Bacon green bean casserole is a staple of every good Thanksgiving dinner. This dish has brought families together for years with its crisp onion topping and creamy, cheesy inside.
This particular green bean casserole changes things up a bit by using Parmesan cheese for that extra savory kick! Not to mention the addition of slivered almonds to add a little extra crunch to that iconic topping. Get ready to completely blow the socks off your Thanksgiving guests with this unique take on a stellar recipe!
History of Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole has been such an integral part of Thanksgiving feasts all over the country for so long it’s hard to imagine a time when it didn’t exist. Did you know that this year marks the 66th year that green bean casserole has existed? Apparently, it wasn’t even called green bean casserole at first, it went by the name of green bean bake.
According to Campbell’s Soup, green bean casserole is such a Thanksgiving favorite that an estimated 20 million people eat it every year! A Campbell’s Soup employee working in the home economics department named Dorcas Reilly was the creator of the recipe. She even gave the original recipe card to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002!
Fresh versus Canned Green Beans
Traditionally, green bean casserole has been made with canned green beans, but as people have become more health conscious, many have chosen fresh. The question is: which tastes better?
It all comes down to preference. Canned green beans often come already softened and with some added sodium. The ‘already cooked’ aspect of canned beans means that making the dish is less time intensive and lends to that more traditional flavor. Green bean casserole made with canned beans also tends to be a bit softer and cakey in texture.
Using fresh green beans means that you can decide how soft or crisp you would like them to be. And yes, cooking them yourself does cost more time, however, a quick blanch shouldn’t take too long. With fresh green beans you will have to take care to cook your beans a bit longer in the skillet to ensure that they don’t release a bunch of water into your casserole.
In this bacon green bean casserole, we’ve opted for fresh cut beans, however this recipe will work just as well with canned!
How To Make Bacon Green Bean Casserole
Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano). This cheese originated in Italy and is made using cow’s milk. We prefer using a fine pre-grated bag of organic Parmesan; however, you could also grab a whole block and grate it yourself! Be on the lookout for that grass-fed label, it really makes the difference in the flavor of the cheese.
Shallots. Organic Shallots are a must have. Be wary when you’re cutting though, they’re known for bringing on the tears!
Unsalted Butter. I always cook with Kerrygold’s Grass-fed organic butter. It’s great for cooking and baking as this butter handles higher heat better than regular butter.
Cream of mushroom condensed soup. What better soup to use for this amazing green bean casserole than Campbell’s Soup itself!? Seeing as the recipe was originally made in a Campbell’s Soup kitchen it just feels right to grab for their soup can first.
Strips of bacon. When making this recipe I advise looking for organic uncured bacon, so the sodium content is a little lower. The Parmesan cheese is a little saltier than the normal cheeses used so this should balance out the dish!
Fresh green beans. I have seen all these recipes using canned green beans for their green bean casserole and while that works, I always prefer using fresh green beans! The fresh organic green beans make all the difference!
Crisp fried onions. Everyone in my family has always used French’s crispy fried onions whenever they make their green bean casserole. It’s got just the right mix of flavors to really bring the whole dish together.
Slivered Almonds. For these almond slivers just grab some dry roasted unsalted slivers. I always recommend grabbing the organic ingredients.
Salt and pepper. For salt I would avoid using the pink Himalayan as it’s very salty. Try to stick with a finely ground sea salt. Just be sure your pepper is ground finely; you wouldn’t want someone crunching down on a stray peppercorn!
Assembling Your Bacon Green Bean Casserole
To make your green bean casserole begin trimming the ends of greens beans and boiling a pot of water. When the water comes to a boil toss in your beans and blanch them for a short while until tender. Then set the beans aside to cool.
Heat a skillet (we like cast iron) and add the bacon, cook it until crispy. Remove the grease and add in some butter. Add in your chopped shallots and garlic and cook them down until fragrant. Add your blanched green beans and saute with butter for a few minutes. Then add in the mushroom soup and stir it all together to combine!
Remove the pan from the heat and add in 3/4 of your parmesan cheese. Now its time to pour the casserole into your greased dish! Top your creamy bacon green bean casserole with fried onions, the rest of your parmesan cheese, and slivered almond, if you desire.
Tips For Making Green Bean Casserole
When we think of making green bean casserole we always think “casserole dish and bake,” not anymore though! Now, the first step in crafting this extraordinary green bean casserole is cooking everything on the stovetop.
Grab yourself a nice iron skillet or frying pan and throw all the green beans, and shallots in there with a little bit of butter and cook it down. Once they’re cooked down a tad bit add in the mushroom soup and let it come to a nice simmer. This will help release all the flavor locked in the different ingredients.
Another pro-tip that is sure to help make this dish a success is to be sure your crispy onion stays crispy! Now, I know what you’re thinking, “what kind of tip is that?” Well, in all honesty it’s more of a caution – You don’t want your onions sinking into your casserole and becoming all mushy!
Another reason the stovetop method is so helpful is that it cooks out some of the extra moisture we don’t want to come out in the oven. Also, be sure to watch the thickness of the casserole, if it’s too soupy your precious fried onions will just sink right to the bottom!
While you’re cooking the vegetables down on the stove top, monitor the consistency and add your choice of thickening agent as needed.
Something else to be wary of when finishing your delicious dish is the temperature of the oven. After taking all those steps to ensure your fried onions stayed crispy, it would be a shame to just burn them all up in the oven. Keep your oven temp at 375° or less to avoid blackening those tasty treats.
Tools You May Need
- Cast iron skillet. A good cast iron is an integral part of any kitchen. One of the most versatile pans around. These pans are a must have for anyone taking on Thanksgiving from the kitchen.
- Electric Salt and Pepper Grinders. These salt and pepper grinders are sure to give your seasonings a fine, even grind. They are super handy too!
- Casserole Baking Dish. One thing every green bean casserole truly needs is a beautiful dish to bake in. You don’t want all your hard work presented in a drab, simple clear dish.
- Frying Pan. Iron skillet not your style? Looking for something from the non-stick family? Look no more! This frying pan will not let you down and has half the upkeep an iron skillet comes with.
- Oven mitts. Now you don’t want to be left without an oven mitt for each hand, sometimes these casseroles can be heavy! Be sure to grab yourself a matching pair of oven mitts before taking on this green bean casserole.
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 4 shallots
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 cans of cream of mushroom condensed soup
- 6 strips of bacon
- 2 lbs of fresh green beans
- 1 cup crisp fried onions
- Slivered almonds for topping (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Grease casserole dish with butter
- Trim and wash fresh green beans
- Boil water and blanch green beans just until tender. Set aside
- Heat skillet and cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and discard fat
- Add butter to skillet and add shallots and garlic. Cook until fragrant
- Add green beans and sauté with shallots, garlic, and butter
- Add in mushroom soup and stir to combine
- Remove pan from heat and add 3/4 of your parmesan cheese (reserve rest for top)
- Pour the mix into the casserole dish and top with fried onions, the rest of the parmesan cheese, and slivered almonds (optional)
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is crisp and the inside is bubbling
This bacon green bean casserole is sure to be a hit this Thanksgiving. If nothing else, its the chance you been waiting for to show off your new casserole dish! Looking for some other holiday recipes? Try our delicious pecan pie tarts for dessert!
Have you ever made green bean casserole before? Let us know if you try this recipe in the comments below!