Green Bean Casserole from scratch is the quintessential side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. I ditched the canned cream soup in favor of fresh ingredients that not only taste better, but are healthier too.
Like my homemade stuffing recipe, I absolutely prefer to make green bean casserole from scratch, with fresh green beans, homemade cream of mushroom soup, and other pantry ingredients. Yet it’s creamy, flavorful, and absolute comfort food. Serve this traditional holiday side dish with your Thanksgiving Turkey and the best Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes.
Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
If you’ve been making a green bean casserole recipe with a bunch of cans of cream soup because it’s easier, I’m about to blow your mind. You’re going to love how easy it is to make from scratch! It tastes so much fresher and it’s a lot better for you too.
Like so many people, I grew up on green bean casserole made with canned green beans and cream soup. There’s nothing wrong with a classic, but when you can easily make it without all those “extra” ingredients it’s healthier, tastier and it’s about to become a new family favorite.
Why We Love It
No cream soup! This is a big one for me because I just don’t like the flavor or the preservatives.
Fresh vegetables! This casserole is made with fresh green beans and mushrooms.
It’s super easy, in fact it will probably surprise you.
Green beans – Fresh green beans are ideal, but frozen would work.
Butter – to cook the mushrooms and give them flavor.
White button mushrooms – clean them really well and remove the stems. Cut into thick slices.
Garlic – 1 clove minced. You can adjust to add more or less if you prefer.
Flour – acts as a thickener for the cream sauce when broth is added.
Vegetable broth or chicken broth – to keep it vegetarian, use vegetable broth. Chicken is more common, but will add a little bit of a chicken flavor.
Heavy cream – this ingredient will make your sauce nice and creamy.
French Fried Onions– My secret? I put fried onions inside the casserole as well as on top for optimal flavor and crunch.
Step By Step Instructions
My super easy recipe can even be prepped a day ahead of time!
Prep the beans.Trim the ends and pick out any green beans with lots of brown spots while you’re waiting for a big pot of salted water to boil.
Par-boil the green beans. Drop the beans into boiling water and partially cook them. They should be bright green in color and be tender-crisp. Remove the green beans from the boiling water and immediately drop them into a large bowl of ice water. The shock of the cold water will immediately stop the cooking process so the beans will keep that nice crisp texture.
Saute mushrooms. Dump the water out of the pot and put it back on the stove. Melt some butter, then saute some chopped onions, minced garlic and sliced mushrooms for several minutes. Be sure to season them with salt and pepper. It’s important to season at each layer so the seasoning carries throughout the dish.
Make the cream sauce. Whisk flour into the mushrooms and cook for several minutes. Pour in chicken broth and heavy cream and simmer for 5-10 minutes until it’s nice and thick. Taste and add salt and black pepper.
Assemble the casserole. Stir in the green beans and some crispy onions and make sure that everything is well combined before pouring the green bean mixture into a baking dish.
Bake. Add some more crispy fried onions on top for crunch and yummy flavor, then bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.
Make Ahead Casserole
You can make this casserole up to 24 hours in advance. Just before baking, cool and cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Take out of the fridge while you preheat the oven, or add 10 minutes to the cook time. This is great for holiday meal preparation, leaving you time the day of to prep more time consuming dishes.
To make and freeze an unbaked casserole, follow the same instructions, but place it in the freezer for up to 6 months. Be sure to use a dish that is both freezer safe and oven safe.
Storage: Store leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Reheating: Thaw frozen casserole in the fridge overnight. Reheat leftovers in the oven, covered with foil, at 350 degrees F until warmed, or reheat in the microwave at 50% power.
How long do you boil the green beans?
To get the beans at that crisp-tender texture that you want, it will take about 4-5 minutes.
Can you overcook green beans?
Unfortunately, YES! One of the things I like least about the traditional casserole is how mushy the canned green beans are. So I make sure to dump the cooked beans right into that ice bath so they will stop cooking right away.
I’ve made this casserole from scratch a few times now and I have a few notes for you to keep in mind.
Let it rest. This is something to remember with any saucy casserole-type dish. As it cooks, the sauce bubbles up and thins out a bit. Letting it sit and rest will allow the sauce to thicken again.
Double or halve the recipe to fit your needs. The recipe as written will serve at least 8-10 people, depending on the other food you are serving. You can easily cut the recipe in half and just use a smaller casserole dish, or you can double the recipe and use 2 13″x9″ pans.
Blanche and freeze green beans to keep them fresh year round. The best time to get fresh green beans is May through September. That means that Thanksgiving isn’t the optimal time for fresh beans. Blanch the beans in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then shock them in ice water. Dry off and store in a freezer bag for up to 6 months.
1poundsliced white button mushroomscleaned and stems removed
1clovegarlicminced (1 teaspoon)
Salt and pepperto taste
2cupsvegetable brothor chicken
1 6-ouncecan French Fried Onionsdivided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large baking dish (13×9) with nonstick cooking spray.
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the trimmed green beans. Boil for 4-5 minutes or until beans are bright in color and tender-crisp (tender but still have a “bite” to them).
Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Place the beans into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Add butter to the pot and melt over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, salt and pepper (¼-½ teaspoon each) and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes. Add ¼ cup flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth and heavy cream, reduce heat slightly and simmer until sauce is thickened; about 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Add green beans and about ⅓ of the french fried onions to the pot and stir until evenly coated. Pour into prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Top with remaining fried onions and bake uncovered until sauce is bubbly and topping is golden; about 20-25 minutes. Rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Storage: Store leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.Reheating: Thaw frozen casserole in the fridge overnight. Reheat leftovers in the oven, covered with foil, at 350 degrees F until warmed, or reheat in the microwave at 50% power.Make Ahead: You can prepare the casserole up to 24 hours in advance. Just before baking, cool and cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, take out of the fridge while you preheat the oven, or add 10 minutes to the cook time. Freeze ahead: To make and freeze an unbaked casserole, follow the same instructions, but place it in the freezer for up to 6 months. Be sure to use a dish that is both freezer safe and oven safe.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.