It’s time to take your green bean casserole to new heights, without using canned mushroom soup! For this green bean side dish, you’ll toss fresh (or frozen) bite-size pieces of green beans in a homemade mushroom cream sauce. The baked casserole cooks for 25 minutes before it’s topped with crispy onions (store bought or homemade). Serve warm and bubbling, straight out of the oven!
If you haven’t tried homemade crispy onions, you’re in for a treat!
We love our vegetable casseroles in the South, but I just can’t bring myself to make a green bean casserole with mushy green beans and condensed soup even though it’s a classic side dish for most holiday meals and potlucks.
So I came up with a fresh green bean casserole with an amazing mushroom cream sauce made entirely from scratch with fresh green beans. It’s a must for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner along with sweet potato casserole and corn pudding.
If you love a creamy casserole but don’t want to use condensed soup, this recipe will be a favorite along with my broccoli rice casserole made without canned soup.
Initially I used French’s crispy onions which are pretty delicious. I’m not sure what they do to their onions, but they are so crisp. While French’s onions are pretty tasty, if you have a little bit of time I would suggest you make your own crispy onions.
You can make them in advance for the best topping you’ve ever had. The only problem is that anyone walking by the cooling onions is going to grab a bite and pretty soon you won’t have enough onions to top the casserole!
This homemade green bean casserole without mushroom soup doesn’t take much time to prep, and the whole thing, including the onions, can be made days in advance and then just placed in the oven at the last minute to bake.
Since it’s already cooked prior to going in the oven, it can share the oven with another dish. If you need to cook it at a different temperature, just alter the time.
It will go great with other sides, like mashed potatoes or pineapple casserole if you’ve got a crowd or are taking it to a potluck. Leave out the sauce and try a lighter green bean side dish with bacon.
Why you’ll love a green bean casserole from scratch
- Fresh ingredients are always better
- There’s no condensed soup
- No soggy green beans
- It’s topped with homemade crispy onions
- A creamy, made from scratch, mushroom sauce adds so much flavor
- You can make ahead and it can bake along with other sides for just 25 minutes
- You need something green with all the other sides at Thanksgiving or Christmas
Ingredients for a fresh green bean side dish
- Green beans – fresh if you can find them. Most groceries will carry fresh around the holidays. If you can’t find any, then go with frozen. Canned will not work in this recipe.
- Mushrooms – fresh mushrooms like a white button mushroom which is what you will find in most groceries. For a little more flavor try using cremini or baby bellas.
- half-and-half – you need the fat to get a creamy rich sauce. You can make it even richer by using heavy cream. You can also use whole milk but anything less will not give you a creamy sauce.
- White wine – this adds flavor but you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth.
- Parmesan cheese – just a little will give these a lot of flavor
- Panko – added to the top makes it crispy
- French’s crispy onions or homemade crispy onions – homemade are better and can be made ahead of time
- Pantry staples – onion, flour, Worcestershire sauce and butter
Easy steps for making a fresh green bean casserole
Step 1– slightly cook the beans
Boil the beans until slightly cooked and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. This keeps them from overcooking and getting mushy.
Step 2– make the mushroom cream sauce
Sauté some mushrooms and onions and then add flour, making a roux.
Next add wine or chicken broth, and half-and-half and whisk until thickened. Next add a little parmesan cheese and Worcestershire sauce.
Step 3 – add together
Combine the mushroom sauce with the green beans.
Place the mixture in a casserole dish and top with panko and add a little more parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes. (If making ahead, wait to add the panko and parmesan)
Step 4 – the best part
Remove from the oven and add crispy onions to the top and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Pro Tip: While you might think making a green bean casserole from scratch would take a lot of time, you’ll be surprised at how quick it comes together. You can make the heavenly mushroom sauce while the water is boiling for the green beans.
How do you make homemade crispy onions
If you really want your green bean casserole to be the star of the show, make your own crispy onions.
Step 1: Slice onions very thin with a mandolin and let them soak in buttermilk for about 15 minutes. Drain and toss them with flour and cook in a skillet with vegetable oil for about 7 minutes until golden brown. For step by step directions, go to the post for crispy onions.
Even my mushroom hater loved this casserole! I was thrilled that I could make a green bean casserole that had so much flavor and that everyone loved. I’m not sure it’s healthier then using processed ingredients but by using fresh ingredients you can really taste the difference.
You’ll want to add a fresh green bean side dish to your potluck list or think about it for your next family gathering.
Can can you freeze green bean casserole
If you want to make this in advance, you can freeze the entire casserole. Assemble and covert first with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil. Let it come to room temperature before baking. To keep the crispy onions crispy, wait to add these until you’re ready to bake. If you have left overs, you can freeze them and re-heat in the oven.
Things that might come up when making a green bean casserole without mushroom soup
Can you make homemade green bean casserole ahead of time?
You can make this a couple of days ahead of time. Assemble up until you add the panko and parmesan. Let it come to room temperature and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and top with panko and cheese.
Can you use French’s Crispy onions instead of homemade?
Yes, French’s will work just fine but crispy onions made from scratch are even better and can be made ahead of time.
Can you use milk for the mushroom cream sauce?
I would recommend half-and-half for the sauce or even whole cream if you want a thick rich sauce. However, you can use milk and it will still be delicious, just not quite as creamy.
What type of beans should you use for a green bean casserole?
You should try to use fresh green beans but frozen is the next best option. Canned will give you a mushy consistency.
How long does to cook green bean casserole?
Once prepared, this only needs to bake for about 25 minutes at 350º. If you are sharing the oven with another dish, just alter the time. It will be ready when it is bubbly.
What can I substitute for wine?
You can use chicken broth instead of wine, or if you want this to be vegetarian, vegetable broth.
Need more side dish recipes
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
Creamy Green Bean Casserole without Canned Soup
- 2 lbs fresh green beans
- MUSHROOM SAUCE
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup sweet onion
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup white wine or chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
- CRISPY ONIONS
- 2 onions
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flour
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot and add green beans. Cook until al dente, then remove and place in ice water bath to stop cooking. Drain and pat dry.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter and saute mushrooms and onions until golden brown. Stir in flour and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Gradually add wine until incorporated and then gradually add half-and half, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and add cheese, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.
- Combine green beans and sauce and place in prepared baking dish. Top with panko, 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly. Remove and add crispy onions and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- CRISPY ONIONS: Cut onion in half and with a mandolin slice into very thin slices. Place in a bowl and pour buttermilk over the top. Let them sit in the buttermilk for 15 minutes. Drain well.
- Toss onions with flour and shake off excess.
- Bring about ¼ inch of vegetable oil to 300º over medium heat in a heavy skillet. Add onions and cook until golden brown, about 7-9 minutes. Turn and brown the other side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and immediately salt.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can substitute heavy cream or whole milk for half-and-half but don’t use skim.
- You can use French’s crispy onions if you don’t want to make your own.
- This can be made ahead, just don’t add the panko. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
- You can bake this at a different temperature, just adjust the time. It should be bubbly.
- For left overs, re-heat in 350º oven for about 15 minutes.
- For best results use fresh or frozen green beans. Canned beans will result in a mushy casserole.