Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Sides  |  Published Nov 6, 2022  |  Updated Nov 5, 2022  |  By Tawnie

There is just no comparison to this Homemade Green Bean Casserole. I know that’s a confident statement to make as a food blogger but I actually really, really mean it!

Filled with fresh green beans, sliced mushrooms, chunks of crispy bacon, fried onions, and topped with a little extra crunchiness from the Panko breadcrumbs, smoky bacon and yes, even more fried onions. I mean, who could resist??

I think most of us grew up on French’s Green Bean Casserole, but once you have had my homemade recipe, there is no going back.

green beans mixed in a white sauce in a dutch oven with fried onions and bacon on top.

The buttermilk and parmesan cheese sauce that is dressed up with Ranch Dressing Mix is the perfect blend of creamy and herbaceous that coats the fresh green beans & mushrooms.

If you’re building your menu and need more side ideas, you’ll love these Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts, or this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese!

But, the one thing that I kept the same in this main-stay holiday recipe is the crave-able flavor of French’s Crispy Fried Onions! Because how could I not use those?!

I love mixing them in the casserole and also topping the green beans with more of them before it bakes. The “more isn’t always better” rule doesn’t apply here!

a 9x13 casserole dish filled with a green bean casserole.

This Homemade Green Bean Casserole will 100% to take you back to your childhood memories except with plenty of fresh ingredients. It’s a holiday table must have. Mmmm, I’m so excited for all the holiday things!

Reasons You will love my Homemade Green Bean Casserole:

  • It’s super fresh! No cans of green beans and cream of mushroom soup. 
  • You can prep it the day before to make your holiday cooking just a bit easier!
  • It’s always a hit and quite possibly the most important side dish on your holiday dinner table.
  • What’s not to love about bacon and green beans?!

Ingredient Notes

ingredients in individual small dishes to make a casserole made with green beans

Let’s break it down:

  • Fresh green beans: Just snap the ends off and then snap the beans in half for smaller bites. I love using the fresh green beans for a brighter color and more of a crisp-tender green bean.
  • Unsalted butter: To control the flavors and the amount of salt, I like to use unsalted butter.
  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour works wonderfully in a cream sauce when making the roux.
  • Whole milk: Whole milk won’t be as creamy as heavy cream, but mixed with buttermilk it gives you the perfect, creamy texture to coat the green beans and mushrooms.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is naturally lower in fat than heavy cream but still makes a velvety sauce.
  • Grated parmesan cheese: Freshly grated from a block is what I recommend, and not the pre-shredded stuff for the best results.
  • Ranch dressing mix:  Ranch dressing mix is full of herbs for additional layers of herby flavor.  
  • Dijon Mustard: Dijon is the perfect flavor enhancer.
  • Worcestershire: The savory, umami flavor of Worcestershire is one of my favorite flavor enhancers. 
  • Fresh thyme: Is the perfect herb balance of savory and sweet. In a pinch, you can use dried thyme.
  • Mushrooms: I used the white button mushrooms, but you can use baby bella mushrooms for a deeper, earthier flavor.
  • Garlic: mince the garlic to distribute the flavor evenly throughout the casserole.

Step by Step Directions

If you’re at all intimidated by the steps in making a green bean casserole, I’ve got a secret for you. If all you do is use fresh green beans, you’re already elevating the dish! Use 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup if you’d prefer instead of making the homemade sauce and buy pre-cooked bacon bits. (More on these variations can be found below). I know we’re all limited on time, especially during the holiday season, so I get it. I’m with you!

But if you want to stick to the real deal, here we go!

a white sauce being made in a dutch oven.
mushrooms in a saute pan, green beans in an ice water bowl, and green beans and mushrooms in a white sauce in a dutch oven.
  1. Cook the bacon, let it cool, and then chop it into tiny bits.
  2. Blanch the green beans in boiling, salted water until they’re bright green.
  3. Plunge them in ice water, drain then pat them dry.
  4. Make the creamy parmesan sauce.
  5. Saute the mushrooms and garlic.
  6. Add the green beans, mushrooms, crispy fried onions and half of the bacon to cream sauce. Stir.
  7. Transfer to a 9×13 pan.
  8. Top with remaining bacon, some Panko breadcrumbs and crispy fried onions & bake.
a wooden spoon in a casserole dish made with green beans and topped with panko breadcrumbs and bacon crumbles.

Tips and Variations

  • For a cheesy option, add one cup of freshly grated cheddar cheese to the green beans when stirring into the cream sauce.
  • Not a fan of mushrooms? Just leave them out and increase the amount of green beans or add more fried onions.
  • If you just don’t like the texture of mushrooms but still want to add them in, blitz them in the food processor into tiny pieces so you just have the nutty flavor of the mushrooms, but no chunky texture.
  • After blanching the green beans pat them dry so the cream sauce perfectly coats the tender crisp green beans.
  • If you don’t want to make the homemade cream sauce, use 2 (10.5 oz.) cans of cream of mushroom soup in its place.
  • I love using the French’s crispy fried onions, but if you’re feeling fancy you can make your own fried onions or crispy fried shallots.
green beans on a white plate with a fork.

FAQ

How can I make this ahead of time?

I’m so glad you asked! I’ll be doing this for our family too. You can prep it up for 48 hours in advance. Here is how: Assemble the entire casserole as directed but keep the Panko/bacon/fried onion topping on the side. Wrap and refrigerate the casserole. When you’re ready to bake, remove from the fridge while the oven preheats. Top the casserole with the Panko mixture and bake until the tops are golden brown and casserole is bubbly and hot.

Can I use canned or frozen green beans?

Yes you can but for the best crisp-tender green bean, I recommend fresh green beans. I would use frozen green beans over canned since they are blanched and flash frozen. If using frozen, be sure to thaw and pat dry, so no excess moisture is added to the casserole.

How long does green bean casserole last?

About 4 days, properly stored in the fridge.

How long do I blanch the green beans?

I blanch my green beans in boiling salted water for about 5-7 minutes, or until they have a bright green color and have a crisp yet tender bite. Some recipes only blanch fresh green beans for 2 or 3 minutes, but I feel a few minutes longer is necessary to prevent a super crunchy green bean which I hate in my green bean casserole. Use your best judgement! 🙂

a wooden spoon in a casserole dish made with green beans and topped with panko breadcrumbs and bacon crumbles.

HUNGRY FOR MORE? If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!

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Homemade Green Bean Casserole

This Green Bean Casserole is filled with fresh green beans, a creamy thyme-spiked white sauce, mushrooms, thick-cut bacon, crispy fried onions, and topped with a bacon Panko topping!
5 from 1 review
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

For the green beans

  • 2 lbs. fresh green beans, ends cut off and cut into 2-inch segments
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt

For the mushrooms

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of kosher salt

For the cream sauce

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. Ranch dressing mix
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • pepper, to taste

Panko Topping

  • 2 cups French's Fried Onions, divided
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 7 strips bacon, cooked and chopped into little crumbles, divided

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a cooling rack. Arrange bacon in a single layer on the rack. Bake until golden brown and crispy. ~20 minutes. Let cool then chop into pieces. Set aside.
  • Lower the oven temperature down to 350°F.
  • Blanch the green beans: Add salt to a large pot of water and bring the water to a boil. Add the trimmed and cut green beans to the boiling water, and cook for 5-7 minutes or until they are bright green and crisp-tender. While they are cooking, fill a large bowl with ice and water.
  • Drain the green beans in a colander and then immediately transfer to the water bath until they are cooled. Drain the green beans again, and pat them dry with paper towels. (This will help the creamy sauce stick to the green beans!). Set aside.
  • Saute the mushrooms: In a medium sized skillet, melt the butter and add in the mushrooms, garlic and salt. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned and the mushrooms have cooked down. Remove from heat to let cool.
  • Make the cream sauce: Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat and then whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk for 1-2 minutes to cook out the floury taste. Gradually whisk in the milk and whisk until the sauce has thickened and is bubbly.
  • Remove the sauce from heat and pour in the buttermilk. Then add in the Parmesan cheese, ranch dressing mix, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  • Toss the mushrooms and green beans into the cream sauce. Then add in about half of the bacon crumbles and 1 cup of the fried onions. Stir.
  • Spray a 9×13 oven safe baking dish lightly with cooking spray. Transfer the green beans to the pan. Combine the remaining fried onions, bacon and Panko breadcrumbs together in a bowl. Then sprinkle this panko topping over the green beans.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbly. Cover with foil if tops are getting too browned. Serve and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Storage: keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • How to make in advance: Assemble the entire casserole as directed but keep the Panko/bacon/fried onion topping on the side. Wrap and refrigerate the casserole. When you’re ready to bake, remove from the fridge while the oven preheats. Top the casserole with the Panko mixture and bake until the tops are golden brown and casserole is bubbly and hot.
  • If you don’t want to make the homemade cream sauce, use 2 (10.5 oz.) cans of cream of mushroom soup in its place.
  • If using frozen green beans, be sure to thaw and pat dry, so no excess moisture is added to the casserole.
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