Favorite Green Bean Casserole from scratch!

Green Bean Casserole from scratch

This is the ultimate green bean casserole recipe  ~ made completely from scratch. Everything in this classic holiday side dish is made quick and easy without cans. The flavor is out of this world, and once you try it for Thanksgiving I promise you’ll be craving green bean casserole all year round.

green bean casserole, from scratch!

finally, a green bean casserole without the cans!

I’ve never understood why so many traditional holiday foods involve cans. Since the holidays only come around once a year, doesn’t it make more sense to take the little extra effort to make them the right way?

This simple but 100% homemade version of green bean casserole is the ultimate version. Should I start with the homemade cream of mushroom soup that is so good it’s going to get a post of its own? Or do I jump right in with those crispy fried shallots? Maybe I should mention up front that this casserole has a good helping of Gruyere cheese in the sauce, as well as some sherry and nutmeg for the best   flavor   EVER.

fabulous green bean casserole, from scratch!

why this is the green bean casserole you need on your Thanksgiving table this year

You’ve got a lot of green bean casseroles to choose from, I get it, but this one is really really special…

  • For one thing, it’s made from scratch, which makes it holiday worthy.
  • Your vegetarian guests will love it, and it’s nice to have something meatless on the table that isn’t an afterthought.
  • The flavors in the creamy sauce are elevated but hardly more trouble than opening a can.
  • Gruyere cheese adds a more subtle sophisticated flavor than cheddar cheese, which you can substitute if you like.
  • The beans, which are the whole point of this casserole to begin with, are fresh and firm, not mushy like canned or frozen beans.
  • The fried shallots are to die for. You will not be sorry you made them. Keep the canned stuff for another day.
  • All the components can be made ahead, then the casserole can be easily assembled and baked just before your meal.
Par cooked green beans for green bean casserole

every component of this from-scratch casserole is important, but it all starts with fresh green beans.

Buy the best you can find, I like the thin French style beans, if you can find them. There’s no need to cut them, I like to leave them long and lean. The important thing is to blanch them briefly before assembling your casserole, which takes the raw edge off the beans. Just drop into boiling water for a few minutes, then plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking and lock in their brilliant green color.

making homemade cream of mushroom soup

homemade cream of mushroom soup ~ it’s gonna change your life

I was able to get so much flavor into it by infusing dried shiitake mushrooms into hot cream. It sat for about 30 minutes and then I pureed it. I make a quick roux of flour and butter to thicken the sauce, add a splash of sherry, some salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg. This sauce packs some incredible wild mushroom flavor.

Note: the first few times I made this casserole I used my food processor to blend the mushroom sauce and it had a chunkier texture (see above.)  Most recently I used my Vitamix blender and the texture was silky smooth (see below.)  Both ways will work, it just depends on whether you want little chunks of mushroom in your sauce, or not. The flavor is the same either way., 

Adding homemade cream of mushroom sauce to green bean casserole

as for that all important crispy topping, you could pop open a can of fried onions…

oooooooorrrrr you could do the right thing and fry up a quick batch of uber crispy homemade fried shallots…(a much better idea!)

fresh fried shallots draining on a paper towel

how to make this homemade green bean casserole ahead:

  1. The best way to do it is to make each part separately, then construct when you’re ready to bake.
  2. The beans can be par cooked, iced, dried, and stored in the fridge.
  3. The mushroom sauce can be made and stored. The cheese grated and put in a zip lock baggie.
  4. Even the shallots can be fried up to a day or two ahead. If they soften, crisp them up on a baking sheet in a 350F oven.


green bean casserole in a black dish ready for the oven

I hope I’ve convinced you to give this one a try, we were thrilled with it, and it’s going on our permanent Thanksgiving menu. We’ll probably make a pared down version a few more times this winter.

I could honestly happily make an entire holiday meal out of the sides alone, have you tried these other recipes from my archives?

Green Bean Casserole from scratch

how to determine the size and capacity of your baking dishes

  • To measure the size of your baking dishes, measure from rim to rim on the top of your pans, not the bottoms.
  • To determine volume capacity, take a measuring cup and count how many cups it takes to fill the pan to the rim.
  • The Lodge gratin dish below is a 2 quart capacity, so you know it will work with this recipe. A rectangle dish will work well, too.
oval gratin dish, 2 qt
Green Bean Casserole from scratch
4.95 from 34 votes

Green Bean Casserole Recipe from Scratch!

Favorite Green Bean Casserole from scratch is the classic Thanksgiving side dish recipe made without canned soup. The flavor is out of this world!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Steeping 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Calories 255kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • a gratin dish or similar baking dish (mine is 8×12) with at least a 2 quart capacity


fried shallots

  • 3 large shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/4 cup` flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • 1 1/2 lbs green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups half and half, or cream
  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (I used Shitake)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup dry Sherry
  • 1 heaped cup shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • dash of fresh grated nutmeg, or more to taste



  • Note: you can fry the shallots first, or while the casserole is cooking. Fill a saucepan with 2 inches of oil and heat on medium high until hot, or a clip on thermometer reads 325F
  • Mix the flour and salt together, then gently toss the shallots in the flour, carefully separating the rings as you add them.
  • Fry the shallots, in batches, until golden, it should take under 2 minutes if your oil is hot enough. Drain on paper towels. Note: remove any brown bits from the oil in between batches, so they don't burn.


  • Heat the cream to a simmer, then remove from the heat and add the dried mushrooms, stirring well. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Trim the beans but leave them whole. Blanche them in a large pot of boiling water for a total of about 3 minutes, just to take the raw edge off, they will still be crunchy.
  • Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Drain the beans and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking and set their bright color. Add more ice if necessary to keep the water cold, then drain the beans on a clean towel.
  • Puree the mushrooms and cream in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. You may still have some texture to your sauce, that's ok, just get it as smooth as you can.
  • Melt butter in a medium pan and add the flour to make a roux. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes over medium heat, but don't let it take on color.
  • Add the sherry to the pan and stir or whisk well until blended, let the mixture cook for a minute, stirring or whisking constantly. Then add the mushroom sauce and whisk until the mixture comes to a simmer and is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, but you will likely need more. Add a dash of nutmeg to taste. (Don't skip this step, the flavor is so wonderful.)
  • Layer half your beans into your casserole, then drizzle half the sauce over the beans, nudging the sauce down and around all the beans. Repeat with the remaining beans and sauce. Try to get the sauce evenly distributed.
  • Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Note: tent the casserole loosely with foil about halfway through if it browns too much. Top with the fried shallots and serve immediately.

Cook’s notes

You can use whole milk in place of half and half or cream, but the sauce will not be as rich and creamy.
Add 3/4 ounce dried mushrooms for more pronounced mushroom flavor.
Use up to 1 cup cheese on top of the casserole if you like things cheesier.
You can substitute canned fried onions for the fried shallots.


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1089IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
green bean casserole pin
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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Could broccoli be substituted for the green beans? We usually have broccoli casserole instead of green bean casserole at Thanksgiving. Eat the green beans as another side.

  • Reply
    November 24, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    5 stars
    I’m prepping for tomorrow and the sauce tastes so yum but is SUUUUUPER thick and sticky…is it supposed to be this way and thins out while it cooks in the oven? I tried to thin some with beef stock—but any other suggestions or is this normal? Worried about how it will come together tomorrow but it does tastes amazing!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 24, 2021 at 8:28 pm

      It should be thick but pourable, so thin with a little more stock if necessary Jennifer.

      • Reply
        November 25, 2021 at 7:10 am

        5 stars
        Thank you! I might add a little whole milk, too, if needed! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    I made all the components today and will assemble it tomorrow. There are two things you need to be aware of. First the amount of sherry is WAY too much. Maybe this will mellow out over night or in the oven tomorrow. I did cook it to get the alcohol taste out but its unpleasantly strong. Second, the sauce is extremely thick. I added quite a bit more
    cream and will see if I need even more tomorrow. So umm, I’m not going to rate it because it’s not completed. But so far I’m worried about it.

  • Reply
    November 24, 2021 at 11:02 am

    I’m wondering if anyone has made this dish the day before serving?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 24, 2021 at 11:18 am

      You might prep all the components (even make the sauce) and assemble and bake tomorrow. I’m making it myself and haven’t decided how I’m going to do it, but that should work fine.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    I am going to try this with coconut milk or cream…..any comments?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 28, 2021 at 5:41 pm

      I worry about the flavor, you might try cashew cream instead, and go for vegan cheese and nutritional yeast?

    • Reply
      October 29, 2021 at 10:35 am

      Me too! I don’t notice any weird flavoring with coconut cream in savory dishes. Also wondering what Parmesan would be like instead of gruyere since I avoid lactose…

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