When it comes to green bean casserole, Luby’s research and development chef Kaitlyn Venable-Valdez sticks to the basics. “It’s simple,” she says. “I think sometimes the best recipes are true to the way our grandmothers made them. We don’t add extra ingredients to make them fancy.”
That said, the cafeteria does put its own stamp on the dish. Luby’s makes its onion rings from scratch every day instead of using the pre-made stuff, and also tops the casserole with American cheese, which Venable-Valdez hasn’t seen elsewhere.
Along with its other green bean recipes, the nostalgic comfort classic leads Luby’s to purchase 1.2—wait for it—million pounds of canned green beans every year, as well as 219,000 pounds of the fresh variety. “It’s pretty astonishing,” Venable-Valdez says.
Recipe: Green Bean Casserole
- 4 c. oil (canola or peanut)
- 1 c. yellow onion (about 1 ½ onions), sliced into rings
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 t. salt
- 1 ½ t. seasoned salt
- 1 t. black pepper
- ¼ t. garlic powder
- 4 c. green beans (canned, frozen or fresh green beans can be used)
- ¼ t. seasoned salt
- 12 oz. can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
- ¼ c. shredded American cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large pot, heat oil to 350°F over high heat, then reduce to maintain temperature.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Stir to evenly distribute spices. Toss sliced onion rings in seasoned flour, making sure to coat all sides. Remove onion rings from flour, shaking off any excess. Fry for 1–2 minutes, until golden-brown, turning over halfway through to make sure both sides cook evenly. Drain and set aside.
- Make sure green beans are well-drained. Mix with seasoned salt, half of the fried onion rings, and cream of mushroom soup until combined.
- Transfer to a lightly greased 11” x 7” casserole dish and bake 25–30 minutes, or until the casserole is hot all the way through.
- Remove from oven and top with remaining ½ cup onion rings and shredded cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.