Smoked Green Bean Casserole
on Dec 17, 2023
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Get ready to step up your side dish game at the holiday table with this Smoked Green Bean Casserole! Forget the canned soup; we’re elevating this all-American classic from scratch. Imagine fresh green beans bathed in a rich, homemade béchamel sauce, bursting with the bold flavors and spice of our signature Cajun seasoning.
Table of Contents
- 💪 Why This Smoked Green Bean Casserole?
- 🍽 Ingredients for the Perfect Casserole
- 👨🍳 How to Make Green Bean Casserole on the Smoker
- 😉 Recipe Tips – Don’t Get Smoked!
- 🤔 Casserole Substitutions and Variations
- 🥡 Storing and Reheating Smoked Green Bean Casserole
- 🤤 More Smoked Side Dishes
- ❓ FAQ for this Casserole Recipe
- 🍗 Main Dishes for the Smoker
- 🎁 Final Scoop
- CONNECT WITH A LICENSE TO GRILL!
- Creamy Smoked Green Bean Casserole Recipe
This isn’t your typical, boring green bean casserole — it’s a green bean casserole loaded with cheese and bacon and perfectly smoked on the Treger pellet grill. From the earthy mushrooms and smoky, crisp bacon bits to the golden, crunchy breadcrumb topping, the dish will definitely be the star at the table (alongside the awesome smoked turkey!) This dish promises to be a vibe for your taste buds and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for Thanksgiving or any holiday spread. So, fire up that smoker, and let’s turn this traditional side dish into a smoky, savory sensation that’s anything but ordinary
💪 Why This Smoked Green Bean Casserole?
- A modern revamping of the traditional green bean casserole, made from scratch and overly indulgent!
- Fast prep in 20 minutes means more time for getting that turkey or prime rib prepared and on the smoker!
- Make it spicy with our Cajun seasoning – which gives it a unique flavor, unlike any green bean casserole you have had!
- Unique smoky flavor – give the green bean casserole a smoke bath in that pellet grill smoker.
- Made from scratch, but still simple! Put down that can of cream of mushroom soup. This recipe uses a béchamel sauce to thicken the casserole. It is easy to do and really sets this green bean casserole apart.
- Mix it up! Vegetarian? No problem, skip the bacon and add fried onions to the breadcrumb topping for some crunch and extra flavor. Change the types of cheese that you use to suit your preference. This recipe sets the stage for your creativity!
🍽 Ingredients for the Perfect Casserole
My smoked green bean casserole is made with easy-to-find ingredients. Remember to refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the details!
- Green beans. I almost always use fresh green beans for this recipe. You could use frozen, but make sure to allow them to thaw in the fridge for a few hours before draining to prevent excess moisture.
- Bacon. Chop it up before you add it to the casserole so there’s a bit of crispy bacon in every bite!
- Mushrooms. I like adding an extra veggie to the mix, and crimini, AKA baby bella, mushrooms work great.
- Garlic and onion. These simple aromatics add a lot of extra flavor to your smoked green bean casserole.
- Chicken broth. For the sauce. You could also use vegetable broth, but I don’t suggest replacing it with water since water has no flavor!
- Cream. I’m using heavy whipping cream for the sauce — you could substitute with half-and-half or even whole milk.
- White wine. The acidity in the wine cuts through the richness of the cream sauce, plus it adds a wonderful flavor! Don’t worry about boozy side dishes! The alcohol content cooks out, so this dish is safe for kids.
- Flour. Acts as a thickening agent for the creamy sauce and is the base of the roux that gets transformed into our béchemal sauce.
- Parmesan. For the casserole and the crunchy topping!
- Bread crumbs. I like Panko bread crumbs as they have the best crunch around.
- Spices and seasonings. Don’t forget about the Cajun seasoning! Additionally, you’ll need fresh chopped parsley, salt, and black pepper.
👨🍳 How to Make Green Bean Casserole on the Smoker
Head to the printable recipe card down below for more detailed instructions, including temperatures and cook times. In the meantime, here’s what you can expect.
Prepare the Ingredients
- Preheat your pellet grill or smoker.
- Chop up the bacon and cook it until crispy. Drain the bacon and reserve it for later.
- Boil, blanch, and drain the green beans.
- Create the crunchy topping.
Assemble and Smoke the Casserole
- Sauté the onion.
- Cook the mushrooms and add the flour.
- Incorporate the chicken broth and cream and simmer.
- Once thickened, add the Parmesan cheese and seasonings to the sauce.
- Add the bacon and green beans and stir. Reserve some bacon for the topping.
- Place in your casserole dish.
- Sprinkle the crunchy topping and some bacon on top. Smoke the casserole in the pellet grill or smoker and let it cool before serving. Enjoy!
😉 Recipe Tips – Don’t Get Smoked!
- Crispy bacon is best. When you cook the bacon, aim for a crispy texture to add a satisfying crunch to your smoked green bean casserole. This is why I always cook it separately and then incorporate it into the skillet with the green beans so it maintains its texture.
- Experiment with different wood pellet flavors until you find one that complements your casserole! I’ve made it with hickory, apple, and cherry pellets in the past, all of which have been really tasty. Try a few and choose your favorite.
- Keep a watchful eye on that crunchy topping as your casserole cooks to avoid burning. The goal is to smoke it for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the breadcrumbs start to turn golden brown. Crank up the smoker to 400°F for the final 15 minutes if you want a more golden brown color to the breadcrumbs.
- Fresh green beans! Use fresh green beans for optimal texture and flavor. Blanching the green beans just right—crisp yet tender—is key to maintaining their vibrant color and texture. If you are using frozen beans, ensure they are completely thawed, drained, and patted dry to prevent excess moisture from making the casserole soggy.
- Sauce consistency. When making the béchamel sauce, cook the flour long enough to remove the raw taste without burning it. Adding liquids (broth and cream) gradually while constantly whisking helps avoid lumps. The sauce should be creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
🤔 Casserole Substitutions and Variations
- For the Topping: Add toasted sliced almonds and lemon zest to the Panko breadcrumb topping for a fresh and nutty crunch. Or replace the Panko breadcrumbs with crushed fried onions. If you are gluten-sensitive, use crushed gluten-free crackers for the topping.
- Swap the Cheese: Use sharp cheddar and Gruyère cheese for an extra cheesy and indulgent dish.
- Give your smoked green bean casserole an even bigger kick with some roasted poblano peppers and corn. This Southwestern version would taste great with crushed tortilla chips and cheddar cheese on top.
🥡 Storing and Reheating Smoked Green Bean Casserole
Allow the smoked green bean casserole to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat, you can use your oven or microwave. For single servings, microwave in 30-second bursts until heated through. To use your oven for larger portions, preheat it to 350°F and heat for 15-20 minutes, or until warm.
Make the dish ahead of time. Store the casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking it in the oven as normal.
❓ FAQ for this Casserole Recipe
I don’t use canned green beans for my smoked green bean casserole because they lack flavor. If you can’t find fresh at the supermarket, go for frozen — once they’re thawed, you can blanch them and follow the recipe instructions as written. Skip the canned stuff!
The blanching step is key to keeping your casserole from getting soggy! Boil them for a few minutes, then place them in ice water immediately to stop the cooking process. Don’t smoke the assembled casserole too long, either. If your dish goes mushy, you likely overcooked it!
Yes, you can make smoked green beans ahead of time. Follow the instructions on the recipe card, but hold off on adding the crunchy topping. Store the casserole dish in the fridge until you’re ready to use, then add the topping and smoke.
🎁 Final Scoop
Don’t bring the typical, boring green bean casserole to your next holiday gathering. Put down that cream of mushroom soup and make the casserole from scratch! It is really simple, and it tastes so much better! The addition of fresh mushrooms gives it a wonderful earthiness and wonderful texture. The béchamel is creamy and arguably the best thing to happen to green beans ever! And that bacon? Do I need to even continue?
I am not lying when I say that everyone around the table will be asking how you made this dish. So fire up your smoker and get to cooking!
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For the Crunchy Topping
- ¾ cup Panko Bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Smoked Green Bean Casserole
- 1-½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 1 pound bacon, chopped
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 16 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (or your favorite blackening seasoning blend)
- Preheat your pellet smoker to 250°F.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the crunchy topping.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the green beans by boiling them for 5 minutes, straining them, and dumping them into a large bowl of ice water. Set the green beans to the side.
- In a cast iron skillet or large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook the onions until they are caramelized, for about 10 minutes.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan. Cook the mushrooms while stirring to mix them with the onions. Cook for another 10 minutes until all the moisture has cooked out of the mushrooms.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom and onion mixture and mix it in.
- Slowly add the chicken broth, wine, and cream while slowly whisking or mixing the sauce.
- Simmer the sauce while stirring frequently. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of a gravy.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Mix well.
- Add in the bacon and green beans and stir until they are well coated and mixed into the sauce. If you used a saucepan, transfer the green bean mixture to a casserole baking dish. Likewise, if you used a cast iron skillet, top the green beans with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Smoke in the pellet grill smoker for 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the breadcrumbs start turning golden brown. Let the casserole cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Be sure to boil the green beans for only about 5 minutes. Ensure they are tender but still crispy.
- Be creative with the breadcrumb topping. Adjust the seasoning, add chopped nuts, or add in other mixins.
- You may need to crank up the smoker for the last 20 minutes or so to brown the topping well!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 1149mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.