The Best Green Bean Casserole

Prep 25 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 45 mins
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Green Bean Casserole, made from scratch, is a classic holiday side dish! Fresh green beans are tossed in a homemade cream of mushroom soup and then topped with crispy French’s fried onions.

Best Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

This green bean casserole is one of my family’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes. If you read all the 5-star reviews below, you’ll find that this is also a reader favorite as well! I make it every year and our holiday table just wouldn’t be the same without it. With all the fresh flavors, it beats out a casserole made with canned ingredients by 100 miles.

I don’t say this recipe is “THE BEST” lightly. So many people have made and loved this recipe, year after year, and have now added it to their must-make Thanksgiving side dishes line up!

However, if you are looking to save time, I also have a recipe for the classic Easy Green Bean Casserole made with canned ingredients. Or, save space in the oven with this Crockpot Green Bean Casserole!

99% Made from Scratch!

Aside from the French’s fried onions, this green bean casserole is made completely from scratch with fresh ingredients. Instead of canned ingredients, you whip up a homemade cream of mushroom soup. (This sounds more complicated than it is, I promise it’s super easy!) Then we toss tender, freshly cooked green beans in the cream of mushroom sauce and finish it off with a thin layer of bread crumbs and crispy French’s fried onions.

I have tried making my own fried onions in the oven, but every time I try it, it’s a big waste of time. The onions are never as crispy and the flavor is just not the same. In my humble opinion, store-bought French fried onions cannot be replaced and are the best topper for this classic casserole!

Green beans in a bowl next to fried onions, mushrooms and chopped onions.

What You’ll Need

The ingredients are simple and make the best green bean casserole ever. Seriously! Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for specific amounts.

  • Fresh Green Beans: I love using fresh green beans because they have the most flavor and a bit more texture. If you can’t find fresh green beans, then frozen will do a pinch. I also have included directions in the recipe card (at the bottom of the post) to use canned green beans, if you prefer.
  • Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup: By making your own homemade cream of mushroom soup, the flavor instantly jumps to an insane new level. It’s easy, I promise! Check out the recipe card for how to make mushroom soup from scratch.
    • Butter: You could also use oil, if you prefer.
    • Onion: I recommend using a yellow onion for the slight sweetness they bring, but a white onion works fine too.
    • Garlic: Freshly minced garlic will add the most flavor.
    • Portobello Mushrooms: You can use large mushrooms that you chop, or sliced baby portobello mushrooms. I personally like to chop the mushrooms finely into small pieces. And if you do not like mushrooms, you can skip them completely and the gravy will still be delicious.
    • Seasonings: Salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
    • All Purpose Flour
    • Chicken Broth: Or you can also use vegetable broth to keep this dish vegetarian.
    • Half And Half: Heavy cream will also work! Many vegan readers have commented over the years that they have successfully used almond milk or oat milk in place of the half and half.
  • Breadcrumbs: I love to add a thin layer of breadcrumbs on top of the casserole before adding the crispy fried onions. The breadcrumbs are optional, but I think they add a little extra something special.
  • French’s Fried Onions: This is the only ingredient in this recipe that is not 100% homemade, but you just can’t beat the crispy onion topping in Green Bean Casserole. I have tried making these homemade many times and many different ways, but French’s Fried Onions really are the best ones.
Homemade cream of mushroom soup next to a bowl of green beans.

How To Make Green Bean Casserole

Wondering how to make this casserole? Here’s a quick recap. You literally make this casserole in 4 easy steps.

  1. Blanch the green beans: The first step is boiling the green beans in water until just starting to become tender, then  quickly cooling them down in ice water to stop the cooking process. This gives your green beans the perfect texture without becoming soft! However, if you personally prefer softer green beans, you can skip the ice step.
  2. Make the cream of mushroom soup: Sauté onions and garlic in butter till softened, then add mushrooms and salt and pepper. Sauté a few minutes more and add flour, stirring to combine. Add chicken broth and half and half and cook until thickened.
  3. Combine: Toss the blanched green beans in the mushroom sauce and transfer to a large casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and french fried onions.
  4. Bake: Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes, until bubbly.
Green beans tossed in homemade cream of mushroom soup

Tips for Success

Overall this is an incredibly easy recipe, but if you’re making it for a big holiday like Thanksgiving there is no room for error. You need the best green bean casserole, guaranteed! Here are some quick tips to make that happen:

  • Use fresh green beans. They have the best overall flavor and texture and make your green bean casserole a stand out on your Thanksgiving table. Aunt Sharon’s canned green bean casserole will pail in comparison to your show stopper!
  • Use homemade cream of mushroom soup. That might sound daunting, but I promise it’s very easy to do and makes the flavor out of this world delicious. It’s absolutely worth the extra 15 minutes of work.
  • Use French’s fried onions. Even if you are a die-hard make everything from scratch person! Trust me, those crispy friend onions are almost impossible to make at home without a serious amount of effort and that’s the last thing you need on Thanksgiving. We want easy and delicious!
  • What if you don’t like mushroom soup? If you aren’t a mushroom fan, you can double the onion in the mushroom soup recipe and make a cream of onion soup to use in your casserole. A lot of non-mushroom lovers do this and have left comments below on how delicious it still is! However, if it’s just a texture thing, chop the mushrooms extra finely and you won’t even know they are there! I personally don’t like big chunks of mushrooms (it’s a texture thing for me!), so I dice up my mushrooms fine!
Green bean casserole topped with crispy onions in a white 9x13 casserole dish

Recipe Variations

This recipe for Green Bean Casserole really is perfect just as it is. However, if you are looking for some ways to change it up this year, here are a few suggestions:

  • Nutmeg: Adding a pinch of ground nutmeg is a secret some chefs use in cream sauces to give them just a little added warmth. Freshly ground nutmeg will give the most flavor. I recommend using anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
  • Cheese: Some people love a cheesy green bean casserole! Add up to 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese to the green bean mixture. You can stir the cheese into the green beans or add the cheese on top of the casserole before baking. If adding the cheese on top, I recommend adding the shredded cheese on top of the casserole, then adding the bread crumbs and onions on top of the shredded cheese layer.
  • Bacon: Add some crispy bacon for a fun salty twist! You can add cooked and chopped bacon to the green bean mixture.
  • No Mushrooms: Not a fan of mushrooms? Skip them! Instead of mushrooms, double the onions in your sauce. You could also add diced celery.
A serving of green beans on a white plate with a fork.

What To Serve With Green Bean Casserole

This classic holiday side dish recipe is great with almost any main dish, like roast chicken or even meatloaf. But it really shines as part of a big holiday spread! Here are some of my best holiday recipes:

Green Bean Casserole topped with french fried onions

How Long to Cook Green Bean Casserole

This recipe only needs 20 minutes to bake. If you are planning to serve it for a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, then this quick baking side dish saves you tons of time. You can also make it a day or two before you plan on serving it!

Can You Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead Of Time?

Yes! This recipe is a wonderful make-ahead side dish and it also travels well! I usually prepare it a day or two before Thanksgiving to save me time on the actual holiday. Green bean casserole stores perfectly in the fridge for up to 48 hours before baking.

To prep this casserole ahead:

  • Complete all steps until it’s time to put the bread crumbs and french fried onions on top. Save those to be added fresh, so they do not get soggy.
  • Store the prepared casserole in the fridge, wrapped tightly with saran wrap or foil, for up to 48 hours before baking.
  • About 30 minutes (or up to an hour) before you’re ready to bake the green bean casserole, allow the casserole to sit at room temperature to warm up some. This helps keep the baking time short, but is also a safety step. If you take a glass casserole dish from a cold refrigerator and then move it directly to a hot oven, there is a chance it can shatter or crack!
  • Before baking, top casserole with the bread crumbs and the layer of french fried onions on top. Bake according to recipe directions!
Yield: 9x13 casserole

Easy Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Homemade from scratch green bean casserole being scooped out of a white casserole dish with a wooden spoon.

This Green Bean Casserole is made from scratch with fresh green beans and homemade cream of mushroom soup! It's easy and delicious!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or heavy cream)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 10 oz French Fried Onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish, set aside.
  2. Blanch the beans: In a large pot, bring about a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Add the green beans and boil for 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  3. Canned Green Beans: If using canned green beans instead, drain green beans completely and set aside.
  4. Melt butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine. Then add the half and half and simmer until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in all of the green beans. Transfer green bean mixture to prepared casserole dish.
  7. Top with the bread crumbs and then layer the french fried onions on top. Place casserole in the oven and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. If your onions start to brown too quickly, cover the casserole with foil. Serve immediately!

Notes

PREP AHEAD DIRECTIONS: You can prepare the casserole up to 48 hours ahead of time. STOP at step 7 in the directions above. Do not top casserole with the bread crumbs and french fired onions. Instead, wrap cooled casserole tightly with foil, or saran wrap, and store in refrigerator.

When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and let casserole rest at room temperature for 30 minutes (or up to 1 hour) before baking. Then continue on with the recipe directions from step 7.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8 servings

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 2188mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g

Categories

More Delicious Green Bean Recipes

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Comments

639 Responses
  1. Rein

    Used this recipe and it’s waaaay better than what’s on the french’s fried onion container. Im not a fan of the texture of mushrooms, so I chopped my mushrooms very fine and used an immersion blender on the soup before mixing in the green beans. I moved the soup mixture from a skillet to a pot to do so. Can’t wait to make this again in the future!

  2. Sarah

    My hubby hates green beans and he went back for seconds of this – did the mushroom free recommendation with fresh green beans and omitted the bread crumbs. Delicious! Thank you!

  3. Alex

    Absolutely delicious! The only thing I added was a hint of fresh nutmeg which made it perfect! (German grandma always taught us to add nutmeg to white cream sauces and it never disappoints.) I’ve been trying to find a good homemade substitute to the can stuff and this is AMAZING!

  4. Crystal

    I have made this a few years in a row on thanksgiving and my family absolutely loves it. It really is the best! I am trying to think of ways to free up the oven, would this recipe be possible in the slow cooker?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hmm. You may be able to keep it warm in the slow cooker, I just worry the topping wouldn’t be as good in the slow cooker.

  5. Alicia

    I’ve never posted a comment on a blog before but I feel obligated to do so for this recipe because it is absolutely incredible! I searched for green bean casserole as a new dish to try 4 years ago and have used this one ever since. I’ve even pushed out the “queen” of green bean casserole in our family because this recipe just blows it out of the water. Thank you so much for sharing! I highly recommend!

  6. Chrissie

    Can you blanch the green beans and make the cream of mushroom the day before then assemble it the next day if u dont have room for a big casserole dish in the fridge?

  7. Zaina

    I’ve made this twice and everyone loved it. It’s sooo good and easy to make. Definitely worth doing it from scratch with fresh ingredients. My question to you is, where is your beautiful white casserole dish from? Thank you for the wonderful recipe

  8. Monica

    I LOVE the pan you used for cooking the mushroom mixture in! Can you tell me what pan it is? Or share a link? Thanks!

  9. Lina Paul

    I can say that one of the best blogs that I have read from a long time. Lots of Love keep posting amazing stuff like this!!

  10. Kym Potesta

    This is such a game changer for the holidays. I’ve been making this for the past 3 holiday seasons. I now get requests to make this. Thank you for putting this together.

  11. Edwina

    I made this dish ahead and it worked perfectly on the day. It was such a good texture. Just enough crunch but loads of flavor too. My kids loved it too. Actually my whole family loved it. I’ll be making this again soon, even without a special reason. We just want more of it. It’s such a great recipe for green bean casserole, it’s worth using the fresh beans. I think they really make the difference.

    1. Sara Keet

      “I made this dish ahead and it worked perfectly on the day. It was such a good texture. Just enough crunch but loads of flavor too. My kids loved it too. Actually my whole family loved it. I’ll be making this again soon, even without a special reason. We just want more of it. It’s such a great recipe for green bean casserole, it’s worth using the fresh beans. I think they really make the difference.”

  12. Ron Fisher

    I will never use canned cream of mushroom soup again!! This is the first Thanksgiving dinner ever that there wasn’t a huge bowl of leftover green bean casserole. People were all over it like junkyard dogs! Thank you!

  13. Shannon

    I made this for the first time last Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit!!! I loved it and it is now a part of our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you so very much!!!

  14. Anne French

    This recipe is absolutely fabulous!!! I’ve made it several times and it’s extremely popular. Thank you for sharing:)
    This year I’m short on oven space. I know it wouldn’t crisp on top, but I’m wondering if you think I could make it ahead and heat it back up in a crockpot? If so, any idea how long and high you’d put it in a crockpot?
    Thank you again!

      1. Manny

        Hello! This looks great! But I’m wondering if you have a non dairy substitute for the half and half. My son is allergic to milk and I’m hoping to make this for him to have as well!

  15. Glenda

    The Campbell’s classics recipe adds the French’s fried onions in the green bean mixture as well as topping it at the end. Any comments regarding adding the French’s fried onions in the mixture as well? Thank!

  16. Heather

    I made this version last year and everyone raves about it. My daughter has decreed I can only do from scratch from now on. No more cans of soup or green beans involved if I make it. 

  17. Chrissy

    Hello! I’ve made this recipe the last couple years and we love it! We are having a friends giving this weekend while(glamping in our trailers) and I’m wondering if making it a few day’s ahead will be okay? No bread crumbs or onions. Just the beans and cream of mushroom. Thanks for the awesome recipe! 

  18. John

    Make this every year. Just came to grab the ingredients again for our early friendsgiving potluck next week. Wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe!

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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.
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