Green Bean Casserole
This Green Bean Casserole is easy to make from scratch, with fresh green beans and a creamy mushroom sauce. It’s the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or any special holiday meal.
At a holiday meal, I am all about the sides. Sure, the main course is usually delicious, but for me it’s the side dishes that make the meal.
This green bean casserole is one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. Crisp, fresh green beans are combined with a creamy homemade sauce and then topped with a cheesy breadcrumb topping. The casserole is then baked until the topping is golden brown and the center is hot and bubbly. This comforting casserole will have everyone at the table going back for seconds!
Like my favorite Broccoli Casserole, my green bean casserole recipe is made from scratch. The classic version of this casserole is usually topped with French fried onions, but I top mine with a crispy, buttery breadcrumb topping made with Parmesan cheese. It is so delicious, I promise you won’t miss the fried onions.
This green bean casserole is sure to be on our holiday table this year, along with Sweet Potato Casserole and Mashed Potatoes. While this recipe requires a few more steps than the version made with canned soup, it is still easy to make and the extra effort is totally worth it. You just can’t beat the homemade taste of cooking from scratch!
Green Bean Casserole Ingredients
- Green Beans: Fresh green beans make the best green bean casserole. Before cooking the green beans, trim off the stem ends and cut them into 2-inch pieces.
- Butter: Butter is used in the creamy mushroom sauce and also in the topping.
- Mushrooms: I prefer the more complex flavor of cremini mushrooms, but you can use white button mushrooms if you prefer.
- Onion & Garlic: Chopped yellow onion and minced garlic add flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour: Flour is used to thicken the sauce.
- Chicken Broth & Whole Milk: I use a combination of chicken broth and milk to make the sauce. I find that combining the two makes a sauce that is creamy without being too heavy. For a richer sauce, replace the milk with heavy cream or half and half.
- Salt & Pepper: For seasoning.
- Breadcrumbs: You can use store bought breadcrumbs or make your own for the topping.
- Parmesan Cheese: Adding grated Parmesan cheese to the topping adds so much flavor to the dish.
Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
How to Make Green Bean Casserole
This homemade green bean casserole is surprisingly simple to make! Here is an overview of the recipe steps.
- Cook the green beans in a pot of boiling water until crisp-tender.
- Drain and transfer them to an ice bath for 5 minutes.
- Then drain well and transfer the green beans to a lightly greased baking dish.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until softened.
- Add 3 more tablespoons of butter to the pan. Once melted, stir in the garlic and flour.
- Add the chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper. Stir until thickened. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the mushroom sauce over the green beans in the casserole dish.
- Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir together the melted butter, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole.
- Bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Green Bean Casserole Recipe Tips
- If you prefer your green bean casserole with French fried onions, you can use 1 cup of French fried onions instead of the breadcrumb topping mixture for the casserole topping. Add the onions to the top of the casserole during the last 5 minutes of the cook time.
- This recipe is best made with fresh green beans. If you prefer to use frozen green beans, do not cook them before using in this recipe. Allow frozen green beans to thaw to room temperature before using. I do not recommend using canned green beans.
- Feel free to use shredded cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan cheese in the topping.
- To make green bean casserole with bacon, cook 4 slices of bacon, chop, and stir into the green bean and sauce mixture.
- For an extra creamy casserole, stir 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream into the mushroom sauce mixture, after removing the pan from the heat.
Make Ahead Instructions
You can prepare the casserole up to one day ahead and then cover and refrigerate it before baking. Wait and add the breadcrumb topping right before baking so that it doesn’t get soggy. When you are ready to bake the casserole, first let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to take the chill off. Then add 10-15 minutes to the bake time and bake until hot and bubbly.
Leftover green bean casserole can be wrapped airtight and then stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Dinner Rolls
- Cranberry Sauce
Green Bean Casserole
- 2 pounds fresh green beans*, stem ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs*, whole wheat or regular, homemade or store-bought
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and boil for about 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain and transfer the cooked green beans to a large bowl of ice water. Let cool in the ice water for 5 minutes, then drain well in a colander. Once dried, transfer the green beans to the prepared baking dish.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until soft, 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 3 more tablespoons of the butter to the pan and stir until melted. Then add the minced garlic and flour and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper to the saucepan. Stir until thickened (this will take 2-3 minutes) and then remove from the heat. Pour over the green beans in the baking dish. so that the green beans are evenly coated.
- Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and then stir it into the breadcrumbs. Stir the Parmesan cheese into the breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the casserole.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the filling is hot and bubbly. Check after 25 minutes and cover with foil if the topping is browning too quickly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- You may also use frozen green beans. Let them thaw at room temperature and do not cook them before adding to the casserole.
- If desired you can top the casserole with 1 cup of French fried onions instead of the breadcrumb, butter and cheese mixture. Add fried onions to the top of the casserole during the last 5 minutes of bake time.
- To make homemade breadcrumbs: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a food processor, process 4 slices whole-wheat bread until you have fine crumbs. Lay crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until dry and very lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Stir after 10 minutes to help crumbs brown evenly. Unused breadcrumbs can be stored in the freezer.
- Make ahead instructions: Casserole can be assembled up to one day ahead and then covered and refrigerated before baking. Wait and add the breadcrumb topping right before baking. When ready to bake, let the casserole sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to take the chill off. Then add 10-15 minutes to the bake time and bake until hot and bubbly.
- Leftover green bean casserole can be wrapped airtight and then stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.