This Green Bean Casserole is made completely from scratch and is the healthiest and tastiest one you’ll ever eat!

Fresh green beans, fresh mushrooms, even the crispy onions are homemade. The sauce is creamy and delectable.

There are no cans involved in this recipe. The result is absolutely delicious! It is seriously the best green bean casserole I’ve ever had.

fresh green bean casserole in a cast iron skillet
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Raise your hand if Green Bean Casserole makes it to your Thanksgiving table every year. It seems like every family has it’s ‘must-haves’ at the Thanksgiving table. This is one of ours.

From Scratch Vs. Classic

In my opinion, making something from scratch always tastes better than canned. For Example, Pumpkin puree, Cranberry sauce, and Chocolate Pudding are much more flavorful fresh. 

When I was younger, as in before I was the one cooking the Thanksgiving dinner, I didn’t like this dish all that much. It was mushy, a bit slimy, and I don’t actually like mushrooms. 

Also, I’ve never been a fan of canned vegetables, which the classic recipe calls for. Or canned cream soups for that matter. Especially when you pour it out of the can and it’s a big solid gel-like plop. Ick. 

When I was nominated by my family to make this a few years ago, I thought, there has got to be a better way. And I was right. I scoured the internet and found I found this recipe at Smitten Kitchen. And she nails it. There is nothing I would change. 

Now, this dish is devoured every year by my family, I’m lucky if there are leftovers.

How to make fresh Green Bean Casserole

This is completely from scratch. It does take a little more effort than the traditional Green Bean Casserole, but it is SO worth it. I promise.

If it feels like this is more effort than you care to make, then check out Garlic Butter Green Beans or Air Fryer Green Beans, they are both full of flavor and would make a great addition to your table.

There are three parts to this recipe. The crispy onions, the green beans and finally the mushroom sauce.

Before you begin: 

Prepare the vegetables so everything comes together efficiently.

  • Slice the onions- I like to use a Mandolin to get them 1/8 inch cut, and all even. But caution: They are very sharp! I even got stitches once. You can easily slice them with a knife too. 
  • Wash, snap, and cut the green beans
  • Slice or chop the mushrooms- for a shortcut, you can purchase mushrooms already sliced. 
sliced onions, green beans, mushroom slices on a cutting board

Step One: Make the Crispy Onions

  • Dredge the onion slices in the flour mixture.
  • Heat the oil on medium-high. It’s ready when a drop of water sizzles.
  • Working in batches, drop some onions in the hot oil and fry until just golden in color. They only need a few minutes.
  • Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon or a round mesh skimmer. Place them on a rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb drips. 
golden crispy onions on a rack next to pan of frying onions next to bowl of raw dredged onions

The crispy onions can sit out at room temperature for up to 1 day. I make mine the day before and lay a paper towel over top, just to protect them. And to remind everyone not to eat them. They are addicting! 

Step Two: Blanch and shock the green beans

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Place the beans in the boiling water and immediately set a timer for 5 minutes
  • While the beans are cooking, prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. 
  • After the 5 minutes, remove the beans from the stove, strain, and immediately place in the ice bath. 
green beans in an ice bath

Blanching and shocking the beans helps to cook and tenderize them. They will turn a bright green color and the texture is perfectly crisp tender.

Step Three: Make the mushroom sauce

  • Melt the butter over medium high heat, add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms start releasing their juices, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, saute’ for one minute
  • Add the flour and stir until the mushrooms are fully coated
  • Add the broth 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Let it thicken before adding the next 1/4 cup of broth. Do this until all the broth is used. Simmer for another minute.
  • Add the cream and nutmeg and return to a simmer for 5 minutes.
heavy cream being poured into mushroom sauce

Your house is smelling pretty amazing right now! If you’ve ever wondered what a good substitute for cream of mushroom soup is– this is it!

 Assembly

  • Add the beans and toss in the sauce so everything is coated. 
  • Top with the onions and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the onions are a shade deeper.
green beans on mushroom sauce in a cast iron skillet

Expert Tips:

  • When crisping the onions, the first batch doesn’t cook quite as quickly. On the second or third batch, you may need to reduce the heat.
  • Fry the onions until just golden, they will brown up further in the oven.
  • I love making this in a cast-iron skillet and then transferring it to the oven. You can easily make this in whatever skillet works for you. If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, after mixing the beans and sauce, transfer it to a 9×13 casserole dish, top with the onions, and cook.
  • If you’re needing to keep the casserole warm due to sharing oven space, cook it without the onions on top. Remove from the oven and cover it with foil. Just before serving, top with the onions and put it back in the oven for a few minutes to warm up the onions.
Homemade Green Bean Casserole in a cast iron skillet

Make ahead instructions

Up to three days ahead: Make the beans and the sauce. Store individually, not mixed, in the refrigerator. 

One day ahead: make the onions. Store them at room temperature, loosely covered.

It is possible to combine the beans and sauce, transfer to a 9×13 dish, cover well, and freeze. Then you would thaw it in the refrigerator before baking it. I think it turns out best when done fresh, however, this is an option. The onions do not freeze well.

Follow these instructions for heating:

  1. Mix the beans and sauce and stir well to coat.
  2. Place in a 350° oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven, and top with the crispy onions, return to the oven for another 15 minutes or so, until the sauce is bubbling. If the onions are added for the whole time, they will brown up too much.  

Variations

  • Add some shredded parmesan cheese to the sauce. Melt it in after adding the cream.
  • Add some cooked bacon pieces after combining the sauce and the beans.
  • Bake the onions instead of frying them. You can lay the dredged onions out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 until golden. I tried this one year, but I wasn’t as happy with the results.

Storing Green Bean Casserole

Homemade Green Bean Casserole will stay edible and delicious in your fridge for three to five days. The onions will not be as crispy the second time around, but it is just as flavorful. 

Freeze leftovers

Technically, you can freeze them, just remember the texture of the onions won’t hold. 

Reheating Instructions

In the oven: Preheat the oven to 350. Loosley cover the casserole with foil, you want some air to be able to flow through. I just lay foil over the top, don’t seal it. Bake until heated through, 20-30 minutes. The last few minutes, remove the foil to crisp up the onions. 

In the microvave:  Individual portions work best in the microwave because of the small space. Loosely cover with paper towel or a vented microwave cover. Heat for 2 minutes at 50% power. It’s always best to reheat food in the microwave on less power. That way it’s not getting cooked again. The onions will not crisp in the microwave.

Easy Homemade Green Bean Casserole is the perfect side dish to your Thanksgiving Turkey. It also goes well with this Braised Beef recipe. But, don’t save it just for Holidays, it’s a great addition to Easy Roasted Chicken and Stuffed Flank Steak.

What makes it to your Thanksgiving table every year?

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📋 Recipe

Homemade Green Bean Casserole in a cast iron skillet

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

A fresh take on the traditional side dish made with all natural fresh ingredients! No cans!
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 139kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 medium yellow onions halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper freshly ground, to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans ends trimmed and cut in half

for the sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounces mushrooms thinly sliced or coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

Crispy Onions

  • Toss onion with flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  • Heat a 1/2-inch or so of oil in a 12-inch skillet until a drop of water flicked into it will sizzle.
  • Add onions, working in batches, and fry until a light golden brown (they’ll get more color in the oven) Remove with a slotted spoon,lay onions on paper towels to drain.
  • Repeat with remaining onions.
  • Set aside.

Green Beans

  • Heat water to boil in a large pot, add green beans
  • Cook green beans for 5 minutes.
  • Drain beans and immediately put them in an ice water bath to stop cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 400.

Mushroom Sauce

  • melt butter over medium-high heat in a 12-inch cast iron skillet.
  • Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute them until they start releasing their juices, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and saute for one minute.
  • Add the flour and stir it until the mushrooms are fully coated.
  • Add the broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly.
  • Simmer for 1 minute, then add cream and bring back to a simmer,
  • Add nutmeg and continue cooking until the sauce thickens, about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the cooked green beans to the sauce and stir well.
  • Place the mixture in a 9×13 baking dish and top with the crispy onions.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Notes

  • When crisping the onions, the first batch don’t cook quite as quickly. On the second or third batch, you may need to reduce the heat.
  • Fry the onions until just golden, they will brown up further in the oven.
  • I love making this in a cast iron skillet and then transferring it to the oven. You can easily make this in whatever skillet works for you. If you don’t have an oven proof skillet, after mixing the beans and sauce, transfer it to a 9×13 casserole dish, top with the onions, and cook.
  • If you’re needing to keep the casserole warm due to sharing oven space, cook it without the onions on top. Remove from the oven and cover it with foil. Just before serving, top with the onions and put it back in the oven for a few minutes to warm up the onions.
Make Ahead Instructions:
Up to three days ahead: Make the beans and the sauce. Store individually, not mixed, in the refrigerator. 
One day ahead: make the onions. Store them at room temperature, loosely covered.
It is possible to combine the beans and sauce, transfer to a 9×13 dish, cover well, and freeze. Then you would thaw it in the refrigerator before baking it. I think it turns out best when done fresh, however, this is an option. The onions do not freeze well.
Follow these instructions for heating:
  1. Mix the beans and sauce and stir well to coat.
  2. Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes
  3. Remove from the oven, and top with the crispy onions, return to the oven for another 15 minutes or so, until the sauce is bubbling. If the onions are added for the whole time, they will brown up too much.  

Nutrition

Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 749IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
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11 Comments

  1. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the best websites on the web. I’m going to highly recommend this site!

  2. Awesome! Let me know how you like it when you try it. So far, it’s getting rave reviews. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This is such a FANTASTIC casserole !!
    I love green beans, and it’s a bit (more than a bit) different from the way we usually eat it.
    I’m definitely going to try your recipe.

  4. You totally made my day! I’m so happy it was loved by all. I agree, it is a labor of love, not your easy weeknight meal side dish, but totally worth it once in a while! I’m impressed you ate it for breakfast. I can’t do ‘dinner’ food at breakfast time. haha! Take care!

  5. 4 stars
    Chellie-
    Everyone, including me, loved the homemade green bean casserole!!! Meaning, I had seconds on thanksgiving, and ate it for breakfast the next day. Will never make it the old way again…. Been converted. Was a labor of love though.. Took almost 2 hours, so not a quick thing to throw together.
    I’d still give it 5 stars though! It’s only letting me give 4, but it’s worth the 5!

  6. I would love to make it without mushrooms sometime, just for me. 🙂 I’ve never found a good substitute, for mushrooms. But, most of my family likes them. Thanksgiving was great! I hope yours was too.

  7. Chellie, this looks so delicious. Green Bean casserole is one of my favorite Thanksgiving or fall/winter side dishes, but the hubby and my son don’t eat green beans and no one but me eats mushrooms. So I’m the only one that will eat it as is. I made some the other day, not from scratch, but I made my own cream sauce without the mushrooms. And my daughter and son both ate it. I was shocked! LOL But I would love to use your recipe and do it fresh, I’m sure that I would love it even more, the onions sound incredible and I could use GF flour and omit the mushrooms. I am pinning, this looks so good!! Thanks. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  8. I agree, you wouldn’t want to offend her. Sometimes those ‘habits’ or should I say ‘traditions’ are so hard to change. My brothers have to have corn every year. It just wouldn’t be thanksgiving to them without corn. And we never had sweet potato casserole when I was a kid (or sweet potatoes period), but I love it, so now I make it. Maybe you can try it on your own sometime. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

  9. Oh this looks so good! But my sis is in charge of the green bean casserole this year and I’m afraid if I share this with her she might think I’m judging the old standard! Maybe next year . . . 🙂

  10. Michele, this is so ironic since you LOVE casseroles! 🙂 Do you think you’ll try 1 bite? I’m thrilled to hear such positive feedback on my blog, thank you so much! It means the world to me to hear that my recipes are liked and obtainable. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Make sure you let me know what everyone thinks of the green bean casserole.

  11. My husband is the green bean casserole fan at our house- me, not so much! I passed this recipe on to him and I never saw him get so excited over a recipe before! Think this one will be on our table this year…. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes and clear, concise directions. Love them!