Bacon and Cheddar Green Bean Casserole

The green bean casserole is a classic holiday side dish, and you’ll find it on many Thanksgiving menus in one form or another. Some never veer from the original preparation, made with condensed cream of mushroom soup and crispy fried onions. This bacon and cheddar version has that same simplicity and flavor, but with two additional ingredients: cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.

6 ounces bacon, about 4 to 6 strips
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 medium garlic cloves, minced, optional
2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
8 cups cut green beans, four 14.5-ounce cans, drained, or 1 1/2 pounds fresh, cooked
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 cups crispy fried onions

Steps to Make It
1. Gather the ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F.
2. Put the bacon in a large skillet or Dutch oven and place over medium-low heat; fry the bacon for about 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Drain on paper towels, crumble, and set aside.
3. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings from the pan and increase the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, if using, and cook for 1 minute longer.
4. Pour the cans of cream of mushroom soup into the pot along with the drained green beans, about half of the cheddar cheese, milk, and all but 2 tablespoons of the crumbled bacon. Taste and add about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, or to taste.
5. Transfer the green bean mixture to a lightly greased 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole.
6. Top the casserole evenly with the remaining cheese, crumbled bacon, and fried onions.
7. Bake the green bean casserole for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the fried onions are golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

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