This Parmesan Pesto Green Bean Casserole is a fun twist on a classic holiday side dish. Serve it up at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any other holiday for an unexpected and flavor packed recipe!
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The “typical” green bean casserole that a lot of people find on their holiday tables is traditionally made with cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onions. I grew up on this and there is definitely a nostalgia to it. One year I decided to make it from scratch instead and OH MY! It is just amazing and completely worth the additional steps and time to make it. Sometimes I will skip making my own fried onions and use the canned kind, but I will ALWAYS make the sauce from scratch now.
I am kind of obsessed with basil pesto. I put it on a lot of different things, as evident with all of my basil pesto recipes. It is just so simple and fast to make with a strong and fresh flavor. And I also really like to experiment with combining different flavor ideas together, which is how this Parmesan Pesto Green Bean Casserole was born. The pesto is not too overwhelming but brings just enough flavor to the sauce for something special.
There is always SO MUCH COOKING happening on holidays, but I will always make a green bean casserole from scratch now. What I really love about this recipe is you can easily make the fried onions (or use the canned version) and the casserole itself ahead of time. Just keep the onions separate. Then when you are ready to serve, pop the onions on top and finish baking the casserole. I will spend at least one day making absolutely everything I can in advance for holiday meals so when the day comes, I can spend more time with friends and family, and less time in the kitchen.
To make the Parmesan Pesto Green Bean Casserole, first you bake the fried onion topping (if using). You can also use the canned fried onions, especially if they are more of a tradition for you, or you want to save time. Boil the green beans and then make the creamy pesto sauce. Toss the green beans, pesto, and a little extra Parmesan cheese in the sauce and you are all set!