Here's a faster, fresher take on green bean casserole that's done all on the stovetop--one less thing to try to work into oven rotation on the big day. Although we use fresh beans and make our own creamy sauce, we've kept the French-fried onions (arguably the best part of traditional green bean casserole). To speed prep, you can purchase bags of fresh, pretrimmed green beans from the produce section.
4 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
1 (4-ounce) package fresh gourmet mushrooms
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1/3 cup French-fried onions, crushed (such as French's)
How to Make It
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large straight-sided skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and green beans. Reduce heat to medium; cook 6 minutes or until tender. Drain beans; rinse with cold water. Drain and set aside.
Wipe skillet clean and dry with paper towels; return skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sliced onion; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes or until mushrooms brown, stirring occasionally. Add sherry and thyme; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add cream cheese; stir until cheese melts. Stir in stock; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from heat. Add beans; toss to coat. Sprinkle with crushed onions.