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Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

This Green Bean Casserole recipe is a classic southern side dish. Made from scratch, this recipe starts with a creamy, homemade mushroom sauce and topped with crispy French Fried onions.

The perfect side dish for a Thanksgiving menu or Christmas dinner. Make ahead instructions are below!

Continue reading for recipe details, cooking tips, reheating/storing info, and more.

Green bean casserole in white oval serving casserole dish

You know those side dishes that are holiday favorites? Well, this one is certainly it! But instead of canned/processed ingredients, I use fresh green beans and make a mushroom sauce from scratch.

Even without the canned ingredients, this is not a low-cal recipe! And frankly, there’s no adequate substitute for those greasy, salty, French Fried Onions. Those are a must!

However, if you are looking for something with the same “crisp” and great flavor, try my sautéed green beans with almonds for a healthier green bean side to serve with Thanksgiving Dinner.

This casserole is my mother-in-law’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish. When I realized this was going to be a staple for every holiday meal, I wanted to figure out a better solution to using the canned stuff.

How to Make an Easy Green Bean Casserole

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!

Ingredients for Homemade Green Bean Casserole

  • Homemade Sauce: Don’t be intimidated by the homemade sauce. It’s easy and adds much more flavor than the canned cream of mushroom soup.
  • Fresh Green Beans: Using fresh green beans give it such a great crisp and texture! I highly recommend using fresh instead of frozen or canned. Frozen or canned green beans can make the casserole watery and soggy.
  • Water Chestnuts: Give it an extra crisp with water chestnuts. These are optional, but they do break up the soft textures of the sauce, mushrooms, and green beans.
  • French’s Fried Onions: Don’t forget about this irresistible topping! Adds a punch of flavor and extra crispiness as a finishing touch.

How long to cook green bean casserole

Different green bean casserole recipes have varied cooking times. Specifically, this recipe takes approximately 30 minutes to bake.

  • 15 minutes baked, uncovered
  • 15 minutes topped with the fried onions, uncovered

Make a classic green bean casserole from scratch

  1. Sauté mushrooms, shallot, and butter. Set aside.
  2. Then, make the sauce with a roux of butter, flour, milk, and cheese.
  3. Combine with green beans, mushrooms, and water chestnuts.
  4. Bake!
green bean casserole overhead shot

Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

How to make this casserole ahead of time:

  1. Follow the instructions in the recipe card below. Instead of baking, place the uncooked casserole dish in the refrigerator and cover the dish with foil.
  2. Allow the dish to rest on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking. Then, bake per the recipe, uncovered.

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

Unfortunately, green bean casserole does not freeze well. The sauce will separate and the vegetables will become soggy.

Storage and reheating tips

  • 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 through.
  • The casserole can be stored in an airtight container or casserole dish for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Green bean casserole should not be left unrefrigerated for more than 3-4 hours at a time.
Yield: 10

Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

Green beans casserole, traditional side dish for Thanksgiving

Forget the canned stuff and make this green bean casserole recipe from scratch! With a homemade mushroom sauce and topped with crispy French Fried onions, you can have this dish on the table in under 30 minutes!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 lb fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed, halved
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, divided
  • 8 oz fresh cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 8 oz canned water chestnuts, drained, diced
  • 1 cup crispy French's Fried Onions


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and grease a 9x13 casserole dish. 
  2. To a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat.
  3. Add mushrooms and shallot, and cook until mixture is brown and caramelized - about 7-10 minutes. 
  4. Transfer the mixture to a plate, and do not wipe or rinse your dutch oven.
  5. Add butter to the same dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  6. 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. 
  7. Remove from heat and add the Parmesan cheese, kosher salt and pepper. Stir until melted and smooth.
  8. Stir in green beans, mushroom mixture and water chestnuts.
  9. Transfer the mixture to the 9x13 casserole dish.
  10. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly - about 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and top with the fried onions and continue baking until the topping is golden brown - about 10-15 minutes. 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 821mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 8g

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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!

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