Skip to Content

Green Bean Casserole

Make a delicious green bean casserole from scratch! This comforting Southern side dish is made with a creamy homemade mushroom sauce and canned green beans, then topped with crispy fried onions. It’s the perfect addition to all your Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.

Make a delicious green bean casserole from scratch! This comforting Southern side dish is made with a creamy homemade mushroom sauce and canned green beans, then topped with crispy fried onions. It’s the perfect addition to all your Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.

green bean casserole

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Versatile: This green bean casserole can be made with canned, fresh, or frozen green beans. You can easily tailor it to your preference or what’s available in your kitchen.
  • Easy to make: Even though this recipe has a homemade mushroom cream sauce, it couldn’t be easier to put together. It makes such a difference in the final flavor!
  • Crowd-pleasing: Hearty flavors and comforting textures make this Southern green bean casserole a hit at any gathering! It’s the kind of dish that both kids and adults rave about, making mealtime fuss-free for everyone.

Instead of canned cream of mushroom soup, this recipe is made with a homemade mushroom sauce. It is not difficult to make, so don’t let that intimidate you.

It’s a simple roux with sautéed cremini mushrooms, shallots, and crunchy water chestnuts, all pulled together with a smooth sauce made of butter, flour, milk, and Parmesan cheese. Plus, don’t forget those delicious French’s Fried Onions. I’ll admit, I always sample a few while I put this casserole together!

While this recipe is similar to the original Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole, it’s kicked up a notch with homemade sauce, added mushrooms and water chestnuts, and a few other seasonings.

The Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe

When Thanksgiving and Christmas rolls around, everyone wants to see this green bean casserole on the table! It’s a favorite holiday side dish for so many families, and if it’s going to be a staple, let’s make it better than the original, shall we?

You are missing out if you’ve never had a homemade green bean casserole! I know this is certainly not an original recipe, but it’s the way I make it every year for Thanksgiving and it’s always the first to go!

It’s such an easy recipe to make and always delicious! Plus, you’ll love that this green bean casserole can be prepared ahead of time and even reheats well!

Ingredients For A Green Bean Casserole

  • Green beans: This recipe is made with canned green beans. If preferred, frozen or fresh can also be used. Make sure to fully thaw and drain frozen green beans. You will also likely need more seasoning for that ingredient swap.
  • Mushrooms: Fresh cremini mushrooms add an earthy flavor and hearty texture. Baby bellas, oyster mushrooms, or any white or brown mushrooms will work in its place. Alternatively, canned mushrooms can be used.
  • Cream sauce: Flour, butter, milk, and Parmesan cheese are mixed together to create a deliciously rich sauce. The step-by-step photos will walk you through the process of making a roux.
  • Vegetables: In addition to green beans and mushrooms, chopped shallots and water chestnuts add additional flavor and texture.
  • Fried onions: It’s not a green bean casserole without French’s Fried Onions! You can skip the store-bought version and make your own if you want.
ingredients for green bean casserole

How to Make a Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Step 1: Sauté The Vegetables

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven, then sauté the shallots and mushrooms until the mixture begins to brown. Be patient as this process takes about 7-10 minutes.

Remove the vegetables from the pot, but do not wipe out the Dutch oven! The browned bits from the bottom of the pot will add another layer of savory flavor to the green bean casserole.

Make the roux.

If you’ve never cooked with a roux before, here’s a little more information about how to make a roux and the different types of roux. For this recipe, we will make a blonde roux, which is light in color and is used in most casserole recipes.

Melt the butter in the pot, then add the flour a little at a time. Be sure to continuously whisk the mixture. It should turn into a paste-like consistency.

Step 3: Finalize The Sauce

Slowly add in the milk a little at a time, whisking all the while. A smooth white sauce will begin to form. After all the milk is added, mix in the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and allow the cheese to melt.

Next, add the green beans, mushrooms, shallots, and water chestnuts and stir well. Transfer the green bean mixture to a 9×13 casserole dish.

Step 4: Bake The Casserole

The total bake time is about 30 minutes. Bake the casserole uncovered, until bubbly, for about 15 minutes. Then, add the fried onions and cook for another 15 minutes. The fried onions should brown slightly and the casserole should be bubbling.

green bean casserole from scratch

What To Serve With Green Bean Casserole

You can pair this Southern green bean casserole with any holiday mains or sides. It’s the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner! Here are a few serving options:

Recipe Variations

  • Canned soup: Two or three cans of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup can be used in place of the roux. The sautéed vegetables can still be used per the recipe. However, additional cans of soup may be needed.
  • Gluten-free: To prepare a gluten-free version of this green bean casserole, replace regular all-purpose flour with a reliable gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour blend.
  • Vegan-friendly: For a vegan version of this green bean casserole, use olive oil or a vegan-friendly butter substitute instead of regular butter. Opt for plant-based milk, and you can even use vegan Parmesan cheese instead!
  • Spicy: Add finely chopped jalapeños to the onion mix. Alternatively, you can sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes into the mushroom sauce to add some spice.
  • Bacon: Try dicing and frying some bacon or pancetta to infuse this dish with more savory flavors.
  • Different cheese: Try mixing in your favorite cheese varieties like smoked Gouda, gruyere, mozzarella, havarti, sharp cheddar, Jack, or Colby.

Tips For The Best Recipe

  • Fresh ingredients: Always choose the freshest ingredients, especially for vegetables like mushrooms and shallots. They impart the most flavor and texture to the dish.
  • Using fresh beans: If you’re using fresh green beans, cut them to uniform sizes so they cook evenly throughout the casserole. Trim off the ends and cut them into 1 ½ inch pieces. Prepare the green beans, pat dry, and use as directed in the recipe.
  • Mushroom sauté: Ensure the mushrooms are sautéed until their moisture has evaporated. This concentrates their flavor and prevents the casserole from becoming watery.
  • Roux consistency: When you’re making the roux, stir continuously to avoid any lumps and aim for a smooth, paste-like consistency before adding in the milk. This ensures a creamy sauce.
  • Watch the casserole: When baking, keep a close eye during the last 15 minutes to ensure the fried onions don’t burn. They should be golden and crispy. You can cover the baking dish with foil if needed.
  • Quality cheese: Use quality, freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It melts better and provides a richer flavor to the dish.

What To Do With Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, follow these simple storage and reheating tips to make the most of your green bean casserole:

  • Fridge: Store any leftover green bean casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last for up to 4 days if properly refrigerated. Note: Green bean casserole should not be left unrefrigerated for more than 3-4 hours at a time.
  • Freezer: Freezing is not recommended for this particular green bean casserole because of its dairy-based sauce. The sauce may separate and become grainy or watery once thawed.
  • Reheating: You can easily reheat this casserole in an oven-safe dish at 350F for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, microwave a single serving at 30-second intervals until warmed.

Can I make a green bean casserole ahead of time? 

Yes, you can! To do so, prepare and assemble as directed, except for the fried onion topping. After the casserole is assembled, set aside to cool. Then, cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days before baking.

About 30 minutes before baking, allow the casserole dish to sit uncovered at room temperature to avoid shattering the dish. Then, bake as directed in the recipe card below.

Additional Recipes

If you enjoyed this Southern green bean casserole recipe, take a peek at some more side dishes like these:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of mushroom other than cremini?

Yes, you can substitute cremini mushrooms with baby bellas, oyster mushrooms, or any other type of white or brown mushrooms. If you’re in a pinch, canned mushrooms can also be used.

What can I do to thicken the sauce if it’s too runny?

If your sauce is too thin, you can make a quick slurry with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix it until smooth, then stir it into the casserole sauce to help it thicken.

What should I do if my casserole turns out soupy?

If the casserole is too watery, it might be due to excess moisture from the green beans or mushrooms. Next time, ensure they are well-drained or sautéed to release their moisture before adding them to the casserole.

Easy Green Bean Casserole

Make a delicious green bean casserole from scratch! This comforting Southern side dish is made with a creamy homemade mushroom sauce and canned green beans, then topped with crispy fried onions. It’s the perfect addition to all your Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings 10 people

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 48 ounces green beans drained
  • 6 tablespoons butter salted and divided
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces water chestnuts drained and diced
  • 1 cup French's Fried Onions

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F degrees and grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
  • To a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add mushrooms and shallot, and cook until mixture is brown and caramelized – about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and stir quickly to avoid burning.
  • Transfer the mixture to a plate, and do not wipe or rinse your dutch oven.
  • Add butter to the same dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Then, add flour, whisking constantly. Then, gradually add in milk and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking until the flour, milk, and butter thicken and begin to bubble – about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the Parmesan cheese, kosher salt, and pepper. Stir until melted and smooth.
  • Stir in green beans, mushroom mixture, and water chestnuts.
  • Transfer the mixture to the 9×13 casserole dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, until bubbly – about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and top with the fried onions and continue baking until the topping is golden brown – about 10-15 minutes.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Easy Green Bean Casserole
Amount per Serving
Calories
248
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
16
g
25
%
Saturated Fat
 
10
g
63
%
Trans Fat
 
0.3
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
49
mg
16
%
Sodium
 
828
mg
36
%
Potassium
 
415
mg
12
%
Carbohydrates
 
16
g
5
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
12
g
24
%
Calcium
 
263
mg
26
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutritional values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
Loved this recipe?If you enjoyed this recipe, leave a star rating and a comment below! Your feedback not only helps others discover my blog but also gives me valuable insights from your experience.
5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Southern Cornbread Recipe (in a Cast-Iron Skillet) - Southern Cravings

Monday 29th of January 2024

[…] Green Bean Casserole […]

Emily Bruno

Friday 1st of November 2019

Pinning this for Thanksgiving!

Tawnie Kroll

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Can't wait to make this for Thanksgiving!

Susie

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

I love that I can make these ahead! Makes my holiday prep so much easier. Thanks for the awesome recipe. Pinning now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.