Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)

No Thanksgiving table is complete without a creamy green bean casserole, but for an even more decadent dish, skip the canned green beans and soup and opt for homemade ingredients. One taste of this from-scratch, homemade green bean casserole, and you’ll never go back.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)

Green bean casserole has always been one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, and that was even with those canned ingredients. But then I tried making my own from-scratch green bean casserole, and the world changed before my eyes.

Dramatic? Arguably but it’s true.

Honestly, I’m not dragging canned green bean casserole because it is tasty. The homemade version simply blows away that canned soup mix. Plus, from-scratch green bean casserole is so easy to make. There’s no reason not to make the switch. And, yes, homemade green bean casserole requires a few more steps, but when you taste that rich sauce, you’ll be happy you took the time to make this from-scratch recipe.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)

Ingredients for Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Let’s put together our ingredients. Here’s everything you need to make this green bean casserole.

  • Fresh green beans
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Chicken or vegetable stock
  • Heavy cream
  • Nutmeg
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan
  • Water chestnuts
  • Fried onions

The water chestnuts might seem random, but they’re one of my favorite parts of this casserole. My mom always added water chestnuts to her green bean casserole, and they add such a wonderful crunch. Generally, I can find water chestnuts in the Asian section of the grocery store in case you have trouble finding them.

Also, please, please, please do not use canned Parmesan. Only real Parmesan will do here. Canned Parmesan doesn’t melt, and you’ll be left with a grainy sauce. No good.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)

Best Topping for Green Bean Casserole

While this is a homemade green bean casserole, I still opt for French’s Crispy Fried Onions. Yes, I know plenty of homemade green bean casserole recipes call for making your own fried onions, but I have a soft spot for French’s product. And, no, I’m not getting paid to say that. I just love those little onions with all my heart.

In fact, I recommend buying an extra can on French’s Crispy Fried Onions: one for the casserole and one for snacking. I nibble on so many of these onions while I’m cooking that sometimes I worry about having enough for the casserole.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)

How to Make Homemade Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

Let’s jump into it. To start, we prepare our fresh greens by trimming the ends, cutting them in half or even into thirds for the excessively long ones.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)

Now we drop the green beans into boiling water for five minutes and then transfer them to an ice bath. This stops the cooking process.

For our decadent cream sauce, we start by cooking sliced mushrooms in a generous dose of butter. We use a lot of butter in this recipe, and I have no regrets. Go with it.

Once our mushrooms are browned and reduced in size, we move them from our pan and start on the roux by cooking more butter and flour. We then slowly add our stock and heavy cream along with a little soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, pepper and the cooked mushrooms.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)

Now we pour ourselves a glass of wine —- an important step —- and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. At the end of cooking, we stir in some Parmesan cheese, green beans, water chestnuts and fried onions. We pour the mixture into a casserole dish until bubbly, top with more fried onions and bake for another five minutes.

See? How easy was that? Totally worth the few extra steps.

How to Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time

Making green bean casserole ahead of time is a great idea for easy entertaining, and I have a couple options for you. One make-ahead method is to store the homemade cream of mushroom soup and green beans with water chestnuts in separate airtight containers.

I like this method because it saves valuable refrigerator space. When we’re ready to bake, we mix it all together, add the fried onions, pour it into our casserole dish and pop it in the oven.

The other option is to pour everything but the fried onions into the casserole dish, cover and refrigerate. Like the first method, we stir in the fried onions before baking.

For both methods, I recommend pulling the ingredients out  early and letting them come to room temperature. If the casserole goes into the oven cold, it adds to the time it takes to properly bake. This step is especially important if storing everything premixed in a casserole dish. A cold ceramic or glass casserole dish could crack if it goes into a hot oven.

Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)

Perfect Pairing for Thanksgiving Dinner

Normally, I like to give pairings for the specific recipe, but I suspect most of y’all will enjoy this green bean casserole with Thanksgiving dinner. I figure overall Thanksgiving dinner pairings are likely more helpful.

With that in mind, I recommend a biere de garde for the beer lovers. Biere de garde is one of those beers that pairs well with so many different foods, and it especially shines with herb-forward dishes and roasted poultry.

If wine is more your speed, a pinot noir is a great option for red lovers. Pinot noir is fruity enough that it complements the cranberries and sweet potatoes, but it also has an earthiness that’s perfect with turkey and your more savory sides.

For the white wine lovers, grab a dry riesling or sauvignon blanc. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with Champagne, which goes well with everything.

If you want to take your Thanksgiving dinner to the next level, I hope you try this homemade green bean casserole. Please let me know how you enjoyed this homemade green bean casserole recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.


Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)Homemade Green Bean Casserole (With Make-Ahead Directions)

Looking for More Recipes to Grace Your Holiday Table? Try These Burrata and Bubbles Recipes.

  • Spiced-brandied cranberry sauce
  • Cranberry-apple cider holiday sangria
  • The best brown butter mashed potatoes
  • Maple-braised turkey legs and thighs
  • Bourbon-pumpkin ice cream


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