I should start this post by warning you that this is not a low-calorie dish, but if there is anytime of year to give up on calorie counting, this is it. Besides, it does have green beans and mushrooms, so it can’t be totally bad for you.
As far back as I can remember my mom has made traditional green bean casserole. You know the kind. The dish with frozen green beans, canned mushrooms, a can of cream of mushroom soup, canned fried onions and cheese on top.
This is the dish that makes the holidays something special year after year.
It wasn’t a dish however that my husband grew up eating. The first Thanksgiving he shared with my family, he didn’t understand the excitement my brother, sister and I had as we rudely stretched across the table for seconds and thirds.
To my surprise, he didn’t really like the casserole at all. What was I going to tell my mom? This was the guy I wanted to marry. Actually…neither he nor I have ever told her that he didn’t like it. For 15 years, he was a good son-in-law and just took a small portion and swallowed it quickly.
I knew I had to do something about this. I wanted him to enjoy this tradition; I wanted him to eat something he liked; but I didn’t want to change up the original recipe my family loved.
How was I going to solve this dilemma?
Sausage! Not just any sausage, Jimmy Dean’s Sage Sausage. This is my secret ingredient for the holidays. Because it has sage in it, it’s great in this casserole and in stuffing or dressing.
For the first couple of years of my experiment, I added the cooked sage sausage to my mom’s original recipe, but now I make my own cream of mushroom soup from scratch with fresh mushrooms. I also use fresh green beans, instead of frozen.
Although this has beautiful fresh vegetables, as I said, it is not low-cal. Sausage, heavy cream, butter, and did I mention the cheese on top? But my husband and my entire family now love it. I now make it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
You can make this 30 minutes before dinner by following the steps below and throwing it in the oven to melt the cheese just before dinner.
Or, you can make this a few days in advance. Spoon it into a 13 x 9 pan, refrigerate it and reheat it just before dinner.
Give it a shot this Thanksgiving…that is if you don’t mind your family stretching across the table for more.
- 1/2 tube Jimmy Dean's Sage Sausage
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 ½ cups chopped portabella mushrooms
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 8 cups (1 ½ pounds) fresh green beans
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Brown the sausage in a large pan over medium heat. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.
Melt the butter in the same pan. Add the onions and sauté, until tender. Add the mushrooms and sauté, until tender.
Return the sausage to the pan. Add ½ cup of cream, soy sauce and green beans. Stir until coated. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Whisk ½ cup of cream and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add the cream to the pan along with the seasonings. Stir to allow the cream to thicken for 2-3 minutes.
Spoon the green beans into a 13 x 9 pan and sprinkle cheese on top.
If serving immediately, bake it uncovered in a 400-degree oven, until the cheese melts.
If you have refrigerated it, reheat it in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.