Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (2024)

Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (1) Jessica

4.5 from 876 votes

649 comments

Prep Time 25 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 45 minutes mins

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This is the very bestGreen Bean Casserolerecipe we’ve ever made. Seriously! Fresh green beans, homemade cream of mushroom soup, and crispy fried onions make this a holiday side dish that’s sure to impress your guests!

Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (2)

Table of Contents

  • Why This Is the Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe
  • What You’ll Need
  • How To Make This Easy Green Bean Casserole
  • Tips and Variations
  • What To Serve With French’s Green Bean Casserole
  • Can You Make Green Bean Casserole Recipe Ahead Of Time?
  • Storage and Freezing
  • More Must Make Holiday Side Dishes
  • Get the Recipe

    Why This Is the Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe

    This easy green bean casserole has been a long-time family favorite and our loyal readers agree! Here’s why you should try it in your holiday menu this year:

    • Reader Favorite: So many 5-star reviews, it’s hard to keep track! According to many years of glowing comments, your holiday table won’t be the same without this side dish.
    • Fresh Flavors: This green bean casserole, made with fresh green beans and a homemade mushroom cream sauce, beats the retro canned version hands down! If you grew up with French’s green bean casserole made with canned beans and canned soup, you might be a little shocked. You seriously won’t believe how creamy and flavorful this version is until you try it for yourself.
    • Impressive: Make this easy and delicious side dish from scratch with very little effort. While it looks similar to the canned classic, everyone swoons when they taste the homemade love in every bite.
    • Make Ahead: Save your sanity and prep this amazing green bean casserole up to 2 days before serving. It turns out perfectly!

    Looking for more tasty holiday side dishes? You can’t go wrong with our decadent sweet potato casserole topped with toasted marshmallows! We’re also quite partial to corn on the holiday and love a serving – or two! – of our best corn casserole!

    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (3)

    What You’ll Need

    Simple, wholesome ingredients make the best green bean casserole ever. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

    Green Beans

    • Green Beans: We highly recommend using fresh green beans. For other options, check the tips section below.

    Mushroom Cream Sauce

    • Veggies: We’ll be using sweet yellow onion, freshly minced garlic, and portobello (large or baby) mushrooms.
    • Salt & Pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper will give you the best flavor.
    • Butter
    • Flour: Regular, all-purpose flour thickens the sauce perfectly.
    • Broth: Chicken or vegetable broth adds depth.
    • Dairy: The recipe calls for half and half, but heavy cream can also be used. Whole milk will work in a pinch.

    Topping

    • Breadcrumbs: Use your favorite store-bought or buzz up your own leftover toasted bread in the food processor.
    • French Fried Onions: Homemade onion strings NEVER beat French’s Fried Onions for flavor and crunchy texture. This is truly what makes this a French’s green bean casserole!
    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (4)

    How To Make This Easy Green Bean Casserole

    Here’s a quick tutorial showing you how to make the best green bean casserole recipe you’ll ever try. For detailed directions scroll to the recipe card below.

    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (5)
    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (6)
    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (7)
    • Blanch Beans: Boil green beans in water or chicken broth until just tender. Immediately drain and place beans in ice water to stop the cooking process. This keeps the green beans from becoming too soft.
    • Cream Sauce: In a large deep skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in butter until softened. Stir in mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over vegetables; stir. Next, add broth and half and half. Stir to combine and cook until thickened.
    • Combine: Toss blanched green beans in the mushroom sauce and transfer to a large baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and French fried onions.
    • Bake: Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (8)

    Tips and Variations

    Our fresh version of French’s green bean casserole is easy and tastes sublime. However, if you are looking to shake things up, see variations below and bonus tips:

    • Green Beans: For unbeatable flavor and texture, we wholly recommend using fresh green beans. The next best choice is frozen green beans, prepared just as you would fresh. Canned green beans are our last choice. But if that’s all you have access to, use 6 cans and drain them well before cooking.
    • Nutmeg: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg can be added to the cream sauce for surprising warmth and depth of flavor.
    • Cheese: Add up to 2 cups of shredded cheese to the green bean mixture. Or, sprinkle cheese on top of the casserole before breadcrumbs and fried onions. Try white cheddar, parmesan cheese, fontina, or regular cheddar.
    • Herbivores: Swap veggie broth for chicken broth to keep this casserole totally vegetarian.
    • Omnivores: Add chopped, cooked, smoky bacon to the green bean mixture before baking.
    • Not a Mushroom Fan? Nix the mushrooms and double the onion in the cream sauce to create a homemade cream of onion sauce instead!
    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (9)
    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (10)

    What To Serve With French’s Green Bean Casserole

    Here are some of our favorite holiday entrees to pair with this classic Thanksgiving side dish:

    • Turkey: Follow our easy directions for how to cook a perfect Thanksgiving turkey. For a smaller version try this instant pot turkey breast.
    • Ham: Try crockpot ham or air fryer ham to keep it stress free. Or this baked ham with orange glaze is a show stopper!
    • Pork Loin: This surprisingly easy stuffed pork loin is packed with dried apricots and Boursin cheese.
    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (11)

    Can You Make Green Bean Casserole Recipe Ahead Of Time?

    Yes! This is a wonderful make-ahead side dish that also travels well. To prepare ahead:

    • Follow recipe up to topping it with the bread crumbs and fried onions.
    • Instead, cool and store the prepared casserole tightly wrapped in fridge for up to 48 hours.
    • To bake, remove from fridge and allow casserole to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.
    • When ready to bake, top casserole with the bread crumbs and French fried onions. Bake according to recipe directions!

    Storage and Freezing

    Leftovers are almost as good the next day! Here’s how to store and reheat this green bean casserole:

    • Fridge: Store leftovers tightly wrapped in fridge for up to 3 days. You can also store it in the baking dish, just wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or foil.
    • Reheat: For best results, reheat in the oven at 375°F for 15 minutes, or until warmed through. Or, microwave until warm. Adding fresh fried onions on top will make it taste more like it did fresh.
    • Freeze: Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in oven or microwave.

    More Must Make Holiday Side Dishes

    Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

    Baked Mac and Cheese

    Cranberry Relish

    Soft Dinner Rolls Recipe

    • Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
    • How to Make Turkey Gravy from Drippings
    • Apple Cranberry Sauce
    • Easy Jiffy Corn Casserole Recipe
    • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
    • Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls Recipe

    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe - Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side! (16)

    Print Pin Recipe

    Yield: 8 servings

    Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe

    This homemade green bean casserole recipe is made from scratch with fresh green beans and a decadent, homemade cream of mushroom soup!

    Prep Time25 minutes minutes

    Cook Time20 minutes minutes

    Total Time45 minutes minutes

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 1.5 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and ends trimmed
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced or diced
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
    • ½ – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup chicken broth, or vegetable stock
    • 1 cup half-and-half, or heavy cream
    • ½ cup breadcrumbs, optional
    • 10 oz French Fried Onions

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish, set aside.

    • Blanch the beans: In a large pot, bring about a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Add the green beans and boil for 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

    • Canned Green Beans: If using canned green beans instead, drain green beans completely and set aside.

    • Melt butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

    • Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir to combine. Then add the half and half and simmer until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

    • Remove from the heat and stir in all of the green beans. Transfer green bean mixture to prepared casserole dish.

    • Top with the bread crumbs and then layer the french fried onions on top. Place casserole in the oven and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. If your onions start to brown too quickly, cover the casserole with foil. Serve immediately!

    Video

    Equipment

    Notes

    PREP AHEAD DIRECTIONS: You can prepare the casserole up to 48 hours ahead of time. STOP at step 7 in the directions above. Do not top casserole with the bread crumbs and french fired onions. Instead, wrap cooled casserole tightly with foil, or saran wrap, and store in refrigerator for up to 48 hours.

    When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and let casserole rest at room temperature for 30 minutes (or up to 1 hour) before baking. Then continue on with the recipe directions from step 7.

    Storage: Store leftovers tightly wrapped in fridge for up to 3 days. You can also store it in the baking dish, just wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or foil.

    Reheat: For best results, reheat in the oven at 375°F for 15 minutes, or until warmed through. Or, microwave until warm. Adding fresh fried onions on top will make it taste more like it did fresh.

    Green Beans: For unbeatable flavor and texture, use fresh green beans. The next best choice is frozen green beans, prepare them just as you would fresh. To use canned green beans, use 6 cans of green beans, well drained.

    Nutmeg: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg can be added to the cream sauce for a surprising warmth and depth of flavor.

    Cheese: Add up to 2 cups of shredded cheese to the green bean mixture. Or sprinkle on top of the casserole before breadcrumbs and fried onions. Try sharp white cheddar, shredded parmesan cheese, fontina, or sharp cheddar.

    Not a Mushroom Fan? Nix the mushrooms and double the onion in the cream sauce to create a homemade cream of onion sauce instead!

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 359kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 2515mg, Potassium: 341mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 782IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 85mg, Iron: 1mg

    © Jessica

    Cuisine: American

    Category: Vegetable Sides

    Categories:

    • Casseroles
    • Christmas
    • Diet
    • Easter
    • Fall
    • Family Recipes
    • Holidays
    • Recipes
    • Side Dishes
    • Thanksgiving
    • Vegetable Sides
    • Vegetarian
    • Videos

    Post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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