Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Green Bean Casserole (Make Ahead)

This easy green bean casserole comes together in minutes and bakes to bubbly perfection. Make it for the holidays or an easy weeknight side.

Tender green beans are baked in a creamy sauce and topped with crispy fried onions for a salty crunch! It’s the combination that many of us grew up on, and I love how easy it is to put together.

Plus, it’s not just for the holidays! This side dish is wonderful with a smoked roast, pork tenderloin, and even fried chicken.

For a modern twist on this classic green bean casserole, try this version with mushroom bacon cheese sauce! It just takes a few extra minutes of prep for a side dish that everyone will be talking about.

green bean casserole make ahead in casserole dish

Green Bean Casserole - Tips and Tricks

  • Drain the beans! Otherwise, the sauce will be thin and not as creamy. Rinsing is not required, but you can if you want to reduce the amount of sodium in this recipe.
  • Cream of mushroom substitute: There aren’t any actual mushrooms in this recipe, but some people are allergic or don’t like the flavor. You can use any “cream of” soup you’d like instead - chicken and celery are popular alternatives.
  • Add some bacon. Cook up a few strips on the stove or in the oven, then chop them up and stir them in with the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Feeding a crowd? Double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 baking dish instead.

easy green bean casserole ingredients

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Casserole Dish - One that’s 2 - 2.5 quarts in size should do the trick! Typically that will be an oval baker or an 8x8 baking pan.
  • Mixing Bowl - I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
  • A sturdy silicone spatula can be used for scraping, stirring, and smoothing and is easy to clean too!

classic green bean casserole base with seasoning

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

What kind of green beans should I use?

Cans of regular cut beans are what you’re looking for. French cut are fine as well, they will just slightly change the texture of the dish.

If you prefer to use a bag of frozen instead, don’t thaw them first. Simply increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes.

Can I make classic green bean casserole ahead of time?

Yes! In fact, I highly recommend it if you’re hosting the holiday meal. You can put it together up to 48 hours in advance and reheat during the final stretch.

Prepare the recipe as directed, but leave off the crispy fried onions. Then, let it cool for a bit before wrapping tightly in foil and placing it in the refrigerator.

About an hour before serving, transfer the dish to the counter to remove the chill - at least 30 minutes. Then warm in the oven, adding the crispy onions towards the end as stated in the directions.

easy green bean casserole base with beans

What are crispy fried onions and where can I find them?

They are thin, crispy pieces of onion that are commonly associated with this easy green bean casserole. French’s is the most popular brand, and they can be found in just about any grocery store.

Not only are they essential to this recipe, but they’re great for topping burgers or all kinds of casseroles!


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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green bean casserole make ahead wide shot with a spoon

Yield: 8
Author: Donna Elick
Green Bean Casserole (Make Ahead)

Green Bean Casserole (Make Ahead)

This easy green bean casserole comes together in minutes and bakes to bubbly perfection. Make it for the holidays or an easy weeknight side.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 38 MinTotal time: 43 Min


  • 2 (10.5 ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans cut green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup crispy fried onions


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the soup and milk until smooth. Stir in the green beans, pepper, and salt.
  3. Pour the green beans into a medium-size casserole pan, spread them out evenly.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the mixture.
  5. Top the green beans with the crispy onions and bake for an additional 8 minutes.

green bean casserole make ahead closeup

Originally published November 2021

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1 comment:

  1. Jimmaustin2001@yahoo comNovember 10, 2021 at 9:22 AM

    The green bean casserole has been a old "standby" or "go-to" recipe since I was a child (I'm now a senior). The only difference in your recipe is that we actually added chopped mushrooms to the dish.
    Today, this dish is considered "conforted food" in our home! The taste of holidays! Jimm


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