This Secret Ingredient Will Add A Kick To Your Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole falls into the category of a classic holiday side dish, especially in the midwest. Many of us grew up with the creamy, crunchy green beans accompanying our Thanksgiving turkey and our Christmas ham. It has been embellished but, for many, is considered a sacred dish. Some would never consider such a thing as making their own version of cream of mushroom soup or frying their own crispy onions. And fresh green beans are out of the question — for some, canned or frozen green beans are the only choice.

But, there is one tweak you may want to consider for your next holiday or potluck offering of green bean casserole. It won't alter the dish with anything as outrageous as fresh mushrooms, but it will bump up the flavor in a way that may have your family and friends saying, "Hey, what did you do to the green bean casserole? I like it!"

How to make green bean casserole even better

If you are of a more adventurous bent and like the idea of getting creative with a classic, there are lots of options. For example, Bon Appétit goes crazy by not only making their own cream of mushroom sauce with heavy cream, but also using crimini mushrooms and parmesan cheese. They do, however, pay homage to the classic dish by using French's canned crispy onions. Meanwhile, Food & Wine deconstructs the classic to minimal ingredients and makes their own caramelized shallots. You can also play with the cooking methods. Try using your slow cooker, for example.

But, if you want to stick closer to the original recipe while still making it your own, Miriam Hahn suggests adding a generous splash of Worcestershire sauce to the cream of mushroom soup in her Classic Green Bean Casserole Recipe. The fermented condiment packs on the umami with its sweet tamarind, salty anchovy, and tart vinegar flavors. Keeping your green bean casserole classic but with a fresh twist.

"The Worcestershire sauce is the secret ingredient here. It kicks things up a notch by adding a mix of savory, sweet, salty and tangy flavors. It really enhances this recipe and is an item most people will have on hand so it is a convenient 'add in,'" she explains.