Green Bean Casserole is a quintessential side dish for just about any holiday. This fresh, made from scratch green bean casserole is made with pantry ingredients and no canned soup! Yet it’s creamy, flavorful and absolute comfort food.
Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
If you’ve been making green bean casserole with a bunch of cans 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 ao 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 you’ll love this green bean casserole
- 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.
How to make a green bean casserole from scratch
My recipe for Green Bean Casserole is super easy and can even be made a day ahead of time.
- Start by preheating the oven. This is important for making sure that your food cooks evenly.
- 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. This is when you drop the beans into boiling water and just cook them part of the way. They should be bright green in color and be tender-crisp. This means that while you could eat them, they will still be a little crunchy. 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.
- Dump the water out of the pot and put it back on the stove. Melt some butter, then saute some chopped onions, minced garlic, 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.
- Add some flour to the pot and stir until you no longer see any white remnants of flour, then cook it for a couple of minutes. Finally add some chicken or vegetable broth and heavy cream and simmer the mixture until it’s nice and thick, which should take about 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings if you like. Stir in the green beans and make sure that everything is well combined before pouring the green bean casserole into a baking dish.
- At this point you could cover and bake the next day or slide it into the oven. I do like some crispy french fried onions on top, but if prefer to keep everything fresh, you could leave those off. They do add a nice nice of crunch and flavor though.
Green Bean Casserole Tips and Tricks
I’ve made this green bean casserole from scratch a few times now and I have a few notes for you to keep in mind.
- 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.
- Assemble your green bean casserole ahead of time. This recipe doesn’t take long to prep; about 20-25 minutes. If you’re making this for a holiday, you could assemble everything except for the topping, cover it tightly with foil, and bake it the next day. This way it will be piping hot and fresh for your guests and you’ll have more time to prepare other, more time consuming dishes.
- 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.
What to serve with green bean casserole
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! So how about some classic holiday sides?
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Best Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Creamy Cornbread Casserole
- Easy One Pan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
What to do with leftovers
Store leftover green bean casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen casserole in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave at 50% power.
Want more Thanksgiving Side Dishes?
Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
- 2 pounds green beans trimmed and cut in half
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 pound 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
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large baking dish (13x9) 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.