Fresh Green Bean Casserole from Scratch is a creamy and delicious version of the classic Green Bean Casserole we love to eat for Thanksgiving dinner. Fresh green beans are cooked in a sauce that is creamy and flavorful, with the yummy crispy fried onions on top (of course!). There are no cans of "cream of" soup in this recipe. The creamy mushroom sauce is made with just a few simple ingredients, and the fresh green beans are perfectly cooked. You can make it ahead of time, too! This is the perfect side dish for your Holiday table.
This post contains Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Green Bean Casserole
This Fresh Green Bean Casserole from scratch is a much better tasting version of the classic Thanksgiving side dish. We think this is the best Green Bean Casserole recipe because it is fresher and has great umami flavor.
When you are planning what to serve for your Thanksgiving dinner, there are so many choices! This is a Holiday where many people dust off their aprons, don a wooden spoon, and cook their favorite recipes.
Thanksgiving side dishes are usually the favorite. The colorful additions to the canvas that is the turkey. In many homes this includes the traditional Green Bean Casserole recipe.
Where Did the Green Bean Casserole Tradition Originate?
- A woman who worked at a major soup company in the 1950's invented the original Green Bean Casserole recipe. It was published in a cookbook and they marketed it as an easy recipe, to sell their soup, and thus it became a tradition.
- I never really cared for this casserole, that is, until I made a homemade version of it. I made the changes based on my homemade cream of mushroom soup that I have made for years and used fresh green beans.
- We like it so much better! This is a must for our Thanksgiving table.
In this homemade version, the crisp-tender green beans really improve the texture, compared to the too-soft canned mushy green beans. And the easy, homemade mushroom sauce tastes so much better than green bean casseroles made with cans of cream of mushroom soup.
Ingredients for Fresh Green Bean Casserole
See the recipe card for exact measurements.
There is no canned soup or canned green beans in this recipe.
• Unsalted Butter
• Fresh Green Beans
• Salt and Black Pepper
• Shallot – Or use a sweet onion finely diced.
• Cremini Mushrooms
• All-Purpose Flour
• Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth)
• Chicken Bouillon – Just a little makes a big difference in the flavor. Use a cube or Better Than Bouillon®.
• Half and Half
• Worcestershire Sauce
• Soy Sauce – low sodium
• Crispy Fried Onions – French fried onions are a must-have topping for a classic Green Bean Casserole. See substitutions below for alternative topping ideas.
Crispy Onions – Panko Breadcrumbs with melted butter, herbs, and parmesan, Chopped pecans or walnuts, or just fry some sliced onions or shallots in a pan and top the casserole with them.
Fresh Green Beans - Use frozen (thawed) green beans, or use canned green beans (drained), if that's all you have.
Half and Half – Use whole milk, or whole milk mixed with heavy cream (which is what half and half is).
Fresh Mushrooms – Use other types or canned (drained). If you aren't a fan of fungi, just leave them out. Add extra green beans.
Can I Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can make this delicious green bean casserole recipe up to a day in advance. Making green bean casserole ahead of time can save you some time and stress on Thanksgiving day.
- Make-Ahead Instructions:
- Prepare the green bean casserole per instructions, except for the crispy fried onions. Leave them off.
- Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge (Let it warm up close to room temperature before putting the dish in the hot oven).
- Add the French Fried Onions over the top of the casserole right before baking.
- Just keep in mind the timing as it will need about 25 minutes in the oven.
Do I Need to Blanch the Green Beans?
Yes. Blanching is partially cooking them, then the ice water immediately stops the cooking process so they don't overcook. If you don't blanch the green beans before baking, they won't get soft enough in the amount of cooking time for the casserole.
How to Make Homemade Green Bean Casserole
This is how I make this delicious Fresh Green Bean Casserole:
• Gather all of your ingredients and tools needed. Prep the vegetables (clean, chop, etc.)
• Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Also prepare a large bowl of ice water. Set aside.
• Blanch the Green Beans – Bring a large pot of salted water to boil on the stove (about a gallon of water). Add the green beans to the boiling water.
• Cook the beans for 5 minutes, then drain the beans and immediately add them to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Then drain them and set aside.
• Make the Homemade Sauce – While the beans are cooking, start heating a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and the shallot and sauté, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.
• Lower heat to medium, then add the garlic and sauté about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
• Add the mushrooms to the pan.
• Add the salt and black pepper and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to release some moisture.
• Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture and stir well.
• Cook for 1-2 minutes to get the raw taste from the flour, stirring frequently.
• Stir in the chicken broth.
• Dissolve the chicken bouillon in the broth mixture by stirring it in well.
• Then pour in the half and half. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce starts to thicken, about 3-5 minutes.
• Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
• Remove from the heat and add the green beans to the creamy sauce.
• Stir to combine.
• Transfer the green bean mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
• Sprinkle the fried onions over the top in an even layer.
• Bake 20-25 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling and the French-fried onions are light golden brown.
• Serve immediately.
Variations to the Classic Green Bean Casserole Recipe?
- Bacon – Bacon and green beans go great together. Mix in some cooked bacon when adding the green beans to the baking dish.
- Cheese – Add some shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese or your favorite cheese to the sauce and stir it in. Cream cheese will also work.
- Mushroom Varieties – Try adding some different types of mushrooms for even more depth of flavor. Shiitake, oyster mushrooms, white button mushrooms, portobello, etc. Experiment with varieties to suit your taste.
- Sour Cream – If you want a little tang, add a small amount of sour cream to the sauce. Be sure to temper it so it doesn't curdle (add a little of the hot sauce to the sour cream and stir it, then stir that into the pan of sauce and mix well.).
- Dairy-Free – Swap out the butter for olive oil or vegan butter, and the half and half for a quality dairy-free milk.
Can Green Bean Casserole be Frozen?
- Yes, you can freeze it before baking, as well as freezing the leftovers.
- Before Baking: Make and assemble the green bean casserole, but don't top it with the crispy fried onions, and don't bake it. Let it cool completely. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and put in the freezer until you are ready to bake it.
- Thaw and Reheat: When you are ready to cook the frozen casserole, remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. When it is thawed, Add the fried onions and bake it following this recipe's instructions.
- Freezing Leftovers: Place in an airtight container, or freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Can Green Bean Casserole be Made in the Slow Cooker?
Yes, it can. This is a good way to save on oven space.
To make Fresh green bean casserole recipe in the slow cooker:
1) Rinse off the green beans instead of blanching them. Then add them to the crock pot.
2) Then make the sauce as directed and pour it over the beans.
3) Mix together the beans and sauce, and cook on Low for 2 hours.
4) Stir well and top with the fried onions. Cook for another 40-60 minutes before serving. The onions don't get as crisp, but are still very good.
Tips for Fresh Green Bean Casserole
The best tips I can give you are:
• Choose fresh ingredients. The green beans and mushrooms are the star of the show, so you want them to taste fresh.
• Gather and prepare all of your ingredients before you start cooking. This is the best way to make the cooking process go much easier and faster.
Thanksgiving Recipes You Might Like
Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- 9x13-inch Baking Dish
- Large Bowl
- Large Pot
- Large, Deep Frying Pan
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- 1 ½ - 2 pounds Fresh Green Beans ends trimmed
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt + 3 Tablespoons for boiling water
- 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1 clove Garlic pressed or finely minced
- 1 Shallot diced
- 6 ounces Cremini Mushrooms chopped
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 3 ½ Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1 ¼ cups Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth)
- 2 teaspoons Chicken Bouillon (Better Than Bouillon© or 1 cube)
- 1 ¼ cups Half and Half
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce low sodium
- ¾ 6-ounce can Crispy Fried Onions
- Gather all of your ingredients and tools needed. Prep the vegetables (clean, chop, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Also prepare a large bowl of ice water.
Blanch the Green Beans
- Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Add the green beans and 3 Tablespoons of salt to the water. Cook for 5 minutes, then drain the beans and immediately add them to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Then drain them and set aside.
Make the Sauce
- In a large, deep frying pan heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.
- Lower heat to medium and add the garlic. Stir well and sauté about 30 seconds.
- Add the mushrooms, salt, and black pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until mushrooms release some moisture.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture and stir well. Cook for 1-2 minutes to get the raw taste from the flour, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the chicken broth, then dissolve the bouillon in the broth. Stir well, then add the half and half and stir again. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
- Remove from the heat and add the green beans. Stir to combine, then transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the fried onions over the top in an even layer.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling.
- Serve immediately.