Cheesy Green Bean Casserole isn’t just about the extra cheddar. We built the sauce on bacon for a dish that’ll kick up your holiday meal in more ways than one! Creamy and crunchy, you’ll find yourself munching on this green bean and bacon casserole more than the turkey and stuffing. You can find an instructional video at the bottom of the post for some extra guidance!
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
What’s better than cheddar? Cheddar and bacon!
Throw in those classic holiday ingredients and you have a 5 star casserole that’ll make every other green bean casserole pale in comparison.
We can’t believe we didn’t think of making green bean casserole with bacon and cheese before!
If you know you’ll be running around on Thanksgiving with no time to spare, consider trying out this make ahead version, too – all you’ll have to do is throw it in the oven!
And don’t forget the sweet potato casserole for a sweet contrast to this extra savory dish.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Bacon – I like to use hickory smoked or applewood, but to each their own! A smoky meat will definitely complement mushrooms and cheese the best.
- Baby Bella Mushrooms – Also known as crimini mushrooms!
Not everyone knows that your classic Thanksgiving green bean casserole with cheese is bulked up with cream of mushroom soup – so we need those mushrooms to get that flavor!
- Onion & Garlic – I promise that you won’t miss the fried onions!
Using fresh prevents the casserole from getting soggy and adds a mindblowingly appetizing aroma to the dish – especially in combination with the garlic!
- All-Purpose Flour – Flour is used as a thickener and binder to make a far more substantial green bean and bacon casserole.
If you need a gluten-free recipe, see the tips below!
- Whole Milk – Those who prefer a creamier casserole can substitute half of the milk with heavy cream or work in some half and half instead.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese – A true classic that goes with everything! Colby Jack is a wonderful alternative, and – if you’re feeling adventurous – even gouda works!
- Green Beans – I generally use frozen green beans, thawed before adding to the casserole.
But you can also use blanched fresh green beans if you’re able to snag them so late in the season!
How to Make the Best Cheesy Green Bean Casserole For Your Needs!
- Make It Quick – Go ahead and bake the bacon in the oven until it’s perfectly crispy crunchy. Once it cools, you can easily crumble it up.
Afterward, heat some butter in a skillet and saute the mushrooms, onions, and garlic until browned and almost painfully fragrant – it seriously smells so good!!
At this point, you can proceed with the recipe with the seasonings and flour.
- Make It Gluten-Free – Replace the flour with a milk and cornstarch slurry, made with ¼ cup cornstarch and ½ cup milk.
Add it when the recipe calls for the flour – just after the milk begins to bubble. Stir to combine, and proceed with the recipe.
Storing and Reheating Leftover Green Bean and Bacon Casserole
Cover and chill for up to 5 days. Freezing isn’t your best option – the texture of the cream will change somewhat – but you can for a couple of weeks if you so desire.
To reheat, return to the skillet on a medium heat until warmed through.
You could also toss it in the oven and broil for just a couple of minutes for a nicely browned crust on top!
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole FAQ
If your casserole is too mushy from the moment it leaves the oven, then you have too many wet ingredients or you don’t have a potent enough thickener. With this green bean casserole with cheese, that shouldn’t be a problem – especially with the flour!
If you’re going the traditional route and adding fried onions, then you’ll want to add a fresh sprinkle to the top for a crunchy texture when reheated!
The great thing about this green bean casserole with cheese is that it does lack those traditional fried onions, which is usually what makes leftovers lackluster if prepped the day before.
However! None of the ingredients here should pose that problem, so you can easily prep everything the day before! Just mix everything together, cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.
All of your Thanksgiving favorites are fair game! But don’t think you can only enjoy cheesy green bean casserole during the holidays… You can make it any time of the year!
Roasted turkey, chicken, or beef is always great accompanied with a casserole. Something you may not have considered is another casserole! Perhaps one to bake in the oven while this one is going on the stove? Win-win!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Classic Thanksgiving Sides
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole + Video
- 1 pound Jones Dairy Farm Dry Aged Hickory Smoked Bacon, cut into 1/2″-3/4″ pieces
- 8 ounces sliced baby bella, aka crimini mushrooms
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour *see gluten-free notes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1-2 pinches red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 24 ounces frozen green beans, thawed
- In a cold large (12″) cast iron skillet add bacon. Turn heat to medium and cook until crisp. Stirring occasionally. This will take about 25 minutes. See the shortcut method if you want to make this quicker.
- Remove bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. Pour bacon drippings into a jar to save for later use and return 4 tablespoons bacon drippings to the pan.
- Return skillet to medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic. Cook the vegetables until they are browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 2 tablespoons bacon drippings, into the pan (or butter if you are out of bacon drippings). Add flour, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir until the flour dissolves into the vegetables. Cook 1 minute to cook out the floury taste.
- Add milk and stir to combine. Remove from the heat, to prevent the cheese from getting grainy. Add the cheese a handful at a time and stir between each addition.
- Once the cheese is completely melted into the sauce add green beans and half of the cooked bacon.
- Stir to combine, and return the skillet to medium heat. Continue to cook the casserole until the green beans are heated through, and the sauce is thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Top with remaining bacon.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published November 2017, updated and republished November 2022
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