You absolutely cannot have a complete Thanksgiving dinner without Green Bean Casserole. Tender green beans drenched in a creamy mushroom sauce and topped with crispy onions are Thanksgiving perfection. My Green Bean Casserole is made without cream of mushroom soup for added homemade flavor.
There are tons of different Green Bean Casserole recipes, but I firmly believe that a scratch-made version of the classic recipe is the best. The only change that I made is to ditch the condensed mushroom soup and make a mushroom cream sauce from scratch.
The homemade cream sauce is not difficult to make, but it adds so much flavor to the recipe. Also, the texture is silky smooth and not too thick. What I did not replace, however, are the traditional store-bought French’s Crispy Fried Onions. Frying onion rings takes a lot of time, and French’s taste amazing and stay crisp for hours.
If you enjoy the classic casserole and like the flavor of mushrooms, you will love my Green Bean Casserole made from scratch.
The ingredients list for Green Bean Casserole from Scratch is slightly longer than if you used cream of mushroom soup, but it’s totally worth it! Once you’ve had the recipe without condensed soup, you will never go back.
- Green beans- Fresh is a must! Frozen or canned would require less cooking time.
- Mushrooms- I used baby portabella mushrooms (also known as cremini mushrooms), but you can use any variety you like. If you like a lighter flavor, go with button mushrooms.
- Heavy cream
- Chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- Thyme- Fresh is preferred but you can substitute with dried if you can’t find it.
- Worcestershire sauce
- French’s Crispy Fried Onions
Green Bean Casserole is a simple recipe with just a few easy steps.
- Boil the green beans for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the mushrooms, onions, and garlic until golden brown.
- Add flour, cream, chicken stock and spices to make the mushroom cream sauce.
- Combine the sauce and green beans. Pour into a casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes.
- Top with French’s Crispy Fried Onions and bake for another 7 minutes.
Green Bean Casserole is a perfect make-ahead recipe for Thanksgiving. For best results, combine the green beans and sauce and place in a casserole dish. Cover with plastic wrap and it will keep for up to three days in the fridge. When you’re ready to bake, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and then follow the baking instructions in the recipe.
A variety of mushrooms would work in this recipe. It just depends on your personal preference. For a mild mushroom flavor, use button mushrooms. Baby portabella mushrooms are another great choice. They are mild in flavor but are a step up in intensity from button mushrooms.
If you’re a mushroom connoisseur or live somewhere with access to amazing shrooms, don’t let me stop you from adding whatever variety you like.
The only other possible substitution that I can think of is for French’s onions. If you avoid processed foods then French’s may not be for you. Here is a recipe for homemade crispy fried onions.
I have tried to make homemade onion rings for this recipe before. In fact, there are still grease marks on the ceiling of my dad’s house from the onion explosion that happened during that experiment, so I’m going to stick with the store-bought kind.
Convert the recipe to vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock for chicken stock. I am not an expert in the vegan diet but you could also swap out heavy cream with a non-dairy sub for a vegan variation.
- Serve: After baking, let the casserole cool for at least ten minutes before serving.
- Store: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. The crispy onions will lose their crunch once refrigerated.
- Freeze: The recipe can be frozen before adding the crispy onions on top. Once the green beans and sauce are combined, store in a casserole dish covered tightly first with plastic wrap and then foil to prevent freezer burn.
- Defrost: Allow the frozen casserole to thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before baking according to the recipe.
- Reheat: Leftovers can be reheated in the oven at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.
A 9” x 13” casserole dish is perfect for this recipe because it gives plenty of room for the crunchy onions on top, but it spreads the cream sauce out thin. For best results, coat all the green beans thoroughly in the sauce before adding them to the dish. Once you’ve poured the green beans, use the back of a spoon to gently smoosh all the green beans down in the sauce (see photo).
Green Bean Casserole from Scratch will satisfy everyone at your holiday dinner. Let me know what you think about the recipe in the comments section below.
Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
- 2½ lbs green beans
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 8 oz mushrooms finely diced
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 Tb all purpose flour
- 1 C heavy cream
- 1 C chicken stock
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp thyme fresh*
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 6 oz French's Crispy Fried Onions
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Trim the ends off of the green beans and cut into one to two inch pieces. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the green beans and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Using the same pot, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and stir distribute. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions soften.
- Remove the thyme leaves from the sprig, roughly chop, add to the pot, and cook for 30-60 seconds or until aromatic. Add the flour and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a low boil and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Last, add green beans and stir to combine.
- Pour the green bean mixture into a 9" x 13" baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Don't add the French's onions yet! They burn quickly and cannot take the long cook time green beans require.
- After 45 minutes, remove the casserole from the oven. Scatter the French's onions evenly across the top and bake for another 7 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. First, combine the green beans and sauce and place in a casserole dish. Cover with plastic wrap and it will keep for up to three days in the fridge. When you’re ready to bake, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and then follow the baking instructions in the recipe.
They burn very easily, so they only need 5-10 minutes of cook time to brown.
Yes. Just substitute vegetable stock in place of chicken stock in the recipe.
Any mushroom you like will work. If you like a mild mushroom flavor, stick with button or baby portabella mushrooms (also called cremini mushrooms).
The recipe works best with fresh green beans. If frozen is the only option then I recommend cutting the cooking time to 20 minutes before adding the crispy onions on top.