The Ultimate Green Bean Casserole

This Ultimate Green Bean Casserole is a fresh spin on the classic, using fresh mushrooms and cream to replace the traditionally used canned condensed soup.  Believe me, this version is worth a bit of extra work!

This Ultimate Green Bean Casserole is a fresh spin on the classic, using fresh mushrooms and cream to replace the traditionally used canned condensed soup. #recipes #thanksgiving #side dishes

If your family is like mine, green bean casserole is standard fare on the Thanksgiving table {our group usually demolishes two 9x13 casserole dishes in a matter of minutes}…but it’s also one of those dishes that isn’t given much thought. Pop open a few cans of green beans, stir in some cream of mushroom soup, a bit of milk, dump on some fried onions, and you’re done.

Even though we scarf it down like it’s going out of style, green bean casserole has never been anything “special” in my family.

Until now.

In this version, you’ll use fresh green beans.  You’ll cook those for just a few minutes in boiling water, drain them, then quickly plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking.  This process is called blanching.  Blanching vegetables will have the added effect of making them more brightly colored, and preserve some of their crispness.

Mushy green beans = thumbs-down.

This Ultimate Green Bean Casserole is a fresh spin on the classic, using fresh mushrooms and cream to replace the traditionally used canned condensed soup. #recipes #thanksgiving #side dishes

Next, you’ll skip that can of condensed mushroom soup!  You’re going to make your own version of a mushroom white sauce.  It’s super easy, and takes only about 10 to 15 minutes.  Again, a few minutes longer than opening a can, but it’s sooooo much better!  All you have to do is combine a bit of butter, fresh mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper in a dutch oven and cook for about 5 minutes.

Then, add a tablespoon of flour and cook for one minute – add in chicken broth and cream and simmer until the mixture is thickened.  Stir in your green beans and then arrange that yummy goodness into your baking dish.

This Ultimate Green Bean Casserole is a fresh spin on the classic, using fresh mushrooms and cream to replace the traditionally used canned condensed soup. #recipes #thanksgiving #side dishes

I don’t know about you, but I love those french fried onions in a can!  But to give your casserole that extra punch, combine the store-bought variety with some freshly made buttered bread crumbs.  Believe me, you’ll never go back to your old version again!

Let’s talk: What are your family’s favorite Thanksgiving side dishes?

The Ultimate Green Bean Casserole
For the topping:
  • 4 slices hearty bread, torn into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces (about 3 cups) canned fried onions
For the beans and sauce:
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
For the topping:
  1. Combine the bread pieces, softened butter, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until crumbles are coarse. Toss with canned fried onions in a large bowl and set aside.
For the beans and sauce:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 and adjust rack to middle position. Fill a large pot with ice water and set aside. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  2. Boil about 4 quarts of water in a dutch oven. Add beans and 2 tablespoons salt. Cook for about 6 minutes, or until the beans are bright green and crisp-tender. Drain the beans into a colander, and then quickly plunge the colander into the ice water to stop the cooking. Spread the beans onto the lined baking sheets to drain.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in the dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add butter, garlic, ¾ teaspoons salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Cook until the mushrooms release their moisture and then liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add in the broth and simmer, stirring constantly. Stir in the heavy cream and cook until liquid thickens and reduced to about 3½ cups, or for about 12 to 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
  5. Stir in green beans, and then pour bean mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish. Spring with topping and bake at 425 until golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
  6. If you want to make this ahead, mix up your bread-crumb topping and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Combine with onions just before baking. You may make the bean and sauce mixture and refrigerated, covered, for up to 24 hours. To serve, heat casserole in 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, then add topping and bake as directed above.
from Cook's Illustrated
Nutrition Information
Serving size: approximately 10-12 servings, one 9x13 casserole



  1. Amy | Club Narwhal

    Ashley, I am right there with you scarfing down that pan of casserole and this version with fresh green beans and mushroom sauce is making me a bit weak in the knees 🙂

  2. Kasey Corcoran-Peterson

    Is this something that you could make the night before? Or would if be best to make it the same day?

    • Ashley

      Hi Kasey! Yes, you can make this ahead. I give make-ahead instructions in step 7.

  3. Holly

    I don’t know if I will be able to find fresh green beans this time of year. Do you think frozen would work? How would you go about that?

    • Ashley

      Yep, frozen will work…just thaw them first! :-). My grocer still has fresh green beans, and I’m in a pretty small market where I live. Good luck!

      • Holly

        I was in luck, they did have fresh! At least now I know that frozen is an option. Can’t wait to try it out tomorrow!

  4. ghazal

    very goooood , delicious

  5. John W.Cooke

    I made this dish with Leather Britches.(dried Green Beans) I dried them for about 4 months and when winter comes i have close to fresh green beans.I soak them over night to bring them back to life and soften them up.I simmer them in Chicken stock and when they are nice and soft and the color comes back. I drain them and follow your recipe to the letter and i will tell you they are the best .Thanks for the recipe ans as a newbe i am looking forward to visiting your site often Have a great day.

  6. Nena

    Love the recipe…I want to try it this Thanksgiving. Can I make it ahead and freeze or will it turn out mushy?? Thanks!

    • Ashley

      I haven’t tried freezing this. If you do, I would leave the topping off and add that prior to warming back up.

      • Nena

        Thanks! Appreciate the advice…Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  7. Alexa

    Hi! Planning on making this for thanksgiving this year. It sounds delish! I’d like to make a day ahead but since everything else I’m making cooks at 350, do you think this would work at that temp instead of 425? I’m thinking heat up for 10-20 min, then add the topping and cook for another 30-35 min

  8. Abbie

    There is no Step 7…

  9. Holly

    What can I do if I don’t have a dutch oven?



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Hello There!

Interestingly enough, I didn’t grow up with an interest in cooking.  In fact, I informed my mother on multiple occasions that I was not getting an advanced education so I could spend my evenings preparing meals.

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