We apologize for the lack of posts during the past few weeks, but we were totally jet-setting – from Colombia, to Miami, to Puerto Rico, to a tiny, beautiful island named Vieques, and finally back home to Atlanta. We’ll be posting more information about our culinary adventures during the trip soon, but for now, we’d like to share a fabulous, classic holiday side dish recipe with you. Because we spent Thanksgiving at Frank’s grandparents’ home in Puerto Rico, we didn’t have much of a chance to cook, but I absolutely refuse to spend a single Thanksgiving dinner without this amazing green bean casserole. Frank’s mom even tried to bring all of the ingredients with us from Miami, but those vigilant TSA agents stopped her at the gate and confiscated her mushroom soup and cans of green beans – ha! Luckily, we were able to find an open store on Thanksgiving morning and pick up what we needed, but thank goodness the fried onion rings made it through airport security.
This is my mom’s take on a very classic dish that I’m sure you’ve tried at one point or another. I’ve adapted it slightly to my own tastes, as I’m obsessed with fried onion rings, so this is an extra cheesy, extra crunchy version of plain old green bean casserole. Everyone we have ever served this to, even if they hate green beans, can’t get enough of this dish. I promise that anyone, even finicky children who balk at the idea of green anything on their plate, will be asking for more. Honestly, if you’re having a large party, I would suggest making two of these casseroles, because you wouldn’t want to rob yourself of the ability to have leftovers the next day. After all, leftovers is one of the best part of the holidays, isn’t it?
56 ounces (4 14.5-ounce cans) French-style green beans (we used the canned variety, but feel free to substitute fresh beans) [300 calories]
3- 4 slices of Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese (if you like it extra cheesy, use more to taste, but beware that the dish can become overly greasy if too much cheese is used) [1120 calories]
1 ½ cans (10 ¾ ounces each) condensed cream of mushroom soup [360 calories]
2 cups fried onion rings [720 calories]
Calories per serving: 300 (for 8) or 250 (for 10)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large casserole dish with baking spray.
Drain the green beans (if using the canned variety) and add to the casserole dish. Open the mushroom soup cans, stir well with a spoon, and then add to the green beans. If you’d like, feel free to pour a little milk into the empty can so you can add some extra creaminess to the casserole and get all of the soup out of the can.
Add the Vidalia onion to the green beans, and 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese. Mix well and smooth the top of the casserole with a spoon. Top casserole with remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese and the fried onion rings.
Bake casserole for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted and the interior is fully warmed. Serve and wait for the compliments to pour in.
This is one of my mom’s classic, old-school recipes, adapted for our cheese and fried onion ring-loving tastes.