A little bean history for you: Great Northern Beans were not originally cultivated in North America. Industrious South American Indian farmers cultivated the beans, where they spread throughout South and Central America. Eventually, Spanish explorers brought them to North America, where they became a very popular bean.
Where the “great” part of Great Northern Beans came in, we’re not quite sure. They’re not a particularly large bean, so it can’t be related to size. As far as we know, they haven’t defeated any villains or been decorated in any battles. Personally, we think it really refers to the delicious, nutty flavor and texture. When it comes to many classic dishes like soups, casseroles and baked beans, many people refuse to use anything other than the esteemed Great Northerns.
In addition to being downright delicious, they are the perfect addition to stews and casseroles because of their small size and delicate flavor. They also add a creamy texture when cooked properly. This recipe combines the smooth texture of the Great Northern Bean with the slight crispness of the green bean. Topped off with a crunchy baked onion layer, this casserole is easy to make, is full of flavor and chock-full of protein and fiber.
Green Bean & Great Northern Bean Casserole
For the topping:
- 1 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
For the casserole:
- 1/3 stick butter
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 2 cups green beans, cleaned and cut into thirds
- 1 cup Randall Great Northern Beans
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste
- ¼ cup grated Cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 475F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Thinly slice the onion. Pour flour in one small bowl, Panko, salt and pepper into a medium bowl, and whisk the egg and milk together in another small bowl. First, dip a few slices of onion into the flour, then into the egg mixture, and finally, dunk them into the Panko and coat them well. Place onto baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the onions. Bake onions until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Flip them twice during this time. Set them aside. Reduce oven to 400F degrees.
- While the onions are baking, prepare the green beans. Boil the green beans in 2 ½ cups chicken broth for ten minutes and drain.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Sauté the onions and mushrooms in the butter. Add the green beans, Randall Great Northern beans, mushroom soup, and salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste, to the onion mixture. Add ½ cup chicken broth. Sauté until thick 10 mins.
- Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish and top with onions and cheddar cheese. Bake for 12 minutes.