Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Cherry Tomatoes

You’ve got to love classic recipes like Green Beans Almondine.  Super easy and delicious, who can argue with browned butter!  But sometimes you have to shake things up–and this recipe for Cheesy Green Bean Gratinata, a fancy, cheesy Green Bean Casserole is more than up to the challenge. 

With tender green beans topped with fresh mozzarella, Parmesan & cherry tomatoes, Cheesy Green Bean Casserole is tasty vegetable side to shake up dinner.

Cheesy Green Bean Gratinata, served

The recipe is known lovingly in our family as “that green bean dish with the cheese and tomatoes,” and has been appearing on our Thanksgiving table for years.  The tender, flavorful green beans topped with fresh mozzarella, parmesan and cherry tomatoes is  always gobbled down quickly–and I finally got around to asking for the recipe.  

Cheesy Green Bean casserole Ingredients

Cheesy Green Bean Gratinata Ingredients

The recipe came, via my sister-in-law, from celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich, but when I followed the link to the web site, it was no longer available.  Thankfully, I found it elsewhere (whew!)—guess it’s dangerous to wait too long to try out those “family” recipes!   

Not sure why, but this year I feel a strong push to move beyond our traditions.  The first dish to go was my Spinach Potato Leek soup.  My leeks and potatoes when into Russian Mushroom and Potato soup instead (to great family accolades).  And when the CSA green beans arrived, I remembered the Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole. 

Cheesy Green Bean Gratinata is a favorite at Thanksgiving

Cheesy Green Bean Gratinata is a favorite with Thanksgiving Turkey

I was ready for the great flavor but what I didn’t expect was how quickly and easily it came together.  I simplified the instructions, reduced the fat and used Italian bread crumbs rather than plain (because I had them, but you can find the recipe here).   I did use the fresh basil and will continue to when I have it, but with the flavor boost from the Italian breadcrumbs, I now consider fresh basil optional if it means extra expense & a trip to the store. 

With tender green beans topped with fresh mozzarella, Parmesan & cherry tomatoes, Cheesy Green Bean Casserole is tasty vegetable side to shake up dinner.

Cheesy Green Bean Gratinata for Dinner

I still love my Green Beans Almondine, but I am super happy to have a new option. I think I’ll be looking for more ways to shake up my traditions!  

Is there a dish or ingredient you are doing something different with lately? 

Cheesy Green Bean Gratinata
Serves 8
With tender green beans topped with fresh mozzarella, Parmesan and cherry tomatoes, Cheesy Green Bean Gratinata is an easy & tasty way to shake up dinner.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
252 calories
15 g
33 g
16 g
14 g
7 g
193 g
652 g
4 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 252
Calories from Fat 138
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 33mg
Sodium 652mg
Total Carbohydrates 15g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 4g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  2. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  3. 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes (about 3 cups), ideally small “grape” tomatoes, rinsed and patted dry
  4. 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes (or small fresh mozzarella balls)
  5. 4 to 6 fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin shreds or chiffonade (optional)
  6. 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan
  7. 1/2 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
  8. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Arrange a rack in the top half of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans, bring back to a boil and cook the beans until they are just tender, 4-8 minutes. Drain the beans and cool them partly by running cold water over the strainer.
  3. Combine the green beans with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Lightly grease a 2- or 3-quart baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Spread the green-bean mixture in the baking dish.
  5. Bake the gratinata, covered, for about 20 minutes until heated through (if you start with cooled green beans, this time will increase substantially). Serve hot in the baking dish.
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12 thoughts on “Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Cherry Tomatoes

  1. Lynn

    This looks great! I’ve been trying to think of a healthy alternative to the traditional green bean casserole (you know – the kind with cream of mushroom and French’s onions) and this just might be it. Thanks, Inger!

    1. Inger Post author

      I do love the traditional casserole Lynn but I’m afraid if I made it once, I might make it a lot, so I only eat it at other peoples’ houses 😉 This new recipe gives me a bigger safety net now!

  2. Beth

    This looks like a wonderful dish. I’m always afraid of links expiring too – it happens to me once in a while!

    1. Inger Post author

      Well the traditional casserole is clearly hideous from a nutrition perspective (even if many of us have a soft spot for it). But I think I’ll miss making it less with this healthy option!

  3. Juliana

    Dish is indeed a great side dish…I like the idea of lots of cheese and fresh basil…very colorful as well Inger.
    Have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

  4. grace

    i was startled to discover that the idea of cheese with green beans disgusted me a little, but i was picturing cheddar cheese in my mind. mozzarella and parmesan are much more pleasant to ponder–great dish!

    1. Inger Post author

      You know I think it is cheesy in a creamy way if that makes any sense Grace. Yes, I can’t quite put cheddar together with green beans in my head either (though I’m pretty sure I’d taste it is someone came up with something…)

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