This is the BEST fresh green bean casserole recipe! Fresh beans, mushrooms, and caramelized onions give it that classic flavor you and your family will love, but this easy recipe is made entirely from scratch. I’ll also show you how to make this healthy side dish low carb/keto!
Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without a dish of green bean casserole (and Brussels sprouts and sweet potato casserole). But honestly canned soup and those tins of fried onions kind of weird me out. And don’t even get me started on the texture of canned green beans.
I knew there had to be a better way to make it. And there is!
This healthy green bean casserole recipe is made from-scratch with all fresh ingredients, from the green beans and mushrooms, to heavy cream, to caramelized onions and toasty bread crumbs that give it it’s classic crunchy, golden brown top.
Shawn’s a huge fan of the traditional recipe, but he loved my fresh take on it — he even said it tasted better than usual!
You can even use pork panko to make it low carb and keto friendly.
How do you make homemade green bean casserole from scratch?
Traditionally, green bean casserole is made with canned or frozen green beans, condensed cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions.
For this healthy, from-scratch version, we’ll need to make a few swaps:
- Use fresh green beans instead of frozen or canned. You can use frozen if you really want, but fresh taste so much better!
- Two kinds of sauteed mushrooms, garlic, and heavy cream instead of the cream of mushroom soup. This gives your casserole base so much flavor! (You can also use homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup if you prefer.)
- Lightly caramelized onions to give the recipe that classic oniony flavor.
- Panko bread crumbs to mimic that crispy topping that normally comes from French fried onions. With all the flavor and texture that’s happening here, I promise you won’t miss those friend onions one bit.
Gluten-Free/Keto green bean casserole
To make this casserole low carb and gluten-free, you’ll need to make two adjustments.
First, use coconut flour instead of wheat flour in your mushroom soup mixture. You can, of course, use your favorite low carb thicker such as xanthan gum or almond flour, but I like the texture that coconut flour lends to this recipe – it’s smooth and silky without being gummy or gritty.
Second, you’ll need another option for those breadcrumbs on top. I LOVE how this recipe comes out with pork panko, which is essentially just crushed up pork rinds. It has a very subtle pork flavor that goes nicely with the green beans, and has that crunchy, crumbly texture that you’d expect atop a casserole.
If you don’t want to use pork panko, you can also use almond meal on the top of your green beans. This will change the flavor of the recipe, so it won’t feel as true to the original we all know and love, but it will still be tasty.
How do you thicken green bean casserole?
To keep your casserole from being too watery, you’ll need to make sure your mushroom mixture is thick and a little gloopy. It should coat the back of a spoon.
If you need to thicken it up, transfer ¼ cup of the liquid to a measuring cup. Whisk in a tablespoon or two of flour to form a paste. Whisk that mixture into the pot until it dissolves.
If you’re following the instructions for making this recipe low carb, whisk in a few tablespoons of pork panko instead of adding more starch.
How much fresh green beans equals a can?
One 15 ounce can of green beans is roughly equal to ½ pound of fresh beans. So if your favorite recipe calls for 2 cans of green beans, you’ll want to use one pound of fresh.
Conversely, if you really love the flavor of canned green beans and can’t imagine making your casserole any other way, you can use two cans (drained) in place of the fresh beans this recipe calls for.
Can I make this green bean casserole ahead?
Once you add the green beans to the casserole dish and top it with onions, cover it with foil and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the casserole at this point, just be sure to let it thaw completely before baking it. For maximum crispiness, I wait until just before I bake the casserole before adding the bread crumb topping.
Be sure take it out of the refrigerator while the oven heats up to allow the chill to come off. Putting something straight from the fridge to the oven is never a good idea, since the dramatic change in temperature can cause your dish to shatter.
- ¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons butter divided
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pint sliced crimini mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup flour or coconut flour, for low carb/gluten-free
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 yellow onion sliced
- 1 pound fresh green beans trimmed
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs or pork panko, for low carb/gluten-free
- Heat your oven to 400F.
- Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Add the porcini mushrooms and let sit for 20 minutes, until plump. Remove the mushrooms and finely chop them.
- Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the porcini and cremini mushrooms and the garlic. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until softened.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, stirring to coat them.
- Slowly whisk in the broth and heavy cream. Simmer for 10 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add the green beans and simmer 4-5 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Remove the cover and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes or until a rich golden brown. If the onions start to stick to the pan, stir in a tablespoon or two of water.
- Stir half of the onions into the green beans mixture, then transfer to a medium (roughly 8×6) baking dish. Scatter the remaining onions over the top, then cover with an even layer of panko.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving.