This Cheesy Green Beans recipe, made without mushroom soup, has a homemade cheese sauce, with leeks, onion, and a crispy shallots topping!

Cheesy Green Beans with crispy shallots

This green bean casserole is made with fresh green beans and a cheesy sauce, the perfect casserole recipe and side dish. It uses my own homemade cheesy sauce and bacon (if you wish)! Make these Cheesy Green Beans with or without the fried shallots. Plus, get tips to keep it from being watery and tips to add flavor to your green beans!

A spin on the “green bean casserole” with mushrooms, you can also make our Green Beans Au Gratin!

Cheesy Green Beans with shallots

Cheesy Green Beans

Green bean casseroles are a staple holiday side dish. This variation includes a lot of leeks, that add more body to the creamy, cheesy mornay sauce and crisp blanched beans. Additionally, it is topped with homemade fried shallots and panko crumbs, that are cooked in the shallot oil for even more shallot flavor. If you want to skip frying your own shallots, simply used store-bought fired onions, or only top with the panko.

crispy shallots on green beans

Why we love Cheesy Green Beans

Canned cream of mushroom soup is not a part of this recipe. If you’re wondering why our green bean casserole is so good, it’s because we make our own homemade sauce. By taking a few extra minutes to cover your green beans in a creamy sauce, you add so much flavor to your green beans and this dish.

It’s easy to make; with fresh ingredients, it’s so easy to put together. You’re going to need one pan and baking dish. Prep the ingredients ahead of time, to save time. Assemble and bake!

It’s a crowd-pleaser recipe. Everyone loves this recipe, and it pairs so well with holiday dishes like Holiday Crock Pot Ham or Best Prime Rib.

how to make Cheesy Green Beans

Ingredients for green bean casserole:

  • Fresh green beans
  • Salt
  • Bacon
  • White onion
  • Leeks: the secret to making this recipe so tasty, and very easy to find in the grocery store next to the celery and green onions
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Soy sauce
  • White wine
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Half and half

bowl of crispy shallots

Crispy shallot topping:

  • Shallots
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Chives

unbaked cheesy green beans

How do you make cheesy green beans

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt (it should taste like ocean water). Once boiling, add the beans, and blanch until bright green and crisp. Drain immediately, and rinse with cold water or place into an ice bath. Set aside until cooled, then drain.
  2. In a large ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon until crisp and golden.
  3. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Leave some fat in the pan and add the pepper and cook, then add the onion and leeks, salt and more olive oil if needed. Cook until softened, reducing the heat if needed. Add the wine and the soy sauce and cook off, then add the butter and melt.
  4. Add the flour and cook, and then add the half and half. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Remove from the heat, then add the Parmesan and Gruyere, stir until melted, then mix in the drained green beans.
  5. Cover the skillet with foil, transfer to the oven, and bake until bubbly!

Cheesy Green Bean casserole

How to make the crispy shallot topping:

  1. As the casserole bakes, make the topping. Prepare a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to drain the shallots once they have fried.
  2. In a small pot, add the oil. Add the shallots and then turn on heat to medium. Heat oil until the shallots begin to bubble and turn a golden, honey color. Stir the shallots frequently toward the end of cooking to avoid burning them. Drain the shallots into the fine mesh sieve, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.

For the Panko, add some of the shallot oil (or substitute butter) to a small skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the Panko and toast until golden, stirring frequently.

Season with salt and pepper if needed, then remove from heat and toss with the fried shallots.

When the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden, sprinkle over the Panko and top with chives. Serve warm.

a cheesy green bean casserole

Tips and substitutions:

Bacon adds flavor! But in place of bacon, you can use finely diced ham, or pork, or leave it out. But you will not quite have the flavor you need for this tasty casserole.

What other cheese can you use for a green bean casserole? You can replace the Parmesan and Gruyere cheese with shredded mozzarella, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack or any shredded cheese blends, like Italian blend cheese.

baked Cheesy Green Beans

How do you make green bean casserole not watery? The secret is to add the flour to the sauce, but you can also use a thickener like Xanthan gum or cornstarch.

What can I add to green beans to make more flavor? This sauce is very flavorful (with soy sauce). You can also use coconut aminos. You can also add garlic, turmeric, or more herbs. The secret is to make your own sauce (and not use cream of mushroom canned soup).

Can you replace the shallots? Yes, you can with onion. But we love the flavor of shallots. I highly recommend frying the shallots, because they can be used not only for the green bean casserole, but for any other side dish that needs a little crunchy sweetness. Although the shallots use quite a bit of oil, the leftover oil is infused with delicious shallot flavor that can be used to add to salad dressing, sautéed vegetables, and so much more! When cooking the shallots, make sure the oil nearly covers the top of them in the pot.

skillet of baked Cheesy Green Beans

More side dish recipes to try:

Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon

Vegetable Goat Cheese Raisin Side Dish

Fried Parsnips with Sage

Carrot Souffle

Cheesy Green Beans with crispy shallots
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Cheesy Green Beans Casserole

This Cheesy Green Beans recipe, made without mushroom soup, has a homemade cheese sauce, with leeks, onion, and a crispy shallots topping!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Yield: 8

Ingredients
 

  • 2 lb blanched green beans, trimmed and halved into bite-size pieces
  • Salt to season
  • 6 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, rinsed, dried, and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ c white wine
  • 1 c Parmesan
  • 1 c shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 ½ c half and half

Topping:

  • ½ -¾ c large shallots, about 3, sliced 1/4’’ thick
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Chives to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt (it should taste like ocean water). Once boiling, add the beans, and blanch for 4-5 minutes, until bright green and crisp. Drain immediately, and rinse with cold water or place into an ice bath. Set aside until cooled, then drain completely.
  • In a large ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon until crisp and golden. I recommend starting the bacon off in a cold pan, adding 1/4 c of water, then bringing the heat to medium and cooking until crisp. This should take 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick the bacon is.
  • Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Leave 1 1/2 Tbsp of fat in the pan and add the pepper, cook 30 seconds over medium-high heat, then add the onion and leeks, salt and more olive oil if needed. Cook until softened, 10-12 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if needed. Add the wine and the soy sauce and cook off for 2 minutes, then add the butter and melt.
  • Add the flour and cook 2 minutes. Finally, add the half and half. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then add the Parmesan and Gruyere, stir until melted, then mix in the drained green beans.
  • Cover the skillet with foil, transfer to the oven, and bake until bubbly, 25-30 minutes.
  • As the casserole bakes, make the topping. Prepare a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to drain the shallots once they have fried.
  • In a small pot, add 1/2 cup of avocado oil or another neutral oil (like canola or vegetable). Add the shallots and then turn on heat to medium. Heat oil until the shallots begin to bubble and turn a golden, honey color—10-15 minutes. Stir the shallots frequently toward the end of cooking to avoid burning them. Drain the shallots into the fine mesh sieve, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.

For the Panko:

  • Add 2 Tbsp of the shallot oil (or substitute butter) to a small skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the Panko and toast until golden, 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper if needed, then remove from heat and toss with the fried shallots.
  • When the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden, sprinkle over the Panko and top with chives. Serve warm.
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
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Cheesy Green Beans