The BEST Green Bean Casserole

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This easy Green Bean Casserole recipe is made 100% from scratch with lightened-up ingredients, including a delicious creamy green bean filling and a crispy onion topping.  It’s also easy to make ahead and always a crowd fave.

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Move on over, canned creamy soup, frozen green beans, and packaged fried onions.

This green bean casserole recipe is made entirely from scratch, and tastes a million times better than the old-school classic casserole full of processed ingredients.  And it is my hands-down favorite♡♡♡

Mainly, I just love this recipe because it legitimately tastes fresh and flavorful.  For too many years, I always took a pass on the green bean casserole at Thanksgiving because it was so mushy and bland and boring.  But turns out — when this casserole is well-seasoned and made with scratch ingredients, it comes to life and is bursting with fresh flavors!

Instead of soggy frozen green beans, fresh green beans are the star of the show here, which are ever-so-briefly cooked in order to preserve their crisp texture and bright flavor.  Instead of cream of mushroom soup, fresh mushrooms are sautéed and folded into a lightened-up creamy alfredo sauce.  And instead of dry, packaged, palm-oil-fried onions, a fresh red onion is sautéed with panko breadcrumbs, which then toast up to golden perfection as the casserole bakes.

Altogether, it adds up to an absolute showstopper of a green bean casserole.  I make it every Thanksgiving, and friends and family all agree that it’s the best!

Green Bean Casserole Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Trimmed Green Beans

Best Green Bean Casserole Ingredients:

Alright, so before we get to the full recipe below, let’s talk for a sec about about the best green bean casserole ingredients.  The three components for this recipe include…

  • Green beans: I really recommend using fresh green beans (vs frozen) for optimal crispiness, cut into bite-sized pieces (with the ends trimmed off and discarded).
  • Crispy onion topping: By contrast to the retro French’s green bean casserole recipe, we will make our French “fried” onion topping from scratch!  All you need are some thinly-sliced onions (red, white or yellow — up to you), Panko breadcrumbs (which we will briefly sauté to make them extra crispy), Parmesan cheese, butter and salt.
  • Mushroom Alfredo sauce: Made with fresh baby bella mushrooms (or your favorite kind of mushrooms), lots of garlic, butter, flour, stock, milk, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Detailed ingredient measurements/instructions in the full recipe box below.

How To Make Green Bean Casserole

How To Make Green Bean Casserole:

So here’s the thing — since we’re going to make each of these components from scratch, this casserole will take a bit longer to prep than the old-school Campbell’s green bean casserole.  But I promise the extra effort will be worth it!  Just carve out an extra twenty or so minutes, maybe grab a helper in the kitchen, and it will be ready before you know it.

To make this healthy green bean casserole from scratch, simply:

  1. Trim, cut and briefly boil the green beans. Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes*, depending on how crispy you like your green beans.  Use a slotted spoon or a large strainer to transfer the beans immediately into a large bowl of ice water, and give them a quick stir in order to halt their cooking.  (*Keep in mind that the beans will cook more in the oven, so I would err on the side of undercooking them at this stage.)
  2. Prepare your crispy onion topping.  Briefly sauté a thinly-sliced red onion in butter in a large sauté pan until it is slightly softened but not soggy.  Transfer the onion to a separate plate, then sauté the Panko breadcrumbs in butter until golden.  Stir the onions, Panko, Parmesan, salt and pepper together in a small bowl, then set aside for later.
  3. Prepare your mushroom alfredo sauce.  Give that same sauté pan a quick rinse.  Then return it to the stove, add a little more butter, and sauté the mushrooms and garlic until golden and cooked.  Stir in the flour and sauté it for a minute, to cook off that flour-y taste and form the base of our roux.  Then stir in some vegetable stock, milk, and Parmesan.  Bring the sauce to a simmer until it has thickened, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Put it all together!  Combine the green beans and mushroom sauce in the stockpot, and stir until evenly combined.  Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and spread it out in an even layer.  Sprinkle the crispy onion topping evenly over the top of the casserole.
  5. Bake.  For about 20-25 minutes, or until the crispy onion topping is golden and crispy.
  6. Serve warm.  Then remove and serve the green bean casserole while it’s nice and warm, garnished with extra freshly-cracked black pepper (plus maybe some chopped parsley) if you’d like.

Easy Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Possible Variations:

There all sorts of ways that you can customize this fresh green bean casserole recipe.  For example, feel free to:

  • Make it gluten-free. To make gluten-free green bean casserole, be sure to use certified gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.  And in place of the all-purpose flour, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
  • Make it vegan.  To make vegan green bean casserole, use olive oil or vegan butter (in place of butter) and plain plant-based milk (instead of cow’s milk).  Then you can either omit the Parmesan altogether, sub vegan cheese in its place, or sprinkle in some nutritional yeast to taste.
  • Add a kick.  Want to add a little heat to this casserole?  I love adding a finely-diced jalapeño to the onion topping.  Or you can just sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes into the mushroom sauce.
  • Add bacon.  I mean, I’m never going to turn down a green bean casserole with bacon.  ;)  Feel free to dice and fry up some bacon to add to this casserole if you would like.  And for extra flavor, use the leftover bacon grease to sauté the onions and mushrooms.
  • Add in extra cheese.  For extra flavor, feel free to stir some cheese (such as smoked gouda, cheddar, feta, blue or goat cheese) into the green bean filling.
  • Add Cajun seasoning.  I also really love adding in a few teaspoons of Cajun seasoning (or Old Bay seasoning) to the Alfredo sauce too.  It adds a nice extra kick, and pairs well with all of the other flavors in this casserole.

Many of you have also asked in the past for a CrockPot green bean casserole recipe.  And unfortunately, I just don’t think that this one translates very well to the slow cooker.  (The cream sauce needs to be cooked on the stove, and the onion topping really needs to be crisped up in the oven.)  So I vote go the traditional route with this one.

Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe

How To Make Ahead or Store Green Bean Casserole:

Make-Ahead Instructions: If you happen to be making this easy green bean casserole recipe for Thanksgiving — or any day of the year — and would like to prep it ahead of time, no problem!  Just follow the recipe until you get to the baking step.  And instead of placing the baking dish in the oven, cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.  Then once you are ready to bake the casserole, uncover and bake as directed.

How To Refrigerate: If you have leftovers after the casserole has already been baked, just refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  (Unfortunately., the alfredo sauce does not freeze well, so I do not recommend freezing this casserole.)

How To Reheat: Then to reheat this cooked casserole, just pop it back in the oven at 350°F until heated through, about 15-20 minutes.  (Keep an eye on the casserole, and if the topping starts to get too toasty, just lay a piece of aluminum foil lightly over the top of the casserole.)

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Healthy Green Bean Casserole Recipe

The BEST Green Bean Casserole

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 -12 servings 1x

Description

This easy Green Bean Casserole recipe is made from scratch with lightened-up ingredients, it’s nice and fresh and crispy, and it is full of the absolute best flavors.  Always a crowd fave!


Scale

Ingredients

Green Bean Casserole Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 batch Mushroom Alfredo Sauce (see below)
  • 1 batch Crispy Onion Topping (see below)

Crispy Onion Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly-sliced
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon each fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Mushroom Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%, but any milk will do)
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven.  Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Trim, cut and briefly boil the green beans. Heat a large stockpot of water over high-heat until boiling. Meanwhile, trim and cut the green beans.  Then add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your green beans. (Keep in mind that the beans will cook more in the oven, so err on the side of undercooking them to your taste during this step.)  Then use a slotted spoon or large strainer to transfer the beans immediately into a large bowl of ice water, and give them a quick stir.  This will prevent them from cooking longer.  Set aside.
  3. Prepare your crispy onion topping.  Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter (or olive oil) in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is partially cooked but still holds its shape.  (You don’t want the onion to get too soft.)  Transfer the onion to a clean bowl.  Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter to the sauté pan, along with the panko, and stir to combine.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the panko is lightly golden.  Remove from heat, and transfer the panko to the bowl with the onions.  Add in the Parmesan, salt and pepper, and toss the onion mixture until evenly combined.  Set aside.
  4. Prepare your mushroom alfredo sauce.  Briefly rinse and dry the sauté pan.  Then return it to the stove.  Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Then add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and soft.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.  Stir in the flour and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.  Then add in the vegetable stock, and stir until the flour is evenly dissolved.  Add the milk and Parmesan, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking the sauce until it reaches a simmer and thickens.  Then remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Put it all together!  Combine the green beans and mushroom alfredo sauce in the stockpot, and stir the green bean mixture until evenly combined.  Transfer to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and spread the green bean mixture out in an even layer.  Sprinkle evenly with the crispy onion topping mixture.
  6. Bake.  Then bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crispy onion topping is golden and crispy.  (Keep an eye on it so that it does not burn.  If it does start to char, simply lay a piece of aluminum foil on top of the casserole.)
  7. Serve warm.  Remove from the oven and serve warm, garnished with extra freshly-cracked black pepper (plus maybe some parsley) if you’d like.


This recipe contains affiliate links.

Green Bean Casserole

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102 comments on “The BEST Green Bean Casserole”

  1. This has been a favorite of mine since I made it three years ago. My office loves it and I just brought it to friendsgiving last night and got a lot of comments like, “why does this taste so much better than what my mom makes?” and “omg this is so good.” I won’t ever go back to the OG version. This takes the cake.

  2. This recipe is going on my list to make next week. Love your recipes!

  3. I absolutely love it! I pass on the other way as well and have made one from the Spark People Cookbook that uses fresh green bans too but no Parmesan cheese. I will try yours out.

  4. Late to the party here on this post – but I’m totally making this version this year!! Would you happen to have the nutritional breakdown for this? I’m just wondering before I spend an hour piecing all together :P

  5. 5 stars
    OH MY GOD the green bean casserole was amazing. The Alfredo mushroom sauce is to die for. No leftovers and my kids want it again tonight. Go figure kids asking for more green beans.

  6. Making it for Thanksgiving this year. I plan in using french filet beans. Will that work? Love your recipes!

  7. 5 stars
    I made this last week, and it was FABULOUS! I was a little nervous because I’m not a fan of the “traditional” green bean casserole, but man… this was amazing. I followed the directions to add bacon and prep ahead of time. This will definitely be added to the Thanksgiving (and other meal!) rotation.

  8. 5 stars
    Tested this out the other day for Thanksgiving and it’s delicious! Definitely bringing it to dinner tomorrow. I did the “regular” version but like all of the variation options.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this for Thanksgiving and for Christmas dinners. Everyone loved it! The day before I blanched the green beans and made the mushroom alfredo sauce, combined, put in a 9×13 pan, covered and put in the frig. The day of, I made the crunchy onion topping. I added about 10-15 minutes extra cooking time and covered towards the end to keep the onions from browning too much.

  10. 5 stars
    i tried this recipe tonight and it was great! the only thing i did differently was i roasted the green beans with the sliced mushrooms, saved time and gave the vegetables a nice carmelized flavor. i tossed them with olive oil and worcheshire sauce.

  11. 5 stars
    The flavors were wonderful but my green beans were a little undercooked even with following the directions exactly. Inwipp cook longer next time and this will be perfect! Everyone LOVED the topping. Such great flavor combos. Thanks you for the recipe.

  12. 5 stars
    Made this with my 4 year old. She loved the onion topping and was snacking on it as I was making the mushroom part. Never had green bean casserole but dislike canned mushroom soup so I tried this recipe. It was FANTASTIC! Every part snelled and tasted great. I had to hold back eating it so it could all come together as a casserole. Worth the wait! Saving for future use. Thanks

  13. I apologize in advance if this question has already been asked and answered but I do not see the calories for this dish.

  14. 5 stars
    We absolutely loved this! Sooo much better than the old Campbell’s soup version.

  15. I’m excited to stumble upon your website as I again seek to add more vegetarian meals to our meat eating household. Do you by chance post the nutritional information for your recipes. Then I can see how much protein I’m getting / sodium or sugar? Thank you.

  16. What an amazing recipe, can’t wait to try this out for thanksgiving. I will be sharing this with my whole family!

  17. 5 stars
    This was terrific! My family liked this SO much more than the mush we normally have! The onions on top add another dimension and the homemade mushroom sauce is so tasty.

    Next time I’ll make half for our family of 6 as we had a lot of leftovers. (Boys are teens & young 20s and we had an entire quart left over) Definitely will be making a full batch for a gathering of friends over the holidays.

    Thank you!

  18. What is the nutritional value of this recipe per serving?

  19. I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and love it! Definitely tastes better than the original, canned kind (yuck). I’m looking to make it again this year but need it to be dairy free. Have you tried substituting almond milk or coconut milk?

  20. Vegans, use your subs and enjoy!

  21. Ali, I’m on a restricted paleo diet so don’t use panko bread crumbs. Maybe I can use a combination of flax seeds and almond flour? But how to prepare it is beyond me. Can you suggest a good alternative?

  22. Cette recette fera désormais partie de nos favorites! Idéal pour inciter à manger plus de légumes

  23. Love it. That’s a bechamel not an alfredo, though.

  24. Like a few other commenters, my casserole was underdone after 30 min in the oven – I’d also kept my beans in the boiling water for 5 min. The recipe makes a lot, there was about 25% left over after an 8-adult dinner party. I’m planning to make this next week for family Thanksgiving, but will cut the recipe in half and cook longer. I added Thyme into the mushroom alfredo for more flavor.

  25. a+

  26. I would like to give this recipe a 10 if I could . Cannot wait to serve this.

  27. This recipe makes green bean casserole so easy to make yet so delicious.

  28. Very delicious 😋 👌 Everyone loved it.

  29. I made this for the first time and it was delicious. It was so much better than the usual mushy green bean recipe I make. All my family loved it and I could have made so much more because everyone wanted seconds of it. I’ll be making this again soon. It’s definitely a keeper.

  30. I’ve made this recipe on this past Thanksgiving and everyone in my family loved it! The best part is that no one noticed that I used turkey bacon, it turned out incredible delicious. I will make it again for Christmas. Thanks for such great recipe.

  31. This looks ideal! I hope to make it next year for Thanksgiving – I wish I’d seen it in time for this year’s one. You are so right in your description of the traditional processed version as being “mushy”. That is one of the things I really don’t like about the old-style processed version. There’s enough pureed/mashed foods at Thanksgiving as it is (mashed potatoes, gravy, which I love but….. the rest of it needs to have other textures!)

    So, am looking forward to making this fresh, from-scratch green bean casserole. I’ll be making the Alfredo Sauce before that though – I’ve been looking for a regular from-scratch Alfredo Sauce recipe. I’m planning to make turkey alfredo with leftover turkey. I usually use jar alfredo sauce from the store, but it just tastes artificial. So, thank you for a from-scratch alfredo sauce recipe at a time that I’m needing it. Bookmarking this page.

  32. I’m excited to try this but feel frustrated that when selecting the option to print, the format wants to include the video Ads and makes the Recipe To direction formatting all separated. The ingredients are a whole section away from the directions because there’s a large video ad included. I haven’t had any issues like this in the past with your other recipes. Is there a way to fix it? The recipes with all the links,videos and items is over 4 pages. Is this just my error? Idk!