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How to Make the Absolute Best Green Bean Casserole

This holiday favorite is beloved because it's so darned easy to make. Tradition calls for canned green beans topped with canned cream of mushroom soup, finished in a shower of crispy fried onions. It bakes up golden brown, creamy with a bit of crunch. Don't mess with success, right? Well, there are a few easy ways to upgrade the classic recipe. Here's the scoop:

Add Cheese

Chef John leads the charge into extra rich territory by adding cheese and calling this version French Onion Green Bean Casserole. Ooooh-la-la. If you've never used Gruyère before, get ready to be impressed. This semi-hard cow's milk cheese from Switzerland melts beautifully, making it a winner in everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to mac-and-cheese.

Creamy White Sauce Is Key

When going for an upgrade and making this veggie side dish from scratch, it's essential to bring your A game to making the basic white sauce, which is also known as béchamel. Learn to make this "mother" sauce and it'll be the best foundation on which to build magical cheese sauces and more. Relax... it's as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add flour and stir for a minute.
  3. Add milk and whisk until thick and simmer for 10 minutes.
Best Green Bean Casserole

Photo by Cynthia Ross

Interesting Additions

When clever cooks put their own signature on a classic, things can get intriguing. Toss in bacon, artichokes, slivered almonds. Swap out the crispy onions and use cornflakes instead? Sure, why not? Try these creations below and let us know what you think in the "rate it" feature.

Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

Check out more Green Bean Casserole Recipes and our complete collection of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

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About Leslie Kelly

Always hungry to learn, never had my fill of oysters, Memphis dry rub ribs, wild salmon, chocolate chip cookies or a well-rolled lumpia. Washington state wine lover, bourbon fan. Totally obsessed with brunch!