Pepper Jack Green Bean Casserole

Best green bean casseroleFor a long time I didn't like green bean casserole. To me it was usually too mushy in texture. (Yes, mushy. That's a word people older than kindergartners use, right?) I also thought it was sort of a weird pairing: green beans with creamy soup (if you make it with condensed soup, that is). But the first time I ever made it, I used fresh green beans, and my opinion changed. Forever. I made a version last year that I really liked. But this year I wanted to create something a little more decadent (if you can make green bean casserole decadent) and a little spicy. I love spicy.Homemade green bean casserolePepper Jack Green Bean Casserole, makes 8 ramekins or one 8x8 casserole pan.

Needed: 1 1/2 to 2 lbs fresh green beans, 1 cup chopped mushrooms, 1/2 yellow onion, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 1/2 cup whole milk, 2 cups veggie broth, 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, salt + pepper for seasoning and french fried onions for the topping.

Remove the ends of the green beans and chop into 1 inch pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the green beans until just tender. Remove from water and allow to cool. Keep in mind they will continue to cook a little more. So if they are already as soft as you prefer, then you can add them to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. I usually skip this step though. Honestly.

In a small pot saute the chopped mushrooms and onions in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions have soften. Set aside.

In a pot melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Allow this to cook/bubble for 2 minutes. Now add the milk and broth. Stir to combine. Add in the cheese. Season with a little salt and pepper if needed. Now add in the green beans, onion/mushroom mixture and stir so every bean is coated. Pour this mixture into ramekins or your square baking dish. Top with french fried onions. You can make this the night before and then bake at 350°F for 24-26 minutes before serving. 

Enjoy! xo. Emma

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