The Mean Green

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 15 min
  • Cook: 45 min


For the Beans:

2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (weighed prior to trimming)

4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large Vidalia sweet onion, 1/2 cut into large dice, 1/2 reserved

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 2 by 1/2-inch pieces

4 shittake mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch strips

4 oyster mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch strips

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Roux:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups panko bread crumbs

For the roux:

For the Topping:

1/2 cup buttermilk

Reserved 1/2 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced, with a mandoline

3 medium shallots, thinly sliced with a mandoline

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

4 cups canola oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch green beans. Remove to an ice bath until cool, drain and let dry. Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish.
  3. In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, saute bacon until lightly crispy, remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. In remaining bacon fat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, heat over medium-high heat, add onions and saute until just starting to caramelize, add in red bell peppers, saute 2 minutes, add in mushrooms and minced shallot and saute for 2 more minutes. Season with the salt, pepper and cayenne. Set aside.

For the Roux:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. When butter is melted, add in flour, all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until well combined. Continue to stir for 1 minute more. Add in milk 1/2 cup at first, stirring well to combine, then add 1 cup more milk, stir to combine and bring to a simmer, then add final 1/2 cup of milk and stir and simmer until thickened.
  2. Add in seasonings, combine with green bean mixture and pour into prepared pan. Top with 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs, then reserved bacon, then remainder of panko lightly sprinkled on top.
  3. Place in oven, set timer for 35 minutes.

For the Topping:

  1. In a medium bowl place buttermilk, onion, and shallots. Let sit 10 minutes, drain well.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and seasonings. When green beans have been in the oven 25 minutes, in a large frying pan, heat canola oil to 350 degrees F. While oil is heating, dredge drained onion and shallots in flour mixture. Drop carefully into the hot oil, 1/3 at a time. They will cook rapidly, 1 minute or less. Turn over if necessary. Remove and drain on paper towels. Let oil heat between batches.
  3. When timer goes off for green beans, take out of oven, top with onion-shallot mixture, evenly coating the casserole, place back into oven and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove and let set 5 minutes before serving.
Let's Get Cooking!

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65 Reviews


5 years ago, my husband turned me on to this recipe. He saw Guy making it on Food Network and said it looked delicious so I thought I'd try to make it for our family. I've been making it for Thanksgiving, and sometimes Christmas, ever since. I've made a few substitutions, like no cayenne, due to my mother's sensitivity to spicy things, and my gag reflex for the taste of certain mushrooms and sweet onions. I always use a blend of champignon, enoki, pioppini, and oyster mushrooms. Red onion instead of sweet. I never buy shallots due to the prices here, so I just use a little bit of onions and garlic. Extra bacon and onions for the topping. The dish tastes perfect every time, and my whole family loves it. Thanks Guy!

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