Not your mama’s Green Bean Casserole recipe! Let’s kick that can of soup out to the curb because the homemade version is LEGIT you guys. Big, bright green beans in a creamy mushroom sauce, topped with crispy fried onions. Thanksgiving doesn’t get any better than this! Originally published November 5, 2018.
Table of Contents
- Delicious Green Bean Casserole with Fresh Green Beans
- You will love this Fresh Green Bean Casserole Recipe
- Green Bean Casserole Ingredients
- How to make Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
- Serving Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
- How to store Green Bean Casserole with Fresh Green Beans
- You will love these other Thanksgiving side dish ideas!
- Green Bean Casserole Recipe with Fresh Green Beans Recipe
My sister-in-law just sent out a text to our family. “I’m making a list of Christmas movies. What are your favorites!?” And then my brother-in-law immediately answered, “I’m so glad you asked. I made a list while bored at church yesterday.” I thought he was joking at first, because seriously?? But nope, 2 seconds later, the full list was copy and pasted through, with Home Alone at the top (OF COURSE.)
I don’t know what your family has massive texting conversations about, but this is how we do. Christmas movies forever!!
The other day Eric read me a Tweet that the official Netflix account sent out last year: “To the 53 people who have watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?”
Guys, I might have been one of them.
Okay not really I’m kidding, but I AM a total sucker for a feel good Christmas movie. Even the Hallmark ones. They are so charmingly unbelievable. What are your favorites? My top 3 are Home Alone (I mean, that’s a given), It’s a Wonderful Life, and White Christmas. I never get tired of them. Okay actually that’s not true, I think I would after 18 days in a row, but let’s not try that.
Are you getting into the holiday spirit yet? I’m putting together my Thanksgiving menu already of course. I always make this Sage Butter Roasted Turkey, my Aunt Shirley’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes, and Make Ahead Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving. This year I will be adding in this Cornbread Stuffing with Bacon and Sage, and this Homemade Green Bean Casserole recipe!
Delicious Green Bean Casserole with Fresh Green Beans
Did you grow up eating green bean casserole at every holiday meal? It was never a thing in my family. We always had at least 14 pounds of food per person (half of that was mashed potatoes) and typically there was nary a vegetable in sight. We’re not exactly a salad kind of family, and who’s got time for green beans when there is turkey and stuffing to be had?
Even though we never served it, of course I’ve tried green bean casserole, in all its gluttonously gloppy glory. You see it at potlucks occasionally, right? I’ve always found it to be rather pitiful. Soggy canned green beans in a can of cream of mushroom soup. There’s just no getting away from that distinctly canned flavor, in my opinion.
But I always thought the idea had potential. Fresh green beans are one of God’s greatest gifts to produce, and serving them in a creamy white sauce sounds pretty amazing to me. Plus real fried onions on top?? Yes please.
You will love this Fresh Green Bean Casserole Recipe
And as usual, just like the book is always better than the movie, the from-scratch version is better than the canned version. I’m in LOVE. I already knew that I loved homemade crispy fried onions (have you ever made them?), and now that I’ve tried them on top of a casserole I’m obsessed.
Oh, did I mention the Parmesan cheese? I’m pretty sure there is no cheese called for in the original Green Bean Casserole recipe, but I feel like adding cheese is never a bad idea, right? Especially when that cheese is freshly shredded Parmesan.
Green Bean Casserole Ingredients
Here’s a quick shopping list to help you gather your ingredients. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients and instructions!
- Red onion
- Buttermilk (cheater buttermilk is ok!)
- Panko bread crumbs
- Cayenne pepper
- Parsley (chopped, optional)
- Green beans (2 pounds)
- White button mushrooms (1 pound, sliced or quartered)
- Fresh thyme
- Chicken broth (I use Better than Bouillon chicken base)
- Half and half
- Parmesan cheese
Fresh Green Bean Casserole Recipe Substitutions and Additions
I’m all about the fresh, homemade, from scratch goodness in this recipe. It took a green bean casserole from “meh” to “OH YEAH!” for me. Here are my suggestions if you’re making substitutions or want to add your own personal touch.
- Omit the mushrooms. Some of you (or your family members) may have a personal vendetta against mushrooms. I don’t know what they did to hurt you, but if you must leave them out to preserve the Thanksgiving peace, here’s how. In step 12, melt the butter as directed but do not add mushrooms. As soon as the butter is melted, skip straight to step 13 and proceed as directed, watching the garlic and thyme carefully so they don’t burn. Continue on through the remaining steps. You’ll have a creamy gravy to coat the beans with nary a mushroom in sight. Since you’re omitting approximately 2 cups of cooked mushrooms, you will have a higher sauce-to-green beans ratio.
- Buy the crispy onions. Maybe frying scares you, or you have lots of tiny people at your house milling around your ankles while you’re cooking with hot oil. I like the homemade crispy onions better, but you can totally just go buy a can at the store. That’s how green bean casserole is usually made, and I’m pretty sure most people are INTO IT.
- Substitute a different cheese (or leave it out). I love Parmesan here but you could consider shredded Gruyere, mozzarella, or aged white cheddar. And if cheese doesn’t sound good here, no worries, just leave it out.
How to make Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
Here’s a quick overview of how to make this green bean casserole. Scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete ingredients and instructions!
- Thinly slice an onion lengthwise. Separate the onion slices and place in a medium bowl. Cover with buttermilk and stir to coat. Let the onions sit in the buttermilk for 15-60 minutes.
- When you’re ready to cook the onions, add 2 inches of oil to a wide, high-sided skillet or a large pot. Turn the burner to medium heat.
- In a pie plate or shallow bowl, combine flour, Panko breadcrumbs, salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and chopped parsley.
- When the oil is hot and the onions have soaked, drain the onions. Working in batches, dredge the onions in the flour mixture until well coated, then transfer to the hot oil. Fry until lightly browned. Transfer fried onions to a paper towel lined plate.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add all the green beans, cover, and cook until crisp-tender.
- Immediately drain cooked beans and rinse with cold water. If you are making this ahead, you can wrap the beans in paper towels and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If you are making the casserole right away, blot the beans with paper towels.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet. When the butter is hot, add the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Saute until they are lightly browned and tender.
- Add garlic and thyme, and sauté until fragrant. Add flour and a pinch of cayenne pepper, and stir to coat.
- Whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer. Whisk occasionally, making sure there are no lumps.
- When the mixture is thickened, remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese and the green beans, then transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch pan. At this point, you can cover the dish and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
- Bake the casserole until bubbling. Sprinkle the fried onions evenly on top of the casserole. Return to the oven and bake until warmed through.
Can you make Green Bean Casserole ahead of time?
You can prep this casserole up to 4 hours ahead of time (until it looks like the above photo), and do the final bake right before serving. One more thing you can get done ahead of time so that you are not running around like a crazy person in those last 20 minutes before everyone sits down!
How long to cook Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole gets started cooking on the stove, so it doesn’t need much time in the oven. 15 minutes should suffice if you’re making it all in one go; allow for a few extra minutes if you’ve made it ahead and it’s been in the fridge. After its initial bake time you’ll add the fried onions and bake for another 5-10 minutes until everything is warmed through.
Serving Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
I like to serve this casserole right after making it. That way the fried onions are crispiest and the green beans aren’t cold (I mean who likes cold green beans?). I don’t use a slotted serving spoon, just a regular one. I want to get all that creamy homemade sauce!
How much Green Bean Casserole per Person
When I’m serving green bean casserole, I’m also serving sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, seafoam salad, turkey, gravy, and WHO KNOWS what else. This is just a small part of an actual feast. I’ve suggested that this recipe serves 12; this assumes that your 12 guests each want green beans, and they also want to consume a quarter pound of casserole. This is a 13×9 inch casserole dish full, and it’s probably big enough for your average group. If you are hosting a group of 30, double it.
How to store Green Bean Casserole with Fresh Green Beans
You can keep leftover green bean casserole in the fridge, tightly covered, for 3-4 days. If you’ve only sprinkled the fried onions on individual servings, they’ll stay crispier. I would even rewarm them separately in the microwave, putting the fried onions on a paper towel lined plate to soak up grease as they heat. They definitely won’t be crispy like on day one, but they’re still good.
Can you freeze Green Bean Casserole?
Green bean casserole is best frozen if you haven’t yet topped it with the fried onions. A cooked casserole can be frozen for up to 4 months. If you have already added the fried onions, I wouldn’t freeze the casserole–they will be mushy, not crispy.
If you’d like to make and freeze the unbaked green bean casserole in advance, follow the recipe from step 7 through step 17. Then cool it, tightly wrap it in tin foil or plastic wrap, cover it with a lid, and freeze for up to 4 months. When you’re ready to bake it, you can defrost it overnight, then make the fried onions while it’s in the oven.
You will love these other Thanksgiving side dish ideas!
Sauteed Carrots and Shallots with Thyme << Holiday favorite around here!
Roasted Garlic Green Beans with Fried Sourdough << Fried. Sourdough. Yes, it’s real.
Broccoli with Feta and Fried Onions << love this one!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans and Cranberries from Julia’s Album
Roasted Mushrooms in Brown Butter from Closet Cooking
Cauliflower Bacon Gratin from Reluctant Entertainer
Green Bean Casserole Recipe with Fresh Green Beans
For the crispy onions
- 2 inches oil, for frying
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 & 1/2 cups flour
- 1 & 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, optional
For the green beans
- large pot of water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, for water
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
For the white sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced or quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 2 & 1/2 tablespoons flour
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 & 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 & 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Add 2 inches of oil to a wide, high-sided skillet or a large pot. Turn the burner to medium heat.
- Thinly slice an onion lengthwise. (That means your knife should be lined up with the root and the tip.)
- Separate the onion slices and place in a medium bowl. Cover with 1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk and stir to coat. Let the onions sit in the buttermilk for about 15 minutes, or up to an hour. (your oil should only take about 15 minutes to heat, so if you plan to soak longer than that, you can turn off the heat.)
- In a pie plate or shallow bowl, combine 1 and 1/2 cups flour, 1 and 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 3 tablespoons chopped parsley.
- When the oil is hot (it should be about 360 degrees) and the onions have soaked, drain the onions. Working in batches, dredge the onions in the flour mixture until well coated, then transfer to the hot oil. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned. They will continue to darken when you remove them, so be careful.
- Transfer fried onions to a paper towel lined plate. Continue until all the onions are fried.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add about a tablespoon of salt. It should taste like the ocean.
- When the water is at a rolling boil, add all the green beans at once and cover with a lid right away. Set a timer for 6 minutes. Check the green beans with a fork and make sure they are crisp-tender, adding 1 minute if necessary. Don’t let them get mushy!
- Once the green beans are done, drain immediately and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. At this point, if you are making this ahead, you can wrap the beans in paper towels and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- If you are making the casserole right away, blot the beans with paper towels to dry them a bit.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is hot, add the mushrooms and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute for about 7-8 minutes, until they are lightly browned and tender.
- Add garlic and thyme, and sauté for 1 more minute until fragrant.
- Add 2 and 1/2 tablespoons flour and a pinch of cayenne pepper, and stir to coat for about 1 minute.
- Whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer. Whisk occasionally, making sure there are no lumps. After 5-7 minutes, the mixture should be slightly thickened and coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup parmesan cheese and the green beans.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch pan (or any shallow 3 quart pan). At this point, you can cover the dish and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. (Leave the onions on the counter)
- Bake the casserole for 15 minutes at 375, until bubbling. (If you made this ahead and refrigerated, it might take a few minutes longer)
- Sprinkle the fried onions evenly on top of the casserole. Return to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until warmed through.
I adapted this recipe from one I found in the November 2015 issue of Food Network.