Out Of Crispy Onions? Try Ritz Crackers In Your Green Bean Casserole

Amid holiday cooking, it's not uncommon to find a key ingredient missing from your pantry. About to make a beloved green bean casserole, you search for the crispy onions, and your heart sinks. They're nowhere to be found, and there's not an onion in sight to fry a batch from scratch. 

But don't fret! There's a buttery savior and substitute that may already be in your cupboard: Ritz crackers. You heard us right. Try Ritz crackers in your next green bean casserole when you're out of crispy onions. These crackers are flaky in texture and rich in flavor. You can crush and sprinkle them all over your bean casserole. They'll make for an unexpected twist on the classic crunchy topping, and you won't even feel bad the crispy onions are missing.

As holiday home cooks often find, making crispy onions from scratch requires love and labor. It involves peeling, slicing, and the inevitable teary eyes, followed by careful deep frying to achieve the perfect crunch. It's a time-consuming process that, while rewarding, may not always fit into your busy schedule of festive preparations. Enter the convenience of Ritz crackers. They offer a speedy and effortless alternative to crispy onions. Crushing these crackers is a simple way to achieve a satisfying crunch. The rich, buttery flavor of Ritz crackers also adds a depth of taste that complements the green beans and its creamy sauce, resulting in a casserole topping that's both delicious and efficient.

Crispy topping hacks for delicious green bean casserole without crispy onions

To add Ritz crackers to your bean casserole, bake the dish as you typically would. While the bean casserole is in the oven, crush the Ritz crackers. You can do this by adding them to a ziplock bag and closing the seal before smashing the crackers to bits with a food mallet, rolling pin, or your fists if you need some catharsis. Or, keep them in their original bag and beat them against a countertop repeatedly. The key is not to pulverize the crackers into a fine powder, as larger bits of cracker will give you the crunch you're looking for. Remove the casserole from the oven and top it evenly with the crushed crackers and other toppings of choice. Return the dish to the oven and bake until the Ritz cracker topping has a beautiful golden-brown hue.

For those times when even Ritz crackers aren't at hand, breadcrumbs stand ready as another quick fix, especially Japanese breadcrumbs, also known as panko. Panko's larger flakes ensure a light, airy crunch that mimics the texture of fried onions, bringing that desired bite to the top layer of your casserole with minimal effort. With these pantry staples and substitutes, your green bean casserole is assured a golden, crispy finish that's as convenient as it is tasty, even without crispy onions.