Rescue Your Thanksgiving: Transforming a Runny Green Bean Casserole

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There isn’t concrete data, but the most prominent gripe folks seem to have with green bean casserole is its “soupy” nature. While it often includes cream of mushroom soup, the goal is a lush, creamy texture rather than a runny, watered-down mess.

The founder of The Seasoned Mom, Blair Lonergan, notes, “A runny casserole on your Thanksgiving plate spells disaster. It loses flavor, lacks support for that crispy topping, and doesn’t hit the spot.”

The solution for a watery casserole? Thickening. Lauren Allen, owner of Tastes Better From Scratch, stresses, “Thickening the sauce is key. It’s what holds everything together. Instead of a thin, drippy mess, a thickened sauce coats the green beans, intensifies flavors, and prevents dilution.”

Curious about the secrets of food influencers? We reached out to Instagram’s food stars for their tips on thickening green bean casseroles, ensuring they taste as divine as they appear.

Revitalize Your Soupy Green Bean Casserole with These Top 3 Fixes

  1. 1. Grab the cornstarch

Chantelle Hartman Malarkey, a popular lifestyle blogger boasting over 132,000 followers on Instagram, asserts that the sauce’s richness significantly enhances the quality of a casserole. 

She emphasizes that thickening the sauce doesn’t necessarily require extensive effort or many ingredients. Several solutions are available when assembling your recipe and encountering a sauce that needs the desired thickness.

According to Malarkey, the most straightforward approach involves preparing a mixture of a few tablespoons of cornstarch combined with water in a separate bowl. “Alternatively,” she suggests, “increasing the quantity of cream of mushroom soup serves as another effective method.”

  1. 2. Make a roux

Another method to thicken sauces involves creating a roux, a simple blend of fat (typically butter) and flour. It’s a technique Allen adores for enhancing the texture of her green bean casserole. Here’s her process:

  1. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add flour to the melted butter.
  3. Vigorously whisk for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Continue cooking and whisking until the roux thickens and gains a slightly golden hue.
  5. Gradually incorporate cream or milk while whisking, ensuring the sauce becomes smooth and thick.
  6. Combine the sauce with the green beans (and any other desired ingredients, like sautéed mushrooms).
  7. Proceed with the usual baking process.
  1. 3. Head to the stove

To salvage a soupy green bean casserole, there’s still a solid chance to redeem it before it hits the table. 

According to Lonergan, wait to fret if you face a watery disaster post-baking.

Lonergan suggests a strategic rescue mission:

First, transfer the sloppy filling to a Dutch oven or a generously sized skillet on the stove.

Apply gentle heat to bring the filling to a simmering state. Your secret weapon? A concoction called a “slurry.”

Craft this magic elixir by whisking a small amount of cornstarch or flour with water or broth until the mixture is smooth and slightly runny.

Ensure a lump-free consistency as you whisk away. It should thicken up but maintain a pourable quality.

Gradually introduce small portions of the slurry into the filling with constant stirring. Expect bubbling action on the stovetop.

Keep at it until the filling achieves the desired thickness.

Finally, return this heroically revived filling to the baking dish to finish its transformation in the oven.

And now, breathe a sigh of relief.”

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