Monday, December 8, 2014

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Green beans were one of the few vegetables my sisters and I could all agree on as 'the vegetable' when I was little - Darcie was a little picky.  Just the plain old canned version.  The ones that squeak against your teeth.
Actually, I still like them, but when you're asked to bring the beans to a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you can't really just show up with a can.  Well, you can and if you did, you'd be my hero, but if you're like me, you feel the pressure.

And while I like canned green beans just fine, I felt like using the fresh ones this go around.  I snapped off the ends of what felt like 80,000 green beans Thanksgiving morning and mixed them with some cheesy buttermilk ranch sauce.
Of course, you can't even call it a green bean casserole if it doesn't have the french fried onions.  So there's some of those mixed in with the panko bread crumbs and a little extra cheese for good measure.

If you want to switch up your sides a little bit for your Christmas dinner this year, this recipe is going to be the one.  It's different, but it's not too different.  It's the good kind of different.

2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 Tbsp. ranch dressing mix
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 c. jarred roasted bell peppers, chopped
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
8 c. blanched green beans
1 c. french fried onions, crushed
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs

1.  Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in flour until smooth and cook for 1 minute (stirring constantly).  Slowly, add in the milk and cook until thickened (still stirring).  Remove from heat and whisk in buttermilk.

2.  Stir salt, pepper, bell peppers and 1/2 c. of the cheese into the milk mixture in a large bowl.  Add in green beens and gently toss to coat.  Pour into a greased 9x13" casserole dish.

3.  Mix together french fried onions, bread crumbs and remaining 1/2 c. cheddar cheese.  Sprinkle over the green beans.

4.  Bake at 350˚ for 25-30 minutes.

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