This green bean casserole without mushroom soup is a healthier revamped version of the classic recipe.
Made with wholesome ingredients, it's a delicious and comforting side to any main course.
No holiday meal would be complete without tasty side dishes. My mom's Thanksgiving stuffing recipe usually takes center stage next to the turkey.
Classics, like a traditional green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole are other additions to almost any festive spread. And these Sweet Potato Bites are a must for an appetizer!
However, this year I am trying out ways to give our holiday table a bit of a healthier makeover.
To update the usual green bean casserole, I used all fresh ingredients and skipped the canned soup.
Tender, vibrant green beans are cooked in a cheesy, creamy sauce and topped with sauteed onions and crunchy panko.
The result? A warm and comforting casserole that makes the perfect side dish for any Thanksgiving dinner.
For more favorite holiday dishes, check out some of these other scrumptious Thanksgiving side dishes.
Why We Love this Recipe
This homemade green bean casserole recipe is made with fresh ingredients, skipping the canned cream of mushroom soup.
The flavors are even better than the old-fashioned recipe, helping keep the green bean casserole tradition alive in a healthier way.
The simplicity of this easy recipe adds to its charm. It has an elegant twist that makes it ideal for a holiday meal yet it’s easy enough to make for any occasion.
What Goes into this Green Bean Casserole
- Fresh green beans
- Garlic cloves
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Heavy cream
- Cheddar cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Sea salt
Scroll down to the printable recipe card to see full instructions and grocery store list for this simple recipe.
Variations and Alternatives
- Toppings: To the panko topping you can add some sliced almonds, pine nuts, fresh lemon zest, or crispy bacon.
- Mushrooms: If you love the earthy flavors that mushrooms give the original recipe, you can use sliced, fresh mushrooms instead. Give them a quick sauté before adding them to the baking dish.
- Cheese options: We used regular cheddar with the parm. But you can use white cheddar, gruyere, Comté cheese, or pepper jack for a hint of heat.
- Sauce: This recipe calls for heavy cream. But you can half sour cream or cream cheese with the cream to make a thicker sauce. If using cream cheese, heat it in the microwave until it's slightly melted.
- Other veggies: You can take this casserole to a whole new level by adding sauteed asparagus tips, whole-kernel corn, bell peppers, or snap peas.
How to this Make Green Bean Casserole
Step 1. Pre heat the oven to 395 F.
Step 2. Bring a large pot of water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Add the beans and steam them for about 6 minutes.
Step 3. When beans are just tender, run them under cold water for 2 minutes to stop the cooking process. Add the green beans to a colander and drain well.
Step 4. In a large skillet, add butter and melt on medium heat.
Step 5. Sauté the sliced onion and the minced garlic until the onion is caramelized or for about 2-3 minutes.
Step 6. Season with a little salt then add panko breadcrumbs and stir. Set aside.
Step 7. In a casserole dish, add half of the green beans.
Step 8. Pour half of the heavy cream over the beans.
Step 9. Add half of the cheddar cheese and half of the parmesan cheese to the top of the green bean mixture.
Step 10. Repeat the process with the rest of the remaining beans, then the cream and cheeses.
Step 11. Add pats of the butter all over the top of the cheese and beans.
Step 12. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven.
Step 13. Scatter the onion mixture over the casserole.
Step 14. Broil for 1 minute or until the top is golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
This easy homemade green bean casserole is a great make-ahead dish. Just assemble all the layers and prepare the topping. Store them separately in the fridge. Then before serving, bake it according to the directions.
The traditional recipe uses canned beans, but I am not a fan of mushy green beans. If you can't find fresh, frozen is the next best option.
Yes, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs or pork panko as a substitute for regular panko.
While the casserole can be frozen, just keep in mind that freezing might slightly affect the overall texture. It can be safely frozen for up to a couple of weeks. Make sure to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
To store leftover green bean casserole, allow it to cool to room temperature.
Then cover it tightly with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container. Place it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheat in the microwave with medium heat or in oven.
Easy Green Bean Casserole Top Tips
- When using fresh green beans, make sure you wash and pick through them well to remove any that have blemishes or stems.
- When steaming, you're just looking for crisp-tender green beans. They will continue to cook in the oven.
- To ensure they cook evenly, try to cut the green beans in close to the same-sized halves.
- For best results, let the casserole rest for a few minutes after baking. This allows the flavors to meld and the sauce to set.
More Delicious Side Dishes
Like our content? Follow us on Pinterest!
Green Bean Casserole without Mushroom Soup
For the beans
- 2 lb fresh beans rinsed, trimmed and halved (907 g)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs 1.41 oz | 40 g
For the sauce
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream 12.68 fluid oz | 375 ml
- 1 cup cheddar cheese 4.12 oz | 117 g
- ½ cup parmesan cheese 1.76 oz | 50 g
- ¼ cup butter 2.11 oz | 60 g
- Pre heat the oven to 395 F | 200 C.
- Bring a large pot to boil with salted water and boil the beans for about 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and leave under running cold water for 2 minutes. Switch off the water and let the green beans drain.
- In a skillet, add butter and melt on medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until onion caramelized. It will take about 2 minutes. Season with salt, add panko breadcrumbs and stir. Set aside.
- In a baking dish, add half of the green beans, half of the heavy cream, half of the cheddar cheese and half of the parmesan cheese. Repeat and finish with dropping the butter over the cheese and beans. Transfer the baking dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add the onion mixture. Broil for 1 minute.
Feel free to use regular milk instead of heavy cream to lighten this dish up a bit. You may have to thicken the sauce with cornstarch or a bit of flour and milk mixed until runny.