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. Yum! This looks delicious, though I do have a soft spot for those French’s crispy onions. Question–I’m not a huge mushroom fan. What would you recommend substituting? Or should I just leave the mushrooms out and make the Alfredo? Thank you!
    Xx
    Momo

    Almosttheredc.wordpress.com

  2. Hey, better late than never..like me. Since I grew up in Canada, I totally forgot about Thanksgiving and made no recipes for it. Whomp Whomp.
    I am so in love with you because you made this crunchy classic better for me! Time to eat the whole pan! Pinned!

  3. I’m all about trying to “healthify” some classics! I’m going to add this to my list for this year. I love greenbean casserole but do not dig the proccessed ingredients. Thanks! (Also, that crispy onion topping should go on everything…)

  4. Yum…. Love me some green bean casserole :) I’m happy to see a version that doesn’t use cream of liquified mushroom soup!

  5. I’m not much of a green bean casserole person, but your version looks fantastic!

  6. This has always been my favorite. LOVE your rendition!! :)

  7. Oh yes, you are rocking my world with this recipe right now. Here I am at work and my team and I are trying to decide where we are going to eat lunch when I just want to jump into my computer screen and gobble (get it? GOBBLE) up all of this casserole.

  8. You’re officially in charge of green bean casserole this year. yum!

  9. My hubby can’t do mushrooms is there something else you recommend for the sauce? Thanks!

  10. Ohh I love this thank you! I always want to make the ever so comforting green been casserole for Thanksgiving but bulk at the idea of that many calories in a vegetable dish. Thank you for sharing!

    xo Rachel

  11. This casserole looks so yummy! I too have never been a big fan of green beans, but somehow I’d always end up with a scoop of this casserole on my plate at Thanksgiving. I think you just get the feeling you must try EVERYTHING on Turkey Day! lol. I love this healthier version you’ve made! And homemade fried onions to put on top?!?!?! … Forget about it! Ha! Thanks for the recipe :)

    -Michele

  12. I would eat this green been casserole:) 

  13. Done and done.  This is instantly being added to my menu for Thanksgiving!

  14. Looks amazing Ali! I made green bean casserole the other day and it’s no where near as lightened up as this. I have to try your recipe! Maybe Kevin won’t notice the switch lol. 

  15. Those Crispy Onions look perfect. 

  16. Wow, this looks amazing. You got me at Parmesan and mushroom! I’m gonna make it next week to “test” before the real holiday dinner! I can’t wait to taste it.

  17. These looks oh so scrumptious Ali!! Adore!

  18. What an excellent recipe, and timely!! I just came back from a major food store with 10 lbs of green beans, a few starting to brown a bit, for .48 cents! Made this recipe immediately, and we both loved it! No condensed soup to deal with, just an excellent healthy recipe. Thank you. Will now have a new dish for next years bean season.

  19. That’s a great recipe. I can almost smell it :)) It’s great for the season too. With all the red meat during the winter, a nice light recipe like that will ease my diet during the spring so i can look good on the beach in 2015 :) Wish you post more recipes like that and less “seductive” ones :)  

  20. Looks BEAUTIFUL, Ali. This is the only dish my husband requests for Thanksgiving. It comes even before the turkey! Love your healthier rendition.

  21. This is so beautiful..love the color and flavors :)

  22. I had saved two recipes for green bean casserole and my husband chose yours.  It turned out very nicely, so it is definitely a keeper.  I never liked the one with canned soup, so it’s nice to have a green bean casserole that I do like.

    I need to say that the way the directions were written (the order they were in) was a bit hard for me to follow.  I understand why you wrote them the way you did, but I would have had an easier time following them had they just been written in the order in which the steps needed to be completed.

    Thank you for a great recipe, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  23. Green bean casserole is one of my favorite dishes every Thanksgiving, but my family and friends are never fond of the can version. I made your recipe this year and it was a HUGE hit! Everyone, including myself, loved it! I can’t wait to make it again! I would agree that the order of the instructions leaves you scrolling back and forth many times to see amount for each ingredient. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  24. going to make this today for Easter tomorrow. Really excited about doing it from scratch! Will take photo good or bad lol!

  25. Hi there! I was just wondering if there is a make ahead option for this dish? Thanks!

    • Hi Nellie! We think you could assemble this the day before. Just assemble entirely, let it cool (leave off the topping until right before you bake), cover and refrigerate, then top and bake when you’re ready! We hope this helps, and that you enjoy!

  26. I hope you see/answer soon….. do you know if this reheats well so I can make it ahead of time? I’m excited to try this and not sabotage my healthy eating.

    • Hi Amber, you can definitely make this ahead of time (we just wouldn’t make the topping ahead of time, as it will get soggy and lose its crispness. You could try making the topping in advance, just not putting it on the casserole until right before baking. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy!

  27. Can you make this in advance? As in the morning of, or dare I say it, the night before and reheat before dinner? I don’t want to make it in the morning and end up with soggy beans at night, I know recipes with fresh ingredients are generally best served fresh.

    • Hi there! You can definitely do that, we just wouldn’t do the topping in advance (will most likely get soggy and lose its crispness). We hope you enjoy! :)

  28. I’d like to make this for Thanksgiving – sounds wonderful!  Can the mushroom Alfredo sauce be made the day before, so that assembling is less time consuming on Thanksgiving?

    • Hi Francesca, we’re sorry we’re just now getting to your comment. The sauce can definitely be made the day before. We hope you enjoy/enjoyed this!

  29. Would it be ok to make this the night before? Or will it go bad before.
    Thanks 

    • Hi Jen, you could definitely make this the night before, just don’t put the topping on it until right before you bake (otherwise it will get soggy). Also, if there’s any way you can make the topping closer to the time you’re going to bake, that would be ideal (the more advance you make the topping, the less crispy it will be/stay). We hope you enjoy this!

  30. This was seriously DELICIOUS!!! I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit with my family and my in-laws. So good. 

  31. I never even tried green bean casserole before, but with this being the only dish my boyfriend requested for our first Thanksgiving together (and him living away from his family) I knew I had to make it. When he walked into the kitchen to find me cooking this on Thanksgiving morning his first reaction was “Do you know how that’s normally made, with cans?” I laughed because the idea of cooking with canned veggies just doesn’t sit well with me. Thank you for giving me a great fresh recipe that gave me the title of “Awesome Girlfriend” this Thanksgiving! 

  32. I made this recipe for my Friendsgiving (I left out the mushrooms) and it was absolutely delicious! I’ve never made the classic recipe and I had everyone cringing at the thought of green bean casserole as a dish but I only received positive feedback and am now bringing this as my dish for Christmas. I’d love to eat this for any occasion or no occasion at all IT’S THAT GOOD. Perfectly light and seasoned.

  33. Looks amazing!  Can this be made a day ahead?  I think you could leave the topping off until the day you bake it.

    • Thanks, Marisa — we hope you enjoy! And we think it would be okay if you made this a day ahead (except for the topping). :)

  34. What is the sodium content? I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure and am trying to cut down on salt.

    • Hi Melissa! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate, though we would suggest consulting with your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure. We hope that helps!

  35. Just discovered your website. Looks interesting, fresh and healthy. With that in mind, do you ever post nutritional info? I have to keep track of carbs. Look forward to trying this.

    • Hi Melanie, we’re glad you enjoy the blog! We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  36. Tried this out tonight but skipped all the salt. Amazing. I try to avoid using any canned soups, it’s nice to know what you’re putting into your food. Love this! 

  37. This is a great recipe – I have made it many times in the past. I plan on making it this Thanksgiving as well but I have one question…
    I have many quarts of canned green beans after the growing season. Can you make this with canned green beans? I have only used fresh in the past and I can always just go buy some at the store but would like to use what I already have on hand.
    Thanks!

    • Thanks for sharing, Angie — we’re happy you enjoy it! And we think you could definitely use canned green beans for this!

  38. Is this the same green bean casserole you had last year?  The one I’m familiar with had a picture of the casserole in an iron skillet pan?  Did you change the photos?  Is it the same recipes?

    • Hi Liusa — this is the only green bean casserole recipe we have. We wonder if you’re thinking of a different blog?

  39. Can you make this the day before and add crispy onions the day of ? 

  40. Thank you so much for this recipe! Long story short grandmother in laws health issues were literally unknown until a few hours ago and I stayed up all night starting from scratch to prepare this dish for Thanksgiving. I used unsalted chicken stock and only put parmesan in the sauce. 45 MG per serving! Not too bad for a novice cook with no time!

  41. Made this on Thanksgiving but did it in the crockpot since the turkey took up the whole oven. I was worried the breadcrumbs would end up being mushy but since I left it alone the entire time without stirring it ended up being fine! I bet it tastes better baked, but it was sooooo delicious in the crockpot too! Thanks for this recipe, my family wants me to make it on Christmas too. 

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Jess — we’re so glad you enjoyed it and that it worked well in the crockpot! :)

  42. Hello,

    What size baking dish would be best? Can I use a 13×9?

    • Hi Kathryn! Yes, a 13×9 or something similar in size (can be a bit smaller) will work just fine. We hope you enjoy!

  43. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. It looks like a great substitute for the less healthy version. However I’m unable to locate the nutrition information. Is it possible to provide that information?

  44. 5 stars
    This cassarole is delicious. So much better than the soup version, however I️ must confess I️ still use the crispy onions. A must have for Thanksgiving…

  45. 5 stars
    Just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe for Xmas Eve last year and EVERYONE loved it, including a family member who owns his own restaurant! I wanted to make a healthier, less processed tasting version of the classic that would also satisfy my picky vegetarian sister, and this recipe did just that! Can’t wait to use it again this year. I am going to try adding in some turkey bacon this year and make two batches since it was all eaten last year. Thanks for a great holiday go-to!!

  46. 5 stars
    This was such a hit at Thanksgiving I am making it again on Christmas Day! I made it as a Weight Watcher member so I had ample deliciousness, and other family members preferred it over the traditional “soupy” salty version that I also made. I’ll never make any green bean casserole again other than this one!!!

  47. 5 stars
    Amazingly delicious – everyone at Thanksgiving loved it. I am making it again on Christmas Day. It puts the old soupy salty mushy recipe out the door forever!

  48. Could you replace the milk with Almond or soy for a dairy free version?

  49. 5 stars
    Amazingly tasty – it was loved by everybody at Thanks for giving. It is being made by me. It puts the soupy that is an outdated mushy recipe that is salty outside the door!

  50. I definitely want to make this for Thanksgiving. If I cook the green beans ahead of time and freeze them will it affect the taste/texture of the dish? Is there anything else that can be made ahead of time?

    thanks