Classic Green Bean Casserole

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Green bean casserole is the quintessential Thanksgiving side. Bizarrely, I never had it on my Thanksgiving table growing up, but I've become obsessed as an adult. 

For this recipe, I ditched the canned cream of mushroom soup and opted for a super-simple cream sauce and sautéed some fresh mushrooms instead. 

Fresh, frozen, or canned green beans work.

Green beans aren't in season during November, so if you're more into using frozen, do it! Frozen green beans have been preserved at their peak, so they taste very comparable to fresh. You can blanch frozen or fresh ones to get them tender. If you're using canned green beans, it's not our first choice, but no need to blanch them. 

Sauté onions and mushrooms. 

The biggest reason I didn't love the idea of canned cream of mushroom soup is that I don't feel like there's strong enough mushroom flavor. By sautéing mushrooms (you can choose whichever variety you like most!) with thinly sliced onion in butter, you're building a base with some serious depth of flavor. Cook the mushrooms enough that they get a little caramelized and you'll really be good to go.

Make your own cream sauce. 

This sounds fancy, but it's seriously melting butter, whisking in a little flour, and pouring over milk. DONE. Let that mixture simmer—and thicken—on your stovetop and there's the creamy element of green bean casserole you know and love, only no gloppy texture allowed.

Add cheese.  

Although not classic, some recipes call for mixing shredded cheddar into the green bean mixture. As a big time cheese lover, I can totally get behind this, though we don't include in the recipe below. If you want to add cheese, don't use more than a cup. Gruyère, Parmesan, or Monterey jack would all be delicious. 

Never skip the fried onions. 

The only ingredient as essential to green bean casserole as green beans is French's fried onions. They're salty, crunchy—and absolutely mandatory. 

Looking for a vegan version? Try our Vegan Green Bean Casserole!

Made it? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!

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Cal/Serv: 323
Yields: 6
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 55 mins
1 lb.

green beans, trimmed

6 tbsp.

butter, divided


onion, sliced into half moons

8 oz.

sliced mushrooms

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c.

all-purpose flour

3 c.

whole milk

1 1/2 c.

French's fried onions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare an ice bath: In a large pot of boiling water, add green beans and cook until bright green, about 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon or tongs, quickly transfer green beans to ice bath to cool, then drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes more. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute, then transfer mixture to green bean bowl.
  3. In same skillet over medium heat, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, then add green bean mixture and toss until even combined.
  4. Bake until warmed through and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
  5. Top with fried onions and bake 5 minutes more. 

Nutrition per serving: 323 calories, 7 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 14 g fat,  14 g saturated fat, 431 mg sodium

Ethan Calabrese
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