The canned condensed soup or crispy fried onions often get the glory, but none of that would be possible without good ol' green beans. Green bean casserole enthusiasts have strong feelings about which version of the veggie—frozen, canned, fresh?—should be used in this classic side.
To sort all of this out, we quizzed casserole-loving food bloggers to figure out the best kind of green bean for green bean casserole. Read on for their hot takes and see if you agree with them—or not.
Are Frozen or Canned Green Beans Better for Green Bean Casserole?
At the end of the day, the answer to this question is all about personal preference. In fact, one Instagram foodie said she actually reaches for something else. "I use fresh French-cut green beans the majority of the time," says lifestyle blogger Chantelle Hartman Malarkey. If fresh isn't available, Malarkey reaches for frozen.
"Canned green beans are very soft and delicate," Malarkey says. "They tend to mush up while mixing, and I like a little crunch to my green bean casserole."
The other two pros we spoke with agreed. When presented with the choice of fresh or frozen green beans for green bean casserole, frozen came out on top.
"Frozen beans hold their texture and flavor better when cooked, while canned beans can become mushy," says Lauren Allen, the owner and creator of recipe website Tastes Better From Scratch and an Amazon best-selling cookbook by the same name.
"I always opt for frozen French-cut green beans," adds Blair Lonergan, the founder of The Seasoned Mom. "While canned green beans are easier because they don't require any pre-cooking, they are also saltier and softer."
Related: 24 Best Green Bean Recipes
Quick Ways to Upgrade Canned Green Beans for Green Bean Casserole
First of all, if you usually make your green bean casserole with canned green beans and you like it that way, please carry on. "Some folks prefer the super-soft texture of canned green beans and also appreciate the ease of this product," Lonergan says. The most important thing is that you and your family like the dish.
But if you have canned green beans and are interested in upgrading them a bit, our experts have a few tips.
Drain them. Lonergan says draining the liquid is the first step to preventing a "watery, soggy casserole."
Rinse them. Lonergan recommends people who are sensitive to sodium take this step.
Pat them dry. Allen and Lonergan say it's important to pat green beans dry before mixing them with other ingredients to remove as much moisture as possible.
Sauté them. Allen says a few minutes of sauteeing will prevent a soupy casserole. "Saute the beans before assembling the casserole to help drive off more liquid and improve the texture," Allen says.
Thanksgiving Sides Show
Now that you've sorted out the green beans for the casserole, here are more great side ideas to round out the feast.
• 101 Best Thanksgiving Sides
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• 70+ Stellar Sweet Potato Recipes
Next up: 24 Awesome Thanksgiving Pies