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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

{Thanksgiving Prep} Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Today’s post might be a little controversial. Maybe even more controversial than the 2012 presidential election. I know. Are you ready?

I don’t like green bean casserole. You know, the casserole that practically everyone else in America seems to LOVE except me. The casserole that graces many a Thanksgiving table every November. I appreciate that it is a staple and I love that other people love it. But, yeah. I’m just not that into it and always pass when it’s available.

See. Controversy. I may as well just tell you who I voted for for president. That might actually cause less of a stir! So, I voted for…

What, did you REALLY think I’d fess up about my secret ballot? Yeah right!

Back to casserole. I decided to invite green bean casserole into my life this year. But I also decided I wanted it to be made completely from scratch. Fresh green beans and mushrooms, no canned soup, homemade onion rings. The task was daunting, but I have to tell you, I am SOOOOOO glad I tackled this challenge. Because the end result was unbelievably delicious. And I am NOT speaking in hyperbole here.

Our friend Brandon, a renowned casserole hater, took a bite and said, “Where have you been all my life?”

Is that enough of a build up for you? Are you ready to cast aside the canned soup and the store-bought french fried onions and throw a little blood, sweat and tears into your green bean casserole? Good. Here you go.

{Thanksgiving Prep} Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
Adapted from two recipes, one from Williams Sonoma the other from Cook’s Illustrated
Recipe type: Side Dish, Thanksgiving
Cuisine: American
  • 1½ pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2”³-3”³ pieces
  • 1 cup water and a large bowl of ice water
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion or ½ regular-sized onion, chopped
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1½ cups chicken or veggie stock/broth
  • 1 cup cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 shallots, sliced very thin
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat 1 cup water to boiling over medium-high to high heat. Add green beans. Put on lid and cook for three minutes. Remove beens and place in ice water. Set beans aside.
  3. Pour water off of the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and melt butter. Add mushroom and cook for about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and cook an additional 5+ minutes, until onions are soft and translucent. Sprinkle ⅓ cup flour over the mushrooms and onions and stir well, cooking for a minute or so. Slowly stir in the chicken broth. Slowly stir in the cream. Mix well. Add ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir well then mix in green beans. Transfer to 9×13 casserole dish and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes (you will put fried shallot rings on top for the last 5 minutes of baking”¦see below).
  4. While casserole is baking, heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Mix flour, ¼ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp pepper in a medium to large bowl. Mix shallot rings in the flour, coating well. Use your hands to mix the shallots in the flour so you can break the rings up and get them coated really well. Transfer floured shallots with tongs to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are crisp and golden.
  5. Sprinkle fried shallots over the top of the casserole at the 25 minute baking point. Bake 5 more minutes. Serve hot!
  6. If you want to make this ahead of time, I would do everything except the fried shallot rings and put the casserole in the fridge BEFORE baking. Bake 5-10 minutes longer since the casserole will be going into the oven cold and make the fried shallot rings while the casserole is baking.

green bean casserole from scratch by @janemaynard from


  1. 1

    Hands down the BEST green bean casserole I’ve ever had. The beans were cooked to perfection, the cream had a great rich texture and the mushrooms (my favorite) tasted yummy cause you can actually tell it was fresh mushrooms. The onions on top completed the casserole, how could you not like fresh onion rings?!? Gave the casserole great texture. Everything combined made it the best green bean casserole ever! Thank you Jane for sharing this delicious dish. This is going on our menu:)

  2. 2

    Jane – thanks for sharing. I have NEVER liked casseroles (especially the ones with green beans) but this one was a huge exception. Everything was fresh and tasty. Two thumbs up.

  3. 3
    Megan Flowers

    I made mine from scratch for the first time last year. It. Was. AMAZING! It was also a pain in the ass with all the other prep and a 2 year old on my hands. This year I will not be doing it again, but I may just try again next year. Somehow I got out of cooking this year since we are in escrow and thought we might be moving this week, but as it turns out we will be possibly moving the week of Christmas now. So maybe next year in my new kitchen!!!

  4. 4

    You know, I’ve never even tasted green bean casserole. Maybe I need to try the canned soup kind first, so I know what I’m comparing it with! In any event, this looks delicious!

  5. I’m taking a green bean casserole to dinner on Thursday — I might use this recipe! Thanks.

  6. 6
    Kim from PA

    I am amused by the traditional green bean casserole. I don’t dislike it, but truth be told, I prefer just plain green beans with our Thanksgiving meal. I like the idea of a green bean casserole from scratch though! I may try this for Christmas this year. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. 7
    Stephanie P.

    I’ve used the CI recipe about 5 years, SO MUCH better than the canned soup–EXCEPT–I use those canned onions, b/c darnit, they taste awesome!

    Also, because I use the canned onions, I can make it a day ahead. Since CI mixes the onions with breadcrumbs and butter, I separate that into a ziploc, let them both sit on the counter an hour before baking.

    Great recipe, I promise people never turn back to the old “cream of,” once they try this one! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. 8

    This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it.

  9. While I’m being forced against my will to make this dish the cream-of-mushroom-soup-way this year, I’m printing this off and making it after Thanksgiving. I’m hoping to convert everyone! 🙂

  10. 10

    I’m trying America’s Test Kitchen’s green bean casserole this year – primarily because they offered a tried & true slow cooker version of it. My oven will be full of turkey, and turkey only, so I needed another way to cook it.

    that looks really good though, and I’m not a huge fan of this dish. I make it for my hb, but refuse to use canned soups. ick!

  11. 11
    Andrea P

    I made this today, and it was yummy. The sauce was so good! I liked the fried onions (no shallots at home), but I might go with the canned ones to reduce the amount of work.

  12. 12

    I tried this recipe this week and my husband loved it, even though he really hates mushrooms. I ended up using half cream half 2% milk and it still turned out nice and thick and creamy. I think when I make it again I will either use canned onions or fry a regular onion. This was the first time I’d ever had a shallot and I’m particularly fond of the flavor. But overall, this is a great way to get some veggies into our lives!

  13. Helpful hint. I know you want the BEST and therefore chose fresh green beans. Certainly those are far better than those army gray/green, mushy canned beans that most recipes call for, but for the BEST casserole, use frozen green beans. FROZEN BEANS ARE FRESHER THAN “FRESH.” The reason is that green beans deteriorate rapidly after they are picked. The frozen ones are precessed within a couple of hours after harvest, while those you bought in the supermarket took days to get from the field to your kitchen. So, unless you are picking the beans from your own garden or buying them from someone you trust at the farmers’ market, do your shopping in frozen foods, not the produce department.

    • Jane Maynard

      richard – great tip and point! my mom always used frozen veggies growing up for that very reason! I’ve been spoiled with a year-round CSA the last few years and always used those green beans…but, yes, the frozen would work great, too!

  14. 14

    Green bean casserole never crossed the threshold of my childhood home. I tried it for the first time when I was around 30. Last Thanksgiving we ate at someone else’s home. There was green bean casserole, albeit homemade from scratch. It was definitely a step up from the canned soup version but the kids agreed that we generally prefer our vegetables in their simpler forms. Green beans sauteed with a little garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. My girls eat the leftovers for breakfast. Regularly.

  15. 15

    But those fried shallots? I could probably eat those as a side dish!!!!

    • yes, the fried shallots are heavenly. also, the cream sauce is kind of amazing. you could just serve that as a drink if you want to keep the green beans pure. 😉

  16. 16

    My daughter found and used this recipe a few years ago and we have used it ever since. It is absolutely the best green bean casserole we have ever had!

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