The traditional version of green bean casserole includes cream of mushroom soup, which can add an unhealthy amount of fat and salt to your diet. Using more nutritious ingredients will result in a similar taste and texture without the unnecessary fat and sodium. The crispy onions are also high in fat and salt, but replacing them with fresh onions enhances the taste in the absence of the cream of mushroom soup. Making your casserole in a crock pot is a simple way to achieve a creamy texture with minimal preparation.
Wash your fresh green beans and trim the ends. Cut the green beans in half, and place them in your crock pot.
Pour in chicken broth. Cut the onion in half. Dice half of it and add to the crock pot. Remove stems from the mushrooms, cut into quarters and sprinkle over green beans and onions. Cover tightly with lid and turn to low heat. Cook for about 4 hours, or until broth is bubbling slightly.
Add 1 cup of milk and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes, or until milk is hot but not boiling.
Cook the remaining half an onion while you wait for the milk to heat. Cut the onion into thin slices. Place olive oil in a saute pan with the sliced onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent.
Spoon the cooked green bean casserole into a large serving bowl and garnish with sauteed onion slices.
Consider adding other vegetables to your green bean casserole. Raw carrots and celery pair well with green beans and will add nutrients and color to your finished product. Chopped almonds will add crunch and texture if sprinkled over the casserole with the sauteed onions. This recipe serves four to six people, but can be doubled or tripled if you plan to serve it for a large gathering.
Do not use canned green beans in this recipe. They will cook too long and result in a mushy and overcooked side dish. Do not allow the milk to boil after adding it to the crock pot, which will change the taste and may cause burning.