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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

Green bean casserole is my family’s absolute FAVORITE (and maybe yours too?) and this homemade version blows every other recipe out of the water. Bold statement, right? 😉

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 irresistible greasy fried onions? I love this Thanksgiving side dish and decided to try 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 good 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.

I always appreciate a short bake time, especially on Thanksgiving.

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

Grab These Ingredients for the Casserole:

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

And 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 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

More Thanksgiving Recipes

If you’re looking for Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts, I have you covered!

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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 8
  • 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

Scale

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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I’m traveling with this dish to a family Thanksgiving and was told there would be little to no room in the oven due to other sides. I’m bringing it in a crockpot so it will be enjoyed warm/hot. Should I bake the dish completely at home and then transfer to the crockpot for serving only or could I bake it in the crockpot?

    1. Hi Shelley, we haven’t tried making this recipe completely in a slow cooker, so we’d recommend trying the other option of baking it completely and then warming again in a slow cooker.

    2. I am about to try this recipe. I made something similar 5 years ago and lost the recipe. I always look on your website because I absolutely love your recipes and every time they come out exactly as expected or better! Huge fan. Keep up the hard work. You saved a picky, high standards ex cook and baker. Mush love

    1. Hi GT, you can try lowering the temperature and/or moving the baking sheet further away from the heating element if you find they’re baking too quickly.

  2. I used less salt and black pepper, other that this recipe is absolutely delicious, thank you!!!!!

  3. It was a Thanksgiving hit. We live out of the country and I couldn’t find panko crumbs but used potato chips crushed instead. Thank for making my crew happy.

  4. Hi Sally ! This was a hit ! I made this last Thanksgiving too, and there were no leftovers ! Everyone raved about it !!! It is truly a delicious dish ! It reminds me of something you would get at a five star resteraunt in San Francisco California ! Thank you so much for this recipe !!!

  5. Overall, this recipe turned out great and someone told me that it was the best green bean casserole they’ve ever had. I did have issues with the onions cooking too quick. I took them out 5 minutes early and unfortunately they had already burned a bit. I also doubled the recipe and had to quadruple the panko bread crumbs and still had half the sliced onions left over, so not sure where I went wrong there, but will keep these things in mind the next time I make this.

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