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Green Bean Casserole

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 176
    homemade green bean casserole with a creamy sauce and topped with French fried onions in a casserole dish

    Fresh green beans and not a can in sight—our homemade green bean casserole recipe gives your favorite creamy veggie side dish a bit of a makeover.

    A Thanksgiving Classic, Made From Scratch

    Green bean casserole, that salty, creamy veggie side dish that so many of us love has somehow become nearly as synonymous with Thanksgiving dinner as the turkey itself. Maybe you love it because you grew up eating it every year at Grandma’s house. Or maybe you love it because your family never served it and so it represents a savory, creamy, forbidden fruit of the holidays. Or, maybe you really don’t love it, but someone you love loves green bean casserole so you’re definitely making a green bean casserole every year no matter what. Whatever your reason, we’d like to let you know that just because you’ve got to make green bean casserole doesn’t mean you’ve got to make the old-fashioned, everything-out-of-a-can green bean casserole recipe! You can make a fresh green bean casserole! From scratch! It’s not even harder than the canned version! Seriously! And (duh) this homemade green bean casserole recipe tastes way better than the one that involves opening a bunch of cans.

    green beans, butter, flour, spices, dijon, chicken stock, half & half and  French fried onions to make green bean casserole

    Green Bean Casserole With Fresh Green Beans

    One of the things that makes our homemade green bean casserole recipe so good—and so distinct from the traditional Campbell’s or French’s recipes—is that we use fresh green beans, not canned. Canned green beans are mushy, and they’re often incredibly salty. Basically, if you start with green beans that are canned, you’ll end up with a mushy casserole and there’s almost no way around it! However, starting with fresh green beans—or even frozen ones—will yield a green bean casserole with a little more oomph! One that’s got a bit of bite, and is just a lot more interesting to eat.

    green beans that have been cooked in boiling water then transferred to an ice bath drying in a colander
    green bean casserole sauce in a pan with a spoon made with butter, flour, spices, dijon and half and half

    Only The Best Green Bean Casserole Ingredients

    OK, so now you know why fresh green beans are the way to go. But what other ingredients do you need, if you’re not relying on the traditional all-canned-everything approach to making green bean casserole? This casserole is plenty rich, and full of flavor, and these yummy ingredients are why:

    • Green beans. Fresh or frozen—either is OK!
    • Butter
    • Flour
    • Onion powder
    • Garlic powder
    • Nutmeg
    • Dijon mustard
    • Vegetable or chicken stock. FYI, if you use veggie stock, this green bean casserole will be fully vegetarian, in case you’d like to offer a vegetarian side dish at Thanksgiving.
    • Heavy cream
    • French’s fried onions. This is the one classic ingredient that we’re not messing with. There’s just nothing quite like these crispy fried onion bits, and we’re keeping ‘em! Plus, we’ve been known to snack on them as we cook on Thanksgiving Day—it’s a marathon! We need snacks!
    green beans covered in homemade creamy sauce in a casserole dish for making green bean casserole
    green beans casserole with a creamy sauce and topped with French fried onions ready to be baked in the oven

    How Do You Make Green Bean Casserole From Scratch?

    Let’s get down to it! Homemade, from-scratch green bean casserole does not—repeat NOT—take much longer to make that regular old green bean casserole. And it’s so, so much better. It’ll convince even the most die-hard green bean casserole naysayers to hop on the green bean train. Here’s how to make it:

    1. Blanch the green beans until they’re just bright green—three minutes for frozen, about five for fresh.
    2. Start making the cream sauce by melting butter, then whisking in flour, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, salt, nutmeg and Dijon mustard.
    3. Whisk in the stock until it’s thoroughly combined, then stir in the cream.
    4. Bring the cream sauce to a gentle simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
    5. Pour the sauce over the green beans, and mix to combine.
    6. Bake the casserole for ten minutes.
    7. Pull the casserole out, give the green beans another stir, then top with French’s crispy onions.
    8. Serve piping hot!
    homemade green bean casserole with a creamy sauce and topped with French fried onions in a casserole dish

    Can You Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time?

    A few hours ahead of time? Yes! A day or two ahead of time? Not really. We know, we know! Planning that Thanksgiving meal is a huge, multi-day game of fridge, stove and oven Tetris. But green bean casserole is just one of those things that’s best enjoyed freshly-baked. Especially if you’re making it from fresh green beans instead of canned, and making this classic casserole from scratch! But! Here’s our do-ahead game plan for this casserole to make life little easier on turkey day, but still ensure that your casserole tastes its best:

    • Blanch the green beans ahead of time! You can do this step easily a day or two ahead, and just keep the bean in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the casserole.
    • On Thanksgiving Day, if you’re short on stove top and oven space—that turkey really gobbles up oven space—prep the casserole up to the point of putting it into the oven. Then pop it into the fridge until 20 minutes before dinner time. Then, pop it in the oven to bake. You’ll be pulling it out right as the turkey is finished carving.
    a spoon scooping out a serving of homemade green bean casserole with a creamy sauce and topped with French fried onions
    homemade green bean casserole with a creamy sauce and topped with French fried onions in a casserole dish

    Tools You’ll Need:

    More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes to Try

    homemade green bean casserole with a creamy sauce and topped with French fried onions in a casserole dish

    Campbell’s Who? Can Opener What?

    While we’ll always have a place in our hearts for the traditional version, our 21st century palates are pretty in love with this updated version. We hope you love it, too! If you make it, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

    Green Bean Casserole

    • Serves: 10
    • Prep Time:  20 min
    • Cook Time:  30 min
    • Calories: 176

    Ingredients

    • 2 pounds fresh or frozen green beans
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
    • 2 cups half and half
    • 1 1/2 cups French fried onions

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

    2. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

    3. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until nearly tender, about 5 minutes for fresh or 3 minutes for frozen. Drain green beans and transfer them to the ice bath for 2 minutes. Drain green beans again, pat them dry and add them to a 9x13 baking dish.

    4. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, nutmeg and dijon, and cook, whisking occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

    5. Slowly whisk in the stock until smooth. Slowly whisk in the half and half until combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

    6. Pour the sauce over the green beans and toss until fully coated.

    7. Bake on center rack until sauce starts to bubble, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss the green beans and sprinkle with fried onions. Continue to bake on center rack until golden brown, about 10 more minutes.

    Nutrition Info

    • Per Serving
    • Amount
    • Calories176
    • Protein4 g
    • Carbohydrates14 g
    • Total Fat12 g
    • Dietary Fiber3 g
    • Cholesterol23 mg
    • sodium178 mg
    • Total Sugars5 g

    Green Bean Casserole

    Questions & Reviews

    Join the discussion below.

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    • Stephanie

      Recipe calls for Dijon. Is that Dijon mustard?

      Yes, it is!

    • Linda

      There’s different sizes of Frenchs Fried Onions. Can you share what size you used for the recipe? Thank you.

      Sure thing! The 6-ounce container.

    • Yvonne P Fanning

      can i make ahead freeze and reheat?

      We'd recommend making it a day ahead of time and storing in the fridge. Instructions for that method are in the post above the recipe!

    • Juliet Ang

      what is "heavy cream"?

      Also called "whipping cream"! You'll find it in the same area as milk at the grocery store.

    • ndrugby

      Can you make ahead of time and heat day of? I’d assume leaving off the frenchs onions until after reheating. Any other steps to consider? Thanks.

      Yes you can! Hope you enjoyed it!

    • Colleen

      This was amazing. Highly recommend Made it for Thanksgiving trying to get away from the canned food and all the same texture green bean casserole usually served. Took this to a family gathering we’re people usually prefer no tampering with the tried and true and there were no leftovers.

      Love this Colleen! Thanks so much for trying it out, it's hard to try new recipes ESPECIALLY on a holiday! So glad it was enjoyed!