It’s a creamy and delicious Green Bean Casserole, without canned soup! You absolutely can make green bean casserole completely from scratch, and I’ll show you how.
This is by far the best Green Bean Casserole that I’ve ever made. Honestly, I wish I had doubled the batch so I had more leftovers to enjoy. If you’ve only ever had the green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup, you will be blown away by how delicious this fresh green bean casserole recipe is.
Line up this classic green bean casserole for your Thanksgiving menu, along with my other amazing Thanksgiving sides like Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Sausage Stuffing. It’s going to be your best holiday dinner ever!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Fresh Ingredients. While the traditional green bean casserole is delicious, using fresh veggies and a homemade cream sauce takes it to the next level, flavor wise.
- No Mush. The beans in this casserole are going to be crisp-tender, rather than mushy like the recipe from the back of the can. The texture is such a lovely surprise.
- No Cans. The classic recipe for green bean casserole calls for canned beans and canned soup. We aren’t using either of those today!
- Can Be Made Ahead. You can prep this green bean casserole ahead of time and just pop it in the oven on the big day, topped with french fried onions. I love when holiday recipes are able to be pre-prepped to save time and hassle.
- Classic Recipe. It’s not a perfect thanksgiving meal without green bean casserole! You can bring this to a pot-luck style holiday meal, and your host will be so appreciative.
Green bean casserole from scratch only needs a handful of simple ingredients:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Fresh Green Beans: To make a green bean casserole from scratch, start with fresh beans. Wash, trim, and cut them in half. If fresh green beans aren’t an option, frozen beans can be used as well. Either thaw them or steam them briefly first.
- French’s Crispy Onions: French’s onions are so perfect and delicious, and quite possibly my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. If you don’t wan to buy them, I have a copycat recipe for you! It’s so easy to make crispy fried onions at home, and they taste much better too!
- Mushrooms: White button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms add flavor to our gravy and extra bulk and texture to the casserole.
- Butter and Flour: To create a thick, creamy sauce, butter and flour create a roux. Use gluten-free all purpose flour if needed.
- Cream: Heavy whipping cream makes this green bean casserole extra creamy and rich.
- Vegetable Stock: Using veggie stock keeps the casserole vegetarian, and I think it tastes amazing. Chicken stock can be used instead if you like.
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, garlic, and a pinch of ground nutmeg all go so well with the creamy sauce and hearty green beans.
How to Make Green Bean Casserole
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Prep the Green Beans: Wash the fresh green beans, remove the ends, and cut them in half. Partially cook the green beans by blanching them for 5 minutes and then shocking them in ice water for 5 minutes. You can also steam them in the microwave (Place the green beans in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of water, cover with a microwave-safe plate and cook for 5 minutes).
- Cook the Mushrooms: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until they start to soften.
- Make the Mushroom Sauce: Add garlic to the pan with the mushrooms, and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the flour, and cook for 30 more seconds.
- Finish Sauce: Gradually add the stock, about ½ cup at a time and keep stirring until all the stock is added in. Stir in the heavy cream, and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the nutmeg, taste the sauce, and adjust the salt and pepper to your preference. Remove from heat.
- Assemble: In a 3 quart casserole dish, mix the green beans with the sauce.
For more onion flavor, stir in a handful of crispy onions with the beans before baking.
- Bake: Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove from the oven, top with the crispy onions, and bake for 5 more minutes (the onions will turn golden brown and get even more crispy). Serve warm.
- Don’t burn the garlic. The garlic only needs to be cooked for about 30 seconds, or until you can smell it. Any longer and you risk burning it. Be ready to add the flour and the broth fairly quickly.
- Use frozen beans. Frozen green beans will work in this recipe. I suggest using the long, whole, or “fancy” style frozen beans. I do not recommend that you try using canned green beans in this casserole recipe.
- Use the right size baking dish. The classic bean casserole recipe is cooked in an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square pan. This recipe has more volume to it due to the fresh beans, so you need to use a slightly larger one. I’m using an oval casserole dish that is about 3 quarts. You can use a 9×13 inch rectangular dish or a 13 inch oblong or oval one.
- Get the right tools! I love my red silicone spatula for any and all recipes that require sauteing. You’ll also need a good non-stick saucepan. I like having a ceramic-coated pan.
What to Serve with Green Bean Casserole
Thanksgiving: This is of course a Thanksgiving classic side dish. See my whole Thanksgiving recipe lineup. You’ll want to check out my Roast Turkey, Buttery Herb Stuffing, and Cranberry Sauce recipes to start with.
Christmas or Easter: Somehow this classic casserole has become acceptable and expected at all holiday dinners! I’m not mad about it though. Glazed Carrots and Creamed Corn are two other sides that fit in well anywhere. You might also like my recipes for Honey Baked Ham and Instant Pot Glazed Ham.
You can read all about how to blanch green beans here, but if you’re already familiar, it’s pretty simple. We are only trying to cook the green beans about half way, they will continue cooking while the casserole bakes.
For normal sized green beans, blanch them for 5 minutes, then remove them to an ice bath for 5 minutes.
If you’re using the small French haricot vert type of green beans, they will only need 2-3 minutes in each step.
You can follow the recipe all the way up until the step where you add the fried onions. Stop, wrap up the casserole dish, and put it in the fridge for up to 3 days until you’re ready to bake it. About 20 minutes before you want to eat, top the green bean casserole with french fried onions and bake until it’s ready.
I suggest that if you want to double the recipe, that you bake it in two separate pans so that it cooks evenly. A deeper casserole dish may seem like a good idea, but you’ll miss out on all of that crispy onion surface area that way!
If you don’t enjoy french fried onions, you can certainly leave them out. Bake without them, or use some panko bread crumbs mixed with melted butter as a crispy, onion-free topping.
Let me know if you need any help planning your Thanksgiving dinner! It’s one of my favorite meals to cook, and this creamy homemade green bean casserole is one of the stars.
- 1 ½ pounds (650g) green beans trimmed and halved, either use frozen green beans because they’re soft, or steam in the microwave or blanch for 5 minutes followed by an ice bath for 5 minutes
- 2.8-ounce pack (79g) French’s crispy fried onions click here for a homemade version
- Wash the fresh green beans, remove the ends, and cut them in half. Partially cook the green beans by blanching them for 5 minutes and then shocking them in ice water for 5 minutes. You can also steam them in the microwave (Place the green beans in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of water, cover with a microwave-safe plate and cook for 5 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- To make the mushroom sauce, in a saucepan or pan melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until they start to soften.
- Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds then add the flour and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the flour, and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Gradually add the stock, about ½ a cup at a time and keep stirring until all the stock is in. Stir in the heavy cream, and simmer for 1 more minute. Stir in the nutmeg, taste the sauce, and adjust the salt and pepper to your preference. Remove from heat.
- Assemble. In a casserole dish, mix the green beans with the sauce and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly.
- Remove from the oven, top with the crispy onions, and bake for 5 more minutes (the onions will change their color a little to golden brown, and become even more crispy).
- Gluten Free. If you’re making a gluten free green bean casserole, use gluten free flour and omit French’s fried onions as they’re not gluten free.
- Making Ahead. You can follow the recipe all the way up until the step where you add the fried onions. Stop, wrap up the casserole dish, and put it in the fridge for up to 3 days until you’re ready to bake it. About 20 minutes before you want to eat, top the green bean casserole with french fried onions and bake until it’s ready.
- Double Batch. I suggest that if you want to double the recipe, that you bake it in two separate pans so that it cooks evenly. A deeper casserole dish may seem like a good idea, but you’ll miss out on all of that crispy onion surface area that way!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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