How to Make Green Bean Casserole

Publish Date October 6, 2023 2 Minute Read

How to Make Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is one of those iconic holiday dishes everyone expects to see on the table. In many households, this comfort casserole is as cherished a tradition as fluffy mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie or even Thanksgiving turkey. While every family has their own way of preparing this classic, most recipes share a few staple ingredients and distinct elements that make the dish feel like home, no matter who’s hosting. We're dishing all that and more in this simple guide to green bean casserole.

Classic Green Bean Casserole Ingredients

Most green bean casserole recipes share similar ingredients to create a variety of textures from creamy to crunchy. Common green bean casserole ingredients include:

Green beans: Fresh, frozen or canned.
Soup: You can use the traditional canned cream of mushroom soup or even make your own.
Fried onions: Quick and easy store-purchased options are great, but you can cook up your own for some additional flair.

Once you have the main ingredients, the possibilities for modifications are endless. Don’t have many mushroom lovers in attendance? Swap the cream of mushroom soup for cream of chicken or make your own cream sauce. Craving something cheesy? Top your casserole with your favorite blend for a mouth-watering addition. Feel free to play with textures and tastes to find what works best at your dinner table.

Ways to Prepare Your Green Bean Casserole

On Thanksgiving, every inch of kitchen space becomes valuable real estate. To keep your workspace calm and organized, you’ll need to decide which items can be made ahead, which should be made fresh and which appliances are best suited for each dish. Luckily, green bean casserole can be made in a variety of ways to accommodate your menu, workspace and schedule:

  • Baked Green Bean Casserole
    This is the method most of us are most familiar with. Baked in the oven, green bean casserole has more time to get bubbly and creamy.
  • Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole
    Using a slow cooker is a great way to save space and time, allowing you to get the same traditional flavor while taking a hands-off approach. Try this recipe for a hassle-free casserole.
  • Skillet Green Bean Casserole
    While this method is a bit more hands-on than the others, it offers a deliciously unexpected crispiness, adding a new element to the classic b alance of textures.

Variations on a Classic

As much as everyone loves the classic recipe, there are many variations, updates and twists to explore. Try elevating your dish with caramelized onion or sichuan peppers.

You can also alter your recipe to accommodate allergies, dietary needs and preferences with a few simple swaps. Since green bean casserole is a crowdpleasing dish, you’ll want to make sure that everyone at your table can enjoy it. Here are a few ways to update your favorite recipe to be inclusive of dietary restrictions:

  • Better-for-you Green Bean Casserole
    There are many ways to make a healthy green bean casserole. Try this recipe for a version that uses a low-fat soup to help keep things lighter, or make your own roux using low-fat milk or less butter. If you’re goal is to get more nutrients onto your plate, lean into the flavors already in the casserole by adding fresh ingredients like sautéed mushrooms.
  • Vegan Green Bean Casserole
    With a few simple changes to your go-to recipe, you can create an easy vegan green bean casserole that’ll be a hit with even the meat eaters at your table. The non-vegan component that needs an update is the cream of mushroom soup. Make a vegan-friendly alternative by mixing flour, vegetable broth, a vegan milk alternative and seasonings together to create a creamy roux. Add mushrooms and simmer before pouring over your green beans.
  • Gluten-free Green Bean Casserole
    Like the vegan variation, a gluten-free version of this casserole can be achieved by omitting the cream of mushroom soup, which contains flour. While some brands offer gluten-free versions, making your own alternative is easy and can offer even more flavor. To make your own gluten-free cream sauce, replace the flour in your roux with your favorite gluten-free flour. The crispy fried onions also contain flour, but you can get the same crunch by battering onions with a gluten-free pancake mix before frying.

Tips for a Hassle-free Casserole

Green bean casserole is a great candidate for popular make-ahead methods and can be refrigerated for up to 3 days once baked, cooled and covered with foil. While it’ll still need a bit of time in the oven, you’ll save on cook time and prep time by making this dish in advance.

If you plan on making this dish the day of the big event, and you’re using fresh green beans, be sure to clean and cut them ahead of time. While all recipes and ovens are different, green bean casserole usually requires about 30-40 minutes of cook time. Since most turkeys need around 45 minutes to rest after roasting, consider using this rest time to cook your casserole.

While the turkey may be the star of the show, green bean casserole has an important supporting role. Whether you’re making it ahead, in a crockpot or updating your favorite recipe, everyone will be thankful to see this classic on the table.

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