is a major flavor enhancer and adds a fun flavor depth to this creamy sauce!
Note: use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock if you’d like to make this vegetarian-friendly.
Once the sauce is creamy and bubbly, the green beans get tossed in!
Let the green beans simmer for a minute, tossing every so often so they’re well-coated, then add everything to a casserole dish.
Depending which vessel you use, your baking time will vary, so keep that in mind!
Next up, the crunchy topping!
I tossed panko bread crumbs with a little garlic powder and then sprinkled them evenly on top, followed by the rest of the green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil to enhance the flavor and to promote a golden crust.
Then it baked for about twenty minutes at three hundred fifty degrees, just until the edges were all bubbly and the top was, indeed, golden.
After it sits for ten minutes to settle down a bit and cool, it’s time to serve it up!
Seriously, this creamy green bean casserole with a savory umami twist will become a fast favorite for your Thanksgiving table, or any night of the week.
[b][i]For the casserole[/i][/b]
- 16 oz fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 3 green onions, chopped (use the white parts; reserve the green parts)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
[b][i]For the topping[/i][/b]
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Remaining green onions
- Drizzle of sesame oil
For the casserole
- Steam the green beans for 3 minutes, then drain them in the sink and run cold water on them to stop the cooking process.
- Warm a large skillet over medium heat on the stove. Add the butter, olive oil, and sesame oil to the pan. Once the butter's melted and foamy, add the mushrooms and saute them for two minutes. Add the white parts of the green onions and the pepper, and continue sauteing for one minute more (or until the mushrooms look golden).
- Sprinkle the flour on top, then stir it into the mushrooms and let it cook for 1 minute. Adjust the heat to medium-high, and then whisk in all at once the milk, chicken or vegetable stock, and the soy sauce. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat back to medium, and continue whisking until the sauce becomes bubbly and thick.
- Toss in the green beans, and let the mixture simmer for 1 minute, then pour the creamy green bean mixture into a deep 1-1/2 quart baking dish.
For the topping
- Combine the panko breadcrumbs and the garlic powder. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the creamy green bean mixture. Add the remaining greens from the onions, and then drizzle the top with sesame oil.
- Bake the creamy green bean casserole for 20 minutes, or until the edges are bubbly, and the top is golden. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.