MAKE AHEAD GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

BY MEL FROM MEL’S KITCHEN CAFE

Don't stress about Thanksgiving side dishes ever again. Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole is perfect for the busy holiday because you can make it a few days beforehand and not have to worry about popping it in the oven until the day of. In fact, you can even freeze this dish for up to two months without sacrificing any of the flavors that you love about traditional green bean casserole recipes.

SERVES: 10
COOKING TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN

INGREDIENTS

TOPPING:

? 2 slices hearty sandwich bread, white or wheat, torn into pieces
? 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
? ¼ teaspoon salt
? 2 cups canned fried onions

CASSEROLE:

? 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
? 10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
? 1 teaspoon salt
? ½ teaspoon pepper
? 6 garlic cloves, minced
? ½ teaspoon dried thyme
? ¼ cup all-purpose flour
? 1 ¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth
? 1 ½ cups heavy cream
? 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
? ¼ cup cornstarch

INSTRUCTIONS

TOPPING:

1. Pulse bread, butter, and salt in food processor until coarsely ground.
2. Combine bread mixture and canned fried onions in a bowl, transfer to a zipper-lock freezer
bag, and freeze.

CASSEROLE:

1. Melt the butter in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
2. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid,
about 5 minutes.
3. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 5
minutes.
4. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, stirring about 1 minute.
6. Slowly whisk in broth and cream and bring the mixture to a boil.
7. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened,
about 10 minutes.
8. In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the cornstarch until the beans are evenly coated.
9. Transfer the beans to a 9X13-inch baking dish.
10. Pour the warm mushroom mixture evenly over the beans.
11. Let the casserole cool completely on the counter.
12. Once cooled, cover with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 2
months.
13. When ready to bake, adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400
degrees F.
14. Remove the layer of plastic wrap from the baking dish and replace the foil
15. Bake, covered until the sauce is bubbling and the beans are tender, about 80 minutes,
stirring the beans thoroughly after 50 minutes.
16. Remove the foil and spread the frozen topping mixture over the beans.
17. Bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Serve.
NOTES
1. The topping and casserole can be frozen separately for up to 2 months.

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