This post is sponsored by my friends at Tony Chachere’s, but all opinions expressed are my own – just as always. Thanks for supporting the brands that support my family and me.
When it comes to holiday casseroles, most pale in comparison to the trusty green bean casserole. Love it or hate it, it’s pretty iconic. And popular, too! My Ultimate Green Bean Casserole is, by far, the most popular casserole on the site during November and December.
So when it came time to give another classic recipe a little creole makeover for my friends at Tony Chachere’s, I knew it had to be green bean casserole.
This version swaps the bacon in my ultimate recipe for andouille sausage, adds in some creole seasoning and pimento peppers, and pluses up the topping by adding some chopped pecans to the classic fried onions.
What is andouille and do I have to use it?
Andouille is a cajun-style smoked sausage usually with pork. It’s most commonly associate with cajun cooking, but has roots in France and Germany – both of which are huge sausage producing countries.
It often does come with a little heat by way of the spices and seasoning used in it, but the heat level varies by maker.
Now, green beans and smoked sausage are a classic pairing, so I knew adding andouille to the mix would be super delicious. With that being said, it doesn’t HAVE to be andouille. Any cajun style smoked sausage (or any smoked sausage for that matter) will work just fine by giving the dish some smokiness and flavor. Any generic smoked sausage, kielbasa, Italian smoked sausage, or other variety should work.
Can I use fresh green beans?
As far as texture goes, I’m a big fan of the canned green beans, but realize not everyone falls in the same camp. I also really love the convenience of canned green beans.
But realizing not everyone agrees, you can certainly use frozen or fresh green beans. I’d just suggest cooking them first. A quick blanch will work if you want your beans crisp, but I’d recommend cooking them until nearly tender in salted water before draining them and adding them to the casserole.
Can I make this casserole in advance?
You bet you can! With nearly any GBC, I often make the casserole up to the baking step and simply leave off the topping. Then I cover the unbaked casserole and refrigerate for a day or so. When ready to cook, I allow the casserole to come to room temp before adding the topping and baking according to the recipe instructions.
Just remember, you never want to put a cold casserole dish into a hot oven or you’ll risk the dish shattering. And while we want this casserole to have that crunchy component, we want it to come from the pecans and onions, not shards of glass. In this case you can also start the cold casserole in a cold oven, you’d just want to wait to add your topping until about halfway through the cooking time as cooking it from cold will take some extra time and you don’t want your topping to burn.
Crunchy Creole Green Bean Casserole
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 ounces andouille or cajun sausage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (10.5-ounce) cans cream of mushroom condensed soup
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- 4 (14.5-ounce) cans cut green beans, drained
- 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
- 1 1/2 cups French fried onions
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown until starting to crisp around the edges. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the undiluted mushroom soup and stir to combine. Stir in the milk and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning to taste. Add the green beans and pimentos and fold in until coated in the sauce.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Top with the fried onions and pecans. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbly.