Green Bean Casserole with Caramelized Onions

30 Aug

This casserole contains all of the richness of a traditional green bean casserole with a good deal less of the fat, calories, preservatives, and additives.  Though there is a fair amount of fat and cholesterol from the cheese, I lightened it up by omitting any cream (or cream-based soups) and instead making use of 1% milk, cutting way down on the butter you might find in a traditional casserole, and setting aside the fried onions in favor of more flavorful caramelized onions.  Consequently, this had all of the flavors and textures that I love about a green casserole with a lot less of the guilt.  I substituted tomatoes for mushrooms in this casserole to add a layer of bright, summery flavor as a foil to the richness of the cheese and sweetness of the caramelized onions.  The homemade tomato bread crumbs added a lovely crunch that contrasted with the soft tomatoes and creamy sauce.  I also refrained from cooking the green beans into oblivion, leaving a nice bit of crunch.  If you like them soft, increase the blanching time accordingly.

Green Bean Casserole with Caramelized Onions

1 medium onion, sliced 1/8″ thick

1 tbs. olive oil

1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 – 1 1/2″ pieces

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 tbs. unsalted butter

1 tbs. all natural, whole wheat flour

1/2 cup 1% milk

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup farmer’s cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Gouda cheese, shredded

1/2 cup homemade tomato bread crumbs

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375º.

Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat.  Add onions and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Sauté 30-45 minutes until onions are golden brown.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add trimmed green beans and cook 4 minutes.  Drain and transfer immediately to an ice bath to stop cooking and maintain color and crisp.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  While whisking, add flour.  Cook about a minute, continuously whisking, until a smooth, light golden brown paste forms.  Slowly pour in milk, whisking continuously, until thickened and milk is heated through, about a minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in plain Greek yogurt, and cheese.  Stir continuously until cheese is melted.

Spray a small casserole dish with with non-stick cooking spray (I used a 3″ wide x 9″ long x 3″ deep casserole).  Add green beans, garlic, tomatoes, and cheese/yogurt mixture to the pan.  Using a pair of tongs, toss thoroughly to combine.  Top the casserole in an even layer with the caramelized onions.  Top with bread crumbs and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Transfer cast iron pan to oven and bake, uncovered, 20-30 minutes.  Let stand 8-10 minutes until cream sauce sets.

2 Responses to “Green Bean Casserole with Caramelized Onions”


  1. Orange and Cinnamon Peach Preserves « Kelseyincleveland's Blog -

    […] the basil and watermelon cocktail (for after my reading was finished, of course!), cooked up the green bean and caramelized onion casserole, and canned this gorgeous, fragrant, easy-as-it-gets orange and cinnamon peach preserve.  Reading […]

  2. Geauga Family Farms CSA – Week Twelve « Kelseyincleveland's Blog -

    […] CSA ingredients, but is my new favorite way to eat Brussels sprouts and made Zak very happy.  My green bean casserole with caramelized onions used CSA green beans, tomatoes, and farmer’s cheese.  The basil and watermelon cocktail used […]

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