Thai-Inspired Peanut Butter Green Bean Casserole
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With a little inspiration from classic Thai flavors, this dish turns the old-fashioned version of green bean casserole on its head. Cream of mushroom soup is replaced with a flavorful creamy sauce made from coconut milk, peanut butter, tamari sauce (instead of soy sauce to keep this dish gluten-free), and fish sauce (just omit if you want to keep this dish vegan). Onion, garlic, and ginger up the flavor even more, and using fresh mushrooms and fresh green beans makes all the difference in the world. And don’t worry, even though I ditched the fried onions, I would never forego that wonderful crispy topping so I used toasted coconut flakes and salted peanuts. This dish is a little sweet, a little salty, full of flavor, but nicely balanced; and yup, it’s even better than the original!
Why not start a delicious new Thanksgiving tradition?
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Yield: 8 servings (1 2-1/2 quart dish)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup jumbo salted peanut, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus more to grease the dish
1 1/2 pounds green beans, washed, stems trimmed, and cut into about 2-inch pieces
1/2 pound sliced cremini mushrooms
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons water
1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup Old-Fashioned Smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons tamari sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (reduce to 1/2 teaspoon if using fine salt), plus more to season the water for the green beans
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the coconut out onto a baking sheet and cook until toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Transfer the toasted coconut to a bowl and combine with the chopped peanuts; set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F; grease a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish with coconut oil.
3. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a rolling boil; season the water with salt and add the beans. Cook until tender, but still a touch crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
4. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; once the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally, and then add the garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Add 2 tablespoons water and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom; let the liquid evaporate and then turn off the heat.
5. Whisk together the coconut milk, peanut butter, tamari sauce, fish sauce (if using), salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
6. Stir the coconut milk mixture, green beans, and fresh basil into the skillet with the mushroom/onion mixture; pour this into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the coconut/peanut mixture on top.
7. Cover the dish with foil and bake until bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve.