It’s officially one of the most delicious months of the year! Between November and December, I really can’t choose which has the best food.
Not just holiday food, but rich, hearty, soul-warming soups and stews and decadent candies, cookies, and pies. YES. So excited.
Of course, November in the U.S. means Thanksgiving. This homemade Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon has become a staple Thanksgiving side dish for me.
This is a HOMEMADE green bean casserole recipe using fresh ingredients. The fact that there are no canned ingredients in this recipe really just brightens and intensifies all the natural flavors and elevates the entire dish.
In this Green Bean Casserole recipe, we’re using:
- Fresh green beans (not canned green beans!)
- Cheese & bacon for the best flavors ever
- No canned condensed soups (anyone else not a fan of cream of mushroom soup?!)
- French’s French Fried onions
I will admit that the fried onions on top are not homemade and I did not find any suitable easy alternatives. So that is the only pre-made store-bought element of the side dish.
But what would green bean casserole at Thanksgiving be without those crispy fried onions?! The entire dish is so scrumptious, savory, creamy, crunchy, and magnificent. This classic holiday side dish is Thanksgiving perfection.
You might just love it so much, you’ll make this easy recipe again for Christmas!
BEST Green Bean Casserole Recipe from Scratch
Here are some recipe tips and tricks and answers to common questions to ensure your friends and family RAVE over this best ever green bean casserole.
How to make Green Bean Casserole:
- Cook the bacon: Cook in a skillet until fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp. Next, add the onions, then the garlic. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Make the sour cream mixture: In the same skillet you cooked the bacon, sprinkle some all-purpose flour and whisk. Next, add the sour cream and the bacon mixture. Stir until the mixture has thickened to gravy consistency.
- Cook the green beans: Add the green beans to a large pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, then shock with ice. Drain again and pat dry.
- Bake: Combine the bacon mixture and the green beans, then transfer the green bean mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with cheese and crispy onions, then bake for 30 minutes.
Can you make green bean casserole ahead of time?
Can you freeze green bean casserole?
Yes! Assemble the casserole in a heat safe and freezer safe pan but don’t top with the shredded cheese and fried onions yet. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap. Cover with tin foil, label, and date. Freeze for up to 4 months.
Can you double this recipe?
Yes! Simply double all the ingredients and bake in two 9×13-inch or similarly shaped baking pans.
How to get really tender green beans:
Blanch the fresh green beans in boiling water for about 4 to 6 minutes then strain into a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking. Drain then proceed with the recipe. I don’t call for this step in the recipe below because it takes extra time and dirties extra dishes, plus I like my green beans to be a little firmer.
Can you use frozen green beans?
Yes! Just thaw before using.
Can you add in mushrooms to this green bean casserole?
Yes! You can add in 3/4 pound bella or button mushrooms that have been cleaned and sliced. Add them in with the onions.
Can you use heavy cream instead of milk?
Sure, you’ll definitely get a richer and creamier texture!
Can you use almond milk in green bean casserole?
Readers have reported success using unsweetened almond milk in this recipe. Just note that the final texture won’t be as rich and creamy.
More Thanksgiving Recipes:
medium yellow onion,
Freshly ground black pepper,
ends trimmed and cut in half
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
French’s French Fried onions
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add the bacon. Cook, stirring often, until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon is beginning to crisp. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove the mixture to a paper towel-lined plate.
Sprinkle the flour over the bacon drippings and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk then add the sour cream and bacon mixture. Stir until the mixture has thickened to gravy consistency. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add the green beans and cook until tender but still crisp and green, about 5 minutes. Drain immediately then shock in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and pat dry.
In a large bowl combine the bacon mixture with the green beans, tossing to coat. Spread evenly among a greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan. At this point you can cover and refrigerate the unbaked, untopped casserole for up to 2 days. Top with shredded cheese and fried onions. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
This post was recently updated with new photos by Patty Kraikittikun-Phuong.