Green Bean Casserole is a classic holiday side dish staple. Made from scratch with homemade cream of mushroom soup and tender-crisp green beans topped with crispy fried onions, this side will surely fly off the table quickly!
No matter what you’re serving, this casserole will pair well with just about anything. The fresh crisp green beans combined with the creamy homemade cream of mushroom sauce (yes, no canned cream of mushroom soup here) creates a nice balance of texture and flavor.
The beans have a subtle flavor and tender texture accompanied by the earthiness of fresh mushrooms as well as the onions and bacon drippings used in this made-from-scratch delicious sauce.
It coats the beans perfectly while keeping the casserole moist and delicious! If this already makes you hungry, then read along ‘ until the end.
Green Bean Casserole Ingredients
Alright, before we get to the full recipe down below, let’s first talk about the components of this easy green bean casserole.
Green Beans. This green bean casserole recipe’s highlight is the fresh green beans that are trimmed and halved. You have the option to use the canned ones, but for optimal crisp texture, always go with the fresh ones. Cook them until tender-crisp and soak them in ice-cold water to stop cooking.
Cream of Mushroom Soup. We’re skipping the canned soup this time (yes, no canned soup allowed!) but instead made it from scratch using just a handful of ingredients. It’s made with chopped mushrooms, butter, flour, evaporated milk (see my Homemade HERE), chicken broth, and cheese.
Crispy Fried Onions. Although I listed it as optional, adding French fried onions in this casserole adds another breadth of texture and flavor to this easy side dish. You can make it from scratch by sauteing some thinly sliced onions with panko breadcrumbs and salt and pepper to taste. The crispy coating in fried onion is a little salty and frying them until golden gives them a nice crust that also lends a subtle sweetness. Or if short in time, you may opt for store-bought packaged fried onions.
We’ve talked about the main components of the casserole but let’s not forget the spices and seasonings used to enhance those natural flavors as well as the crispy onion topping.
Cayenne pepper is used as well as creole salt which is basically salt enhanced with common creole seasonings like paprika, thyme, and more cayenne. The combination of the seasonings wakes up the recipe and adds a kiss of heat.
Can You Use Frozen Green Beans?
Yes, you can. In fact, if asked on whether canned or frozen green beans, I’d go with the frozen ones as it delivers almost the same fresh crisp texture. The fresher, the better. Just follow the same cooking instructions when using fresh green beans.
How Long to Cook Green Bean Casserole?
This classic Turkey dinner side dish roughly takes almost an hour from start to finish, but most of those can be made ahead of time to free up your hands on a busy Thanksgiving Day.
Can You Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! What’s great about this dish is that you can make it ahead of time and just bake it in the oven on the day of serving. Simply follow the instructions below until you get to the baking part. Instead of popping it in the oven, cover the casserole with a plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
How to Store Leftover?
For any leftover, just refrigerate this green bean dish in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Unfortunately, the sauce doesn’t freeze well, so I do not encourage you to freeze this casserole dish.
Meaty Dishes to Serve with Green Bean Casserole
Want to complete your Thanksgiving spread? Just choose from any of these meaty main dishes to go along with this green bean casserole dish.
More Turkey Dinner Side Dishes to Explore
- Cranberry Sauce
- Corn Pudding
- Skillet Cornbread (with video)
- Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Cornbread Dressing
Even if this homemade Green Bean Casserole is simple, it can somehow steal the spotlight away from the turkey. Yep, it is THAT good! If you already have that holiday menu list, make sure to squeeze this one. Enjoy!
How To Make Green Bean Casserole
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add green beans and let it cook for about 4 -5 minutes. Remove and add in cold iced water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside. This step might be done in advance and refrigerated to save time. Place saucepan or skillet on medium-high heat, then add bacon, saute until crispy about 5-7 minutes. Drain oil, then add onions, garlic, mushrooms and continue cooking until wilted. Wipe clean. Next butter the skillet, as soon as butter melts whisk in flour. Continue whisking until flour is fully mixed with butter, then cook for about a minute to get rid of the flour taste.
Transfer the green bean mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish, spread, then top with fried onions. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.
Watch How To Make It
This post was first published in October 2017 and has been updated with additional relevant content and a video.
Green Bean Casserole
- 1 ½ pound (187.5g) fresh green beans , trimmed and halved
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon , diced
- 1 medium onion , finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic , minced
- 8 ounce (224g) mushrooms , chopped
- 3 tablespoons (42g) butter
- 3 tablespoons (30g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (250ml) chicken broth
- 1 cup (250ml) evaporated milk
- ½ cup (56.5g) shredded cheddar cheese
- ¾ teaspoon (3.75g) salt
- ¼ teaspoon (0.5g) freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon (4g) Creole seasoning
- 2 cups (230g) Fried onions
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add green beans and let it cook for about 4 -5 minutes. Remove, add in cold iced water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside. This step might be done in advance and refrigerated to save time.
- Place saucepan or skillet on medium-high heat, then add bacon, saute until crispy about 5-7 minutes. Drain the oil, then add onions, garlic and continue cooking until wilted.
- Throw in mushrooms, and cook for about 5-6 more minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside. Wipe clean.
- Next, butter the skillet, as soon as the butter melts whisk in flour. Continue whisking until flour is fully mixed with butter, then cook for about a minute to get rid of the flour taste.
- Slowly add the chicken broth, a little at a time, followed by the milk; you do not want the mixture to form any lumps. Bring to a simmer then turn down to medium heat so it simmers gently and thickens into a cream sauce - about 6 to 8 minutes, then add cheese. Mix, then add the mushroom mixture back to the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Then season with salt, pepper, and creole seasoning. Remove pan from heat, add the green beans and, if desired, add about a cup of the fried onions. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Transfer the green bean mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish, spread, then top with remaining fried onions.
- Place in the oven at 350 Degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
Tips & Notes:
- You may sub the canned fried onions here with panko crumbs to top the casserole. But the canned fried onions really makes a difference. It's your call.
- To make your own homemade fried onions, you might have to use a mandoline slicer to get that even thinness of the onions. You can even make it up to a month in advance and store it in an air-tight container. Remember to fry them in batches, stirring constantly to brown evenly.
- If you prefer using canned green beans, you can skip the first step (blanching part).
- You can make this dish ahead by assembling the casserole without the fried onion toppings and store tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.