A fresh take on the classic, this green bean casserole is made with NO "cream of" anything soup.
But the question is -- can you really make a green bean casserole without canned soup that tastes just as good and comforting as the OG?
I submit that you can. The key is to make a rich mushroom cream, and to cook the fresh green beans just until they loose their crunch. If you really want to go all out, make the fried onions from scratch like I did for the final photos, but no judgement if you stick to the good ol' canned onions.
It all depends on how "from scratch" you want your "green bean casserole from scratch" to be.
Don't be put off by the mushroom cream. It's super simple to make, and very forgiving. You want the green beans to be coated in it like the photo above, and once it's in the baking dish, you should have quite a bit of liquid pooling around them, like in the photo below.
If you find you don't have enough liquid, you can add more into the baking dish and stir it together right in that same dish.
If you have too much liquid, you can pour a little off, or add time to the baking time in 10 minute increments until it cooks down.
I love the look and texture of whole green beans, but if you want to get even closer to that old canned version, you can cut your beans into 1" pieces before boiling them.
You might love these other side dish recipes
- Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Marshmallow and Streusel Topped Sweet Potato Casserole
- Potatoes Dauphinoise
Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
For the casserole:
- 1.5 lbs fresh green beans trimmed
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- water for boiling green beans
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms roughly chopped ( baby bella or white mushrooms also work)
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups milk warmed
- 1 cup chicken stock warmed
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the fried onions:
- 1/2 medium to large onion very thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- canola or vegetable oil for frying onions
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Separate the sliced onions into individual rings. Place them in a large bowl or baggie and toss them with the 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Let them sit in that mixture while preparing everything else. This waiting time will help the flour adhere to the onions.
- Bring a large pot of salted water ( water plus the two tablespoons of salt ) to a boil. Once boiling, drop in the green beans. Boil for 5 minutes, or until the green beans are crisp-tender. They will soften up more while baking later. After the green beans are done boiling, strain them out of the boiling water and place them in a large bowl filled with ice to stop the cooking process and keep them bright green.
Make the casserole:
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Sautee the chopped mushrooms in the melted butter until they release their liquid and shrink in size, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the cooked chopped mushrooms and stir to coat the mushrooms in it.
- Slowly stir 1 cup of the warmed milk into the mushroom flour mixture. You want the milk to become absorbed by the flour on the mushrooms and form a sort of thick sauce.
- Repeat this process until you have no more milk left, and then stir in the chicken broth as well. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Stir in the green beans, soy sauce, and the remaining salt and pepper. The sauce should coat the green beans, but the pan should not be dry. It should be like a thick green bean soup. If it's too thin, crank the heat up the medium high and simmer the mixture until it thickens. If it's too thick, add either more milk, chicken broth, or water ( whatever you have on hand ) 1/2 cup at a time until it thins.
- Pour the green beans into a 2 1/2 - 3 quart baking dish.
- Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, or until the edges of the dish begin to brown.
Fry the onions:
- Prepare your work surface with a brown paper bag or towels to drain the oil from the fried onions.
- Coat the bottom of a deep frying pan or dutch oven with 1/2" deep of oil over medium heat. When the oil has heated up, carefully add the flour coated onions with a pair of tongs or slotted spoon, shaking off excess flour before dropping them into the oil. Fry just until the onions begin to brown. Remove the onions and place them onto the paper bag to drain, immediately sprinkling the 1/4 teaspoon of salt on top while they are still super hot from frying.
- Top the casserole with the fried onions and serve.