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When it comes to classic Thanksgiving side dishes, few can rival the timeless appeal of homemade green bean casserole. This comforting dish has graced holiday tables for generations, and for good reason.

It combines the earthy flavors of fresh green beans, creamy mushroom sauce, and crispy fried onions into a delightful medley that’s hard to resist.

You absolutely should consider making it from scratch for your next holiday dinner.

Scoop of homemade green bean casserole with crispy onion pieces.
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When it comes to filling your holiday table with the most delicious scratch made Thanksgiving recipes, you should also make my sweet potato casserole, cranberry orange sauce, dinner rolls, and turkey gravy to go with a mouthwatering roasted turkey!

Why This Is the Best Green Bean Casserole

This recipe is so incredible because of the ingredients uses as well as the cooking process.

If your Thanksgiving dinner has always featured a green bean casserole that consisted of canned green beans and cans of cream of mushroom soup dumped into a casserole dish, you are in for a treat!

ingredients used to make homemade green bean casserole.

Fresh Green Beans

The star of any green bean casserole is undoubtedly the tender green beans themselves. 

Using fresh green beans instead of canned ones brings a level of freshness and texture that elevates the dish. 

When you blanch them in a large pot of salted water and then shock them in ice water, you ensure that they stay beautifully crisp-tender. This step might take a little extra effort, but the result is worth it. 

Your green beans will be a vibrant green and boast a satisfying crunch.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

One of the key components of a green bean casserole is the creamy mushroom sauce. 

While many recipes rely on canned cream of mushroom soup, making your own homemade cream of mushroom soup from scratch is a game-changer. It provides a depth of flavor that canned versions simply can’t match.

The combination of fresh mushrooms that get sautéed in butter, rehydrated dried mushrooms, whole milk, and chicken stock infuses the sauce with a rich umami taste. You can control the seasoning and adjust it to your preferences.

The result is a creamy sauce that’s rich and flavorful. Plus, there’s a certain satisfaction in creating something delicious from scratch, using real ingredients.

Crispy Fried Onions

The best part of a green bean casserole is the crispy fried onion topping. While you can make your own (see the Recipe Tips section below), I actually prefer using store bought French fried onions. They offer great flavor with the perfect crunch.

The trick is to incorporate them into the casserole as well as for the topping.

Homemade green bean casserole.

How to Make This Creamy Green Bean Casserole

Rehydrate mushrooms

In a small dish, pour boiling water over the dried mushrooms and allow them to sit for at least 15 minutes.  Do not discard the liquid. 

Blanch the green beans

Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl. Add the kosher salt to a large pot of boiling water. 

Cook the green beans in the salted boiling salted water for about a minute, then immediately transfer them to the ice bath. 

Once cooled, drain the green beans and set aside. They should be a vibrant green color.

Sauté fresh mushrooms

In a heavy bottom stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Allow them to brown, stirring only to prevent burning. 

Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to coat. Allow them to cook for another couple of minutes.

Make the mushroom gravy

Add the chicken broth to the sautéed mushroom roux, stir well, and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any bits that may have stuck. 

Add the rehydrated mushroom pieces along with any liquid. 

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the milk, stir, and continue to cook until the gravy thickens.

Combine remaining casserole ingredients

Add the blanched green beans and 1/2 cup of the onion pieces to the mushroom gravy. Stir well to combine. Cover with aluminum foil. Either refrigerate overnight or continue cooking.

Cook the casserole

Preheat oven to 350°F and bake covered casserole until heated through, about 20-30 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining fried onion pieces. Continue cooking until they just start to brown. Serve hot.

making homemade green bean casserole.

Recipe Tips

  • Green beans: French Green Beans (Haricots Verts) are highly recommended because of their tender and delicate texture, but standard green beans will work.
  • Rehydrating dried mushrooms: For best results, weigh the mushrooms down with a dish so they remained fully submerged. Once the pieces are rehydrated and cool to the touch, use a pair of clean sharp kitchen shears to cut them into small pieces. Rehydrated mushrooms (depending on the variety) can be very chewy, so small pieces are better.
  • Fried onion pieces: While I use store-bought fried onions, making your own is worth the effort. It’s as simple as slicing onions thinly, coating them in a flour mixture, and frying them in melted butter until golden brown. Crispy fried shallots are equally delicious. The result is a topping that’s light, crispy, and adds a delightful crunch to each bite.
  • Baking dish: Dutch oven is ideal for this recipe, as it allows for both stovetop and oven cooking. However, a deep casserole dish will also work well.

FAQs

Can I prepare this fresh green bean casserole in advance for Thanksgiving?

Absolutely! You can make it the day before, store it in the refrigerator, and bake it on Thanksgiving day to save time.

Can I use canned green beans instead of fresh ones in this recipe?

While you can use canned green beans, the dish is truly elevated with fresh ones for a crunchier texture and fresher flavor.

What type of fresh mushrooms work best in the homemade cream of mushroom soup?

You can use a variety of mushrooms like shiitake, cremini, or portobello. A mix of different types adds complexity to the flavor. Regular button mushrooms work just fine as well.

Is there a recommended variety of dried mushrooms?

 My favorite is dried morels but I most often use a gourmet mix that I found at Costco.

Can I make this green bean casserole without fried onions?

You can omit the fried onions, but they add a delightful crunch and flavor to the dish. Consider trying a gluten-free or homemade version if you have dietary restrictions.

How long does it take to make this casserole from start to finish?

The total time, including preparation and baking, is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.

Can I reheat leftovers of this casserole?

Yes, you can reheat leftovers in the oven or microwave. It’s just as delicious the next day!

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Prep40 minutes
Cook40 minutes
Total1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Perfect Green Bean Casserole is the best green bean casserole from scratch.
Fresh green beans and mushrooms and crispy fried onions make this a classic!

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms user preference – my favorite is dried morels but I most often use a gourmet mix
  • 1/2 cup water boiling
  • 24 ounces fresh green beans French Green Beans (Haricots Verts) recommended
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms sliced, button or baby portabella recommended
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups fried onion pieces divided

Instructions 

  • Rehydrate mushrooms: In a small dish, pour boiling water over the dried mushrooms and allow them to sit for at least 15 minutes. For best results, weigh the mushrooms down with a dish so they remained fully submerged. Do not discard the liquid. Once the pieces are rehydrated and cool to the touch, use a pair of clean sharp kitchen shears to cut them into small pieces. Rehydrated mushrooms (depending on the variety) can be very chewy, so small pieces are better.
    rehydrated dried mushrooms in small bowl.
  • Blanch the green beans: Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl. Add the kosher salt to a large pot of boiling water. Cook the green beans in the salted boiling salted water for about a minute, then immediately transfer them to the ice bath. Once cooled, drain the green beans and set aside. They should be a vibrant green color.
    blanched green beans in ice water.
  • Sauté fresh mushrooms: In a heavy bottom stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Allow them to brown, stirring only to prevent burning, for about 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, stir to coat, and allow them to cook for another couple of minutes.
    adding flour to sauteed mushroom slices.
  • Make the mushroom gravy: Add the chicken broth to the sauteed mushroom roux, stir well, and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any bits that may have stuck. Add the rehydrated mushroom pieces along with any liquid. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the milk, stir, and continue to cook until the gravy thickens.
    adding milk to make mushroom gravy.
  • Combine remaining casserole ingredients: Add the blanched green beans and 1/2 cup of the onion pieces to the mushroom gravy. Stir well to combine. Cover with aluminum foil. Either refrigerate overnight or continue cooking.
    mixing fresh green beans with homemade mushroom gravy for green bean casserole recipe.
  • Cook casserole: Preheat oven to 350°F and bake covered casserole until heated through, about 20-30 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining fried onion pieces. Continue cooking until they just start to brown. Serve hot.
    homemade green bean casserole with fried onion pieces in glass casserole dish.

Notes

Make ahead directions: Prepare the casserole all the way up to the point where it is covered in aluminum foil. Refrigerate overnight. Either allow the casserole to come to room temperature before baking, or place it directly into the oven from the refrigerator but increase cooking time to account for colder temp. Remove the foil and add additional fried onion pieces per recipe instructions.

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 1138mg, Potassium: 346mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 815IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks, I love home made recipes. If you want to add even more homemade touches to this casserole receipt you can add home made onion crisps. I made them in my air fryer, but you can fry them in oil as well.

    1. Every year I say I want to do this with shallots… and then I get so busy with all the recipes I use the store bought crispy onions. I can only imagine how good it is with homemade!

    1. Sure thing! In fact, that’s a great way to keep it warm until serving. I would just cook on high for the same amount of time as specified for the oven and then keep warm until you serve.

    1. Absolutely! I make all my Thanksgiving sides the day before. Just get it to the point where you would stick it in the oven and refrigerate instead. Then, let it come to room temp before you bake on thee day of. -Krissy