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Green Bean Casserole Upgrade 2.0

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This is NOT your ordinary Green Bean Casserole.

Unfortunately, the classic green bean casserole that many of grew up with consisted of canned green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup and canned onion rings.  It’s no wonder some people have an aversion to this dish.

The good news is that this recipe includes fresh green beans, cheddar cheese and bacon.  With that kind of combination, you just know it’s going to be good.

Give this deliciously updated Green Bean Casserole a try at your next holiday gathering and make everyone happy!

 

Total Time:           1 hr
Prep:                       15 min
Cook:                      45 min
8  Servings

 

Ingredients
2 pounds fresh green beans, ends cut off
Salt
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 whole large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk, plus extra for thinning if needed
1/2 cup half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

 

Directions

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Cut the green beans in half if you like the pieces to be a little smaller. Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow the green beans to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the beans once they’re cool and set aside.Add the bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon for 2 minutes, and then add the peppers, garlic and onions, and continue cooking until the bacon is done (but not crisp) and the onions are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or 2, and then pour in the milk and half-and-half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, some black pepper and the cayenne, and then add the grated cheese. Stir while the cheese melts. Turn off the heat.

Add the bacon/onion mixture and stir to combine. Add the green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with the panko. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the panko is golden, about 30 minutes.

Watch the helpful video instructions by clicking right here.

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