Green Bean Casserole

The only green bean casserole recipe you'll ever need! Fresh green beans, crispy baked onions & a creamy mushroom sauce make it a guaranteed hit.

Green bean casserole

I’ve had a green bean casserole recipe on my list to make for years. It’s a staple at my family’s Thanksgiving, and in theory, it’s a dish that’s all about veggies: it features a creamy mushroom sauce and loads of crispy onions, and green beans are the star of the show!

Like sweet potato casserole, it was a natural candidate for a Love and Lemons recipe made with whole foods ingredients.  For so long, one thing or another would bump it off my list – a Brussels sprouts kick, my favorite Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells, or even just really good green beans on their own. But this year, I finally got down to working on my own green bean casserole recipe, and I have to say that the results are pretty fantastic!

Green bean casserole recipe ingredients

Green Bean Casserole Recipe Components

Jack and I both adore mushrooms, so I swap the traditional cream of mushroom soup for a tangy, creamy homemade mushroom sauce. Mushrooms, thyme, and Dijon mustard are one of my all-time favorite combinations, so of course, I use them here, along with tamari to enhance the mushroom flavor and Parmesan cheese for an umami punch. I think you’ll love this sauce – it’s so good I could eat it straight off a spoon!

Then, instead of canned or frozen green beans, I use fresh ones. I blanch them before baking them in the casserole, and they come out vibrant green with a nice al dente bite. Yum!

And last but not least, I replace the usual canned French fried onions with a big pile of crispy baked onions. With a delectable oniony flavor and crisp texture, these guys are the perfect finishing touch for this healthy green bean casserole. Tip: Make sure you get a little of everything in each bite!

Hands tossing onions in a bowl

How to Make Green Bean Casserole

This green bean casserole recipe has three components: the crispy onions, the green beans, and the mushroom sauce.

Start with the onions. Slice the onions into thin half-moons and toss them with olive oil, flour, salt, and panko. Spread them in an even layer on two large baking sheets and roast until they’re golden brown and beginning to crisp up, tossing them every 10 minutes.

Onions on a baking sheet

Then, blanch the green beans. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the green beans. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are slightly tender and vibrant green. Drain them, and transfer them to a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. After they’ve cooled, spread them on a kitchen towel to dry.

Green beans in a colander

Next, make the sauce. Sauté the mushrooms until they’re soft, and stir in tamari, garlic, and thyme for flavor. Sprinkle in some flour, and add almond milk and Dijon mustard. Simmer until thickened, around 20 minutes. Then, stir in Parmesan cheese and black pepper.

Creamy mushroom sauce in a skillet

Finally, layer everything together, and bake! Cover the bottom of a greased baking dish with a thin layer of the sauce. Pile in the green beans, and spread the rest of the sauce on top. Sprinkle the crispy onions on top, and bake, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover the baking dish, and bake for 10 minutes more.

Enjoy!

How to make green bean casserole

Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe Tips

  • Look for haricots verts. Any type of fresh green beans will work in this recipe, but we had the best results with thin haricots verts. They’re slimmer than regular green beans, which helps them integrate with the sauce and onion topping. Plus, they have a delicious snappy texture!
  • Watch the onions as they cook, and rotate the pans. When you toss the onions every 10 minutes as they cook, rotate their baking sheets. This will help ensure even cooking – you don’t want one pan to burn before the other gets crispy! Watch them closely near the end of the cooking time, as they can quickly go from just right to burned.
  • Make sure your green beans are dry. No one likes a watery green bean casserole, so make sure to dry the green beans thoroughly after you blanch them!
  • Make it ahead! You can make this green bean casserole up to a day in advance. Bake the crispy onions, blanch the green beans, and make the sauce. Then, assemble the casserole with the sauce and the green beans, cover, and refrigerate until just before serving. Store the crispy onions separately at room temperature. When you’re ready to eat, layer on the crispy onions, and proceed with the recipe, baking the casserole until it’s heated through. Enjoy!

Crispy baked onions

More Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

If you love this green bean casserole recipe, try one of these delicious side dish recipes next:

Best green bean casserole recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews

Green Bean Casserole

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The only green bean recipe you'll ever need! Made with crispy baked onions, a creamy mushroom sauce, and fresh green beans, it's healthy and delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Crispy onions
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, plus more for sprinkling
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Filling
  • 1½ pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Make the crispy onions: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the onions with the oil, flour, panko, and salt. Spread evenly onto the baking sheets and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes (rotating the pans in the oven as necessary), until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400°F.
  3. Prepare the filling: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set a large bowl of ice water nearby. Drop the green beans into the boiling water and blanch for 4 minutes. Drain, and immediately immerse in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain, and transfer to a towel to dry.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the mushrooms, and cook until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the tamari, garlic, and thyme. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir again. Add the almond milk and mustard and stir to combine. Simmer until thickened, whisking often, for 20 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and pepper.
  5. Spread ⅓ of the sauce into the baking dish. Layer with green beans and top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the onions on top and bake, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes. If the onions start to brown too much, cover the dish for the remainder of the baking time. Garnish with sprinkles of panko and Parmesan, if desired. Serve hot.
Notes
Make this vegan by omitting the cheese and adding a few extra pinches of salt to the mushroom sauce.

Crispy onion method inspired by Ambitious Kitchen and Alton Brown.

16 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Janet
    11.10.2019

    We are a mushroom-free household. In recipes that have called for cream of mushroom soup, I’ve always substituted a different cream soup (celery, potato, even tomato when it wouldn’t be bizarre). Any suggestions for alternatives in this recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.10.2019

      Hi Janet, any of those subs would work in this recipe as the sauce component, if you prefer.

      • Janet
        11.23.2019

        Any suggestion for substituting for the mushrooms and keeping the rest of the filling recipe? I would rather make something fresh rather than use a canned soup…

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          11.24.2019

          Hi Janet, mushrooms are the main ingredient of the sauce so I don’t have a substitution for them in this recipe.

  2. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    11.11.2019

    great side dish, a lot of great ingredients that all meld together, thank you

  3. Emily
    11.21.2019

    Do you use almond milk as a healthier alternative? Could I still use something like whole milk?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.21.2019

      Hi Emily, I used it because it’s what I keep on hand. You could use whole milk!

  4. Lauren
    11.25.2019

    Hi – I am planning on making this ahead of time since I am traveling and don’t want it to get cold. My understanding is that I can premake everything, assemble it (minus the onions) and then when I get to my destination, I bake for 10 mins covered and 10 mins uncovered as if I was making it all at once? I don’t want to mess anything up! Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.26.2019

      Hi Lauren, yes exactly – once you get to your destination, put the onions on top and bake it!

      • Lauren
        11.30.2019

        It was delicious and a huge hit at Thanksgiving dinner, thank you! The onions were burning after 25 minutes, but I was able to salvage most.

  5. Josh
    11.26.2019

    Can the whole dish, minus the crispy onions, be made a day in advance, stored in the fridge, and then baked off day of?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.26.2019

      Yep, it can!

  6. Lauren
    11.27.2019

    I’m having trouble with my onions. I’m following your recipe step by step, but no matter what I do they keep coming out burnt only after 20 minutes. Any suggestions on what I can do to get that golden brown?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.27.2019

      Hi Lauren, I wonder if you’re slicing them thinner than I was. I’d try slicing them a tad thicker… if they’re still browning too soon, I’d just take them out early. Ovens can really vary and they’ll finish crisping on the final bake. Hope that helps!

  7. Jacky P
    11.29.2019

    OMG this was delicious!!! Everyone liked it at our Thanksgiving Celebration.
    I changed Tamari for Coconut Aminos as we try not to use soy. I also used Almond Flour and Gluten Free Panko to make it Gluten Free. I decided to Omit the Parmesan Cheese as we are dairy free.
    It was delicious!!!! Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.08.2019

      Hi Jacky, I’m so glad this was such a hit! Thanks for coming back with your notes about making it gluten free – I’m happy to hear that it was so great with almond flour.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.