This Fresh Green Bean Casserole is made with a homemade mushroom sauce (no canned soup), and it’s topped with caramelized onion bread crumbs.
We all grew up eating the classic green bean casserole, right? My Mom made it every Thanksgiving, complete with canned cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions on top. I actually really liked it. But as I got older, I stopped using canned soups in most recipes, and the idea of making a fresh green bean casserole became more appealing. I think you’ll love it as much as I do!
- green beans
- sweet onions
- extra virgin olive oil
- white sugar
- whole grain bread
- all purpose flour
- chicken broth
- dry sherry
- half and half cream
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to make Fresh Green Bean Casserole:
The complete printable recipe is at the end of this post. The first step is steaming the green beans and then draining them.
Next caramelize the onions. Sauté them with a little olive oil and sugar until golden and soft and sweet. Pulse bread or bread cubes in a food processor with butter, salt and pepper. Combine the bread crumbs with the caramelized onions, and set aside. This will be the topping for the fresh green bean casserole.
The next step is making the mushroom sauce. Mushrooms and garlic are sautéed in butter and salt/pepper. Flour, chicken broth, sherry and half and half are added in to create a creamy mushroom sauce. The sauce is then combined with the cooked green beans.
The bean and mushroom mixture is then transferred to a baking dish. The caramelized onion bread crumbs are distributed on top.
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING RIGHT AWAY:
Preheat the oven to 425°F, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING LATER:
Transfer the green bean mixture only to a baking dish. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to bake, return the casserole to room temperature (it takes about 2 hours to reach room temperature). Remove the plastic wrap. Heat in a preheated 425°F. oven for about 30 to 35 minutes. Add the topping and bake for another 15 minutes.
It’s so delicious made with fresh green beans instead of frozen or canned. The recipe is really a game changer in terms of how good this fresh green bean casserole turns out. Everyone will note how much better it is than the original! It will pair perfectly with your mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.
This recipe is easy to make gluten-free too! Just use gluten free bread, gluten-free flour or cornstarch as the thickener, and make sure your chicken broth is gluten free as well. Enjoy!
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- 2 quarts water
- 2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium sweet onions, sliced thinly
- ½ teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 2 slices good whole grain bread (or use dried stuffing cubes)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
MUSHROOMS AND SAUCE:
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms (cleaned, stems trimmed and sliced)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1½ cups half and half cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
PREPARE THE BEANS:
- Bring the water to boil in a large pot. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the beans and salt to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes, or until crisp-tender and still bright green. Drain the beans in a colander, then plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain in the colander again. Pat with paper towels to dry completely.
CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS:
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and let cook, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat after about 10 minutes to medium-low. Sprinkle the onions with sugar, and continue to cook, stirring every so often to prevent over-browning or burning, until the onions are caramelized and soft. This should take a good 20 to 30 minutes (don't rush it with a higher heat), and the onions should be caramel-colored and sweet. Set aside to cool.
PREPARE THE TOPPING:
- In a food processor, place the bread (or stuffing cubes), butter and seasonings and pulse about 10 times. Scrape the crumbs into a medium bowl, and stir in the onions; set aside. If making ahead, transfer to a storage container and refrigerate.
PREPARE THE SAUCE:
- Melt the butter in a skillet until shimmery. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Stirring often, cook until the mushrooms begin to soften and exude their liquid, about 6 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and sherry and bring to a simmer. Add the half and half; simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the cooked beans until they're evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
- DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING RIGHT AWAY: Preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer the bean mixture to large greased baking dish or 9x13 casserole. Top the beans with the topping and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
- DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING LATER: Transfer the mixture to a large greased baking dish or 9x13 casserole. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to bake, return to room temperature (it takes about 2 hours to reach room temperature). Remove the plastic wrap. Heat in a preheated 425°F. oven for about 30 to 35 minutes. Add the topping and bake for another 15 minutes.
- *This recipe is gluten-free adaptable. Use gluten-free bread, or use dried bread stuffing cubes that are gluten free. Whole foods sells a dried bread cube stuffing mix during the fall holidays that is excellent. Also use GF flour in place of all-purpose flour and be sure to use GF chicken broth.