The Best Green Bean Casserole starts with fresh green beans, homemade mushroom cream sauce, and a crunchy bread crumb-fried onion topping.
I completely respect the desire to recreate foods The Way Mom Made Them, even if it means using mushy canned beans and canned cream soup. Sometimes you just want to taste nostalgia.
For the rest of the time, though, know that you can up the ante on all your favorite dishes and make them even better than you remember.
For your next Green Bean Casserole, may I suggest: Fresh green beans, fresh mushroom cream sauce, and an extra special crunchy onion topping.
How Long Do You Blanch Green Beans For Green Bean Casserole?
Blanch the fresh green beans for 6 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Then, immediately plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking and set their bright green color.
Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
Now that you’ve bypassed the canned beans, it’s easy to bypass the canned Cream of Mushroom soup.
Saute fresh mushrooms in butter and garlic until they’ve released their liquid. Then, whisk in flour until cooked and chicken broth. Finally, stir in cream and simmer until thickened.
After you’ve stirred in your blanched green beans, pour everything in to a baking dish. Top with a mixture of buttery bread crumbs and crunchy french fried onions.
How Long Do You Cook a Green Bean Casserole?
Baking for 15 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. It doesn’t take too long since the sauce is already hot.
Looking for a slow cooker version? Find my Crockpot Green Bean Casserole here (it uses frozen green beans).
The Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe
For the topping:
- 4 slices white sandwich bread torn into quarters
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups canned fried onions (about 6 ounces)
For the casserole:
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds green beans ends trimmed, halved
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound white button mushrooms wiped clean and sliced or broken into pieces
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
To make the topping:
- In a food processor or blender, pulse bread, butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until coarse crumbs form (about 10 pulses). Transfer to a large bowl. Add onions and toss to combine.
To make the casserole:
- Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, bring 4 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt to boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
- Add green beans and cook until bright green and tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain in colander and immediately transfer to ice water. Spread on paper towels to dry.
- To the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add mushrooms, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in flour and cook for one minute. Whisk in broth, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
- Reduce heat to medium. Whisk in cream and simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the green beans to the pot with the mushroom sauce and toss until evenly coated. Pour into a 3-quart or 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with topping.
- Bake until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
- The bread crumb topping can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Combine with fried onions just before baking.
- The beans and sauce can be cooled and stored in a baking dish, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator up to 24 hours in advance. Heat the casserole for 10 minutes in a 425-degree oven before adding the topping, then bake as directed.
- To make half a batch, prepare in a 2-quart or 8-inch square baking dish. Reduce the sauce cooking time to about 6 minutes for 1 3/4 cups. Reduce the baking time to 10 minutes in Step 4.
- Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, November & December 2006 issue.