Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

Green Bean Casserole FROM SCRATCH! A remake of the classic Thanksgiving side dish made with fresh green beans and no canned ingredients. | browneyedbaker.com

Green Bean Casserole FROM SCRATCH! A remake of the classic Thanksgiving side dish made with fresh green beans, a homemade cream of mushroom soup, and a topping made with fresh bread and butter, along with some canned French’s fried onions because, let’s be honest, they’re delicious (but don’t worry, there are instructions for making THOSE from scratch, too, if you’d like!).

A pan of green bean casserole with a corner scooped out.

Let’s talk about the iconic Thanksgiving staple straight out of the 80’s… the green bean casserole. It’s a classic, and it just screams Thanksgiving, right?! I’ve had it dozens of times, but I feel like we can do better than canned green beans and canned soup, right? We can take something good and make it absolutely phenomenal; something that guests will be talking about days later.

This recipe puts a wonderful homemade spin on the original, which means lots of fresh green beans, a replacement for condensed soup, and homemade bread crumbs (but don’t worry, we’ve kept the crispy fried onions on top!).

Green bean casserole assembled in a baking dish ready to be baked.

How to Make Green Bean Casserole

We’ve already discussed how this casserole is different from its not-so-homemade cousin, but let’s break it down so you know how exactly to make the BEST green bean casserole your Thanksgiving table has ever seen!

  • First, we start with fresh green beans. They are boiled for a short amount of time to get them slightly tender, then plunged into ice water so they don’t overcook and become mushy. Then they’re spread out on paper towels to drain.
  • Next, we make a homemade cream of mushroom soup. White button mushrooms are broken into rough pieces (love this rustic touch!) and sautéed with garlic in butter, then flour is stirred in to start the roux, and chicken broth and heavy cream are stirred in, and the sauce is cooked down and thickened.
  • The green beans are stirred into the cream sauce and poured into a baking dish.
  • Time for the topping! Fresh white bread is pulsed together with softened butter, salt and pepper in a food processor, then tossed with the ever-popular French’s fried onions. (If you would rather make your own onions for the topping, I’ve included instructions on how to do that in the notes, too!)
  • Sprinkle the topping over the green beans and mushroom cream sauce and bake until golden brown and bubbling, then DIG IN!

Fresh green beans boiled and draining on paper towels.

Sauteed mushrooms and onions in a large pot.

Green Bean Casserole Recipe Notes

  • To Prepare Ahead of Time: Store the bread crumb topping in an airtight container in the refrigerator and combine with the onions just before cooking. Combine the beans and cooled sauce in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and heat the casserole in a 425-degree oven for 10 minutes, then add the topping and bake as directed.
  • To Halve the Recipe: This recipe can be halved and baked in a 2-quart (or 8-inch square) baking dish. If making a half batch, reduce the cooking time of the sauce in Step 3 to about 6 minutes (1¾ cups) and the baking time in Step 4 to 10 minutes.
  • To Make Homemade Onions for Topping: If you want to go 100% homemade and eliminate the canned fried onions, you can make your own caramelized onions. Thinly slice 2 sweet onions and sauté in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the onions are golden, caramelized and soft. Set aside to cool before combining with remainder of crumb topping. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
  • To Add Bacon and Cheese: To take this casserole up another notch, cook and crumble 8 ounces of bacon and stir it into the mushroom cream sauce along with the green beans. For a cheesy version, add 6 ounces of shredded cheese (choose a favorite – cheddar would be great, but you could use Monterey Jack, pepper jack, Swiss, gouda, or any combination!) to the mushroom cream sauce before stirring in the green beans; or you could add half of the cheese to the sauce and toss the other half with the topping.

Green beans in a pot of homemade mushroom sauce.

Fresh bread mixed with butter and canned fried onions.

Truthfully, I have never been a green bean fan. The thing is, though – I’ve always WANTED to be. They remind me of my grandfather and his huge, impeccably cared for garden, and seeing my grandma sitting on her kitchen stool at the sink, trimming freshly-picked green beans.

So, for me to say that I really enjoyed this green bean casserole is a massive, massive endorsement. I have tried the old classic version at countless holiday tables, and let’s just say that version was no help in my quest to enjoy green beans.

This green bean casserole from scratch, however? It’s a beauty. I actually ate green beans. Like, forkful after forkful. Talk about a breakthrough! It’s amazing what a difference fresh, from scratch, and homemade can do to a dish.

If You Like This Green Bean Casserole, Try These Recipes:

Green bean casserole fresh from the oven.

Five years ago: Sausage Cornbread Stuffing
Six years ago: Cranberry Ice Cream Pie

Watch How to Make Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

Servings 10 to 12 servings
Prep 40 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 1 hour
Course:Side Dish
Cuisine:American
Author: Michelle
Green Bean Casserole FROM SCRATCH! A remake of the classic Thanksgiving side dish made with fresh green beans and no canned ingredients.

Ingredients:

For the Topping

  • 4
    slices
    white bread
    (each slice torn into quarters)
  • 2
    tablespoons
    unsalted butter
    (softened)
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    salt
  • teaspoon
    ground black pepper
  • 6
    oz
    canned fried onions

For the Beans and Sauce

  • 2
    tablespoons
    salt
    (for cooking water)
  • 2
    pounds
    green beans
    (ends trimmed, and halved)
  • 3
    tablespoons
    unsalted butter
  • 1
    pound
    white button mushrooms
    (stems removed, wiped clean and broken into ½-inch pieces)
  • 3
    cloves
    garlic
    (minced)
  • ¾
    teaspoon
    salt
  • teaspoon
    ground black pepper
  • 3
    tablespoons
    all-purpose flour
  • cups
    chicken broth
  • cups
    heavy cream

Directions:

  1. For the Topping: Pulse bread, butter, salt and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with onions; set aside.
  2. For the Beans and Sauce: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 2 tablespoons salt and beans. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain beans in colander and plunge immediately into ice water to stop cooking. Spread beans on paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
  3. Add butter to now-empty pot and melt over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook until mushrooms release moisture and liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Add cream, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced to 3½ cups, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in an even layer in 3-quart (or 9x13-inch) baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5.  

Recipe Notes:

  • To Prepare Ahead of Time: Store the bread crumb topping in an airtight container in the refrigerator and combine with the onions just before cooking. Combine the beans and cooled sauce in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and heat the casserole in a 425-degree oven for 10 minutes, then add the topping and bake as directed.
  • To Halve the Recipe: This recipe can be halved and baked in a 2-quart (or 8-inch square) baking dish. If making a half batch, reduce the cooking time of the sauce in Step 3 to about 6 minutes (1¾ cups) and the baking time in Step 4 to 10 minutes.
  • To Make Homemade Onions for Topping: If you want to go 100% homemade and eliminate the canned fried onions, you can make your own caramelized onions. Thinly slice 2 sweet onions and sauté in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the onions are golden, caramelized and soft. Set aside to cool before combining with remainder of crumb topping. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
  • To Add Bacon and Cheese: To take this casserole up another notch, cook and crumble 8 ounces of bacon and stir it into the mushroom cream sauce along with the green beans. For a cheesy version, add 6 ounces of shredded cheese (choose a favorite - cheddar would be great, but you could use Monterey Jack, pepper jack, Swiss, gouda, or any combination!) to the mushroom cream sauce before stirring in the green beans; or you could add half of the cheese to the sauce and toss the other half with the topping.
Nutritional values are based on one serving
  •  

Nutrition:

Calories: 296kcal
Fat: 23g
Saturated fat: 12g
Cholesterol: 53mg
Sodium: 1124mg
Potassium: 338mg
Carbohydrates: 19g
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 4g
Vitamin A: 1105%
Vitamin C: 12.5%
Calcium: 74%
Iron: 1.4%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

This recipe was originally published in November 2010, updated with new photos in November 2016, then refreshed in November 2018 with more new photos, a video, and extensive recipe tips.

[photos by The Almond Eater]