Thanksgiving brings a feast that we dream about all year long, or at least I do.
You’ve got your basic standbys, turkey or ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes of some variety, cranberries in some form, pumpkin pie, and of course green bean casserole.
People either love green bean casserole, or hate it. I am here to give you a variety that I guarantee you will go crazy over.
My Green Bean Casserole with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce and Crispy Shallots will tempt you to fill your plates up with second helpings, maybe even thirds.
Yes, it is that good!
My three secrets for the ultimate green bean casserole that everyone will love:
- Ditch the cream of mushroom soup. That stuff is packed full of gross ingredients that your body will not be thankful for. Make your own sauce, in this case, a creamy cauliflower sauce.
- Use fresh or frozen green beans. If you are like me and believe that canned green beans are not really a vegetable, than you will favor this fresh green bean casserole.
- Don’t use those pre-made canned French onion rings. Make your own delicious crispy shallots.
I know it’s tempting to dump everything from a can into a casserole dish, but the extra effort for this casserole will be noticed by your guests.
This is the first time that I have made creamy cauliflower sauce and let me tell you, it is amazing! It is creamy, thick, and garlicky. It is the perfect base for our green bean casserole.
I know there are people who enjoy canned green beans for their casserole; no judging here. But I am definitely a fresh green bean kind of girl. So, if you also prefer fresh crispy beans over mushy canned ones, this recipe is for you.
The crispy shallots. These little guys are incredibly amazing, they are way better than canned French onions! They are slightly sweet, slightly charred, slightly oniony, and surprisingly crispy.
I know this recipe may be cutting it too close for you to make it before Thanksgiving Day (Thanksgiving sneaked up on me, what happened to Halloween?), but if you are celebrating more than one Thanksgiving there is still time. Or this will make a great side dish for Christmas.
Is it too soon to mention Christmas?
It’s right around the corner. Just sayin’.
To get ahead before the day of the big feast you can make the cauliflower sauce up to three to four days in advance. Then the day of, all you need to do is get the beans steamed, shallots crisped up, and mushrooms sautéed. Throw it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes and you’re good to go.
Seriously, guys, this is my all-time favorite green bean casserole that I have ever had. I promise that whether you make this for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or for any meal, everyone will be impressed.
Hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving full of family and delicious food!
- 14 ounces of fresh green beans, washed, trimmed, and cut into two inch pieces*
- 12 to 14 ounces mushrooms, washed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- For the creamy cauliflower sauce:
- 5 cups cauliflower florets
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup butter
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¼ to ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- ½ cup to 1 cup milk of choice (I used cow’s milk, but you can opt for an unsweetened nut milk if desired)
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- For the crispy shallots:
- 3-4 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 4 to 5 shallots cut into thin rounds and separated
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 X 13 baking dish by lightly greasing it. Set aside.
- Steam or blanch the green beans for 30 seconds to a minute, just until they have turned bright green and are slightly tender but still have a bite to them. Quickly remove them from the water and submerge them into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Once the beans are cooled, drain them and set aside.
- For the creamy cauliflower sauce:
- Dump the water out of the sauce pot that we steamed the green beans in. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the stock to a simmer and add the cauliflower florets. Simmer uncovered for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the florets are fork-tender. Remove from the heat. DO NOT DRAIN!
- While the cauliflower is simmering heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Melt the butter and add the garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Be careful not to burn or brown the garlic.
- Return to the cauliflower. Using a slotted spoon remove the cauliflower to a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary. Add a cup of the cooking liquid. Add the butter and garlic mixture and process until smooth.
- Add the ½ cup of milk to the food processor, or more if needed to thin out the sauce a little. The consistency should be thin and should cling to the back of your spatula.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend to combine. Make sure to taste the sauce to see if it needs more seasoning. Set the sauce aside.
- For the crispy shallots:
- Using the same sauté pan that we used for the garlic, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot rings in batches to not overcrowd the pan and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The shallots should become nicely browned (a little burnt is okay, too) and crispy. Drain the shallots on a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
- While the shallots are crisping up chop your mushrooms into 1 inch pieces.
- Using the same pan that the shallots were just sautéed in, add the 3 tablespoons butter and melt over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté about 5 to 8 minutes, or until caramelized.
- Add the green beans in with the mushrooms. Sauté for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add about 3 cups*** of the creamy cauliflower sauce and mix to combine. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the green beans, mushrooms, and cauliflower sauce into the greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Spread the crispy shallots out evenly on top of the casserole.
- Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.**
**You could make the cauliflower sauce up to 3 days in advance and then proceed with the green beans, mushrooms, shallots, and bake the day of.
***If you have leftover cauliflower sauce it is delicious reheated and used with anything for which you would normally use an Alfredo sauce
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce lightly adapted from Pinch of Yum.
Crispy Shallots light adapted from: Iowa Girl Eats