The Best Green Bean Casserole
The Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe | For 12 Servings
We’ve got the Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe (for 12 servings!) that will be the star of the show at your next gathering. This perfect side dish is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to make totally from scratch– no cream of chicken soup or store-bought creamy mushroom sauce. This is the very best way to make an incredibly delicious and homemade Green Bean Casserole that the whole family will love.
This is a long-time holiday staple in our family. We would never let an Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas pass without having my Grandma’s homemade Green Bean Casserole or her Sweet Potato Casserole on the holiday table!
Table of Contents
Butter: The butter serves as the base for creating a roux, which is a thickening agent for the creamy sauce in the green bean casserole. It also adds a rich and creamy flavor.
Flour: Combined with the butter, flour helps create a roux, thickening the sauce and giving the casserole its creamy texture.
Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavor of the casserole, balancing the sweetness and richness of the other ingredients.
Black Pepper: Black pepper adds a touch of warmth and mild spiciness, complementing the savory and creamy elements of the dish.
Sugar: A small amount of sugar is used to provide a subtle sweetness that harmonizes with the savory components of the casserole.
Chopped Onions: Chopped onions bring a delightful aromatic quality and a mild, savory flavor to the creamy sauce.
Sour Cream: Sour cream contributes to the creamy texture of the casserole sauce, adding a tangy and rich flavor.
Green Beans: Green beans are the star of the dish. They provide a fresh vegetable element that contrasts with the creamy sauce, giving the casserole its signature texture and flavor.
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese adds a deliciously cheesy and slightly tangy taste to the casserole. It also forms a flavorful, gooey crust when baked.
French’s Fried Onion Rings: These crispy french onion rings serve as a crunchy, savory topping for the casserole. They provide a textural contrast to the creamy beans and add a delightful onion flavor to each bite.
Using Fresh Green Beans Instead of Canned Ones
Yes, you can absolutely use fresh green beans instead of canned ones in a green bean casserole. In fact, many people prefer the flavor and texture of fresh green beans in this dish. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by trimming the ends of the fresh green beans and cutting them into bite-sized pieces.
- Blanch the fresh green beans in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes until they are slightly tender but still crisp. Then, immediately transfer them to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. This blanching step helps maintain their vibrant green color and texture.
- Once the green beans are blanched and cooled, you can proceed with your green bean casserole recipe as usual, incorporating them into the dish just like you would with canned green beans.
Using fresh green beans can add a wonderful freshness and a slightly firmer texture to your green bean casserole, elevating the overall quality and nutrition of the dish.
What Else Can I Serve With Green Bean Casserole?
Green bean casserole is a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses and other sides. Here are some ideas for what you can serve with green bean casserole:
- Roasted Turkey: Green bean casserole is a classic side dish for Thanksgiving, and it pairs beautifully with roast turkey. The combination of creamy casserole and succulent turkey is a holiday favorite.
- Ham: Whether it’s baked ham, glazed ham, or honey-glazed ham, green bean casserole complements the sweet and savory flavors of ham dishes.
- Roast Chicken: A simple and delicious option is to serve green bean casserole alongside roast chicken. The creamy casserole balances the simplicity of roasted chicken.
- Grilled Steak: For a heartier meal, consider pairing green bean casserole with grilled or seared steak. The freshness of the beans can balance the richness of the steak.
- Pork Chops: Green bean casserole pairs well with pork chops, whether they’re breaded, grilled, or pan-fried. The flavors complement each other nicely.
- Salmon or Fish: If you prefer seafood, consider serving green bean casserole with baked or grilled salmon or any other favorite fish dish.
- Mashed Potatoes: Classic comfort food combo! The creaminess of mashed potatoes goes hand in hand with the creamy casserole.
- Cranberry Sauce: Especially during the holiday season, cranberry sauce is a great addition to the meal, balancing the savory casserole with a touch of sweetness.
- Garlic Bread: A side of garlic bread or rolls can be a tasty addition, providing some contrast with the creamy casserole.
- Mixed Greens Salad: To add some freshness and balance to your meal, serve a light salad with a vinaigrette dressing alongside the casserole.
- Sweet Potatoes: Another classic pairing during Thanksgiving or fall gatherings is serving green bean casserole with candied sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole.
More of Our Favorite Holiday Side Dishes
Can I Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time?
Certainly, you can prepare green bean casserole, including the topping, a couple of days in advance. However, the key to successful advanced preparation is allowing it to reach room temperature before baking. Baking it cold may require adjusting the baking time, which can be inconvenient during busy holiday preparations.
Here’s a simple guide for making green bean casserole ahead of time:
- Prepare Components in Advance:
- Blanch the green beans (if using fresh beans instead of canned).
- Assemble and Top in Advance:
- When you’re ready to assemble the casserole, assemble it in its casserole dish as directed in the recipe. It’s perfectly fine to add the crispy onions ahead of time– the topping won’t become soggy!
- Allow Time to Reach Room Temperature on the Day of Baking:
- The most critical step in making green bean casserole in advance is pulling it out of the fridge with enough time for it to come to room temperature before baking. Baking it cold may result in an uneven texture and disrupt your holiday baking schedule.
- Bake and Add Toppings:
- Place the assembled casserole in a preheated oven and bake according to the recipe’s instructions. Be prepared to possibly add a few extra minutes to the baking time to account for ingredients that may still be a little cold.
By following these steps, you can enjoy the convenience of making green bean casserole in advance while ensuring it retains its delicious texture and compliments your holiday meal perfectly. And, of course, store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Green Bean Casserole Variations
In our family, this recipe is sacred. We don’t change a thing. EVER.
But I was curious about other Green Bean Casserole recipes out there, so I did a little browsing and found some interesting options that I thought would be worth sharing for those of you who get a little more adventurous with this dish.
These are some of the best-sounding*/most-interesting recipe variations I found on the internet:
- Mushroom Medley: When adding the green beans to the sour cream sauce, incorporate a variety of mushrooms like cremini, shiitake, or wild mushrooms for a more complex and earthy flavor.
- Bacon and Cheese: Add crispy bacon bits and consider adding Swiss cheese to the casserole for a savory, cheesy twist.
- Garlic Parmesan: Infuse the creamy sauce with garlic by sautéing minced garlic cloves in the butter before adding the flour. Finish with grated Parmesan cheese for an extra layer of flavor.
- Spicy Kick: Add some heat with diced jalapeños, crushed red pepper flakes, or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy green bean casserole.
- Herbaceous Delight: Mix in fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage for a fragrant and aromatic casserole.
- Nutty Crunch: Top the casserole with toasted almonds, pecans, or even crushed crackers for added crunch and flavor.
- Cheesy French Onion: Combine the flavors of a green bean casserole with the elements of a French onion dip by adding caramelized onions and Gruyère cheese.
- Tex-Mex Twist: Spice it up with Tex-Mex flavors by adding diced green chilies, black beans, corn, and a blend of Mexican cheeses.
- Buffalo Style: Drizzle buffalo sauce into the creamy mixture and toss in shredded cooked chicken for a spicy Buffalo chicken green bean casserole.
- Sausage and Spinach: Mix in cooked Italian sausage and wilted spinach for a heartier, meaty version.
- Pesto Perfection: Stir in a generous spoonful of pesto sauce for a burst of fresh basil and garlic flavor.
- Vegan and Gluten-Free: Create a vegan and gluten-free green bean casserole by using non-dairy milk, vegan butter, gluten-free flour, and gluten-free crispy fried onions.
*Please note: I have NOT tried any of these variations personally
There are two types of casserole dishes that I absolutely adore. They both accommodate this Green Bean Casserole Recipe for 12 Servings, which is a must (obviously). But they each serve different purposes and come in at very different price points.
I love them both for this dish, and here’s why:
- The first is this Le Creuset Stoneware Heritage Casserole Dish with a lid. This dish is gorgeous. It’s sleek and classy and will look beautiful on your table. The stoneware cooks the casserole evenly and keeps it perfectly warm until you’re ready to eat. It’s the perfect casserole dish for when you’re the one hosting the big holiday dinner.
- The second one is this Pyrex Deep Dish Glass Baking Dish with a Lid. This one is my go-to if we’re making food to take to a family dinner and will be traveling in the car. I love that I can prep the casserole ahead of time, put on the lid, and then bake it at whomever’s house we are gathering. Or cover the already-baked dish with the lid for safe-keeping while we drive.
- Lastly– a casserole dish carrier, which is a heatproof, insulated carrier for transporting a hot casserole. It keeps it warm and contained during travel, and it prevents anyone from being burned by a casserole dish that was just pulled straight from the oven.
The Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe for 12 Servings
This is our very favorite green bean casserole recipe, and we hope it becomes a family favorite in your home too! So the next time you’re in charge of Christmas dinner or asked to bring a Thanksgiving side dish, give this recipe a try.
Enjoy this delicious green bean casserole recipe for 12 servings, perfect for gatherings. We know you will!
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp chopped onions
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 cans green beans, well drained
- 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup French’s Fried Onion Rings
- Over medium heat in a large pot, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and sugar.
- Working quicking so the flour-butter mixture doesn’t burn, mix in the chopped onions and then whisk in the sour cream. Remove from heat.
- Fold in the green beans, half of the fried onions, and half of the cheese.
- Spread the mixture in a greased casserole dish (9×13). Spread the remaining cheese and onions on top.
- Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes.
Note: this can be made ahead of time and chilled until ready to bake. But be sure to let it sit at room temp for an hour or so before baking OR allow for additional bake time if you put it in the oven straight from the fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 403mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g
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