Classic Green Beans Au Gratin


This classic green bean au gratin recipe is one of my favorites. It's perfect next to your holiday ham or turkey, this casserole has a creamy, rich cheese sauce that enhances but doesn't cover up the green beans, so they are still the star of the show. Even though your family's probably expecting the same old green bean casserole you've been making for decades (the one with condensed soup, a ton of cheese, and way too many bread crumbs or French-fried onions), once they try this one, it might become a new holiday trend!

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 ¼ pounds fresh green beans

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • kosher salt to taste

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or more to taste

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream

  • 2 ounces Comté cheese, grated

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • cup dry bread crumbs

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Generously grease a casserole dish with 1 tablespoon butter.

  2. Bring a generously salted pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat.

  3. Remove stems from beans by trimming with a knife or snapping them off with your fingers. Cut beans in half.

  4. Add beans to the boiling water, stir, and cook until just barely tender, 5 to 6 minutes, testing often to make sure you don't overcook them.

  5. Remove beans with a strainer and immediately place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.

  6. Once beans have cooled to the touch, use your hands to drain and transfer them into the prepared casserole. It's okay if they're still a bit wet.

  7. Season beans with pepper, salt, and Dijon mustard; mix until beans are well coated. Pour in cream, scatter Comté cheese over top, and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

  8. Combine melted butter and bread crumbs in a small bowl. Stir until well combined and mixture resembles wet sand. Spoon and sprinkle bread crumbs over the casserole, then dust with cayenne.

  9. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until browned and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

  10. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Chef's Notes:

Using salted water to cook the beans is key.

You can use crème fraîche in place of heavy cream, and Gruyere or sharp white Cheddar in place of Comté cheese.

Make sure you use real Parmigiano-Reggiano, which has the name stamped on the rind.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

318 Calories
29g Fat
13g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 318
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 18g 89%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 16mg 79%
Calcium 105mg 8%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 259mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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