Green Bean Casserole

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For the best Green Bean Casserole, make a simple homemade creamy mushroom sauce and a crunchy topping with both fried onions and bread crumbs.

An overhead shot of green bean casserole in a baking dish.


 

I completely respect the desire to recreate Thanksgiving recipes “the way mom made them” even if it means using canned beans and canned Campbell’s cream soup. Sometimes you just want to taste nostalgia.

The rest of the time, you can up the ante on all your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes and make them even better than you remember. Green bean casserole is the perfect candidate.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for green bean casserole.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Butter: Salted or unsalted butter? Use what you have on hand. To soften butter in the microwave, cut each stick of butter in half, unwrap, and place on a microwave-safe plate. Then cook the butter at 10% power for 1 minute. Gently press on the butter with your finger, and if it still feels too firm, cook for another 40 seconds at 10% power.
  • Mushrooms: Use fresh mushrooms to make a quick cream of mushroom soup from scratch for a flavorful addition to this Thanksgiving staple.
  • Green beans: To substitute frozen green beans, microwave 2 (12-ounce) bags of frozen cut green beans according to the package instructions (or microwave on HIGH power for 4 to 5 minutes; let stand 1 minute before removing from the microwave). Drain well (I like to use a salad spinner to spin them dry).
  • Chicken broth: Do not use low-sodium chicken broth or the sauce may be bland. Homemade chicken broth is fine or you could mix up a batch with Better than Bouillon chicken base (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link). For a vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. To make the topping, in a food processor or blender, pulse bread, butter, salt, and pepper until coarse crumbs form (about 10 pulses). Transfer to a large bowl. Add fried onions and toss to combine.
Breadcrumbs in a food processor.
  1. 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 fresh green beans and cook until bright green and tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to ice water. Spread on paper towels to dry.
Green beans in a sliver colander.
  1. To the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add mushrooms, garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Cook until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid, about 5 minutes.
Mushrooms cooking down in a stock pot.
  1.  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.
Adding chicken broth to cooked mushrooms.
  1. Reduce heat to medium. Whisk in cream and simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced to 3 ½ cups, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Adding cream to mushroom soup.
  1. Add the green beans to the pot with the mushroom sauce and toss until evenly coated. Pour green bean mixture into a 3-quart or 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish or oven-safe skillet. Sprinkle with topping. Bake until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
An overhead shot of green bean casserole in a baking dish.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes enough for 10 as a side dish (or more depending on how many sides you have at Thanksgiving).
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make the topping ahead: 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.
  • Make the beans and sauce ahead: The beans may be blanched in advance, cooled, and stirred into the cooled mushroom sauce. Transfer to the baking dish, cover, and refrigerate 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. 
  • Half batch: Prepare in a 2-quart or 8-inch square baking dish. Reduce the sauce cooking time to about 6 minutes for 1 ¾ cups. Reduce the baking time to 10 minutes in Step 4.
  • Small batch: Green bean casserole for two is made with 8 ounces of frozen green beans.
  • Gluten-Free: Make this recipe gluten-free using your favorite gluten-free bread and one-to-one gluten-free flour alternative. I love Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White and Udi’s Multigrain Gluten-Free bread (both sold in the freezer section). Dry the bread up to 3 days in advance (keep it covered with a dry kitchen towel on the counter, or slice and dry in a 300-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes).
  • Optional Ingredients: Elevate the flavor and texture of your casserole with mix-ins like cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese, or substitute panko breadcrumbs.
  • Slow cooker green bean casserole: Follow the recipe through Step 6, but instead of using a baking dish, transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours or LOW for 4 to 6 hours. Omit the bread crumbs and top with 3 cups of French-fried onions or fried shallots immediately before serving.
  • Vegan Green Bean Casserole: Plant-based Green Bean Casserole made with cashew cream in a slow cooker.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many days is green bean casserole good for?

Leftover green bean casserole is good for up to 4 days. Cool leftovers completely and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How do I reheat a green bean casserole?

The best way to reheat green bean casserole is in the oven. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Reheat at 350 degrees in an oven-safe baking dish covered with aluminum foil until heated through, reaching 165 degrees internally, about 20 minutes.

More Thanksgiving staples

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Green bean casserole on a plate with a fork.

Green Bean Casserole

For the best Green Bean Casserole, make a simple homemade mushroom cream sauce and a crunchy topping with both fried onions and bread crumbs.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 295
5 from 3 votes

Ingredients 

For the topping:

For the casserole:

Instructions 

To make the topping:

  • In a food processor or blender, pulse bread, butter, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ 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, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ 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 ½ 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.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Butter: Salted or unsalted butter? Use what you have on hand. To soften butter in the microwave, cut each stick of butter in half, unwrap, and place on a microwave-safe plate. Then cook the butter at 10% power for 1 minute. Gently press on the butter with your finger, and if it still feels too firm, cook for another 40 seconds at 10% power.
  2. Green beans: To substitute frozen green beans, microwave 2 (12-ounce) bags of frozen cut green beans according to the package instructions (or microwave on HIGH power for 4 to 5 minutes; let stand 1 minute before removing from the microwave). Drain well (I like to use a salad spinner to spin them dry).
  3. Chicken broth: Do not use low-sodium chicken broth or the sauce may be bland. Homemade chicken broth is fine or you could mix up a batch with Better than Bouillon chicken base (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link). For a vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth.
  4. Mushrooms: Use fresh mushrooms to make a quick cream of mushroom soup from scratch for a flavorful addition to this Thanksgiving staple.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes enough for 10 as a side dish (or more depending on how many sides you have at Thanksgiving).
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 4gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 325mgPotassium: 342mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1105IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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