This recipe is similar to the classic green bean casserole, but with a few twists. Toss blanched green beans with a buttermilk-Ranch dressing and top with panko breadcrumbs, crushed French-fried onions, chopped pecans, and shredded Cheddar cheese. Your kids will love the cheese and crunchy topping, and you'll love watching them eat the beans underneath. We suggest you shred the Cheddar cheese yourself for smooth and even melting.
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine Buttermilk White Sauce, peppers, and 1/2 cup cheese in a large bowl; add green beans, tossing gently to combine. Place in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch or 3-qt. baking dish.
Combine French fried onions, Japanese breadcrumbs, chopped pecans, and remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and sprinkle over green bean mixture.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Simple Pecan-Green Bean Casserole: Omit shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. Preheat oven to 350°. Place French fried onions, Japanese breadcrumbs, and chopped pecans in an even layer in a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring after 5 minutes. Prepare Buttermilk White Sauce and Simple Blanched Green Beans as directed. (Do not plunge beans into ice water.) Gently toss together green beans and roasted red bell peppers, and spoon onto a serving platter. Top with Buttermilk White Sauce, and sprinkle with toasted pecan mixture. Makes 6 to 8 servings; Prep: 10 min., Bake: 10 min.