With tender green beans and a homemade mushroom sauce (no “cream of” soup), this delicious side dish is packed with flavor and topped with crunchy fried onions.
This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.
Table of Contents
- About Green Bean Casserole
- What’s in green bean casserole?
- Do you have to blanch the green beans?
- Can you use frozen green beans?
- Can you use canned or pre-cooked green beans?
- Can you make green bean casserole in advance?
- How long is green bean casserole good for?
- Can you freeze green bean casserole?
- Notes & tips for green bean casserole
- More delicious casserole recipes
- How to make green bean casserole
- Recipe Details
About Green Bean Casserole
A classic vegetable side dish for both holidays and weeknights, this deliciously creamy green bean casserole packs a ton of flavor and a delicate crunch. Plus, it’s made without mushroom soup, giving you full control of the ingredients and flavor of the sauce.
What’s in green bean casserole?
This recipe aims to be made mostly from scratch, so it doesn’t include any “cream of” soups. This means that the ingredient list is a little more robust in order to make the roux (the white sauce) from scratch:
- Green beans – The star of the show! You can use fresh or frozen. See tips below for using frozen green beans.
- Shiitake mushrooms – Another common staple in green bean casserole. I used shiitake, but you can also use button, brown, or cremini mushrooms. You can also leave the mushrooms out if you’re not a fan.
- Crispy fried onions – Adds a delicious crunchy topping to this casserole. Feel free to adjust the amount in this recipe to suit your tastes.
- Pancetta – Adds a delicate pork flavor.
- Vidalia onion and shallot – Two different types of onion for adding two types of savory flavor. However, in a pinch or if you’d prefer, you can either of them for an equal portion of the other.
- Garlic – Because, garlic. Great for flavor in any savory dish.
- Extra virgin olive oil – For frying.
- Milk and buttermilk – For making the base of the roux (a thick sauce made by cooking flour and fat).
- All-purpose flour – Used to thicken the roux.
- Butter – Used as the fat in the roux and for making the crumbly topping.
- Rosemary, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper – Delicious seasonings for adding flavor and depth.
- Panko breadcrumbs – Adds more texture and flavor to the fried onion topping.
- Parmesan cheese – An optional topping, but how can you go wrong with cheese?
Do you have to blanch the green beans?
Blanching green beans gives them a vibrant green color and a pleasant tender-crisp texture. However, it’s not a necessary step if you’re pressed for time or prefer a softer texture.
Can you use frozen green beans?
Yes, you can, but you’ll need to make a few adjustments:
- Thaw and rinse the green beans before using.
- Frozen green beans are likely uncooked, so be careful with blanching them. Once thawed, the green beans will already be a bit soft and may not need to be boiled very long to get the right texture. While boiling, be sure to test them at least once per minute and use your best judgment.
- If you think the thawed green beans are soft enough, you don’t need to blanch them. Skip straight to the step of adding the green beans to the skillet with the rosemary, garlic, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper.
Can you use canned or pre-cooked green beans?
Yes! But like with frozen green beans, there’s a few changes to make:
- If using canned, thoroughly drain and rinse the green beans.
- For best results, pat the green beans dry to remove excess moisture.
- For both canned and cooked green beans, don’t worry about blanching them. Skip straight to the step of adding the green beans to the skillet with the rosemary, garlic, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper.
Can you make green bean casserole in advance?
Certainly! For best results, prepare the casserole up until adding the green beans and sauce to the casserole dish, but hold off on the fried onion topping. Wait to add that until just before baking so it doesn’t become soggy.
Green bean casserole can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 to 48 hours. When ready to bake, allow the casserole to come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes, add the toppings, then bake as directed.
How long is green bean casserole good for?
Once prepared and cooled, green bean casserole can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three to five days.
Can you freeze green bean casserole?
For best results, I recommend enjoying the baked casserole while it’s still fresh. If you were to freeze the leftovers, the crispy topping would become a soggy mess once thawed. It would still taste the same but the texture would not be enjoyable.
However, you can freeze the unbaked casserole, but it should be frozen without the crispy topping. To this, wrap the casserole dish tightly in foil and freeze for up to six months. When ready to bake, allow the casserole to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, prepare and add the topping, then bake as directed.
Notes & tips for green bean casserole
- This recipe has a healthy portion of fried onions for an ultra crunchy topping. Feel free to reduce (or increase!) this amount to suit your tastes.
- Don’t have any buttermilk? No problem! To make 1/2 cup of buttermilk: Add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a measuring cup. Next, pour in milk, filling up to 1/2 full cup. Let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes or until mixture begins to curdle. Give the mixture a whisk to fully incorporate, then use in a recipe as directed.
- This recipe works best with full-fat milk.
- In a pinch, you can replace all the dairy in this recipe (meaning both the milk and buttermilk) with half and half.
More delicious casserole recipes
How to make green bean casserole
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – If you’re blanching the green beans, kick things off by bringing a pot of water to a boil and drop the green beans in. Cook them until crisp-tender, then plunge the green beans in ice-cold water until cooled down. Drain the green beans and set them aside.
Step 2 – In a large skillet, heat the oil, then add the mushrooms, onion, and pancetta. Sauté until tender.
Step 3 – Add the balanced green beans, some rosemary, some garlic, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Toss everything together, cover the skillet, and set heat to low. Let the ingredients simmer together while preparing the next few steps.
Step 4 – In another large skillet, melt some of the butter. Add the shallot and flour and whisk everything together until the flour is saturated in butter.
Step 5 – While continuing to whisk, pour in a bit of the milk. Mix until the flour has absorbed it, then pour in a little bit more milk. Work slowly and repeat this step until all of the milk and buttermilk has been added.
Step 6 – Season the milk mixture with oregano, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for five minutes.
Step 7 – While the sauce simmers, add some of the fried onions and the remaining rosemary to a food processor. Pulse it a few times until it’s broken up and crumbly.
Step 8 – Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, then mix in the fried onion mixture and panko breadcrumbs until everything is saturated in butter.
Step 9 – Start assembling the casserole by spraying a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour in the contents of the two skillets (green bean mixture and sauce) then use a spatula to stir everything together. Smooth everything out into an even layer and top with buttery onion panko mix, the remaining fried onions, and parmesan cheese.
Step 10 – Bake!
Step 11 – Serve and enjoy!
Green Bean Casserole
- 1 pound green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped pancetta
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped rosemary, divided
- 5 teaspoons fresh minced garlic, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 pinches salt, to taste, divided
- 2 pinches black pepper, to taste, divided
- 1/2 cup salted butter, divided
- 1 shallot, grated
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups crispy fried onions, divided
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, optional
- In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 2-4 minutes. Drain green beans, then plunge them in the bowl with ice water. Allow green beens to cool for 5 minutes, drain again, then green beans set aside.1 pound green beans
- Warm two large skillets over medium heat.
- In the first skillet, heat olive oil. Add the mushrooms, onion, and pancetta, then sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms, 1 Vidalia onion, 1/4 cup chopped pancetta
- Still in the first skillet, add green beans, 3 tablespoons rosemary, 3 teaspoons garlic, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, and 1 pinch each salt and pepper. Stir well.1/4 cup fresh chopped rosemary, 5 teaspoons fresh minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 2 pinches salt, 2 pinches black pepper
- Cover first skillet and reduce heat to low.
- In the second skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add shallot, flour, and remaining 2 teaspoons of garlic, then whisk until flour is saturated with butter.1/2 cup salted butter, 1 shallot, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 5 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
- Continuing to whisk, pour in some (about 1/2 cup) of milk and allow the flour to absorb it. Once absorbed, pour in another 1/2 cup of milk. Continue to add and whisk until both milk and buttermilk have been used.1 1/2 cups milk, 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Season the milk mixture with oregano and 1 pinch each salt and pepper. Set the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.2 pinches salt, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 2 pinches black pepper
- While sauce simmers, add 1 cup fried onions and remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary to a food processor. Pulse for 10 seconds or until broken up.2 cups crispy fried onions, 1/4 cup fresh chopped rosemary
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining 1/4 cup butter. Add pulsed onion mixture and panko breadcrumbs, then mix until saturated with butter.1/2 cup salted butter, 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Assemble casserole by pour the green bean mixture and sauce into prepared baking dish, then use a spatula to mix well and smooth into an even layer. Top with buttery onion panko mix plus the remaining 1 cup of whole fried onions. If desired, sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese on top.2 cups crispy fried onions, 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.