Green Bean Casserole

Oh sure, I’ve made a traditional casserole before. There’s a reason that recipe has been around for ages. It’s a classic with great flavor. This green bean casserole is something different. Something amazing. Crispy green beans, sure. A creamy cheese sauce, you bet. Red bell peppers, bacon, onion and panko? Fantastic.

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This is soon to become a staple in our household. I was able to grab last-of-the-season fresh beans when I made this green bean casserole. With the season now gone I’ll have to make this using frozen (but not canned!) beans. If you use frozen, defrost them using the package instructions and skip steps #2-#6 below for blanching the fresh beans. That’s it!

Also try my Swiss vegetable medley.

Green Bean Casserole

This green bean casserole is something different. Something amazing. Crispy green beans, sure. A creamy cheese sauce, you bet. Red bell peppers, bacon, onion and panko? Fantastic.
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 249kcal
Author Based on a recipe from Ree Drummond

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds green beans fresh, ends cut off, cut in halves
  • 4 slices bacon cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk plus more, if needed
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup extra sharp Cheddar finely shredded
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs regular breadcrumbs also work well

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and add enough water to just cover the ice.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the beans. Return to a boil and boil for 4 minutes.
  • Drain the beans and add to the ice water bath.
  • After the beans have cooled completely, drain well.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, pepper and onion and cook until the bacon starts to crisp but isn’t done. Stir often to keep the garlic from burning.
  • Remove from heat.
  • In another large skillet (it has to be big enough to hold the beans and the cooked bacon mix) melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the flour and stir constantly for 4 minutes.
  • Whisk in the milk and half-and-half and continue stirring until the sauce starts to thicken.
  • Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the black pepper and the cayenne pepper. Stir.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until melted.
  • Add in the cooked beans and the bacon mixture. Stir well.
  • Pour mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Spread out evenly.
  • Sprinkle top with the breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 391mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1546IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 215mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Mississippi Mud Cheesy Potatoes

I’m lucky in that I usually love darn near everything i make. These Mississippi Mud cheesy potatoes are definitely no exception. In fact, love may be an understatement. Anita and I both devoured them. You just can’t beat the tender potatoes, ooey gooey cheese, crunchy smoky bacon, and green onions. It’s a lot like having a loaded baked potato, and yep, you guessed it, I love loaded baked potatoes too.

Mississippi Mud Cheesy Potatoes

The only possible change (and really, it’s a stretch perhaps) I would make to these Mississippi Mud cheesy potatoes would be to add a roasted jalapeno or two. Actually, that’s not a stretch at all. Or maybe a pinch or two of smoked paprika or chipotle powder. Yeah, I’m going that for sure now!

Also make my delicious melting potatoes.

Mississippi Mud Cheesy Potatoes

I’m lucky in that I usually love darn near everything i make. These Mississippi Mud cheesy potatoes are definitely no exception.
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 1078kcal

Ingredients

  • 10 cups Russet potatoes diced (about 5 medium potatoes)
  • 1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pound bacon cooked, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325 F.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Pour mixture into a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish.
  • Bake for 1 hour until the potatoes are tender.

Nutrition

Calories: 1078kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 96g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 860mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 651IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 440mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Million Dollar Spaghetti

I was going to change the name of this dish to just ‘spaghetti casserole’ because (before I made it) I thought that calling it Million Dollar Spaghetti was a bit pretentious. Well, as you can tell, I didn’t change the name. That’s because, yeah, Million Dollar Spaghetti is the perfect name for it.

If you close your eyes and take a bite of this spaghetti you’ll almost think you are eating lasagna. Actually, it’s very close in flavor to my mom’s easy lasagna, a recipe I make and devour regularly. Spaghetti sauce, Italian sausage, pasta, a little Italian seasoning and plenty of cheese. What’s not to love?

Million Dollar Spaghetti

Million Dollar Spaghetti was a huge hit in our house. We were sad when the last piece disappeared. But not super sad since we knew it won’t be long until we make this again. And again.

You can easily change this recipe up to meet your own tastes. Maybe add some fresh mushrooms in when you cook the sausage. Or a few bell peppers. For me, a pinch or two of red pepper flake is always a good idea too. You don’t have to use an expensive jarred spaghetti sauce, either. Good ole Prego (I used Italian Sausage and Garlic) works just great!

To really amp up this dish, use my smoked spaghetti sauce instead of jarred.

Million Dollar Spaghetti

If you close your eyes and take a bite of this spaghetti you’ll almost think you are eating lasagna.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 497kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • kosher salt
  • 2 24 ounce spaghetti sauce divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage if using links remove the casings
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 8 ounce cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups Mozzarella cheese shredded, divided
  • 1 stick butter cut into 16 thin pats, divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and return the spaghetti to the pot you cooked it in and stir in one bottle of the spaghetti sauce. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Crumble in the raw sausage and stir, cooking until the sausage is cooked through. I used a wooden spoon to help break up the sausage while it cooked.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the remaining jar of spaghetti sauce.
  • In a bowl, combine the Ricotta, cream cheese, sour cream, Italian seasoning and 1 cup of the Mozzarella.
  • Place 8 of the pieces of butter in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
  • Place half of the spaghetti mix into the bottom of the dish. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly.
  • Add the cheese mixture and spread out evenly.
  • Add the remaining butter and then add the rest of the of the spaghetti mixture. Spread out evenly.
  • Add all of the tomato sauce mixture and spread out evenly.
  • Add the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes until hot.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 392IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 264mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.