Place sliced onions in cold water and let soak for ten minutes. Drain and dry completely with paper towels. Place back in dried bowl and add corn starch and toss to coat.
Heat oil about halfway up the sides of a cast iron skillet to 350 degrees F using a candy thermometer.
Cook onions in batches for 2-3 minutes per batch until golden, using tongs and a spider or other type of strainer to move around as they cook. Drain on paper towels and let oil recover to 350 before frying next batch. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place a low wide sauté pan over high heat and add stock and beans. Try to lay beans flat in the liquid.
Boil uncovered until the liquid has completely evaporated and remove from heat, about ten minutes. (Note: after baking, the beans will be soft. If you like them a little crispy, only blanch them for five minutes.)
In a 1 ½ quart casserole dish, place blanched beans, mushroom soup mix and sprinkle with optional cheddar cheese.
Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the crispy onions and serve.
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