Friday, October 18, 2013

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Sausage

Sometimes we need a side dish changed for the good! This recipe for Green Bean Casserole gets a thumbs up from my kitchen.  Enjoy!

3 T olive oil, plus a little more for the dish
Kosher salt and pepper
2 lb. green beans, trimmed and halved
6 oz. Italian  ground loose sausage
4 oz. lowfat cream cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup 2 T grated Italian cheese
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove minced garlic
3/4 cup 2 % milk
pinch nutmeg*
pinch cayenne pepper*
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 bunch baby spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Place a little oil in baking dish
Boil beans in salted water for 3 to 4 minutes.  Drain and cool.

Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add sausage and cook  breaking up with a spoon until browned.  Transfer to a bowl and toss with bread crumbs and 2 T Italian cheese.

Wipe skillet and heat remaining 2 T oil over medium heat.  Add onion, season with salt and pepper and cook covered, stirring occasionally until tender.  Stir in garlic and cook a little more.

Add milk and whisk until milk starts to simmer. Whisk in cream cheese, nutmeg, cayenne and remaining 1/4 cheese stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.

Stir in lemon zest and green beans.  Add spinach and toss all.  Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with sausage mixture and bake until golden brown for 15 to 20 minutes.

Note:  I did not use any nutmeg, my preference and eliminated the cayenne pepper and used hot sausage.

Note:  You can make this ahead the day before but do not bake.  Refrigerate and when ready to serve bring to room temperature and bake as directed.

adapted from Woman's Day magazine.  2013

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