Green Bean Casserole (From Scratch!)

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.

From scratch green bean casserole

I absolutely prefer to make green bean casserole from scratch, with fresh green beans, homemade cream or mushroom soup and other pantry ingredients. Yet it’s creamy, flavorful and absolute comfort food. Serve this traditional holiday side dish with the 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.

Ingredients

  • 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.
A scoop of green bean casserole on a wooden spoon

Step By Step Instructions

My super easy recipe can even be prepped a day ahead of time!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake. Add some more crispy fried onions on top for crunch and yummy flavor, then bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.
A green bean casserole half put together so show the ingredients

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.

Serving Suggestions

I’ve been known to make this casserole any time of the year, but it’s especially popular around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I mean, it’s the perfect side dish for a great Thanksgiving Turkey or Glazed Baked Ham! So how about some classic holiday sides?

What to do with Leftovers

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.

FAQs

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.
A side angle shot of a scoop of green bean casserole sitting on top of the casserole dish

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Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole from Scratch is easy to make with fresh ingredients and no canned soup! It's the best side dish for your holiday meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 374kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds green beans trimmed and cut in half
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 pound sliced white button mushrooms cleaned and stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic minced (1 teaspoon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 6- ounce can French Fried Onions divided

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 5gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 513mgPotassium: 442mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1522IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 2mg
Keyword green bean casserole, green bean casserole from scratch

Kristin Maxwell

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.

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Comments

  1. I’m like you in that I prefer to make many of my dishes from scratch. I love this recipe and it is easy to put together!
    Sometimes I will make the beans up to a week in advance with a leftover ham bone and sauteed mushrooms, garlic and onions and serve with rice and pork chops – a family favorite. My crew gets a full meal a week before Thanksgiving and then I use the leftover beans for this casserole.

  2. Hi! I really want to make this but I do not like mushrooms. Can I leave them out without the casserole being too watery? I love that it doesn’t use canned soup!

  3. I rated it five stars even though I haven’t tried it yet. I love that you don’t use canned soup. This really sounds delicious!