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!

Creamy, comforting green bean casserole made completely from scratch! Easy Thanksgiving side dish. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Creamy, comforting green bean casserole made completely from scratch! It's easy. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Blanched green beans for creamy green bean casserole on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!!

Baked onions for creamy green bean casserole on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

How to make creamy green bean casserole on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make creamy green bean casserole on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Creamy, comforting green bean casserole made completely from scratch! It's easy. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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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
  • 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

Creamy, comforting green bean casserole made completely from scratch! Easy Thanksgiving side dish. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

198 Comments

  1. Um, WOW. Green bean casserole isn’t really a ‘thing’ in the UK but this looks unbelievable! So creamy!!

  2. Oh. My. Gosh. I just made this tonight. My husband and I both agree this is the best green bean casserole we’ve ever eaten! The mushroom cream sauce is out-of-this-world delicious and I could eat it all by itself. Ok , I did. Sooooooo good!!!! I made the onions (and I’d really like to know how you keep one hand dry and one hand wet, by the way) but about half of them burned because I got distracted (I blame that sauce…). So I ended up using some French fried onions I had in my pantry. My husband ate the non-burned onions as a snack, so it all worked out. I’ll give the onions another try again some time, but given how time consuming they were, I’m happy to use the ready-made version. The dish is still amazing!

  3. We are trying this for Thanksgiving, it looks amazing! I have a question though. It looks like you never put it in a casserole dish? You just used the skillet the whole way through?

  4. This recipe will be on my table Thursday. Love green beans and this casserole looks so yummy. I enjoyed the list of Kevin’s favorite things. I am originally from Baltimore and adore my Ravens and Orioles.

    1. i’m unsure if this can be made vegan, i’ve never tried it. perhaps you can search for a vegan green bean casserole recipe that is developed to be vegan because i really have no clue how this will taste without the flavor of butter and richness of dairy half-and-half.

  5. Sally, This looks so yummy! Have you ever doubled the recipe? I need to serve about 13 people :/ I don’t want to mess up any of the flavor, but it would be nice to not have to make two to three batches 🙂 Thank You!!!!

  6. Sally – That was fabulous! I’ve been the green bean casserole person for the last two years, and have been trying other recipes than the traditional “bunch-o-cans” one. This was great, and we had a hard time not eating all the onions before the casserole went in the oven. I will definitely be making this recipe again – it’s a winner!

  7. Hi Sally!
    This looks delicious! I’m so excited to try such a favorite dish with fresher ingredients. I do have a question though- when you say the green beans should be halved, do you mean cut in half length wise or halved down the seam of the bean? Thanks!

  8. I made this for Thanksgiving dinner last night! I decided to use store bough french fried onions instead and because I did that, I didn’t even look over the directions for the onions and totally missed the part where you had to blanch the beans! (maybe put that for the casserole step?) so i used fresh beans and had to cook everything for 30 minutes longer :/ but it was delicious anyhow! Got lots of compliments!! Thank you 🙂

  9. While trying to cut calories a few years ago I started making green bean casserole from scratch and never looked back. The flavors are so much more complex. I can’t wait to try out yours.
    I do fry my onions (lightly dusted w/ cornstarch) but I use less of them and for added crunch I sprinkle the top with toasted slivered almonds before serving.

  10. Fantastic! Really worth all the work. Though keep an eye on the onions–in the hustle of all the prep, I didn’t check on them and about 75% of them burned. Had the perfect amount to mix in, just none for topping. So much better than the goop from the can. Thanks, Sally!

  11. I made this recipe tonight and the mushroom sauce you start out with I used whipping cream. It came out great. I have other uses for that sauce. I have to admit this stuff it great best casserole I’ve had in a long time.

  12. Using whipping cream helped the sauce a lot and I would go half onions mixed and half on top.  Make extra sauce….. mushrooms were clutch and using organic green beans made this very delicious.   Don’t wait till thanksgiving.   We made this in august when beans are being picked.  Great job sally

  13. Do you separate the onion rings or dip the whole slice of onion?  Also, just a comment, don’t know if I could find fresh green beans “up north” where I live!  

  14. This looks so good! I’ve (surprisingly) never found this on your blog yet, but now i am dying to make it for Thanksgiving! 😀
    Is there any substitute for the mushrooms, like maybe any different vegetable?
    I do not like them, especially after learning more about them in biology… 🙁
    Thanks!

  15. Hi–How do you think this would taste with veggie broth instead of the chicken?  Does the chicken flavor really add that much flavor to this dish?
    Thanks!

  16. I have to disagree with the note about not using whole milk. I too use Alton’s recipe but I’ve always made the recipe with 2 cups of whole milk, no chicken stock, no cream or half/half. My sauce thickens nicely, remains thick, and tastes all umami-y and stuff. Other than that – I completely support the green-bean-casserole-from-scratch movement whole heartedly! Once you do it, you’ll never buy cans again. 

  17. That looks amazing! My husband doesn’t like the traditional “made from soup cans” recipe so maybe I will try this for thanksgiving or Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Made this last year… It was DEEEEEEEEEEEEEELICIOUS!

    However, my onions were a real mess to make. I would not have it with canned French fried onions, but do you have any advice to help me get this part right?

    Also, can the onions be made-ahead and reheated as well, or should I make them fresh before serving?

    1. The crispy onions are best fresh. For making them, I suggest using one hand as a dry hand (flour and panko) and 1 hand as a wet hand (the egg). That seems to make less of a mess!

  19. Hello Sally, This looks delicious! One question, I plan on transferring it all into one casserole for baking the following day. What size of casserole would you recommend? I will likely double this recipe.
    Thanks so much!

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