This cheesy green bean casserole is an elevated version of a family-favorite Thanksgiving side dish. Made completely from scratch with fresh ingredients- it's packed with bacon, three cheeses, and crispy fried shallots on top!
Aside from bread pudding stuffing, cheesy green bean casserole is my all-time favorite holiday side dish. This homemade version is made without condensed soup and is made with fresh green beans instead of canned.
The tender green beans are covered in a cheesy gravy, crispy bacon, and crunchy shallots (no French's fried onions here!). It's super flavorful and perfect for serving with your Thanksgiving turkey!
Why We Love Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
- Cheesy green beans- The addition of cheese makes a rich and cheesy sauce- no cans of condensed soup are needed!
- Fresh and tender green beans instead of canned.
- The top is covered in homemade crispy onions.
- The perfect side dish for your holiday meal- especially Thanksgiving dinner!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Mushrooms: They give so much flavor to the rich and creamy sauce! If you dislike mushrooms, replace them with red bell peppers or caramelized onions.
Green beans: Fresh green beans give the casserole a wonderful flavor and texture! We used regular green beans but French-style green beans (string beans) can also work.
Chicken broth: Green bean casserole can be very rich, so chicken stock is added to cut through the richness. Substitute it with vegetable or beef broth!
Heavy cream: Classic green bean casseroles are made creamy with canned soup. Instead, we are using heavy cream which makes it just as creamy but way more delicious!
Bacon: The salty and savory flavor of the bacon contrasts with the sweetness of the green beans, enhancing the dish's flavor!
Shallots: We're going all out with this homemade casserole, which means pan-frying some lightly floured shallots. If you are short on time, however, you can still use French's fried onions.
Find the full ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below!
If fried onions aren't your thing, you can make it without onions and try these other delicious toppings instead!
- Crushed potato chips
- Ritz crackers
- Sliced almonds
Best Cheeses for Green Bean Casserole
Making green bean casserole with cheese creates a delicious pairing that's rich and creamy. With a variety of cheeses to choose from, I found these flavors pair best with green beans.
- Asiago cheese
- Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Parmesan cheese
Step 1: Blanch the green beans. Boil the green beans for 5 minutes or until tender. Use a slotted spoon to blanch them in a bowl of ice water.
Step 2: Cook the bacon, mushrooms, and onions. In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy then remove, and set aside.
Saute the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs in the bacon grease until tender.
Step 3: Simmer the gravy. Mix in the bacon, flour, chicken broth, and heavy cream. Simmer until thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in the shredded cheese, one handful at a time.
Step 4: Toss the green beans with the gravy. Add the drained green beans to the gravy and toss to combine. Pour the beans into a casserole dish.
Step 5: Make the crispy fried onions. Toss the buttermilk-soaked shallots in flour, and fry until golden brown.
Once browned, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
Step 6: Bake the cheesy green bean casserole. Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Straight out of the oven, top with the fried onions. Serve warm!
Tips for Baking and Serving
- Use fresh green beans. While you can certainly use frozen or canned, I found that fresh green beans have the best flavor and are perfectly tender and crisp without getting soggy.
- Don't skip the homemade fried onions. This is key to the best green bean casserole!
- Make a double batch to serve a crowd. You can easily double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13 baking pan or larger casserole pan.
- Serve at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner alongside your favorite side dishes, and follow with apple cake, pumpkin cookies, or ginger cake for dessert!
- Prep ahead without the onions. Leave the onions off to keep them from getting soggy. You can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.
Yes, we recommend only freezing it for up to 2 weeks for best results.
Yes, after the green bean casserole is in the pan, cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bake until hot and bubbly!
While any kind of green bean will work, our personal favorite is fresh green beans because they stay crisp and tender.
Reheat the casserole at 350 F for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Cover the top with foil for baking then remove to let the onions crisp up.
Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
We used roughly a 9x12 oval baking dish. You can use a smaller size or if doubling the recipe, bake it in a larger casserole dish.
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
- casserole baking dish
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups sliced shallots
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cups avocado, vegetable, or canola oil
Green Bean Casserole
- 1 lb fresh green beans
- 6 oz bacon diced
- 1 cup sweet or yellow onion finely diced
- 1 cup crimini mushrooms finely diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup gruyere cheese shredded
- ½ cup asiago cheese shredded
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper
- Soak the shallots. Soak the sliced shallots in buttermilk for at least 10 minutes.1 cup buttermilk, 2 cups sliced shallots
- Prep the flour and the oil. Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine the flour and salt. In a large pan heat vegetable oil over medium heat to 375 F. To test if your oil is ready for frying, dip the end of a chopstick or a wooden spoon. If the oil bubbles around the handle, it's ready.1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, 2 cups avocado, vegetable, or canola oil
- Fry the onions. Dredge the buttermilk-soaked onions in flour until well coated, shaking off any excess, and transfer to a baking sheet or plate. Fry in batches until golden brown. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
- Blanch the green beans. Cut the green beans into 2-inch pieces. Blanch the green beans in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. Immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking. Once cool, remove and set aside.1 lb fresh green beans
- Cook the bacon. In a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.6 oz bacon
- Cook the veggies. Add the mushrooms, onion, and thyme to the pan and cook until the onions are translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.1 cup sweet or yellow onion, 1 cup crimini mushrooms, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, 5 garlic cloves
- Simmer the sauce. Add the bacon back to the pan and add the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Then stir in the chicken broth, heavy cream, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until thickened.3 tablespoon all-purpose flour, ½ cup heavy cream, ¾ cup chicken broth, ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, ¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper
- Stir in the cheese. Turn the heat off and stir in the cheese a handful at a time. Toss the green beans in the sauce and pour it into your baking pan. Sprinkle with extra cheese if you want it extra cheesy!½ cup gruyere cheese, ½ cup asiago cheese, ½ cup cheddar cheese
- Bake at 350 F/180 C for 20-25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly. Top with the homemade fried onions and serve warm!
The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.