Green Bean Casserole is the ultimate comfort food, loaded with fresh green beans, cream of mushroom soup, cheddar cheese, and topped with crispy French fried onions. This is the perfect holiday side dish, easily made at home, and ready in about one hour.
We love making easy and delicious Casseroles, because they are tasty, can feed a larger crowd, and usually make enough leftovers. Enjoy this dish on your Thanksgiving table with Roast Turkey, Slow Cooker Pineapple Ham, and Sweet Potato Casserole.
A classic holiday side dish
This easy and healthy Green Bean Casserole is such a classic dish that is always a hit with my family, especially for Thanksgiving dinner.
Casseroles are a great option when you don’t want to cook every single night or have a large family. They are usually easy to make, and large enough to serve to a crowd or have leftovers. In addition, casseroles freeze well, which means you can make a few ahead of time and freeze for busy times. When you are ready to serve, just pop it in the oven and a stress-free homemade family dinner is ready.
But this recipe is just the perfect holiday dish for the whole family to enjoy. Firstly, it is absolutely delicious with a creamy inside and crispy topping. Also, it has an unmatched flavor combination and is very simple to make with a few pantry ingredients. You can adapt to your own taste preference, since you can swap the green beans with other veggies, such as broccoli or cauliflower.
In addition, for bacon lovers, add a few slices of cooked and crumbled bacon, to the green bean mixture. Whichever version you prefer, we guarantee this dish will be a hit in your family.
- Green beans: I like to use fresh green beans especially when in season. However, you can either use fresh or frozen ones. Also, canned beans can be used. Just know that canned ones will provide a softer texture.
- Condensed cream of mushroom soup: This is probably the secret ingredient here because it brings the flavors together, and makes this dish super creamy. You can use homemade cream of mushroom soup, or use a store-bought version.
- Chicken broth
- Onion and garlic
- Seasoning: I use thyme, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
- Cheese: Shredded cheddar cheese.
- French fried onions: For a crispy and crunchy topping.
How to make green bean casserole?
- Cook beans: First, cook the beans. If using fresh beans boil them in a large pot. For canned ones simply drain them. Also, to stop the cooking process, immerse the beans in a large bowl of ice-cold water. This will stop the cooking process.
- Make the creamy sauce: In a large bowl, combine mushroom soup, milk, and stock. Then, stir to combine.
- Add seasoning: Next, add finely diced onion, garlic, and seasoning, and stir together.
- Toss together: Add the green beans to the bowl, crispy fried onions, and shredded cheese.
- Bake: Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish, and bake until golden brown and bubbly!
- Serve: Let it rest for a couple of minutes for the flavors to come together, and enjoy it warm!
- Add more veggies: Feel free to add extra veggies to it. Some great additions would be bell pepper, broccoli, green peas.
- Cheese: I love using cheddar cheese here. However, you can easily swap it with mozzarella cheese, sharp cheddar, parmesan cheese, or provolone cheese.
- Chili: For a spicier kick, add 1/4 cup of red or green chilis or jalapeno peppers.
- Meat: To add some proteins, add 1/2 cup of shredded chicken, rotisserie chicken, sausage, or even bacon.
- Vegan: Check out my Vegan Green Bean Casserole version here.
- Chili: 1/4 cup red or green chilis or jalapeños to add heat! Add more to suit your heat preference!
Can I use canned green beans instead of fresh ones?
While I prefer to use fresh green beans for this casserole, canned beans are certainly an option and an easy one. For the cooked green beans use 1 bag (16 to 20 ounces) frozen green beans, thawed, or 2 – 3 cans (14.5 ounces each) green beans, drained.
Slow Cooker green bean casserole:
Making this classic recipe in the crockpot is equally easy resulting in tender green beans. Here are the steps:
- In a large bowl, combine the mushroom soup with sour cream, milk, and seasoning.
- Then, stir in the green beans, cheese, and the rest of the ingredients.
- Transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 2 hours.
- When done cooking, garnish with crispy onions.
You can also check the detailed Crockpot Green Bean Casserole recipe here.
What is condensed cream of mushroom soup?
Condensed soup is a canned variety of soup that is prepared with a reduced proportion of water. A liquid, like water or milk, is added to the soup when heated up. Condensed soup is used often to add more flavor and creaminess in many recipes.
Condensed cream of mushroom soup substitute:
Don’t worry, if you are not from the US and can’t get your hands on Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, or simply want a homemade, more wholesome version. You can use the below recipe to make a quick homemade version, which will make roughly about 3 cups of soup, enough to replace 2 (10 1/2 oz each) cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup.
- 4 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, finely diced
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2/3 cup whole or skim milk
- 2/3 cup chicken broth or veggie broth
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
First, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Then, add diced mushrooms and cook stirring for 2-3 minutes.
Add flour to the mushroom and butter mix, and stir well to combine and form a paste.
Whisk in milk slowly until fully combined with no lumps.
Next, whisk in broth, slowly again, until fully combined.
Then, stir in garlic, onion powder, thyme and adjust for salt and pepper.
Lastly, whisk the mixture until it starts to simmer. Let it simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes. The soup should be smooth and creamy. If it’s too dense, whisk in a little more milk or broth.
When replacing the Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup use a 1:1 ratio, so if you are using a 10 1/2 ounces can of condensed soup, you will need 1 1/3 cup of the homemade version to replace in recipes.
The homemade soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Can I make this recipe ahead?
Yes! You can make this classic green bean casserole up to 48 hours ahead of time.
- Simply, follow the steps above, except omit the crispy onions topping, so they don’t get soggy.
- Then, transfer the mixture to a casserole dish, and tightly cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
- The next day, add the French onion rings, and bake.
What to serve with this recipe?
This dish goes pretty much with anything. Pair it with the following:
Should I slice the green beans in half?
I usually don’t, but this is totally up to you. Also, if you are using canned green beans, they already come sliced in half, so you do not need to worry about that. But, if you are using fresh ones, simply use a sharp knife, and slice them in half.
Can you freeze green bean casserole?
Of course, you can! First, let the dish completely cool at room temperature.
Then, to freeze, transfer the mixture to a buttered 9-by-13-inch freezer-to-oven baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Then, freeze it for up to 6 months. Bake, frozen, and covered with foil, at 350°F, for 1 hour. Uncover, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Other delicious casseroles:
- Firstly, I try to use fresh green beans for this casserole recipe. It just tastes better and gives the perfect flavor to this dish.
- Also, if you prefer broccoli instead of green beans, feel free to swap. For Broccoli Casserole, substitute 4-6 cups cooked broccoli florets for the green beans.
- For cheese lovers, use extra shredded Cheddar cheese. Also, sprinkle with an additional 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese when adding the remaining onions.
- For bacon lovers, add few cooked and crumbled bacon slices to the bean mixture. Similarly, if you prefer to use meat in this casserole, feel free to add ham, or even cooked ground chicken or ground turkey.
- To add some crunch to the dish, add some sliced almonds, panko breadcrumbs, or croutons to the onion topping.
- Also, you can add about 1/4 cup of sour cream and 1/2 cup of heavy cream to make it extra creamy.
Best Green Bean Casserole
- 16-20 oz fresh green beans (or 2-3 14. 5 oz cans canned green beans)
- 1 10.75 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup (see homemade version as well)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (or veggie broth)
- 1 small onion (finely diced)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup French fried onions (see below homemade version)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups French fried onions (see below homemade version)
Homemade French Fried Onions:
- 3 large onions (sliced into thin rings)
- 2 cups milk (or buttermilk)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Vegetable or canola oil for frying
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray a 9x3 oven-safe baking dish and set aside.
- In this category, we will be using ingredients from the "Casserole" list.
- If you are using canned green beans, just drain them and set them aside.
- If using fresh green beans, wash them and trim the ends.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with just a sprinkle of salt, and cook fresh green beans in the boiling water for 5-6 minutes, until green beans start to change color to deep green and become slightly tender. Stir occasionally.
- Drain green beans and immediately place them under cold water. Drain cold water and set green beans aside.
- Add cream of mushroom soup to a large bowl. Add milk and chicken broth, stir to combine.
- Add finely diced onion, garlic, thyme, paprika, and ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the green beans to the bowl, cheddar cheese, and 1 cup of French fried onions.
- Stir well to combine and add the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- Level the top with a spatula.
- In this category, we will be using ingredients from the "Topping" list.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese on top of the casserole.
- Distribute 1 cup of French fried onions (reserve the other cup for later) evenly on top of the casserole.
- Bake the casserole in the preheated oven until the cheese melts and the onions start to brown, for about 20 minutes.
- Add the remaining cup of French fried onions and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.
Homemade French Fried Onions:
- In this category, we will be using ingredients from the "Homemade French Fried Onions" list. If you decide to make your own French fried onions use this recipe.
- After slicing the onion rings, separate them into individual rings and add them to a large bowl.
- Add 2 cups of milk to the onion rings and let soak for 20 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine: flour, salt, garlic powder, and ground black pepper. Whisk to combine.
- When ready to cook, add oil to a large, deep skillet over high heat (or deep fryer). If using a skillet, it should be 1/2 full with oil.
- Once the oil is hot, working in batches, add a handful of onion rings to the flour mixture, cover well and shake any excess. Add the onion rings to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, stirring often.
- Remove the French fried onions and place them on a baking sheet that has been covered with paper towels to drain excess oil.
- Repeat with the remaining onion rings.