Green Bean Casserole

$8.85 recipe / $1.48 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.91 from 32 votes
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Green Bean Casserole is a Thanksgiving classic. That creamy mushroom sauce, tender green beans, and fried onion topping are a match made in heaven. But a lot of green bean casserole recipes use shortcuts like condensed soup, which I’ve never really been a fan of. So, of course, I had to make my own deliciously rich green bean casserole from scratch! No mushy green beans or tinny canned flavor here! …But I did make an exception for those crispy fried onions. They’re still my fav. ;)

Close up of green bean casserole from above with a spoon scooping it out.

Want more Thanksgiving classics? Check out our Thanksgiving Recipes category.

Ingredients for Green Bean Casserole

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own homemade green bean casserole (with no canned condensed soup):

  • Mushrooms: Instead of using a can of cream of mushroom soup to make the creamy base for this casserole, we’re making it from scratch! So you’ll need some mushrooms. Button mushrooms are great, but baby bellas are even better if you have them available.
  • Garlic: Garlic flavors the creamy sauce making sure every bite is delicious! I used a double-dose with both fresh garlic and garlic powder for this recipe.
  • Flour and Butter: To thicken the homemade mushroom sauce we use a simple butter and flour roux. The butter also makes sure the sauce is super rich and delicious.
  • Vegetable Broth and Milk: Combining broth and milk makes a sauce that is both flavorful and creamy. We use Better Than Bouillon to make our broth because it has tons of flavor and salt to help season the sauce.
  • Cream Cheese: Adding cream cheese to the sauce makes it extra creamy and helps stabilize it for baking so the sauce doesn’t separate or curdle.
  • Green Beans: I used frozen green beans for convenience, but you can use fresh if you prefer. If using fresh, I suggest steaming them first to make sure they cook through and are tender once the casserole is baked. I used French cut green beans because I like the way they combine with the sauce so you get a really nice bean to sauce ratio in every bite.
  • Fried Onions: Crispy fried onions add TONS of flavor and texture to this casserole. We stir them into the green beans for flavor and top the casserole with more for added crispy texture.
  • Salt and Pepper: A little salt and pepper always helps make the flavors POP. ;)

Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Green Beans?

For a really stellar green bean casserole, I suggest using either fresh or frozen green beans. Canned green beans tend to be too mushy and their flavors are a bit muddy. Frozen green beans are definitely the most convenient because they’re already prepped, chopped, and partially cooked. I prefer French-cut because they mix well with the sauce for an optimal bean-to-sauce ratio.

Fresh green beans taste amazing but do require a bit more prep. You’ll need to wash, snap off the stems, chop them, and boil or steam them before adding to the casserole. Boil or steam the green beans for 3-5 minutes just to take the raw edge off, then drain and add to the casserole.

What Else Can Be Added to Green Bean Casserole

The classic version of green bean casserole is great, but if you want to make it a little more fancy, here are some fun toppings or add-ins to make it a little different:

  • Bacon (mix in or sprinkle on top)
  • Cheddar Cheese (on top)
  • Buttered Breadcrumbs (in place of the fried onions)
  • Crushed Potato Chips (in place of the fried onions)
  • Parmesan Cheese (in the sauce or sprinkled on top)

Can It Be Made Ahead?

This Green Bean Casserole can be prepared one day ahead of time (minus the onion topping), refrigerated, then the next day you can top with the onions and bake. The baking time may be slightly longer when preparing ahead since the dish will be chilled instead of going into the oven warm.

Overhead view of baked green bean casserole in the baking dish.
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Green Bean Casserole

4.91 from 32 votes
This Green Bean Casserole recipe is a Thanksgiving classic made with a creamy mushroom sauce, tender green beans, and crispy fried onions.
Super close up overhead shot of green bean casserole being scooped out of the baking dish.
Servings 6 (about ¾ cup each)
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. mushrooms ($1.89)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided ($0.04)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, divided ($0.02)
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter ($0.50)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour ($0.04)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth ($0.17)
  • 1 cup whole milk ($0.48)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese ($0.87)
  • 24 oz. frozen French-cut green beans ($3.38)
  • 1 cup crispy fried onions, divided ($1.16)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Roughly chop the mushrooms into small pieces. Mince the garlic.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté the mushrooms until soft, then add the minced garlic and continue to sauté until the liquid in the skillet evaporates.
  • Add the butter and flour to the skillet. Stir to melt the butter and allow the butter and flour to create a paste that coats the bottom of the skillet. Continue to stir and cook over medium for one to two minutes, or until the flour begins to turn golden on the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the vegetable broth, milk, and garlic powder to the skillet. Whisk to combine and dissolve any browned flour off of the bottom of the skillet. Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken.
  • Add the cream cheese to the skillet and whisk over medium heat until the cream cheese has fully melted into the sauce.
  • Add the frozen green beans to the sauce and stir to combine. Continue to heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until the green beans have heated through and the sauce comes up to a gentle simmer. Let the green beans simmer for a few minutes. Give them a taste and add salt and pepper to your liking (I added about ½ tsp salt and another tsp pepper).
  • Stir ¼ cup of crispy fried onions into the green bean mixture. Pour the green beans into a 2-quart casserole dish and top with the remaining ¾ cup crispy fried onions.
  • Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes, or until the fried onions have turned deep golden brown and the sauce is bubbling up around the edges.

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Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cupCalories: 303kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 6gFat: 23gSodium: 669mgFiber: 4g
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Green bean casserole dished out into a bowl with a fork.

How to Make Green Bean Casserole

Cooked mushrooms in a skillet.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Wash 8oz. button mushrooms and roughly chop them into small pieces. Mince two cloves of garlic. Heat a large skillet over medium, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper to the skillet and sauté until the mushrooms become soft. Add the minced garlic and continue to sautè until all of the moisture in the skillet evaporates.

Butter and flour added to the skillet with the mushrooms.

Add 4 Tbsp butter and ¼ cup all-purpose flour to the skillet. Continue to sauté the mushrooms with the butter and flour until the flour begins to coat the bottom of the skillet and turn golden brown. This toasts the flour and prevents that floury flavor.

Milk and broth being poured into the skillet.

Whisk 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 cup milk, and ⅛ tsp garlic powder into the skillet, making sure to dissolve all of the flour off the bottom of the skillet as you whisk. Allow the liquid to come up to a simmer while whisking, at which point it will thicken.

Cream cheese chunks added to the sauce in the skillet.

Cut the cream cheese into chunks, add it to the sauce, and whisk until it has fully melted in.

Green beans being poured into the sauce.

Add 24oz. French-cut frozen green beans. Stir the green beans into the sauce and allow them to heat through and the sauce comes up to a gentle simmer. Allow them to simmer for 2-3 minutes. At this point, you want to taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper (I added about ½ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp pepper).

Friend onions added to the skillet.

Stir ¼ cup of crispy fried onions into the skillet.

Green bean casserole in transfered to a baking dish.

Transfer the green beans and sauce to a 2-quart casserole dish and top with ¾ cup of crispy fried onions.

Overhead view of baked green bean casserole in the baking dish.

Bake the casserole in the preheated 350ºF oven for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through and the fried onions have become golden brown.

Super close up overhead shot of green bean casserole being scooped out of the baking dish.
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  1. Just made this for Thanksgiving. My SIL said this was the best green bean casserole she has EVER had. 100% agree with her.

    I used rice flour, as I have Celiac Disease (need to eat gluten free.) Also used chicken broth, instead of vegetable broth, as I had some I needed to use up.

    I followed your recommendation in the post for using fresh green beans. Blanched them for 5 minutes before adding the cream sauce. Only change I would make – I wish I would have cut the fresh green beans in half to make it easier to serve.

    Baked it covered with foil for 25 minutes, and then uncovered for 7 to crisp up the topping.

    Absolutely wonderful and will make again.

      1. As an update – This recipe DOES double well. I made it for a large gathering in a 9 x 13 baking dish. The only thing I changed – I put half the green bean mixture in the pan then sprinkled some Mexican shred cheese blend on top along with the fried onions, then repeated with the remaining beans, onions and cheese. They loved it!

  2. This recipe is a keeper. I’ve been making it for Thanksgiving for several years now. I didn’t grow up eating green bean casserole & was so happy to have found a fresh version made from scratch (the canned thing grosses me out). I use fresh green beans & yes it takes forever to snap the stems but there’s a certain pleasure that comes from it too. I don’t precook them either as I like the crunch factor. This dish is now a staple at Thanksgiving.

  3. Hi! Going to try this recipe out for Thanksgiving 2023 but wondering; Can I substitute the cream cheese for Heavy whipping cream? If so, does that mean I do not add the milk or still add the milk?
    Thank you for the awesome recipe! xoxo

    1. Unfortunately, I’d need to test that substitution before offering a suggestion because the two ingredients are very different in both texture and flavor.

    1. From the post: Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Green Beans?

      I really like Green Bean Casserole with fresh green beans because I think it the dish at least a little prettier, but you can use frozen cut or French-cut green beans if you’d like. Both fresh and frozen green beans are preferable to canned green beans. Canned green beans tend to be much too soft in both texture and flavor, and over-salted. If using fresh green beans, just blanch them in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes, or just until they turn bright green and lose their raw edge (they should still be firm), before adding them to the casserole.

    2. Fresh green beans, baby bella mushrooms, an extra garlic clove, and a little extra better than bouillon and this dish was a hit at Friendsgiving! Simple but delicious

  4. Superb! I made it exactly except subbed 1/2 c plant based whipping cream and 1/2 c almond milk for whole milk and plant based butter (I did use dairy cream cheese but hopefully there’s an affordable alternative soon). Turned out amazing. Yet again, my husband enjoyed the Budget Bytes version of a good he normally dislikes!

  5. Outstanding, Beth. Thank you so much for this recipe. It was easy to make and so delicious. This will be my go to recipe from now on.

    A little tip if you don’t like mushy green bean casserole, use Aldi’s extra fine frozen green beans. They stay a little crisp after baking and so do the leftovers reheated the next day. I used a bag plus 4 ounces to equal 20 ounces.

  6. Green Bean Casserole is delicious and it’s the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving. It’s simple to prepare and I’m looking forward to enjoying leftovers. Thank you, Beth!!!! 🙂

  7. My family loved it for Thanksgiving. I prepped it the night before and it turned out lovely. Thanks!

  8. OMG! Just made this for Thanksgiving. I’m never going back to canned soup again! Layers of flavor. Sooo good!

  9. I have never made green bean casserole before and this year it was my dish. This is so good! I know this was probably written before the New Mushroom better (4 tsp to cup of water )than bouillon but I used it instead of vegetable and it is so mushroom flavor. I can not thank you enough for such a great recipe! No more can for me and goes for other dishes that ask for it. So easy why not make your own!

    1. Yes. Just read the paragraph titled “CAN THIS BE MADE AHEAD”.