Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Bake Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
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This easy cheesy green bean casserole recipe is a twist on the classic that is sure to be a new family favorite! We skip the mushrooms and add bacon to the tender green beans smothered in a homemade cheesy sauce. Topped with crispy fried onions, this holiday side dish will quickly disappear!

Why You’ll Love This Ultra Cheesy Green Bean Casserole Recipe

The homemade cheese sauce will win over even the most reluctant veggie skeptics!

  • Flavorful: The combination of creamy, cheesy sauce, tender green beans and bites of salty bacon creates a comforting dish. The crispy fried onions on top make it perfect for any occasion, but especially the holidays!
  • Easy: This cheesy green bean casserole whips up quickly and can be prepped ahead of time! Just pull it out of the fridge and pop it into the oven before your guests arrive.
  • From-Scratch Flavor: You won’t find any canned cream of mushroom soup here! You’ll throw together a quick, homemade cheese sauce instead.
  • Family Favorite: Everyone adores this cheesy version! We skip the mushrooms, add crispy bacon, and lots of creamy cheese sauce.

If you prefer the classic version made with canned cream of mushroom soup, try my easy green bean casserole. I also have great recipes for the best green bean casserole made from scratch or this travel friendly crockpot green bean casserole.

Bowls of ingredients for cheesy green bean casserole recipe arranged in bowls and on plates.

What You’ll Need

What goes into this easy, cheesy green bean casserole recipe? Let’s take a closer look at those ingredients. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Green Beans: Choose the freshest green beans, with the ends trimmed.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Bacon: Chopped into small pieces.
  • Butter
  • Onion: I used a sweet yellow onion, but a white onion will also work well.
  • Garlic: Mince or press fresh garlic cloves.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour makes a quick roux for our cheese sauce.
  • Milk and Cream: Whole milk and heavy cream make the casserole rich and creamy.
  • Chicken Broth: You can also substitute vegetable broth.
  • Soy Sauce: You could substitute coconut aminos or tamari if you like.
  • Cheese: I use shredded cheddar cheese, with a little Monterey Jack.
  • French Fried Onions: We love the canned variety for their unbeatable texture.
Close-up shot of a green bean casserole with cheese, bacon and crispy fried onions on top in a glass baking dish.

How to Make Green Bean Casserole With Cheese

There are two parts to this dish, the cheese sauce and then assembling and baking the casserole. For full detailed directions see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Blanch: Cook the green beans in boiling water just until beans turn bright green. Immediately rinse beans with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Sauté: Fry the chopped bacon in a skillet until crisp and remove. Cook the onion and garlic in the same skillet with the bacon grease.
  • Cheese Sauce: Add the flour to the skillet to make a roux. Then slowly whisk in the liquid ingredients and add some of the shredded cheese.
  • Assemble: Combine the green beans, cheese sauce, cooked bacon, and some of the cheese and fried onions. Transfer to a casserole baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and fried onions.
  • Bake: Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden brown. Enjoy!
Overhead shot of cheesy green bean casserole topped with bacon and crispy fried onions in a glass baking dish.

Cook’s Notes

This easy casserole just got even better! Read on for a few tips, tricks, and variations:

  • Mix-Ins: Add in sautéed mushrooms, chopped pimientos, or slivered almonds on top to add more variety and crunch.
  • Fresh, Frozen, or Canned: Fresh green beans work beautifully, but frozen green beans make a good substitute. Canned green beans create a softer, somewhat mushy finished dish.
  • Feeling Cheesy? Try a different melting cheese such as colby-jack, mozzarella, gruyere or fontina. If using a milder variety, add a 1/2 teaspoon of prepared or ground mustard to the sauce. For a smoky flavor, try using a smoked cheese!
Green bean casserole with cheese and bacon in a bowl with a fork.

What to Serve with Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

You can serve this green bean casserole recipe with cheese along with your favorite main courses. It is great as a holiday or Thanksgiving side dish, served with the following:

Lifting a forkful of cheesy green bean casserole toward the camera.

Make Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Just like the original, this cheesy green bean casserole recipe stores great for leftovers!

  • Prepare Ahead: Prepare up to 2 days in advance, but do not add the crispy onions until ready to bake. Tightly cover the casserole and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze the whole casserole for up to 3 months. Transfer frozen casserole to fridge and thaw completely, then top with fried onions and bake as directed.
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in fridge for up to five days. Sealed it tightly in an airtight container or tightly cover the original casserole dish in plastic wrap.
  • Reheat: Bake the casserole again at 350°F until heated through for about 20 minutes. This will help crisp up the French fried onions. You could also use the microwave individual portions, and sprinkle on extra fried onion topping for texture.
Cheesy green bean casserole topped with french fried onions.
5 from 3 votes
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Yield: 8 servings

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Tender green beans and crispy bacon are coated in an easy homemade cheesy sauce to create this Cheesy Green Bean Casserole. Topped with crispy fried onions, this holiday side dish will quickly become a new family favorite!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Bake Time25 minutes
Total Time55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Storage: Store 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.
Reheat: 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.
Freeze: 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 up to 3 months. To reheat, bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 45 minutes.
Make Ahead: This dish can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake. I like to wait to add the French fried onions on top, until right before I bake the casserole, so they do not get soggy. You can also freeze, then bake for 45 minutes from frozen.
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. For a smoky flavor, try using a smoked cheese!
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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 412kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 1024mg, Potassium: 417mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 1431IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 335mg, Iron: 2mg

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.