This green bean casserole recipe is a must-have for your Thanksgiving feast! It's made almost from scratch but with fresh additions to make it totally special and way better than the one you grew up with.
Why you'll love it
Ok, I know that the classic '60s Campbell's green bean casserole is considered iconic, but hear me out. This is an even better green bean casserole that has fresh ingredients, and that's a game changer. I understand that change can be controversial, but I am at least showing deference to the original by using classic French's fried onions. We've got all the delicious nostalgic vibes of the original, just upgraded! (And still easy.)
So we're not using cream of mushroom soup or canned beans here. It's not because I'm a food snob; I love my weekly McDonald's, prefer pizza to a fancy meal most of the time, and use canned soup in some of my other recipes. But it just doesn't need to be in a homemade green bean casserole! I tested them side-by-side, and my version won by a landslide. Treat your family to the best green bean casserole.
What you'll need and why
- Green beans - use fresh or frozen. They're vibrant green, have great texture, and taste so much better than the mushy canned kind!
- Butter - for sautéing
- Mushrooms - fresh sautéed mushrooms are another way to level up this classic. Choose cremini (aka baby bellas) or white button.
- Garlic - a tasty aromatic. I mince the cloves with this garlic press so you don't end up with sticky garlic fingers.
- Italian seasoning - it's a convenient and tasty blend of dried herbs that comes all in one jar
- Flour - for thickening the sauce/gravy
- Broth - use chicken or vegetable broth for another layer of flavor
- Heavy cream - real, actual fresh cream sets my recipe apart
- Dijon mustard - you won't taste the mustard itself! It's a tried and true trick of mine in many recipes to act as a subtle savory flavor enhancer.
- French's fried onions - this shortcut is worth keeping. The last thing you want to worry about on Thanksgiving is burning onions, amirite?
- Parmesan - for an extra luxurious, cheesy touch. Always grate your own from a block for best texture and taste.
- I rinse the beans in cold water for a few minutes to stop them from cooking further, but you could prepare an ice bath if you prefer. Simply fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. After the beans have finished blanching, drain them and transfer them to the ice bath, and then drain them again once they've cooled.
How to make green bean casserole
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Boil the green beans and blanch them, rinse with cold water, and drain them. Add to a 9x13 casserole dish. In a skillet, sauté the mushrooms, garlic, and Italian seasoning in half the butter, and add them to the baking dish.
Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Whisk in the broth, Dijon mustard, and cream. Let it bubble until it's thickened up a bit. Season with a little salt & pepper. Pour the sauce into the baking dish.
Sprinkle on half the crispy onions. Toss everything so that it's combined, then spread into a uniform layer. Top with the rest of the onions and the freshly grated parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes and enjoy!
How to make green bean casserole ahead
- Assemble the casserole, let it cool, and then cover tightly in foil and either refrigerate it for a day or two or freeze it.
- You may want to hold off on adding the fried onion topping until right before baking because it'll likely get soft in the fridge or freezer.
- If it's frozen, I'd heat it up at 350F, covered with foil for about 45 minutes and then cook for another 15-20 minutes, uncovered, or until it's hot and bubbly.
Substitutions and variations
- Want to try making your own fried onions? Try this French's Fried Onions from Scratch recipe.
- You could always add some crispy crumbled Oven Cooked Bacon to this green bean casserole for another tasty twist.
- I don't recommend substituting the heavy cream for anything with a lower fat content. The sauce won't be as rich, tasty, or thicken up right.
Leftovers and storage
- I would be very surprised if there's any leftovers of this green bean casserole! 😉 But they will keep just fine in the fridge in a covered container for a couple of days.
- Reheat in the oven at 350F until warmed through or microwave in short intervals.
- I wouldn't suggest freezing leftovers of it. The texture won't hold up well.
What to serve with it
- Make it along with my other Thanksgiving side dishes. Some of my favorites include this Classic Sweet Potato Casserole and Corn Casserole!
- This is normally reserved for the holidays, but it's so good, there's nothing stopping you from making anytime with a nice Sunday dinner. Try it with my Easy Baked Pork Tenderloin.
I hope you'll give this green bean casserole from scratch a try! Drop me a review in the comments below, and you can also find me on Instagram.
Best Green Bean Casserole
- 1 pound frozen or fresh beans
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 7 ounces cremini or white mushrooms sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken or veggie broth
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups French's Fried Onions divided
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375F. Move the rack to the top third of the oven.
- Boil a salted pot of water for the beans. Once it's boiling, add the beans and cook for 3-5 minutes (I do frozen beans for 3 minutes and fresh for 5). Transfer beans to a colander and rinse them under very cold water for a couple of minutes. Once they've cooled, ensure they're drained well and add them to a 9x13 casserole dish.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, and Italian seasoning, and sauté them until the water has released and been cooked off (about 6-8 minutes). Transfer the mushrooms to the casserole dish.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once it's melted, stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the flour smells a bit nutty and darkens a bit. Add in the broth, cream, and Dijon mustard, and whisk until all the flour has dissolved.
- Let the sauce gently bubble for about 4-5 minutes or until it's thickened up a bit (should have a similar thickness to Alfredo sauce). Don't let it get too thick - it'll thicken up more in the oven. Season the sauce with a bit of salt & pepper (not too much because the onions are salty).
- Pour the sauce into the casserole dish, along with half of the fried onions. Toss everything together and spread it out in an even layer. Top the casserole with the remaining onions and the parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Serve warm.
- See blog post for make-ahead tips.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.