This is your traditional creamy green bean casserole recipe topped with crunchy French fried onions but with a few surprise ingredients that you’re going to absolutely love!
Every Thanksgiving, the classic green bean casserole recipe would rise to the tops of minds for the big dinner spread. But in my family it was a little different. Mom was not a fan of those Chinese noodles or fried onions from a can so our recipe only got topped with Tillamook medium cheddar cheese.
Back then life was different. No one thought twice about canned soups or finding some new and fancy recipe to wow guests. It was all about tradition. While ours was still a green bean casserole the best part was the orange wrapper on that Tillamook Cheese. It’s not that way anymore but the cheese remains just as pure and wonderful as in the past and it’s a key part of this casserole.
I went ahead and threw on the fried onions for you as I know it’s a part of your tradition (I asked and polled our readers so much I just had to give a nod to all of you that make this possible) but quickly learned that it’s even better when you stir a little of both the cheese and onions actually into the casserole.
Don’t worry, you can make it however you’d like, but in the end, even if your eating habits have changed like ours have over the years it’s still my favorite thing in the world to encourage everyone to hold on to a few recipes purely for nostalgia.
So here comes cooler weather and I hope this green bean casserole will be back on your table tops again.
Ingredients for Green Bean Casserole
This ingredients list is short and sweet and the green beans are the star of the show. This isn’t going to match the recipe on the back of your fried onions container, and that’s why this recipe is going to be your new favorite! This is what you will need:
- Green Beans (canned or fresh)
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Lemon Juice
- Whole Milk
- Soy Sauce
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Fried Onions
The measurements for each can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to Make Green Bean Casserole
I’m a firm believer that side dishes shouldn’t be a big hassle! Side dishes should be delicious and compliment the main dish, but they shouldn’t be time consuming or labor intensive. This checks all the boxes!
- Preheat the oven.
- Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl, reserving some of the cheese and onions for later.
- Fold the green beans gently into the mixture.
- Pour it into your baking dish and top with the remaining cheese and onions.
The details can be found in the recipe card below.
Can I Use Fresh Green Beans Instead of Canned
Yes, just be sure to drain the beans. The green beans will need to be blanched. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium high heat with a fistful of kosher (not table) salt. The water should taste like sea water. Boil the beans until tender and then blanch in a bowl of ice water.
How to Make Green Bean Casserole without Canned Soup
We like to make our own soups from scratch just so we can better control what is going into them. Making a cream of mushroom soup is quite easy. Here are the basic steps:
- Whisk the butter until melted and add the mushrooms and flour. Stir until it clumps up.
- Add the milk or cream and whisk until boiling and thickened.
- Add your seasonings and you’re done!
Head over to our cheesy ground beef and rice casserole for the exact recipe for homemade cream of mushroom soup. The from scratch recipe is included in the recipe card at the end of that post.
Why is My Green Bean Casserole Runny?
The likely cause of a runny green bean casserole is the green beans themselves. Especially if you use fresh green beans, they can retain a lot of water and leak into the casserole as they bake. If you use canned green beans and drain them thoroughly, there shouldn’t be a problem.
How Long Will Cooked Green Beans Keep?
Cooked green beans will keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
Can Green Bean Casserole Be Frozen?
Yes, it can be frozen. It is better if you prepare the casserole and freeze it before baking, but you can freeze it after baking too. The crispy topping will become soggy obviously, but if you wait to add the topping until right before baking, it will crisp up better.
We have a couple of different versions of green bean casserole on the blog. There is our heritage green bean casserole with crispy shallots and our real green bean casserole topped with shoestring potatoes, but you all have wanted a classic green bean casserole recipe. We have delivered! Enjoy!
More Vegetable Side Dishes:
- Roasted Veggies
- Grilled Vegetables
- Butternut Squash Kale Salad
- Instant Pot Green Beans and Potatoes
- Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole
- Pea Salad
- Green Beans with Bacon
- Pecan Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- All our SIDE DISHES!
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Classic Green Bean Casserole
- 2 Cans Green beans 14.5 ounces french or any style drained *see note for fresh vs canned
- 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup 10.75 oz.
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
- 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1 1/3 Cup Cheddar Cheese Sharp
- 1 1/2 Cups Onions Crispy Fried
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix together the soup, lemon juice, milk, soy sauce, 1/3 cup cheese and 1/2 cup onions.
- Using a rubber spatula so as to not break up the green beans, fold the green beans into the sauce.
- Pour into a baking dish (8x8in or 9x9in) and top with the remaining cheese and onions.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes and serve.
- Note: For fresh green beans, bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium high heat with a fistful of KOSHER (not table) salt. The water should taste like sea water. Boil the beans until tender and dumb into a bowl of ice water.
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