Green bean and bacon casserole is a real food version of the classic side dish. With nourishing ingredients like bacon, raw milk and fresh beans it is healthy and filling enough to be a main dish.
Every summer we have a garden with a variety of vegetables. We change up what we grow each year.
But one thing we always have is beans!
I am in the kitchen freezing beans a couple times a week all through July and into August so we can enjoy them all year.
Our favorite way to enjoy beans is cooked fresh. My son always has to have second and sometimes third helpings. He knows what’s good!
A new twist on an old favorite.
This year I decided to use some of our abundance to recreate the classic green bean casserole.
The original includes canned beans, canned cream soups and fried “onions” on top. To me that means MSG, thickeners and all sorts of strange ingredients I don’t care to consume.
My homemade green bean and bacon casserole is made with fresh beans, homemade bone broth, raw milk and pastured bacon. It really doesn’t get any better than that!
Green bean and bacon casserole can be served traditionally as a side dish. But my version is so filling that I served it as the main course! Give me a big pile of green bean and bacon casserole and a slice of sourdough bread and I am a happy mama.
The kid seal of approval.
This was the first time eating a green bean casserole for my kids. They couldn’t get enough! My husband thoroughly enjoyed it as well.
Green bean and bacon casserole is great when beans are fresh. It also works with frozen beans. So you can enjoy it year round.
Make it work for your schedule.
It is perfect for potlucks, family gatherings and holidays. You can even make it for an easy week night meal. Green bean and bacon casserole can be prepared in advance and baked at dinner time.
As a busy mom I love meals like this. I prepare it during the day while the kids are napping or at school. Then when dinner time rolls around and everyone needs my attention I just pop it in the oven.
No time to bake it? No problem. Green bean and bacon casserole is great straight from the pan. Serve it on a bed of rice and you’ve got a complete meal.
If you enjoy the crispy onions on top of green bean casserole simply fry up some onion slices until crispy. Add them to the top after it is done baking.
If you don’t have bacon on hand you can substitute cooked chicken. Then use whatever fat you have on hand in place of the bacon grease (lard, tallow, butter, etc.).
Whether you’ve got fresh summer beans or you’re working through your freezer stash green bean and bacon casserole is sure to please the whole family.
My only regret when making this was that I didn’t have time to take better photos before my kids devoured it!
Did you grow up on green bean casserole? You’ll love this updated, nutrient dense version.
- 1 lb. green/yellow beans, snipped, cut
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup milk (can be replaced with broth to make it dairy free)
- 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour, tapioca flour or cornstarch
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 lb. pastured, nitrite/nitrate free bacon, cooked, crumbled, grease reserved
- 2 Tbsp. bacon grease
- 1/2 small onion. sliced (optional)
- Cook the beans in water until tender, 30 - 40 minutes. Drain.
- Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet.
- Stir in all purpose flour OR mix tapioca or cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the broth and add to grease.
- Cook 1 minute.
- Slowly stir in the broth and milk.
- Season and simmer until it thickens.
- Add the cooked beans and simmer on low 5 minutes.
- Add the bacon.
- Transfer to a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish.
- Bake at 350*F for 20 minutes.
- Cook onion slices in bacon grease until crispy.
- Top casserole with onion slices when serving.
- This can be served straight from the pan without baking.
- This can be prepared in advance and baked when ready to eat.