Green Bean Casserole is the coveted Thanksgiving side dish. It’s everyone’s favorite, a true American classic. Would it really be Turkey Day without these haricot verts making an appearance? Probably not.
However, there are certain situations that are not supporting of Green Bean Casserole. Think I’m crazy? Think again! Although my sanity is questionable at times, I am completely in the right mind when I tell you this: Green Bean Casserole ain’t always the way to go.
First of all, it is possible to get sick of the stuff. Make it too many times, and you’ll be searching for a switch up. It’s also very possible to have a mushroom-hater at your dinner table. A lot of people actually don’t like mushrooms, which means they aren’t going to be crazy about a dish made with cream of mushroom soup. Also, if you’re already serving a lot of cream-based sides like mac and cheese, gratins, and cheesy or creamy potato bakes, then you might want to lighten up in other places. Rich, creamy dishes are delicious in moderation, but if you go too crazy, you’ll feel sick and riddled with guilt.
Lastly is a reason I can really relate to: lack of oven space. If you’ve got a bird in the oven then finding room for all your sides and breads can be quite a challenge. Stove-top sides can really come in handy. But what kind of delicious stove-top dishes are ideal for the Thanksgiving table?
Alas, my little cookies, there is a solution to all of these predicaments: Green Beans w/ Caramelized Onions & Toasted Almonds. It’s not too far from that classic casserole you know and love. You’ve got those tender green beans and the must-have onion topping. But instead of using processed onion-chips from a can, you use fresh, sweet, and buttery caramelized onions. Are you drooling yet?
Then, instead of that thick mushroom cream sauce, these beans receive a delicious buttery coating, its flavor amplified with olive oil and sage. The sage gives the beans that classic flavor of the holidays, Making this dish perfect for Thanksgiving. Finally, a sprinkle of toasted almonds amongst the tender beans adds a little crunch in every bite, a rainbow of textures. It is so incredibly delicious that you may find it rivals the classic green bean casserole.
Between the caramelized onions, butter, olive oil, almonds, and sage, this dish is brimming with delicious flavors. It’s comforting, but a bit lighter than your average cream-based side dish. You’ll find it’s a welcomed change to the traditional and that it truly tastes like the holidays. You could just as easily serve up these green beans with Christmas dinner as well. They’re a comforting crowd pleaser.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Thanksgiving already requires tons of effort and prep work on your part; don’t make it harder on yourself than you need to. It’s totally okay to use frozen beans rather than tangling with fresh.
- French-cut beans are a bit more deceptive when it comes to picky children. As a child, I hated whole green beans. But, for whatever reasons, french-cut was fine with me. I think there’s something about shredding up a veggie and making it less distinguishable that allows picky eaters to enjoy it. You’ll find the same effect with brussel sprouts. Plus, french-cut beans are tender while still retaining some crispness. Regular green beans can get soggy, limp, and unappetizing.
- The day before Thanksgiving, get your green beans cooked then stick ‘em in the fridge. Then toast your almonds and store them in an airtight container. That means less work for you on the big day.
- Fresh sage is a must!
- If you’ve got a guest who doesn’t like nuts, keep the almonds on the side.
Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Almonds
Recipe adapted from Food Network
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound bag of frozen green beans
- 1/2 cup skin on sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the beans in a microwave-safe dish with a little bit of water. Cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Reserve the beans while you start the onions.
- Place a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast stirring every now and then until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the almonds from the skillet and reserve.
- Return the skillet to the heat and add the butter and olive oil and heat until the butter has melted. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook stirring frequently until the onions caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the sage, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked cooled green beans and almonds, and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Still looking for Thanksgiving treats to fill your table? Don’t freak out; Smart Cookie has got you covered. Head on over to the Thanksgiving page for recipes galore!