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!
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!
How to make Green Bean Casserole Recipe
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?
Actually, I misspoke. We are definitely a salad family. Seafoam salad, to be exact. Since it has “salad” in the title, I think my mom thought she could get away with claiming the classic creamy jello as the nutritious part of the meal. (Seriously though, if you’ve never made Seafoam Salad, you are missing out. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving dinner compliment.!)
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.
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.
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!
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One year ago: Oven Roasted Cranberry-Dijon Ham
Four years ago: Bacon Ricotta Crostini << a favorite appetizer of mine
Seven years ago: Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
Homemade Green Bean Casserole Recipe
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 9x13 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.
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:
Broccoli with Feta and Fried Onions << love this one!
More Thanksgiving side dishes from friends you will love!
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
No more canned cream soups !!!
Fresh homemade is 100 times better 😊
Would a jar of Alfredo Sauce (doctored up a bit with the addition of freshly grated Parmesan) work?
Ooh that sounds like an interesting idea Charlotte! Let me know if you try it out! I’m sure it would be good!
Can I cook the fried onions and the green beans the night before? Then add in the mushrooms and sauce the next day? I’m taking it to a potluck and want to do as much as I can the night before, but not sure if the onions will taste the same after being refrigerated. Thank you.
Hi Irene! I would make the onions on the same day, if possible. Fried food just gets soggy after a while, there’s no help for it. If you do make them a few hours ahead, do not refrigerate. Leave them on the counter loosely covered, or better yet, on the keep warm setting in your oven. The green beans can definitely be made ahead as specified in step 9. You can also reference this post for making green beans ahead: https://thefoodcharlatan.com/make-ahead-green-beans-recipe/
Hope it turns out well Irene! Good luck!
Pictures can be misleading, for the better, AND for the worse. As they relate to the green bean casserole dish, of course the colors are all vibrant & it looks fresh. My question/comment however, the dish looks VERY soupy & it would appear that you’ve got to use a slotted spoon to serve. I will be making it tomorrow for T’giving 2018 & may tweak it a wee bit (not sure how yet) so as not to end up with Green Bean Soup :)
Hey Kevin! The mushroom sauce is a bit thinner than the cream of mushroom soup that you would get from a can. If you would like it thicker, you can either simmer it longer so that it reduces and thickens, or you could combine a little bit (not more than a tablespoon) of cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water to liquify, and then add to the simmering sauce. This will thicken it up a lot more. I didn’t use a slotted spoon to serve, I want all that gravy on my plate! :) Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!
Karen, I’m definitely gonna try this recipe for green bean casserole. I’ve tried several of your other recipes and they were all delicious! Love reading your blog cause, quite frankly, you’re nuts! No offense, I might be too. :) But seriously–your stories are entertaining & your recipes are uniquely awesome and easy to follow! Happy Holidays!
Hahaha!! you’re right Jennifer, I think I am a little nuts ;) Thank you so much for reading, and so much for commenting! Blogging can be lonely sometimes, so I love positive feedback :) Let me know how the green bean casserole turns out!!
Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family! I’m making this green bean casserole again! It is so delicious, and aside from the fried onions (which are SO worth it!) it’s really a cinch to make. I’ll try to remember to snap a photo this time! Thanks so much for the sharing your recipes and skills and stories! You are my “go-to girl” for all my cooking & baking!
I’m so glad you love the recipe Jennifer! The fried onions are so amazing right? I’m so happy to hear that I’m your go-to girl, that makes me smile ear to ear :) Thanks for commenting, Happy Thanksgiving!
Oh, the slander – we most certainly had green bean casserole for Thanksgiving, every year! It was something Grandma Georgia always made, or Dee, depending on which side of the family we were with. [though if I was in charge, I’m sure I served broccoli] It’s not my fault that you chose to glide right by and fight your sibs for the rolls, potatoes and gravy!!
On the other hand – guilty as charged with the Seafoam salad. The nutritious pear – what’s not to love?!!
HA!! I had no idea! I have no memory of that! It’s true though. I was a mashed potatoes and roll fiend back then.
I have made my green bean casserole from scratch for years. Never did like the flavor of canned cream of mushroom soup or canned green beans. Thank for sharing yours.
It’s so much better, right Gail?? We are on the same page :) Thanks for commenting!