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Green Bean Casserole

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Calories: 182
homemade green bean casserole with crispy onions and a cream sauce in a baking dish with a serving spoon

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.

ingredients laid out for thanksgiving green bean casserole crispy onions, cream, dijon, spices, butter and flour

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.

creamy white sauce for homemade green bean casserole in a pan
blanched green beans in a colander

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!
cooked green beans being tossed in a sauce with a wooden spoon. in a baking dish
thanksgiving green bean casserole with crispy onions and a cream sauce in a baking dish

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 crispy onions and a cream sauce in a baking dish
homemade green bean casserole with crispy onions and a cream sauce in a baking dish with a serving spoon

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.
homemade green bean casserole with crispy onions and a cream sauce in a baking dish with a serving spoon
homemade green bean casserole with crispy onions and a cream sauce in a baking dish with a serving spoon

Tools You’ll Need:

More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes to Try

homemade green bean casserole with crispy onions and a cream sauce in a baking dish with a serving spoon

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: 20 min
  • Calories: 182

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Fresh or frozen green beans
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Dijon
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 cup Veggie or chicken stock
  • 1 can French's crispy fried onions

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  3. Add the green beans to the water and blanch for 5 minutes if using fresh or 3 minutes if frozen. Drain them in a colander set over the sink. Place them in a 9x13 baking.
  4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until bubbly. Add the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, salt, nutmeg and dijon to the pan. Mix until combined.
  5. Whisk in the stock and whisk until there are no longer any lumps left. Pour in cream and stir until fully combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it has thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  6. Pour the sauce over the green beans in the baking dish and stir to combine.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, toss the green beans so they get recoated with the sauce, sprinkle with fried onions and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes.