Green Bean Casserole

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The classic Green Bean Casserole gets a fresh and modern twist; we’re tossing out those cream of mushroom soups and making a creamy cheesy sauce from scratch. But don’t be intimidated; this green bean casserole is simple to make and will be the hit of any holiday dinner!

Green Bean Casserole can easily be doubled or tripled and can be made ahead of time. This classic holiday side dish pairs perfectly with other sides such as these mashed potatoesroasted vegetablesbrussel sprouts, and/or a sweet potato casserole!

Image of the ready-to-eat Green Bean Casserole with a spoon in the pan.

We’ve never had a Thanksgiving dinner without Green Bean Casserole. But if I’m honest, it’s a side dish I’ve always been fine to pass on.

The typical casserole with canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and french-fried onions has never been my favorite. Campbell’s® created this casserole back in 1955 as a popular side dish, and while many still love it (hi dad!), I’m excited to be sharing a fresh twist on the classic.

 I’ve never been a fan of typical green bean casseroles, but THIS casserole is fine to occupy a majority of my Thanksgiving plate–as long as there is also room for these roasted sweet potatoes!

Image of fresh green beans going into the casserole dish for Green Bean Casserole.

Obviously, using canned products is the quickest route to a green bean casserole. But I can promise you, this recipe is not complicated and the flavors are incredible. The extra effort is well worth it.

Image of the cream sauce being poured over the green beans for this bean casserole recipe.

Ingredients in this scratch-made Green Bean Casserole

  • Instead of mushy canned green beans, we’re using fresh green beans that have been quickly cooked to preserve their crispness and the fresh flavor.
  • We’re replacing cream of mushroom soup with a flavor-packed cheesy sauce. The sauce is filled with lower fat dairy products, sharp Cheddar and Parmesan cheese.
  • Instead of dry chemical-laden fried onions, we’re adding some buttered panko and a little more cheese on top.

Image of the casserole dish with cheese being added over the green beans for Green Bean Casserole.

Variations

  • Green bean Casserole with bacon: To add bacon, fry or bake some bacon, dice it up and add it on top of the casserole right out of the oven.
  • Healthy Green Bean Casserole: I consider this casserole to be much healthier than its counterparts because of the fresh ingredients. Use 1% milk and fat-free sour cream for a healthier casserole.
  • Add mushrooms: To add mushrooms, sauté up to 8 ounces of mushrooms in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, and then gently fold this into the cheese sauce that will go on the green beans.
  • Add onion: Thinly slice a yellow onion, sauté in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and then gently fold it into the cheese sauce.
  • Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free panko instead of regular, and use a gluten-free (all-purpose) flour blend in place of the regular flour.
  • Make it vegetarian: Replace the chicken stock with veggie stock and add some vegetable bouillon powder in place of the chicken bouillon.

Image of the panko bread crumbs being toasted and added to the casserole dish.

Making Green Bean Casserole ahead of time

Make ahead directions: Follow the instructions for preparing this casserole up until adding the toasted panko. Pour the toasted (and completely cooled) panko into a plastic bag and store at room temperature. Cover the prepared casserole tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Once you’re ready to bake, remove the casserole and keep at room temperature while the oven preheats. Add the toasted panko on top, cover the casserole with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or until bubbly around the edges).

Storing leftovers: If you have leftovers, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently to avoid the sauce breaking (separating). Note that the panko will lose its crispness after being baked and then refrigerated.

Freezing: Neither this casserole or the leftovers freeze well. The sauce tends to break and become too watery.

Image of the baked Green Bean Casserole with a scoop taken out of it.

Reheating leftovers

How to reheat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cover the casserole and place it into the oven until completely heated through. This will take about 20 minutes (the sauce should be bubbly on the edges). 

I wouldn’t recommend heating in the microwave, as the sauce tends to break. If you do microwave, I recommend only microwaving individual portions.

Overhead image of Green Bean Casserole served on a plate.

Quick tip:

Make sure the green beans are completely dry before adding to the casserole dish. Wet green beans will make the casserole soggy and less flavorful.

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Green Bean Casserole

5 from 9 votes
Classic Green Bean Casserole gets a fresh and modern twist; we're tossing out those cream of mushroom soups and making a creamy cheesy sauce from scratch. But don't be intimidated; GreenBean Casserole is easy to make and will be the hit of any holiday dinner!
Print Recipe

Green Bean Casserole

5 from 9 votes
Classic Green Bean Casserole gets a fresh and modern twist; we're tossing out those cream of mushroom soups and making a creamy cheesy sauce from scratch. But don't be intimidated; GreenBean Casserole is easy to make and will be the hit of any holiday dinner!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword green bean casserole
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings (as a side)
Calories 244kcal
Cost $5.12

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds washed and trimmed fresh green beans, halved
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup white all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (1%, 2% or whole; I use 1%)
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I use fat free)
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: dried parsley flakes, roasted garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup panko crumbs (next to breadcrumbs in grocery store)

Instructions

  • GREEN BEANS: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a very large pot of water to a rolling boil. While water is heating, wash and trim green beans. Halve the beans (make sure they're all about the same size -- bite-size). Add green beans to boiling water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes (3 minutes for al dente green beans (that have a good bite to them) and 5 minutes for softer beans) I like them at the 3-minute mark for a good chew in the final casserole. Although they're being baked later, they don't get too much softer after this initial boil. Fill a large bowl with ice. Drain beans, run under cold water, and then transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Then drain out any ice and let beans dry. I dab with a paper towel until completely dry.
  • SAUCE: Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Once melted, gradually whisk in flour until a thick paste forms. Whisk for one minute to cook out the raw flour taste and then gradually add in 1/3 cup of the milk while whisking constantly. Gradually add 1/3 cup chicken stock or broth while whisking. Add in another 1/3 cup milk, then remaining 1/3 cup stock, and last remaining 1/3 cup milk. Whisk after each addition until completely smooth and sauce is thickened. Whisk in 1 cup of sharp Cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese until completely smooth. Add in sour cream and whisk until smooth. Stir in the chicken bouillon powder, Dijon mustard, granulated onion, dried parsley, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; add to taste preference -- the Parmesan cheese does add a good amount of saltiness as well).
  • ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Add the dry green beans (if they're still wet, it will make the casserole soggy) to the base of a 9x13-inch ceramic casserole dish. Pour the sauce over everything and spread to evenly coat. Gently stir the beans into the sauce until well coated. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over top of sauced green beans. In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt the 2 tablespoons butter. Add the panko and toast, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are light brown and toasted. Sprinkle this topping evenly over cheese. Cover casserole with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Remove and serve hot.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 8servings | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.6g | Protein: 14.4g | Fat: 14.6g | Cholesterol: 34.1mg | Sodium: 510.9mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 5.6g

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