american/ Side dish/ Thanksgiving/ vegetarian dinner

Green Bean Casserole (from scratch!)

24 September 2021 By Aleksandra

This is the ultimate green bean casserole recipe, made completely from scratch! It’s made with crunchy fresh green beans, flavorful mushroom sauce with bacon (easy!), topped with sharp cheddar cheese, and homemade fried onions. This indulgent side dish is so flavorful, it may outshine the main course. Serve this casserole for a special occasion like Thanksgiving or just any other time of the year!

Green bean casserole in a white baking dish is being loaded on a wooden spatula.

Ingredients

This casserole will require some time to prepare it and it will definitely take longer than opening a can of mushroom soup and green beans, but, I PROMISE – it will be worth it! It tastes so much better than the semi-homemade recipe!

This recipe is additionally made with bacon and cheese, which are not a part of the traditional recipe, but let me ask you – what doesn’t taste better with cheese and bacon? I think you already know that this recipe will be awesome!

Green beans – fresh green beans will give you the best results but you can also use frozen green beans – they will also be delicious but slightly less crunchy.

Mushroom sauce – this homemade mushroom sauce is so flavorful. To make it you will need:

  • Mushrooms – you can use button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms or even a mix of button/cremini mushrooms and wild mushrooms to make this casserole. If you really don’t like mushrooms, you can omit them.
  • White wine – adds acidity to the sauce, use dry white wine, if you don’t cook with wine you can add broth instead and then adjust the taste of the sauce by adding other acidic ingredients like more lemon juice or white wine vinegar.
  • Aromatics – onion, garlic, thyme, Dijon mustard, nutmeg.
  • Bacon – adds a punch of flavor to the sauce! you can use leftover ham instead or prosciutto ham (you also need to pan-fry it), or omit it if you prefer a more traditional flavor of this casserole.
  • Liquid for the sauce – I’m using a mix of milk, cream and broth as the base of the sauce – it’s the most flavorful combination in my opinion but it’s also not so heavy. I’m using beef broth but you could also use chicken broth. I’m also adding soy sauce like in the traditional recipe – it adds flavor to the sauce but you won’t be able to taste it.

Cheese – I tested this casserole with parmesan cheese and sharp cheddar cheese and we liked it much more with cheddar cheese. This casserole won’t be overly cheesy, it’s just covered with a small amount of flavorful cheese to add a little something extra and savory to the recipe.

Labeled ingredients for green bean casserole.

Additionally, you can make homemade fried onions. It’s actually very quick and easy to make but it requires deep-frying and using a large amount of oil (3-4 cups).

You can also use store-bought fried onions. The most important part of this recipe is the homemade mushroom sauce and fresh green beans.

These fried onions won’t be the same as store-bought – they are definitely lightened up in comparison to the traditional fried onions. They are coated with a small amount of buttermilk-flour-breadcrumb breading and are so delicious, not too greasy, and super crispy. They just taste homemade!

To make homemade fried onions you will need:

  • onions – any kind, I used yellow onions
  • flour
  • breadcrumbs – regular or panko (I used regular, so if using panko add more)
  • thyme – for flavor, you can also use any other spices that you like
  • frying oil – you will need a high-smoke point oil that is suitable for deep frying like canola oil, sunflower oil, or refined coconut oil
Labeled ingredients for homemade fried onions.

How to make amazing green bean casserole from scratch – step by step

Cook the green beans

Trimmed green beans cut in half on a wooden board. Green beans are being cooked in a pot.

STEP 1: Trim the green beans (just the stem side) and cut them in half.

STEP 2: Bring a large amount of salted water in a large pot to a boil. Add green beans, bring to a boil again then cook for 4-5 minutes or until the green beans are soft but still have a bite to them. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the beans – just take one out and try if it’s done. Don’t overcook the beans.

Drain the beans, place them in a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process, set aside.

Make the mushroom sauce

Chopped ingredients for a mushroom sauce. Sauteed onions with garlic and bacon in a pan.

STEP 3: Cut the bacon into small cubes, the mushrooms into thick slices (about 1/4-inch or 5mm), dice the onion, press the garlic through a garlic press.

STEP 4: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook it for a couple of minutes or until golden and most of the fat is rendered.
Add the onion and cook, stirring from time to time, for about 4-5 minutes or until soft.
Add the garlic and thyme, cook for 30 seconds.
Transfer the content of the pan to a plate.

Sauteed mushrooms in a pan. Wine is being added to mushrooms in a pan.

STEP 5: Cook the mushrooms in two batches: add the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil and 1 Tbsp of butter, increase the heat to high and add the first batch of mushrooms, spread them in an even layer.

Don’t stir the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes letting them brown then stir the mushrooms and cook them for 3-4 minutes until they released liquid and it’s almost evaporated. You want the mushrooms browned and tender but not too soft.

Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.

Add the mushrooms and bacon with onions back to the pan.

STEP 6: Add the flour and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed by the mushrooms and no white streaks are visible.

Add the white wine. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the wine is almost evaporated.

Broth is being added to a mushroom sauce in a pan. Mushroom sauce in a pan.

STEP 7: Add all the remaining ingredients for the mushroom sauce: broth, soy sauce, milk, cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and nutmeg.

STEP 8: Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. It should be thickened but can’t be too thick or completely runny. If the sauce is too runny, cook it a little bit longer, if it’s too thick, add some more broth to it. The sauce is the right consistency when you can draw a path across the back of the spoon. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Make fried onions

Sliced onions on a wooden board. Onions soaked in buttermilk in a white bowl.

STEP 9: Cut the onions into thin slices.

STEP 10: Add them to a large bowl and add the buttermilk, toss until coated.

Onions tossed in a breadcrumb flour mixture in a white bowl. Fried onions on a plate lined with paper towel.

STEP 11: Heat the oil in a skillet, the temperature of the oil should be 350-375°F (175-190°C). There should be at least 1 inch (3cm) of oil in the pan.

While the oil is heating, stir flour with breadcrumbs and thyme, season the mixture with salt and pepper. Toss the onions with the flour mixture until well-coated on all sides.

STEP 12: Fry the onions in batches until light golden in color. The onions should be a little lighter in color than you want them to be – they will darken a bit while resting and then some more while being baked.

Place the onions on a plate lined with paper towels. Spread them in a thin layer, they should not overlap much.

Assemble the casserole and bake

Cooked green beans in a casserole dish. Green beans with mushroom sauce in a casserole dish.

STEP 13: Add the green beans into a 9×13-inch casserole dish (22x32cm).

STEP 14: Pour in the mushroom sauce and toss with green beans.

Green beans, mushroom sauce, shredded cheddar, fried onions in a casserole dish.

STEP 15: Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

STEP 16: Top with fried onions.

Bake for 20 minutes at 375°F (190°C) until the sauce is bubbly and warm and the cheese is melted. Take out of the oven and let stand for 5 minutes then serve.

Enjoy!

Green bean casserole from scratch in a white casserole dish.

Storage

How to store – you can store this casserole in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store it in an airtight container. Green beans and mushroom sauce keep very well but the fried onions do not. They will become soggy.

How to reheat – reheat it at 350°F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes or until warm.

How to make it ahead – it would be best to store all the components of this casserole (green beans, mushroom sauce, fried onions) separately and assemble just before serving. Green beans can become too soft when stored in the sauce, the same goes for the fried onions.

Reheated fried onions won’t be as crispy as freshly made but they are still quite good (assuming you have stored them separately from the sauce).

You can store the green beans and mushroom sauce for 2-3 days in the fridge. Don’t store fried onions for more than 24 hours. You can cut your onions ahead of time.

How to store fried onions: don’t refrigerate them. Cool them and place them in a thin layer in a large container. Cover them loosely with paper towels.

Can it be frozen? I don’t recommend freezing this casserole. The mushroom sauce will split and fried onions will be completely soggy.

Serving suggestions

Main course dishes to serve with this casserole:

Other side dishes that would go well with this casserole:

Top tips

  • Don’t overcook the green beans – they should be soft but still crunchy.
  • Don’t overcook the mushrooms – they should also be tender but stil have a bite to them. Brown the mushrooms for extra flavor – you need to cook them in batches in order to be able to brown them.
  • Make more fried onions! You will be snacking on them for sure before they end up on top of the casserole! The other reason is that it’s good to have some more on hand in case they burn.
  • Use a candy or grill thermometer to fry the onions – you can control the temperature of the oil and your onions won’t be greasy.
  • Alternative topping for this casserole – breadcrumb parmesan topping! We love it so much, I have already used it in this chicken rice broccoli casserole and zucchini gratin (take a look to see how it looks like). You will need: 3 tablespoons butter (45g), 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (55g), and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (45g). How to make it: melt the butter in a small pot, take the pot off the heat. Stir in the breadcrumbs until combined, then grated Parmesan. Top your casserole evenly with this mixture and bake.
  • If your onions came out too dark, add them 5 minutes before the end of the baking time.
Green bean casserole on a green plate.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Green Bean Casserole (from scratch!)

This is the ultimate green bean casserole recipe, made completely from scratch! It’s made with crunchy fresh green beans, flavorful mushroom sauce with bacon (easy!), topped with sharp cheddar cheese, and homemade fried onions. This indulgent side dish is so flavorful, it may outshine the main course. Serve this casserole for a special occasion like Thanksgiving or just any other time of the year!
Pin This Recipe! SAVE THIS RECIPE
Green bean casserole in a white baking dish.
Print Recipe
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Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 350kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

green beans and mushroom sauce:

  • 2 pounds green beans 900g
  • 2 tablespoons frying oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 7 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound button mushrooms 450g
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 30-36%
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup beef broth or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce optional
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar 100g

for fried onions (or use about 1 cup French’s fried onions):

  • 1 large onion or 3-4 small/medium onions
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or 1/4 cup milk + 1 ts lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3-4 cups frying oil

Instructions

Cook the green beans:

  • Trim the green beans (just the stem side) and cut them in half.
  • Bring a large amount of salted water in a large pot to a boil. Add green beans, bring to a boil again then cook for 4-5 minutes or until the green beans are soft but still have a bite to them. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the beans – just take one out and try if it’s done. Don’t overcook the beans.
  • Drain the beans, place them in a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process, set aside.

Make the mushroom sauce:

  • Cut the bacon into small cubes, the mushrooms into thick slices (about 1/4-inch or 5mm), dice the onion, press the garlic through a garlic press.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook it for a couple of minutes or until golden and most of the fat is rendered.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring from time to time, for about 4-5 minutes or until soft.
  • Add the garlic and thyme, cook for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer the content of the pan to a plate.
  • Cook the mushrooms in two batches: add the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil and 1 Tbsp of butter, increase the heat to high and add the first batch of mushrooms, spread them in an even layer. Don’t stir the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes letting them brown then stir the mushrooms and cook them for 3-4 minutes until they released liquid and it’s almost evaporated. You want the mushrooms browned and tender but not too soft. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
  • Add the mushrooms and bacon with onions back to the pan.
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed by the mushrooms and no white streaks are visible.
  • Add the white wine. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the wine is almost evaporated.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients for the mushroom sauce: broth, soy sauce, milk, cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and nutmeg.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. It should be thickened but can’t be too thick or completely runny. If the sauce is too runny, cook it a little bit longer, if it’s too thick, add some more broth to it. The sauce is the right consistency when you can draw a path across the back of the spoon. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Make fried onions:

  • Cut the onions into thin slices. Add them to a large bowl and add the buttermilk, toss until coated.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet, the temperature of the oil should be 350-375°F (175-190°C). There should be at least 1 inch (3cm) of oil in the pan.
  • While the oil is heating, stir flour with breadcrumbs and thyme, season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  • Toss the onions with the flour mixture until well-coated on all sides.
  • Fry the onions in batches until light golden in color. The onions should be a little lighter in color than you want them to be – they will darken a bit while resting and then some more while being baked.
  • Place the onions on a plate lined with paper towels. Spread them in a thin layer, they should not overlap much.

Assemble the casserole and bake:

  • Add the green beans into a 9×13-inch casserole dish (22x32cm).
  • Pour in the mushroom sauce and toss with green beans.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
  • Top with fried onions.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 375°F (190°C) until the sauce is bubbly and warm and the cheese is melted. Take out of the oven and let stand for 5 minutes then serve.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Ingredient notes:
    • Fresh green beans will give you the best results but you can also use frozen green beans – they will also be delicious but slightly less crunchy.
    • You can use button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, or even a mix of button/cremini mushrooms and wild mushrooms to make this casserole.
    • If you don’t cook with wine you can add broth instead. You may need to add more lemon juice (wine adds acidity to the sauce).
    • Instead of bacon, you can use pan-fried prosciutto or leftover ham.
    • Frying oil – you will need a high-smoke point oil that is suitable for deep-frying like canola oil, sunflower oil, or refined coconut oil.
    • You can add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese instead of cheddar (we liked it more with cheddar).
    • If you’re not a fan of fried onions, you can top this casserole with breadcrumb parmesan topping! You will need: 3 tablespoons butter (45g), 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (55g), and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (45g). How to make it: melt the butter in a small pot, take the pot off the heat. Stir in the breadcrumbs until combined, then grated Parmesan. Top your casserole evenly with this mixture and bake.
  • If your onions came out too dark, add them 5 minutes before the end of the baking time.
  • How to make this ahead: it would be best to store all the components of this casserole (green beans, mushroom sauce, fried onions) separately and assemble just before serving. Green beans can become too soft when stored in the sauce, the same goes for the fried onions. Reheated fried onions won’t be as crispy as freshly made but they are still quite good (assuming you have stored them separately from the sauce).
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/8 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesy green bean casserole, green bean casserole from scratch, green bean casserole with bacon

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