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Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Make a delicious green bean casserole from scratch! This comforting Southern side dish is made with a creamy mushroom sauce, canned green beans, and topped with crispy fried onions. It’s the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Make ahead instructions, variations, substitutions, and more are in the recipe card below.

green bean casserole

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 sauteed cremini mushrooms, and crunchy water chestnuts, all pulled together with a smooth sauce made of 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, this recipe is kicked up a notch with the homemade sauce, added mushrooms and water chestnuts, and other seasonings.

The Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe

When Thanksgiving and Christmas rolls around, everyone wants to see this on the table! This is a favorite holiday side dish for so many families. 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 this is 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! You’ll love that this can be prepared ahead of time and even reheats well!

Ingredients for Green Bean Casserole

(See the recipe card for complete details.)

ingredients for green bean casserole

Green Beans: This recipe uses canned green beans. If preferred, frozen or fresh can also be used. You will likely need more seasoning for that ingredient swap. (more on that below!)

Mushrooms: Fresh, cremini mushrooms add delicious, fresh flavor and texture to the recipe. Any brown mushroom will work in its place. Alternatively, canned mushrooms can be used instead.

Roux: Flour, butter, milk, and parmesan cheese are mixed together to create a delicious, rich sauce. The step-by-step photos will walk you through the process of making a roux. See the substitutions section for alternatives.

Vegetables: In addition to the green beans and mushrooms, chopped shallot 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 storebought version and make your own if desired. 

How to Make a Homemade Green Bean Casserole

(See the recipe card below for full instructions and notes.)

The whole recipe takes about 45 minutes from start to finish – even with making the homemade gravy/sauce. This recipe is so easy and the fresh, real ingredients are a great way to boost flavor!

Here’s how to make a classic green bean casserole from scratch:

Saute the vegetables.

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven, and sauté the shallot and mushrooms, until the mixture begins to brown – 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 delicious flavor to the 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. Then, 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, stir in the parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and allow the cheese to melt.

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

Bake.

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

green bean casserole from scratch

The fried onions should brown slightly and the casserole should be bubbling. 

Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

How to make green bean casserole ahead of time:

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.

green bean casserole mixture in casserole dish

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.

Green bean casserole can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

Unfortunately, freezing this casserole isn’t recommended. Because the sauce is made from dairy, it will separate during freezing and will become soupy.

Reheating Instructions

  • Easily reheat this casserole in an oven-safe dish at 350°F degrees for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, microwave a single serving at 30-second intervals until warmed through.
  • Green bean casserole should not be left unrefrigerated for more than 3-4 hours at a time.

Green Bean Casserole Variations

Using Condensed “Cream of” Soups

Two or three cans of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup can be used in place of making a roux. The sauteed vegetables can still be used per the recipe; however, additional cans of soup may be needed.

Mushrooms

In place of cremini mushrooms, baby bellas, oyster mushrooms, or any other type of white or brown mushrooms may be used. Pre-sliced, cremini mushrooms are my favorite shortcut!

bowl of chopped mushrooms

Alternatively, a few cans of sliced mushrooms will also work for this recipe. Use the same amount as in the recipe card below.

Using Frozen Green Beans

Thawed, frozen green beans can be used in place of canned green beans. They will add additional crunch to the recipe.

Be sure the green beans are completely thawed and drained before using. The excess water from the beans can make the casserole soupy if not appropriately drained.

Using Fresh Green Beans

Fresh green beans are delicious in this recipe! Trim off the ends and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces. Prepare the green beans, pat dry, and use as directed in the recipe.

Other Add-Ins

  • Add crumbled slices of bacon or pancetta directly to the casserole or the fried onion topping – about ½ cup.
  • Add about 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese in place of parmesan cheese for a sharper, cheesier flavor.

What goes with green bean casserole?

Serve this with any main course, along with other holiday recipes. This would be the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving Dinner!

Homemade Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Anna Kate
Forget the canned stuff and make this green bean casserole recipe from scratch! This comforting Southern side dish is made with a creamy mushroom sauce, canned green beans, and topped with crispy fried onions. Perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
5 from 3 votes
Servings 10 people
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cans green beans (drained)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter (divided)
  • 8 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms (roughly chopped)
  • 1 large shallot (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces canned water chestnuts (drained, diced)
  • 1 cup crispy 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

Serving: 1gramsCalories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 12gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 859mgPotassium: 308mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1204IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 264mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating




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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!

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