Best Green Bean Casserole

  Steaming Boil

This easy Green Bean Casserole recipe is made 100% from scratch with lightened-up ingredients, including a delicious creamy green bean filling and crispy onion topping. It’s also easy to make ahead and always a crowd fave.

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Move over, canned creamy soup, frozen green beans, and packaged fried onions.

This modern homemade green bean casserole recipe is made entirely from scratch and tastes a million times better than the retro casserole full of processed ingredients. And it is my hands-down fave. ♡♡♡

For too many years, I always passed on the green bean casserole at Thanksgiving because it was so mushy, bland and boring. But as it turns out, when homemade green bean casserole is well-seasoned and made with better ingredients, it comes to life and tastes SO fresh and flavorful. And it’s still quite simple to make!

Instead of soggy frozen green beans, fresh green beans are the star of the show here, which are ever-so-briefly cooked in order to preserve their crisp texture and bright flavor. Instead of canned cream of mushroom soup, fresh mushrooms are sautéed and folded into a lightened-up creamy Alfredo sauce. And instead of dry, packaged, palm-oil-fried onions, fresh red onion is sautéed with crispy panko breadcrumbs, which toast to golden perfection as the casserole bakes.

Together, all of these ingredients combine to make a casserole that is legit delicious and anything but boring. I make it every Thanksgiving, and friends and family all agree that it’s the best!

 

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE RECIPE | 1-MINUTE VIDEO

Trimmed Green Beans

BEST GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS

Alright, so before we get to the full recipe below, let’s talk for a sec about about the best green bean casserole ingredients. The three components for this recipe include…

  • Green beans: I really recommend using fresh green beans (vs frozen) for optimal crispiness, cut into bite-sized pieces with the ends trimmed off and discarded.
  • Crispy onion topping: By contrast to the retro French’s green bean casserole recipe, we will make our French “fried” onion topping here from scratch. All you need are some very thinly-sliced onions (red, white or yellow — up to you), Panko breadcrumbs (which we will briefly sauté to make them extra crispy), Parmesan cheese, butter and salt.
  • Mushroom Alfredo sauce: Made with fresh baby bella mushrooms (or your favorite kind of mushrooms), lots of garlic, butter, flour, stock, milk, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

How To Make Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE TIPS

Full instructions are included in the recipe below for how to make green bean casserole, but here are a few key tips to remember:

  • Don’t overcook the green beans: Remember when you are blanching the green beans that they will continue to cook and soften while baking in the oven with the rest of the casserole. So it’s important to undercook them slightly during this first step so that they don’t get mushy in the oven. (I like my beans pretty crispy so I usually boil mine for about 2 minutes.)
  • Pre-toast the breadcrumbs: In order for the Panko breadcrumbs to get extra crispy and golden, it helps to sauté them briefly in a bit of butter before baking them in the oven.
  • Very thinly slice the red onion: I also recommend slicing the onion as thinly as possible so that it can crisp up well in the oven.
  • Feel free to make the casserole ahead of time: If you would like to prep the casserole ahead of time (very helpful for Thanksgiving), just follow the recipe instructions through the end of Step 5. Then instead of placing the baking dish in the oven, cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Once you are ready to bake the casserole, uncover and bake as directed.

Easy Green Bean Casserole Recipe in Pan

OPTIONAL VARIATIONS

There are many different ways that you can customize this fresh green bean casserole recipe to your liking. For example, feel free to…

  • Make it gluten-free. To make gluten-free green bean casserole, be sure to use certified gluten-free panko breadcrumbs. And in place of the all-purpose flour, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
  • Make it vegan. To make vegan green bean casserole, use olive oil or vegan butter (in place of butter) and plain plant-based milk (instead of cow’s milk). Then you can either omit the Parmesan altogether, sub vegan cheese in its place, or sprinkle in some nutritional yeast to taste.
  • Add bacon. I mean, I’m never going to turn down a green bean casserole with bacon. 😉  Feel free to dice and fry up some bacon to add to this casserole if you would like. And for extra flavor, use the leftover bacon grease to sauté the onions and mushrooms.
  • Add in extra cheese. To make extra cheesy green bean casserole, feel free to stir some cheese (such as smoked gouda, cheddar, feta, blue or goat cheese) into the green bean filling.
  • Add Cajun seasoning. I also really love adding in a few teaspoons of Cajun seasoning (or Old Bay seasoning) to the Alfredo sauce too. It adds a nice extra kick, and pairs well with all of the other flavors in this casserole.
  • Add some heat. Want to add a little heat to this casserole? I love adding a finely-diced jalapeño to the onion topping. Or you can just sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes into the mushroom sauce.

Many of you have also asked in the past for a CrockPot green bean casserole recipe. And unfortunately, I just don’t think that this one translates very well to the slow cooker. (The cream sauce needs to be cooked on the stove, and the onion topping really needs to be crisped up in the oven.)  So I vote go the traditional route with this one.

Best Green Bean Casserole on Serving Plate