This is one irresistible holiday side dish! Tender green beans are covered in a cheesy sauce, then baked with French fried onions and bacon to create this drool-worthy Cheesy Green Bean Casserole.
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Ultra Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
- What You’ll Need
- Are Frozen or Canned Green Beans Better for Casserole?
- How to Make Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
- Cook’s Notes
- What to Serve with Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
- Storing and Reheating
- Can I Freeze Green Bean Casserole?
- More Holiday Side Dishes
- Get the Recipe
Why You’ll Love This Ultra Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
Cheesy green bean casserole might not be the most sophisticated dish, but it has a special place in many people’s hearts. Here’s why you will love this comforting casserole:
- Comfy and Cozy: The combination of creamy and cheesy sauce, tender green beans, bacon and crispy fried onions creates a satisfying, comforting dish. It’s perfect for any occasion, but especially the holidays!
- Easy: This one-dish wonder doesn’t take much work to whip up, which is great for those busy cooking marathons leading up to a big Christmas dinner or holiday get-together.
- From-Scratch Flavor: If you’re looking for an easy recipe that doesn’t rely on canned soup, this is it! It takes only a few minutes to throw together a quick cheese sauce instead.
- Family Favorite: Green bean casserole is one of those recipes that’s you either love or hate, but I promise just about everyone will love this cheesy version! We skip the mushrooms, add crispy bacon, with lots of creamy cheese sauce…who could resist it?
- Make Ahead: You can prep this dish a day or two before, making it great for the holidays! Just pull it out of the fridge and pop it into the oven before your guests arrive.
Looking for more ways to make green bean casserole? This is my favorite classic Best Green Bean Casserole recipe from scratch, but I also have recipe for Crockpot Green Bean Casserole and Easy Green Bean Casserole made with canned goods.
What You’ll Need
So just what goes into this easy casserole recipe? Let’s take a closer look at those ingredients. Scroll to the bottom of this post for the ingredient amounts and directions listed in the printable recipe card.
- Green Beans: Fresh green beans, with the ends trimmed.
- Salt and Pepper
- Bacon: Chopped into small pieces.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted, whichever you prefer.
- Onion: A yellow onion, diced. If you don’t have yellow, you can substitute a white or sweet onion.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic, minced or pressed.
- Flour: Plain, all-purpose flour is used to make a quick roux.
- Milk and Cream: Whole milk and heavy cream make the cheese sauce rich and creamy.
- Chicken Broth: Or vegetable broth.
- Soy Sauce: This is the secret ingredient for green bean casserole – don’t skip it! You could substitute coconut aminos or tamari if you like.
- Cheese: I use mostly shredded cheddar, with a little Monterey Jack.
- French Fried Onions: You can use your own fried onions if you like, but I will admit, I like to use the canned variety for that nostalgic flavor!
Are Frozen or Canned Green Beans Better for Casserole?
I much prefer fresh green beans here, but if you would like to use frozen, that’s fine too! Frozen green beans make a good swap in this recipe. However, I really do not recommend canned green beans. They are much softer and tend to make a soggier casserole in the end. Using fresh or frozen green beans will give you a much better texture!
How to Make Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
There are a couple of parts to this dish, so let’s get into the cooking method. Here’s how to make this cheesy, homestyle casserole:
- Blanch the Green Beans. Cook the green beans just until they turn bright green, in boiling water. Then take them out and rinse them under cold running water to stop the cooking process.
- Cook the Bacon, Onion, and Garlic. Fry the chopped bacon in a skillet, and then take it out. Cook the onion and garlic in the same skillet.
- Make the Cheese Sauce. Add the flour to the skillet to make a roux, and then whisk in the liquid ingredients and some of the shredded cheese.
- Assemble and Bake. Combine the green beans, cheese sauce, cooked bacon, cheese, and fried onions in a casserole dish. Bake until bubbly, and enjoy!
But wait, there’s more! Let me share a few helpful tips for making cheesy green bean casserole. This easy bake just got even better.
- Mix-Ins and Add-Ons: You can easily add sauteed mushrooms to this recipe for extra flavor and texture, or sprinkle in some chopped pimiento for a little color. Slivered almonds on top add even more crunch.
- Cheese Options: You can play around with the cheeses here, substituting your favorite melting cheeses like colby, mozzarella, etc. If your cheese is not very sharp, try adding a tiny bit (½ teaspoon or so) of prepared mustard or ground mustard to the sauce to make sure the recipe isn’t bland.
- Make Ahead: This dish can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake. You can also freeze, then bake for 45 minutes from frozen.
What to Serve with Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
You can serve this casserole with all of your favorite main courses. I typically make it for Christmas or Thanksgiving, and serve it with holiday main courses like…
- Turkey: If you’re overwhelmed with all of the advice for making a good turkey, don’t be! I’ve got you covered with this foolproof tutorial for How to Make the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey. It’s easier than you think! Of course, don’t forget the Turkey Gravy!
- Ham: Classic Baked Ham with Orange Ham Glaze is a showstopping main dish that’s surprisingly easy to make. You’ll love it!
- Pork Loin: A savory Stuffed Pork Loin might not be your first thought when it comes to a holiday meal, but it will be after you try this recipe! Dried apricots, Boursin cheese, and a killer Dijon-balsamic glaze make this easy dish extra-fancy and flavorful.
- More Sides: If you’re looking for a few more good holiday sides to round out your meal, try my favorite Sweet Potato Casserole, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Best Homemade Stuffing!
Storing and Reheating
Got leftovers? Lucky you! This dish is just as delicious the second day, and maybe even better! You can store it in the refrigerator for up to five days, sealed in an airtight container or zip-top bag. Or, just store the whole casserole dish, tightly wrapped with plastic wrap.
To reheat, I recommend baking the casserole again at 350°F until heated through. This will help crisp up the french fried onions. You could also use the microwave, which is easier but won’t get things crispy.
Can I Freeze Green Bean Casserole?
Yes! This casserole can be made in advance and frozen, or you can freeze the leftovers. Either way, make sure to cool it down first, wrap it well, and mark it with the date. It will keep in the freezer for 2 – 3 months. To reheat, bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 45 minutes.
More Holiday Side Dishes
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Dinner Potato Rolls Recipe
- Easy Sausage Stuffing
- Best Jiffy Corn Casserole
- Candied Carrots
- Easy Crockpot Ham
- Cheesy Creamed Green Beans
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
- 2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ⅓ cup heavy cream, or half and half
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cups French fried onions, divided
- Heat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place a pot of water over high heat and add a teaspoon of salt to the water. When the water comes to a rolling boil and the green beans and boil for 3 minutes.
- Drain the green beans and immediately run under cold water for 2 minutes to stop the cooking. Drain completely and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.
- Cook the bacon for 4 minutes over medium high heat, then remove and set aside, leaving the bacon grease in the pan.
- Add the butter to the grease and cook the onion and garlic for 4 minutes, stirring often.
- Stir in the flour and cook for another minute. Then whisk in the milk, broth and soy sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Then stir in the heavy cream, cooked bacon, and mix in 1 cup of cheddar cheese and the Monterey jack cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.
- Add the green beans and 1 cup of the french fried onions and fold gently to combine.
- Pour the green bean mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Evenly top the casserole with the remaining cheddar cheese and then sprinkle the remaining cup of french fried onions over the top.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the onions are lightly browned. Let rest for 5 minutes and then serve.
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