Monday, November 7, 2011

French Onion Green Bean Casserole – It’s Soupy!

If someone calls your green bean casserole “soupy,” it’s usually not a compliment. Here though, it’s completely appropriate. I wanted to rework the iconic Thanksgiving side dish, and wondered what would happen if I brought in some of the tastes and textures that make French onion soup such a favorite.

Somewhat strangely, the final product didn’t remind me at all of French onion soup, but was quite delicious nonetheless, and would certainly be well received around your holiday table. Caramelized onions and melted Gruyere cheese are never a bad idea together, and would make for a great alternative to the old, canned fried onion-topped version.

One small change I would make next time, and that I’ve added to the ingredients list, is a small splash of sherry vinegar added to the onion mixture. As you hardcore foodwishers know, that is the secret ingredient in our famous French onion soup recipe, and I believe it would have better balanced out the sweetness of the dish.

Of course, it goes without saying that you can use just about any cheese you like, and a nice sharp cheddar would definitely work very well here. Anyway, as you start to put together your Thanksgiving menu, I hope you keep this “soupy” side dish in mind. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
For the onions:
2 tbsp butter
2 or 3 yellow onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp sherry vinegar (stirred into the onions after they are caramelized)

For the white sauce:
2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups milk
pinch of nutmeg
cayenne to taste
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:
2/3 cup panko or other style bread crumbs
2 tbsp melted butter

For the rest:
2 lbs green beans, trimmed, blanched
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz grated Gruyere cheese, divided
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

67 comments:

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Monica said...

this is the dish I normally love to hate with it's memories of congealed Campbell soup at office pot lucks. This sounds interesting.

Anonymous said...

That looks really good. I'd like to make this for Thanksgiving but I generally need to make most things a day ahead. Would this hold up if I assembled it the day before and cooked it the next day?

Poirot said...

I was just thinking that I can't believe people still make that old tired green bean casserole with canned onions on top. This recipe looks yummy ... adding it to my Thanksgiving menu. I just found this site a couple of weeks ago, and have already tried 3 of Chef's delicious recipes.

Chef John said...

Yes, make it ahead!

Anonymous said...

Hi ,

How much does this recipe cost in total ?

Thanks in advance .

EcoEcho said...

Looks delicious! Would be great on anyone's Thanksgiving menu!

Anonymous said...

yum...that is all

Pantalone said...

I wonder if some toasted (in butter) slivered almonds might be good in there somewhere?

Looks delicious!

Jeff @ Cheese-Burger.net said...

This will be a great alternative to the traditional canned fried onion side dish.

Chef John said...

actually, i wasn't kidding. corn nuts are super crunchy and could work well.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef! Great recipe, can't wait to try it. Is there any reason why you couldn't melt the gruyere into the white sauce, then toss the cheesy sauce with the beans before assembling?

philogaia said...

It is like you read my mind this year, Chef. I have a guilty secret of actually liking the tired old beans but I gave up Campbell's soups along with all other processed c**p years ago and had not found a good substitute (seems like it shouldn't be that hard.) The caramelized onions in this with the cheese look like just what I was looking for. I attend a large gathering for Thanksgiving and I think I found my offering this year.

Chef Wannabe said...

Hi Chef, I'm your fan (from Brazil). We do not celebrate thanksgiving, but I got so excited about this recipe that I had to try it. I posted the result on my blog (though it was not so good looking as yours) and linked your recipe (for credits, you know). A friendly good old tapa tapa. ^^

JoAnn said...

I love this recipe. I make a similar dish with chicken stock instead of the milk and add some of the cheese to the sauce and add hazelnuts to the topping.

Adlin Azman said...

Hi Chef.. Can I substitute sherry vinegar with balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar? If yes, by how much? Thanks!

Chef John said...

yes, same amount of ww vin should be fine.

Ron said...

Dried TIME? Really? I love the idea, but I don't think they sell that...

Looks delicious Chef John. Thanks.

maria rose said...

this sounds like a much more tastier version of the green bean dish especially with the Gruyere cheese added in and made with fresh green beans. I had to come to this blog so i could get the written recipe to keep a copy to try it with

huntdonald said...

simple receipt, easy to get all the ingredient , look yummy
i will try to make it someday,
thanks for shared

Jolie Bourgeois said...

I can't wait to try this! I think traditional green bean casserole is boring and have been wanting to try something new. I also wanted to make French onion soup for the first time recently, but never got around to it. Thanks for a recipe that combines my needs! I am a wannabe foodie that writes a blog about learning to cook by trying new recipes, and I'd love to give this one a shot. May I write a post about it and link back to this wonderful post?

Anonymous said...

I just made it for dinner and it was great! Thanks Chef John we love your recipes!!!

sandra said...

this looks and sounds so delicious that i'm making it tonight. however i don't have sherry vinegar so i'm using apple cider vinegar instead.hopefully this won't make a big difference in taste and i omitted the cayenne. don't have any anyway.so i'll post later about how this turned out for me.everyone have a great day! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,
Your videos make me look so good in my kitchen! so thank you! With that said, besides a sharp cheddar, could you suggest another cheese that would work well in this dish?

Chef John said...

Any melting cheese will work. Use what you like!

Monica said...

I want to make this recipe to a take as my dish for Thanksgiving, Can i make it in stages ahead of time and then combine?

joq said...

Chef John, have you tried the Cave-aged Guyere? Quite an upgrade from the regular Guyere :) Enjoy!

autumnthompson87 said...

I have rw vinegar and rice wine vinegar. Would either one of these be an ok substitute for sherry vinegar?

Chef John said...

go with the rice vin!

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John, I made this recipe today to make sure it would work for Thanksgiving. It turned out GREAT! I was not able to find Guyere cheese, so I tried Havarti cheese. Not too bad. Thank you for the recipe. Now I will look for the Guyere cheese to use.

Anonymous said...

Sherry Vinegar or sherry cooking wine? Can I use either one for this recipe? I didn't see sherry vinegar in the vinegar section at the store.. only sherry cooking wine.

Anonymous said...

Hi chef! Some questions...
1. Can I substitue the sherry vinegar with actual dry sherry wine?
2. What do u think abt adding mushrooms, would it work? If so, would shitake be a good choice? And, at what stage would I incorporate it?
Thanks!!

Chef John said...

no, wine would work the same as vinegar. You can saute mushrooms with the onions if you want. enjoy!

LuxuryTrap said...

Would sharp cheddar work as a substitute for gruyere?

LuxuryTrap said...

Would sharp cheddar work instead of gruyere? Or would it overpower everything?

Chef John said...

would be fine!

Anonymous said...

If I make this today for tomorrow - and just save the baking (so coming from Fridge)would you stay with 375 for 30 minutes or adjust the time and or temperature??
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

so how much does this recipe make?

Mrs Quilty said...

I could not find beans in the store, can canned beans work as well?

Chef John said...

Probably 6-10 portions depending on size.

Jeanni Kistler said...

It's going to be a Chef John Thanksgiving at our house tomorrow! I'm preparing the turkey the "Chef John way", I'm having the French Onion Green Bean Casserole, The Apricot/Roasted Pecan Dressing, the Sweet Potato Casserole with Pistachio crust and of course, mashed potatoes the Chef John way! (I even bought the right masher just for the occasion!...got rid of the old masher with the squares in it.)

Unknown said...

Hi, I will be making this in the morning. I couldn't find sherry vinegar. I saw from your comment that white wine vinegar is an OK substitute. I bought red wine vinegar and I have sherry, ... I was thinking of using a bit of each. What do you advise? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is incredible. It's elegant & sophisticated so it's perfect for adults & parties yet manages to please my picky young grandsons. It was a real winner today. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

I just made this for Thanksgiving today. OH MY GOODNESS...so good! My teenage boys and husband said it's their new favorite. This is absolutely wonderful. Thank you Chef John!

Gloria said...

Hi Chef John,
Love your videos! I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it! We are living in Costa Rica and couldn't find sherry, sherry vinegar or Gruyere cheese so I omitted the sherry and used cheddar cheese. Still delicious. I'm going to try your Pumpkin no-knead bread in the next couple of days. Can't wait!
Gloria

Anonymous said...

Review of French Onion Green Bean Casserole and Sweet Potato Casserole. I made both of these dishes for this Thanksgiving (2011) and they were excellent! Thanks John for these superb versions; far superior to any recipe I have tried so far. These will remain on my company dinner and holiday menu lists. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT !!! is the only way to describe the way this came out for my Thanksgiving dinner. I was a little hesitate to blanch the green beans., so I cooked them down a bit. Otherwise I followed and didnt omit anything else and it was a hit ! Thanks for sharing Chef.

Anonymous said...

I made this casserole 4 times during Thanksgiving season. Every time it was for different group (not counting my husband :)) Every time it turned out good in spite my ability to mess up recipes! My self-esteam is on the rise!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John, thanks for all your help, I made The French onion Green Beans casserole on Thanksgiving Day and it came out so good, that is why I am going to do it again fro Christmas. You're videos are awesome and I like the way you show everything. Thanks again and all the best.

Chef John said...

thanks!!

Gary Clark said...

Yes, I will be doing this for Christmas dinner as well. When I was in buying the cheese for our thanksgiving dinner, they had some smoked Gruyere at almost half the price, so I opted for that. Since I do the cooking on my Bubba Keg Grill, the smoked cheese went really well with the taste of the bird.

Excellent recipe!

Hairwoman said...

I'm fast becoming your biggest fan. Have tried three of your recipes so far and been completely delighted with the results. Never been a fan of green bean casserole, though. Yours, however, looks so yummy I've just got to try it.

Heather Stevenson said...

I served this yesterday at our Christmas dinner. Actually I put it together the day before and baked it before dinner next day. It was a hit! And I have just emailed the recipe to my son who told me more than once how much he liked it. Thank you for this recipe.

Anonymous said...

very tasty, easy to cook but dont tell your guests.........shhhhh just sit back and take the praise.. thanks chef john your my hero xx

Lindsay J said...

Just made this as a tester before Thanksgiving. My husband HATES green beans in all forms but loved this. I can see that you could make most of this or maybe even all of this ahead of time so you don't have to be stressing Thanksgiving morning. Anyway it's a hit and I'll be taking it to dinner Thursday!

don'teat mycookie said...

is the sauce supposed to be sweet?

The Roger said...

Ahhh... Success with most of the recipe... I used panko italian style though and it occurred to me as i was sprinkling it on top that the flavors may not mesh well... what's your opinion?

Chef John said...

Sorry, not sure but may work!

Teacher Tam said...

I'm thinking about trying this today! Thanks for the recipe.

Alyssa Johnson said...

Made three batches of this for a huge thanksgiving gathering! The sauce and onions make it delicious and savory, but I really feel the secret ingredient is the BUTTER IN EVERY PART OF THIS RECIPE.
Happy Thanksgiving, Chef John!!

Katie said...

Just made this as my contribution to our family's Thanksgiving dinner -- it was an absolute hit! Just fantastic. Thanks, Chef John!

M Din said...

Made this for Thanksgiving and loved it! Thank you so much for this wonderful website. I am not skilled in the kitchen but your videos are so easy to follow that I can actually make something tasty!

Naomi Cammack said...

Made this for friends this weekend and it was picked as favorite dish overall! Gruyere cheese was the way to go! Thanks for the recipe!

ICAST said...

I just made this for my mom and it was heavenly!!!!

Everybody had a second helping.

Thanks for the recipe.

Randy Sieb said...

Made this for Christmas Eve. It was excellent. I even made a small dish w/o the cheese for a food allergy and it was still amazing! The onions and panko make the dish!

Gary Dickens said...

I made green bean casserole for Thanksgiving and it was not good. Second try was more like this recipe, but French cut beans, cream of mushroom, and French's Fried Onions for the topper did not work. Now that I found this I will follow this recipe next time but will stay with the 4 oz. Velvetta I incorporated, then it has to be a can't-miss.

mysweetharmony said...

Chef John, I've always wondered where you got that great piano theme music for your videos. I love it! Did someone write the music especially for you or is it taken from a song already written? Just made the green bean caserole and it is delicious! Much better than the original one made with the canned soup and fried onions. Thanks ounce again for a delicious recipe and a great step by step video guide. You are a great teacher!