Recipe By Chef John
Published Nov 23rd
Classic Green Beans Au Gratin
Prep 25m Cook 25m Additional 10m Ready In 1h
Servings 6 servings Calories 318.2

This classic au gratin recipe is one of my favorites. Perfect next to your holiday ham or turkey, this green bean 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!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 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
  • ⅓ cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Generously grease a casserole dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Bring a generously salted pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat.
  2. 2 Remove stems from beans by trimming with a knife or snapping them off with your fingers. Cut beans in half.
  3. 3 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.
  4. 4 Remove beans with a strainer and immediately place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.
  5. 5 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.
  6. 6 Season beans with pepper, kosher salt, and Dijon mustard; mix until beans are well coated. Pour in cream, scatter Comté cheese over top, and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  7. 7 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.
  8. 8 Bake in the center of the preheated oven until browned and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. 9 Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 318.2
  • Carbohydrate 13.2 g
  • Cholesterol 98.2 mg
  • Fat 28.7 g
  • Fiber 3.5 g
  • Protein 4.4 g
  • Saturated Fat 17.7 g
  • Sodium 140.1 mg
  • Sugar 1.8 g

Chef's Notes

Using salted water to cook the beans is key; You can use crème fraiche 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.


  1. 12/25/20 ***I did not really care for these. A little rich and lacked flavor.
  2. DON'T USE "HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM"! Mine came out watery, but I think that was my mistake and not the recipes. I thought that "heavy cream" and "heavy whipping cream" were interchangeable, and heavy whipping cream was the only one available at the store. The cream didn't set, even though I baked until bubbly for 20 - Read more ...
  3. Very tasty.. I reduced the cream to 1 cup and still found it rich. I used emmental as per chef’s note.
  4. DELICIOUS!!! I loved the Dijon and cayenne. We will definitely make this again
  5. It’s a great recipe. I had to improvise because I did’t have enough heavy cream. I also did not have the cheese but I used feta cheese and instead of the Parmesan cheese I sprinkled some shredded queso cotija ( a Mexican style cheese similar to Parmesan) so I totally improvised and it still turned - Read more ...
  6. Last minute change from our usual Thanksgiving green bean recipe to decision ever! So much simpler and tastier than the roux, the bacon, the mushrooms and onions, etc. P.S. we used frozen whole (organic) green beans without chopping in half (gasp!), and it was still perfect. Chef John, you never fail to make me - Read more ...
  7. This is an excellent side dish. The flavor and textures, with both creamy and crunch are very nice. The seasonings are perfect and preparation simple. Once again Chef John shares a winner.
  8. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was fast and simple to make. The green beans tasted fresh and clean without the ever present canned soup in most green bean casserole dishes. The Dijon mustard added a nice sharp flavor without overpowering the fresh taste of the green beans. The only change I made was - Read more ...