Countdown to Christmas 2015 Day 1: Sophisticated Green Beans

Let’s dish for a second. If you’re like me you grew up having green bean casserole twice a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And when you did have it, it was made with canned cream of mushroom soup. Okay so I have a few issues with that.

One – why do we only make it twice a year?  We clearly love it like a lot and it’s not difficult to make so why only those two holidays?  I mean this dish is perfect along side of a New York Strip Steak or a Roasted Chicken. It’s a killer side dish or if you’re a vegetarian one awesome entree.  Trust me, I’ve been known to just have this for dinner and that’s it.  Next, the canned cream of mushroom soup.  Why?  No seriously, why?  Because it’s easy?  Yeah no, not acceptable.  Taste should never EVER be sacrificed. Trust me, with this recipe you’ll never buy canned again. EVER.

Sophisticated Green Bean Casserole

So now that I got that off my chest and we all agree to make this more than twice a year and no canned cream of mushroom soup ever again, let’s talk about this recipe.  It was Thanksgiving and while my turkey was roasting away I started working on the sides.  I had a pound of fresh green beans trimmed and was going to cut them up in smaller chunks to make my standard green bean casserole when I decided to go all fancy schmancy (even though I was still in my jammies).
Sophisticated Green Bean Casserole2

I mean I figured it was a holiday.  After all I was using our ‘good’ dishes.  Even though, yes, we were staying in our pajamas to eat.  LOL  Wha?  Don’t judge me.  It was just the two of us and Mr. Fantabulous was only 2 weeks post-op from shoulder surgery. I’m lucky the man had pants on at all.  LOL  As I was staring at the beans stacked and lined in a row on my cutting board I envisioned them with the sauce ladled on hollandaise-style with a few extra pan seared crimini mushrooms on top.

Honestly the only difference between this version and my traditional casserole one is the green beans in that one are cut in half and they are mixed together in the sauce then baked.  This one, well, isn’t mixed or cut.

Sophisticated Green Bean Casserole Collage

Into the boiling salted water the beans went for a quick blanch and then into an ice bath to stop the cooking.  While they rested I got to making my sauce.  Now this sauce is just… just… words escape me on how amazing this sauce is.  It’s rich and decadent. It’s not a true condensed cream of mushroom soup.  Oh no, it’s like condensed soup on crack with a side of “Dear Sweet Baby Jesus!” It’s rich, decadent, silky, creamy, mushroomy (go with it) and irresistible.  This sauce with steak … EPIC.

Sophisticated Green Bean Casserole1

Once the sauce was done I plated the blanched beans on an oven-safe platter, ladled over the rich sauce and baked until bubbly.While that was cooking I cooked up the rest of my mushrooms until they were golden brown and tender.  For presentation I placed them on top.

Okay I know you’re going to ask “Where are the crispy onion thingies that go on top?  Mom always had those!” Well fret not, I had them too but by the time I went to take those photos Mr. Fantabulous was ready to eat and I couldn’t hold him off any longer.  The man will not eat room temperature food (at least when it’s not supposed to be room temp).  But you can easily add them to this dish (see note in the recipe). But honestly you really don’t need them on this dish.  Unless you’re making crispy onions from scratch those pre-packaged ones add zero taste (well unless you count grease).  All they add is a quasi crunch factor.

Sophisticated Green Bean Casserole4

So with Christmas tomorrow go on and get all fancy with your green beans and make them this way.  I know I will! And since we pinkie swore above, we must make this more than 2 times in 2016. Seriously put this in your standard side dish rotations; you will not be sorry.

Countdown to Christmas 2015 Day 1: Sophisticated Green Beans


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  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups crimini sliced mushrooms, divided
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbl garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 Tbl cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Large bowl of ice water
  1. Bring a 1/2 gallon of water (at least 6-8 cups) and 2 tsp of salt to a boil in a saucepan. You really want the beans to swim freely in the water
  2. Add the beans and boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
  4. Remove the beans from the ice water after 2 minutes and place back into the colander to drain.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, rack in the middle.
  6. Take 1 cup of the mushrooms and chop into small pieces.
  7. Place a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  8. Add in 1 Tbl of oil.
  9. When the oil starts to shimmer add the 1 cup of chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  10. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
  11. In the same pan add 1 Tbl of oil.
  12. Add in the garlic, shallots, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt and pepper.
  13. Cook until the shallots are soft. About 3-5 minutes.
  14. Add in the cooked mushrooms.
  15. Add in the broth and simmer for one minute.
  16. Decrease the heat to medium-low.
  17. Make a slurry of the cornstarch and cream in cup.
  18. Add to the mushroom mixture.
  19. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  20. Add in the dill and taste for seasoning.
  21. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  22. On a lightly sprayed oven-proof serving dish line the green beans down the center.
  23. Ladle the mushroom sauce down the center of the green beans leaving the ends exposed.
  24. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture bubbles.
  25. While the mixture is baking, place a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  26. Add 1 Tbl of oil and heat for a minute.
  27. Add the remaining cup of sliced mushrooms and gently stir to coat.
  28. After 3 minutes of cooking, add in 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce; stir.
  29. Cook for about 5 minutes per side or until all the mushrooms are golden brown and released their liquid.
  30. When the green beans in the oven are done, remove from the oven and top with the sautéed mushrooms.
  31. Serve or if you wish to add the crispy onions, see the Notes for more details.
If you wish to garnish these with the crispy onions, as soon as you place the sauteed mushrooms on top, place some of the onions on top of those and pop the plate back in the oven for about 3 minutes or until the onions have turned golden brown and crispy.

what to serve

These beans would be PERFECT along side a juicy oven roasted Proposal Chicken!


How about a thick and juicy New York Strip Steak?  God, I can almost taste it now!  Mmmm!


These beans with be the perfect side dish to my Center Cut Pork Chop with Peach Basil Bourbon Glaze!


10 Responses to “Countdown to Christmas 2015 Day 1: Sophisticated Green Beans”

  • Dianna says:

    This looks delicious! YUM!!!

  • Lizzie says:

    Now THAT’S how green beans should be served. We’re currently into detailed preparation for hanging an art show here in Meridian Idaho (just outside of Boise) so, while not quite still in our jammies, we’re dang close. Quick question: a GALLON of water to cook the beans???? I brined a turkey half-breast in a gallon of water. Don’t mean to be snarky AT ALL, but a gallon seems like a lot ….????

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Tee hee, thank you Lizzie! Oh I beat your art show will be amazing!

      LOL not snarky at all but when I blanche beans I use a lot of water. I want them to ‘swim’ freely. Often I find folks will only put enough water to just cover the beans. That really isn’t what I’m going for. You want them to boil freely. So if you want, go with 1/2 gallon (or at least 6-8 cups).

      Best Kitchen Wishes and good luck on your art show!

      • Lizzie says:

        We do want those little greenies to have full mobility, so a half-gallon it will be! And thank you kindly for your good wishes for our art show success. If we get it all done, it will be a miracle.

  • Sue says:

    This looks amazing. But you don’t say how to use the portabella mushroom caps? I love your site and use your recipes and advice often. Thanks

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Sue

      Thank you! It was a typo and the recipe was updated. Sorry about that.

      I’m thrilled you love my site and use my recipes. That really means a lot to me!

      Merry Christmas!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Liz says:

    Delicious recipes. Happy Holidays!

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