The Best Topping for Green Bean Casserole, According to This Registered Dietitian

published Nov 19, 2021
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PopCorners Green Bean Casserole
Credit: Lauren Manaker

On their own, green beans are great. The verdant veggies are hearty, tasty, and add a nice pop of color to any plate. But turn green beans into a creamy casserole, and I simply can’t get enough. (And neither can my guests!)

While the fried onions typically added on top provide that classic crunch, I find that adding them actually feels a bit like overkill. In fact, I tend to push the fried onions to the side and savor the rest of the casserole. It’s still delightful, but there’s obviously something missing … so I decided it was time to experiment! My goal was to find the alternative topping to the tried-and-true fried onions — one that would give the dish a similar, satisfying crunch, and go with the rest of the dish (not compete with it).

I headed to my pantry for potential replacements: I had high hopes for another classic topper (breadcrumbs), but they didn’t hold their texture as well as I thought they would. And, while crushed nuts added that crunch I’ve been missing, they simply didn’t work with the flavor profile. Would you believe that the option that topped them all was right in my snack drawer the entire time?

Credit: Lauren Manaker

Buy: PopCorners Sea Salt Popped Corn Snacks, $3.32 for 7 ounces at Walmart

Made with only three ingredients, PopCorners Sea Salt Popped Corn Snacks are baked with a light, airy texture and just-salty-enough flavor. Simply crushing handfuls of the popped-corn snacks and sprinkling them on top of the casserole provides the crunch I want without taking over the entire dish. These chips also allow the flavors of the other casserole ingredients to shine through.

They were a surprising — and simple — swap to my green bean casserole. And thankfully, when I host a holiday meal and serve my new creation to my guests, lovers and non-lovers of fried onions alike dig in. Plus, adding these crisps to the classic dish makes for a fun conversation starter at the table!

How do you top your green bean casserole? Tell us in the comments below!