Favorite Green Bean Casserole from scratch!




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Green Bean Casserole from scratch

This is our favorite 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!

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 green bean casserole is the one you need on your Thanksgiving menu 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.

fresh fried shallots draining on a paper towel

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!)

making homemade cream of mushroom soup

I’m head over heels in love with my homemade cream of mushroom soup.  

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

How to make this homemade green bean casserole ahead:

The best way to do it is to make each part separately, then construct when you’re ready to bake.

The beans can be par cooked, iced, dried, and stored in the fridge.

The mushroom sauce can be made and stored.  The cheese grated and put in a zip lock baggie.

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
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4.84 from 12 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
Yield 8 servings

Equipment

  • a gratin dish or similar baking dish (mine is 8x12) with at least a 2 quart capacity

Ingredients

fried shallots

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

casserole

  • 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

Instructions

shallots

  • 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.

casserole

  • 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.

Notes

Variations:
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.

green bean casserole pin

 

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15 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Sandra D in Joliet
    November 4, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this! Thank you for not sending us to another link for the soup (one of my pet peeves). Those onions look like a nice crispy snack anytime! Yum Yum Yum

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 4, 2019 at 6:08 pm

      You don’t know how hard it was to save a few for the casserole, they’re addictive.

  • Reply
    Susan
    November 4, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Can’t wait to try this. Can it sit out safely for 1-2 hours?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 4, 2019 at 2:38 pm

      Yes but after that I would refrigerate.

  • Reply
    Laura
    November 4, 2019 at 11:34 am

    5 stars
    I’ve never made green bean casserole for the exact reason you state here: I never serve canned soup or vegetables during the rest of the year, why would I during the holidays? This is a lovely and delicious-sounding recipe, Sue! Perfect for the Holidays! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    November 4, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Green bean casserole was never a thing in our family, but this looks awesome! And homemade fried shallots are beyond amazing. I made some with rice flour a month or so ago and almost couldn’t save them for the recipe, they were that good. We would definitely eat this casserole!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 4, 2019 at 9:50 am

      Rice flour is so great for quick frying, I bet they were delicious.

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    November 4, 2019 at 8:02 am

    5 stars
    I have PURPOSELY never made or eaten green bean casserole because the idea of canned condensed soup and fried onions that have been sitting on a supermarket shelf indefinitely is decidedly unappealing. This is honestly, the first time I’ve ever WANTED to try it. It looks amazing — I love the gruyere and the photos are so inviting.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 4, 2019 at 8:44 am

      Me too! I’ve avoided it most of my life, and Im so glad I gave it another try.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 4, 2019 at 8:00 am

    5 stars
    Beautiful casserole! Much better than the old canned soup kind!

  • Reply
    Pam Greer
    November 4, 2019 at 7:33 am

    5 stars
    No more cans for me, this recipe is incredible!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 4, 2019 at 7:37 am

      Cans have a time and a place, but not in my green bean casserole ;)

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    November 4, 2019 at 7:16 am

    5 stars
    I will definitely have to try this, it looks super tasty!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 4, 2019 at 7:38 am

      My favorite part is the sauce, it gives so much great flavor to the whole thing. Of course the crispy shallots don’t hurt either.

  • Reply
    Angela
    November 4, 2019 at 7:08 am

    5 stars
    LOVE this recipe! Never again will make another green bean casserole recipe… this one is the best! Can’t wait to make again for the holidays. Thanks so much for sharing :)