Creamy Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Learn how to make creamy green bean casserole completely from scratch with real ingredients. This family favorite side dish will put that Thanksgiving turkey to shame!

Homemade green bean casserole

When I told my husband I was making green bean casserole completely from scratch for Thanksgiving one year, he nearly lost his mind. Green bean casserole is his absolute FAVORITE and this homemade version blows every other recipe out of the water. Bold statement, right? It’s true.

Green bean casserole with crunchy onions

This is Green Bean Casserole From Scratch!

I can’t remember a single holiday season without a batch of good ol’ green bean casserole. You know, the kind made from condensed soup and those addicting greasy fried onions? Like my husband, I love this Thanksgiving side dish. But I decided to make it completely from scratch, right down to the fried (baked!!) onions sprinkled on top. And we couldn’t be happier with the results. You haven’t had green bean casserole until you’ve had green bean casserole from scratch.

  • No cans of condensed soup
  • Use fresh green beans
  • Real, homemade gravy
  • Homemade “fried” onions

Fresh green beans give the most wonderful flavor and texture. They aren’t soggy like canned green beans. This homemade version of the classic puts the Thanksgiving turkey to shame.

Green beans for green bean casserole

How to Make Green Bean Casserole

  1. “Fry” the Onions: Coat sliced onions in some flour, then beaten egg + milk, then breadcrumbs. Bake.
  2. Blanch the Green Beans: Rinse fresh green beans, trim them, halve them, blanch them.
  3. Make the Gravy Sauce: Melt some butter with chopped mushrooms on medium-high heat. Add a little salt and pepper, then some garlic for flavor. Next, add some flour to soak up all the moisture that the mushrooms have released in the cooking process. Add chicken broth and half-and-half, and watch that sauce thicken!
  4. Stir it All Together: Add some of your breaded onions and all of the green beans, then give it a nice stir.
  5. Bake: Top with the rest of the onions and bake in the oven at 400°F (204°C) for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.

Let’s not ignore the fact that green bean casserole is, for lack of better words, heavy. Rich, buttery, heavy comfort food. It’s certainly not something we eat all the time, which makes it even more special around the holidays. If you’re going to fatten up innocent green beans, this is the way to do it!!

Crunchy onions for green bean casserole

Homemade Green Bean Casserole Ingredients

  • Fresh Green Beans
  • Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Flour
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Half-and-Half
  • Chicken Broth

For the “fried” baked onion topping, you need 1 large onion, flour, egg, Panko breadcrumbs, milk, salt, and pepper. The onions are golden brown and unbelievably crunchy, the perfect texture contrast to the creamy sauce!

What about those mushrooms? They give such a wonderful flavor to the creamy gravy, but I understand they’re not everyone’s favorite. If desired, leave the mushrooms out or replace with 1 thinly sliced bell pepper.

Gravy for green bean casserole

Homemade green bean casserole

How to Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time

Prepare everything as directed, except turn the oven off after the onions are done. After the sauce is finished and the casserole is assembled, set aside and allow to cool. Cover tightly, then refrigerate overnight. The next day, bake for 15-20 minutes at 400°F (204°C) until bubbly. You can also prepare the casserole, including topping with onions, then freeze for up to 3 months before baking. Thaw in the refrigerator then bake as directed.

Homemade green bean casserole

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Homemade green bean casserole

Creamy Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Creamy, comforting green bean casserole made completely from scratch. This undeniably rich side dish will put that thanksgiving turkey to shame! For make-ahead option and freezing instructions, see recipe note.


Ingredients

Baked “Fried” Onions

  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 cup (62g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3/4 cup (45g) Panko breadcrumbs*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk

Green Bean Casserole

  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced into halves or quarters*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (minced roasted garlic is great here)
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (300ml) half-and-half*

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. For the onions: (while the onions bake, you can blanch the green beans– step 4.) Thinly slice the onion. Pour flour in one small bowl, Panko + salt + pepper into a medium bowl, and whisk the egg and milk together in another small bowl. To bread the onion slices, you’ll want to use one hand for dry and one hand for wet. It helps things move a little quicker and easier. First, dip a few slices into the flour. Then into the egg mixture. And finally, give them a nice dunk into the Panko and coat them well. Place onto baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the onions. Bake onions until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Flip them twice during this time. Set them aside.
  3. Reduce oven to 400°F (204°C).
  4. Bring a gallon of water and 1 Tablespoon of salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and immediately place into a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and set aside.
  5. For the casserole: Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a large 10 – 12 inch ovenproof skillet. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give off some of their moisture– about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir until combined. The flour will soak up all the moisture. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 3 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Stirring occasionally, cook until the mixture is thick– about 10 minutes or maybe more if you prefer a thicker sauce.
  6. Remove from the heat and add 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Give it a nice stir, combining the sauce and beans. Top with remaining onions and bake until bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy! Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat as desired.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare everything as directed, except turn oven off after the onions are done, do not heat to 400°F (204°C). After the sauce is finished and the casserole is assembled, set aside and allow to cool. Cover tightly either in the skillet or carefully transfer to another dish. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, bake for 15-20 minutes at 400°F (204°C) until bubbly. You can also prepare the casserole, including topping with onions, then freeze for up to 3 months before baking. Thaw in the refrigerator then bake as directed.
  2. Onion Topping: If you’re not really into the baked “fried” onions, feel free to use a small or medium onion instead. Or leave it out completely and sprinkle the top of the casserole (before going into the oven) with 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.
  3. Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko is a Japanese style breadcrumb found in all major grocery stores or anywhere breadcrumbs are sold. It gives the onions a heartier crunch.
  4. Mushrooms: Feel free to leave out the mushrooms or replace with thinly sliced bell pepper.
  5. Half-and-Half: I tested this recipe with varying amounts of half-and-half– this amount does the trick. You can use heavy cream instead of the half-and-half for a richer sauce if you prefer. I do not recommend whole milk or buttermilk (or any other lower fat milks) instead. You want a thick, rich sauce.
  6. Want to double the recipe to feed a larger crowd? It’s easy! Simply double the ingredients. Then in step 6, remove the skillet from heat then pour the bean mixture into a large 9×13 (or similar size) casserole dish. Top with onions, then bake until bubbly, around 20 minutes.

Adapted from Alton Brown— he likes to add fresh ground nutmeg, but I wasn’t really a fan. Feel free to add some though!

Keywords: green bean casserole

79 Comments

  1. Hi I’m going to make this with regular French’s fried onion, I want to prepare this the night before. Should I still mix in 1/4 of the onions into the mix and put the remaining on top and pop it in the refrigerator until the next day or would the fried onions get soggy and gross?

    1. Hi Stephanie! No need to mix some of the French’s onions into the casserole. I recommend putting the onions on top right before baking (not the night before).

  2. Thank you for such a simple and delicious recipe! Easy to assemble the night before and bake in the afternoon. I must admit I wasn’t adventurous enough to make the onions from scratch – I used Trader Joe’s onions. My family said it was the best green bean casserole they’ve ever had! This will be a new Thanksgiving staple.

  3. All of my side dishes for our Thanksgiving dinner were from this blog. Thank you! I made most items the day before. I prepared the casserole and even stirred in the onions AND placed others on top, all the day before. They were still crispy and great! Some people rely on CostCo, I rely on Sally! Ha! Thank you so much!

  4. My daughter is allergic to wheat/eggs/corn but she loves creamy food and green beans 🙁 🙁 Do you think I could use rice flour as a substitute to coat the onions? Or do you recommend something different?

    1. Hi Veronica! Any flour should be fine for coating the onions. Certified GF oat flour or even almond flour would be great too!

  5. What should I do if I do not have an oven proof skillet?

    1. Hi Hannah, After step 5 simply mix the green beans, onions, and sauce in a casserole dish and bake in that. Enjoy!

  6. Another thanksgiving and I turn to this recipe yet again. This is such a wonderful treat and everyone goes crazy for it. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Can I use plain yogurt in place of half-and-half?

    1. I don’t recommend that substitution. You need liquid.

  8. Hi Sally!
    Love this recipe. Do you know if I could try using cream of mushroom soup instead of the mushrooms and half and half? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Erin! I haven’t tried that substitution with this recipe before, but you can try it if you’d like. Let me know how it turns out.

  9. It’s perfect. I am about to make it the second year in a row! Although, I skip the mushrooms much to the despair of my family, haha. Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. My family was so impressed with this from-scratch recipe for Thanksgiving today Delicious.

    Also made your apple pie bars with homemade salted caramel sauce and LORD it was good. So good that people were putting the caramel sauce on their pumpkin pie slice too

    Thank you for all of your no-fail recipes You’re the best!

  11. Made it! Loved it! This is only my 2nd or 3rd time making one of your savory recipes, and I have to say you are an authority in both sweet and savory. Thank you for all you do!

  12. BEST green bean casserole EVER!!! My family LOVED this recipe. I did have to cut down the bake time of the onions otherwise they would have burned. This will now be my go to recipe for casserole. Thank you Sally!

  13. Darlene Foster says:

    I have alot left over can I freeze it and put a new topping on when I reheat it. Next question, a couple said it was too rich, I used heavy cream, can I cut this richness now with something?

    1. Hi Darlene! I recommend sticking with the recipe and using half-and-half the next time you try it– heavy cream is very thick. You can freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months. Feel free to warm on the stove in a skillet and add a little milk to thin it out.

  14. Julie Meadows says:

    This took an absurd amount of time on a very hot summer day. Yup you guessed it folks, 475 degrees for nearly an hour for the onions. So much work! I think it will be good but really was not worth the trouble. And the method of breading the onions seemed back password to me as well-flour/egg/panko. It needs to be egg first……I did use olive oil spray on the onions when I was baking. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. Green bean casserole is my favorite Thanksgiving side, but I hate using canned soup. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Can I bake the casserole at 350 instead?? (It needs to be in oven same time as stuffing.) For how long would you recommend? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Cara– absolutely. The bake time will have to be extended. Bake until bubbly around the edges– might be closer to 20 minutes.

  17. Jeanette Alley says:

    I made this recipe and Love it!! I hate the soup recipe and never eat it. The only difference I made was to add about half a cup of toasted hazelnuts. They are the bomb, and made a wonderful recipe just a little bit better, I think. I was so happy to find this recipe — it leaves the typical soup and canned onions in the dust!!

  18. I will never understand how almost-raw string beans got to be a “thing.” Cooking them until tender (but not until mushy) brings out their natural flavor and sweetness, which merely blanching them won’t do, and they likely won’t cook much more once in the oven. However, the recipe itself sounds like a good alternative to the canned version.

  19. What type of mushrooms are best in this?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Bill, We enjoy button mushrooms here but you can use any variety you like!

  20. Wonderful recipe for the holidays! The breadcrumbs on the onions didn’t stick as well as I hoped so I decreased the baking time to avoid burning. Otherwise, perfect as is!

  21. Loved this … so good! Used 3/4 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk instead of half-and-half. Instead of blanching the beans, I microwave-steamed them on high for about 5 minutes and then shocked in ice water.

  22. Deborah Katcher-Buckley says:

    I loved this recipe. The only tweak I made was to throw a little Madeira into the sauce, because, why not?

  23. Good bean/mushroom casserole, but the directions lead to never separating the onion slices into rings, yet the photo clearly shows bits of onions, not slices. I followed the directions and had several problems: (1) places where flour caked on but egg did not adhere, thus crumbs didn’t either, yielding unattractive white spots on some slices, and the taste was sort of meh – needed more salt and pepper, I thought, too late. I did several rings separately (they just came apart in the dipping sequence), and they were much better than the whole rings which were still moist inside – the taste was ok, but it didn’t meet the expectations of “crispy” except at the edges. Fortunately, I had some of the store-bought French fried onion rings, so used them and put aside the baked slices.

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