Did you grow up with green bean casserole on your Thanksgiving table? I actually did not. If we were at Grandma’s house, she made her usual green bean side with home-grown green beans, bacon and onions, which I refused to eat because I only liked canned green beans. C’mon, little Kate. If we were at our house, Mom heated up canned green beans with nothing else, which was exactly how I liked them.
Turkey and Great Grandmother Lucille’s twice-baked cream cheese mashed potatoes recipe were constants either way. I really need to figure out a more redeeming version of that recipe, because it puts all other mashed potatoes to shame.
My first experience making green bean casserole was in college when I signed up to make it on our Friendsgiving menu list, for reasons that I still can’t explain. This was before I knew how to cook, so I Googled the recipe and went with one of the top picks.
Canned mushroom soup, canned green beans, canned fried onions. Easy enough to manage, but I was put off by the canned mushroom soup. I didn’t like the final result much, but my friends did, probably because that’s what they had grown up eating.
That’s the extent of my green bean casserole story, until now! I have a mostly homemade green bean casserole recipe for you that’s made with fresh green beans and mushrooms (over 2 pounds of them). I love it. The rich mushroom flavor really shines through and makes this vegetarian casserole dish taste spectacular.
I used one shortcut, which might sound a little crazy, but hear me out. I used crushed potato chips instead of homemade or store-bought fried onions, for several reasons.
For one, homemade fried onions are tricky. You have to either deep-fry them, which uses a ton of oil and makes your entire house smell like fast-food onion rings for days. Or, you can attempt one of the baked “fried” onion options, which produce inconsistent and not-quite-awesome results.
Store-bought fried onions tend to contain some suspect ingredients, as well as flour, which means that they’re not gluten free. I’m not a gluten-free eater myself, but several of my closest friends are, so the wheat in the store-bought option was problematic for Friendsgiving.
I used Kettle Brand Chips’ amazing organic sea salt chips, which are made of organic potatoes, organic vegetable oil (safflower and/or sunflower oil) and sea salt. Man alive, they’re so good. Don’t get me going about the necessity of air pockets in chips; Kettle Brand Chips have lots of them.
To make up for the missing onion flavor in the topping, I cooked the mushrooms with lots of chopped shallot. I used just half the amount of half-and-half that most other recipes call for, too, so the flavors really shine through. (See my recipe notes for dairy-free alternatives.) Most of the creaminess of the mushroom mixture comes from the roux, anyway, which is formed when you cook the flour in butter and add liquid.
In the making of this recipe, I learned a few tricks to making epic green bean casserole. For starters, you have to use fresh green beans. Even the pre-trimmed varieties might have some stringy bits attached, so be sure to trim those off yourself. Then, cut the green beans in half so you don’t have any extra-long green beans poking out of the casserole.
You’ll need to blanch the green beans for a few minutes before you mix them into the mushroom mixture (this step is super easy). Otherwise, your green beans will still be tough by the time the rest of the casserole is finished baking.
Another key is to lightly brown the mushrooms when you add them to the pan. That coaxes tons of savory flavor from your average grocery store baby bellas. Medium-high heat does a good job of browning the mushrooms, but soon the pan starts smoking, so just under medium-high heat is the way to go.
As we’re entering an especially indulgent season, and in light of last week’s events, I’ve been pondering how to give back more. This year, maybe Friendsgiving can help feed kids in need.
Join Kettle Brand and sign up to host a Friendsgiving for No Kid Hungry and you can do some serious good this holiday season. I was too late to sign up our own Friendsgiving, but it’s never too late to donate. I just did, and hope you’ll join me!
Almost Homemade Green Bean Casserole
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: American
This delicious green bean casserole is loaded with fresh green beans and mushrooms (no canned ingredients here). I took one shortcut with the topping and used crushed high-quality potato chips instead of fried onions. That means this recipe is significantly easier to make than home-fried onions, and it’s easy to make it gluten free. Recipe yields 6 to 8 side servings.
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 ½ pounds fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- ¾ cup chopped shallot (2 to 3 medium shallots)
- 12 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, rinsed free of debris, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons flour (I used whole wheat, use all-purpose gluten-free flour for gluten-free casserole)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 1 to 1 ½ cups crushed Kettle Brand Organic Potato Chips with Sea Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill a large bowl with ice and water for when you’re done blanching the green beans.
- Bring a large (large!) pot of water to boil, with enough room to add the green beans. Add the green beans and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Once the mixture comes back to a boil, let the beans boil for 5 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately pour them into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Then, drain the beans again in your colander, and set aside to drip-dry while you prepare the rest.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet* set between medium and medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and is starting to turn golden brown in places, add the shallots and mushrooms. (If using olive oil instead of butter, wait until the oil sizzles when you add a piece of mushroom.)
- Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and about 15 twists of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to release some liquid and turn brown on the edges, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, while stirring constantly. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute, while stirring constantly.
- Slowly pour in the broth, while using your spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 1 minute, then decrease the heat to medium-low. Add the half-and-half and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the drained green beans. Evenly sprinkle the mixture with crushed chips. Bake until the edges are nice and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve promptly.
▸ Nutrition Information
This post was created in partnership with Kettle Brand Chips. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!
Meredith Youngson | Earth & Oven
The only chips I buy! I can imagine their dense-crunch would stand up perfectly to this dish. So creative :)! -Mere
Abby @ Heart of a Baker
I’ve been looking for the perfect casserole for our Friendsgiving and I think this is it! Love using potato chips, because we always seem to have those on hand :)
Yay, hope you love this one!
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
I love this idea of using potato chips instead of fried onions. Does anyone really like fried onions? So creative!
Thanks, Karen! Confession: I kinda do like those fried onions. ;)
Emily | Gather & Dine
Totally grew up on green bean casserole and haven’t had it in years because of my dislike for canned soup. I do miss it for all its nostalgia though. Yours looks fantastic- so much brighter, fresher, and nourishing. Putting it on my list this year!
Thank you, Emily! I hope it’s a hit if you make it.
Love your blog, Kate! So many delicious and healthy options (with my favorite being your green Thai curry!). Question about this dish – do you think that using several different types of mushrooms, like oyster and shitake along with the cremini, would add too much mushroom-y flavor and take away from the green beans?
Thanks, Mels! So glad you’re enjoying the recipes. I’m not sure about adding those mushrooms. Browning the baby bellas brought out a ton of flavor, so I wouldn’t bother buying fancy mushrooms if you don’t need to.
I have been trying to find a substitute for the canned onions, what a great idea! I can’t wait to try this recipe.
Thanks, Frankie! I hope you love it.
Would it be OK to slow cook it?
Hi Monika, that’s a good question, and I’m not really sure how that would turn out. If you give it a try, please let us know.
I’m totally making this and I love, love, love Kettle chips!!! What a perfect sub for the greasy fried onions.
Thank you, Danica! I hope you absolutely love it.
haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine
OH YUM WOW!! I can NOT wait for Turkey day!! Adding this one to the list!
How about you just post that twice-baked cream cheese mashed potato recipe? We will forgive you for not making it healthy. :) It sounds delicious.
Hehe, I like that idea a lot. :) I might try making it with goat cheese, just because I love goat cheese. I wouldn’t mind if you just switched it back to cream cheese. Ugh, so good.
It looks amazing and so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Yes please!!!! I love green bean casserole so much, the best part of thanksgiving!
Sara @ Last Night's Feast
Jennifer @ Slow Cooker Gourmet
I love this idea!! I have a homemade recipe I usually make, but never could figure out a good sub for the onions. I’m sure the family will still demand them, but I’m going to make your version for our Friendsgiving!
Thanks, Jennifer! I hope it’s a hit!
This looks delicious! I’ve never made it, it’s not really a staple where I live (Thanksgiving is not a thing either), but it looks like a perfect side dish for a festive winter table. One question though, do the crisps get soggy? If so, is that a desirable sogginess?
I actually never use any fat to bake my mushrooms anymore, and that works really good, too. Just throw sliced mushrooms in a hot, non-stick frying pan without any fat, and the mushrooms get deliciously browned roasted. You can put the flame really high so they get a little smokey, meat-y taste, without risking burning your oil.
Hey Evelyn! The top part stays crispy until some of it gets mixed into the rest when serving. I prefer it crispy for contrast. That’s good to know about mushrooms, thank you for sharing! I’ll have to try it soon. Browned mushrooms are ridiculously good.
What a cool, easy swap for the fried onions! I never had green bean casserole growing up either, but the potato chips make it a much more approachable recipe. Thanks Kate!
Thanks, Lauren! :)
I love this concept of utilizing potato chips rather than fried onions. So innovative! Love your blog site, Kate! So many delicious and healthy and balanced alternatives OMG!! I could not wait on Turkey day!! Including this set to the checklist!
Thank you, Emma!
Wow this is perfect timing! I was looking for a healthy green bean casserole recipe last weekend and I checked your site, since I love all your recipes! Funny that you posted it just a few days later!
Quick question… Do you think I could make the mushroom “soup” part of the recipe ahead of time?
Thanks, Megan! Yes, I think so. Check my recipe notes for details. :)
I grew up in MN and saw this dish a lot, but never had it at home. I was unsure how it would be (cream of mushroom soup PTSD), but I had green beans and shiitakes from our CSA box and so I made this up. It was really delicious–very hearty. A perfect indulgent side dish. Probably would have been better with cremini mushrooms, but I think this would work with any mushroom.
Haha! I can certainly understand your hesitation. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
This sounds delicious. Could you freeze it either before or after baking? I’d guess you’d want to separate out the topping. Thanks!
Hmmm, that’s a good question! I think that freezing and defrosting the casserole might make the green beans mushy. You could definitely make the green bean/mushroom mixture a day or two in advance, if that helps (see recipe notes).
Can’t wait to try this on Thursday! It looks amazing.
Thank you, Anita! I hope you love it.
I made this last night for our ‘Friendsgiving’ dinner, and it was the hit! Everyone absolutely loved it. :) It’s what the classic recipe has been asking for—fresh green beans and lots of flavor. Thank you for such a fantastic recipe!
Thank you, Leah! That’s so great!
I love Kettle chips! and such a clever way to use them for this side dish. Great idea :)
Oh this is delicious! I just made it and I did add some cheddar and it’s lovely. Thank you!
Thank you, Mo! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Hi! I just made this recipe which was a great find because I just found out ( 3 days before Thanksgiving) that my dad now has a gluten allergy!! Your recipe was pretty easy to make after getting all of the ingredients together. Your directions were so good and easy to understand! A few things though… one, when it says to boil the green beans for 5 mins, I only had them in the water for 5 mins but think I maybe should have waited for the water to come to a boil again and then cook for 5 mins… I say that because the green beans were a little tougher than maybe they should be. What do you think? The consistency is also watery. I did not have a cast iron skillet so I transfered the mushroom mixture and green beans to a 2.5 qt corning dish. Maybe if I used a pan it would have been thicker? Also, I left it in the oven for about 8 mins longer and that helped a lot! And now that it’s sitting it’s thickening up a bit. One last thing… it has a very strong mushroom flavor, which I love! But if your looking for more of the traditional green bean casserole flavor then maybe chop up the mushrooms smaller and use less? I’m just guessing though. I’m not much of a chef so the detail you provided was awesome and spot on! I’m hoping it’s a big hit with my dad tomorrow! Thank you!
Hi Stephanie! Thank you for your note. I’m so glad you found my instructions helpful along the way. That’s a good point on the green bean cooking; I think bringing the water to a boil and then boiling for 5 minutes would be better. I’m probably a little late with this suggestion (I’m sorry!) but I’d add maybe half a tablespoon to 1 tablespoon more flour next time to see if that thickens up the mixture better.
Green bean dish was a hit. Thanks for such a great way to make this casserole. One thing we thought, there was not enough sauce. I think next time I may double the amount of liquids so it has more sauce. Will that mess up the taste?
Thanks, June! If you want it to be more saucy, you could actually just scale back on the flour and it won’t congeal as much. That would be my first move; doubling the liquids will dilute the flavor somewhat.
I was looking for a GF green bean casserole recipe for my cousin who has celiac and found this site/recipe – I followed the recipe exactly (and it was easy – yay!) and made a GF batch and another batch with regular flour. Both were a big hit with my family yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner! We’ve had green bean casserole failures for the past few Thanksgivings and I drew the short straw this year, but it was so good that this is what will be the staple going forward. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Joey! I’m so glad it worked out well for you. Thanks for letting me know!
As this is a side dish, do you have any suggestions what to serve it with? It looks great by the way, I’m definitely going to try this.
We made this for thanksgiving, and it was loved by all, especially the 18 month old that we had never seen eat a green bean before. He didn’t get any of the potato chips in his portion. We used the oven method, and I think I would put the potato chips on the side next time. They were terrific the first day, but didn’t reheat very well. We all love the Kettle brand chips, needless to say!
I always find good recipes here. Thanks Kate (and Cookie)
I just made this for diner tonight and it was delicious! Very tasty and will be a great side dish when you have people over.
I discovered this recipe too late to make it for Thanksgiving, but I just made it for our Christmas dinner and it was a total hit! I doubled the recipe and it fed 17 people with some leftover (which we enjoyed the next morning, although the flavors did not hold up as well after a night in the fridge). I also ended up boiling the green beans for close to 10 minutes, because 5 did not seem to be enough, but other than that, I followed your instructions to the letter! Thanks for a great recipe!
When you doubles the recipe, what did you cook it in? I don’t have a cast iron skillet that large and was hoping to just transfer it to a baking dish of some sort, but don’t want to mess it up! What would you suggest as the baking dish if one doesn’t have that large of a skillet?
What is ½ cup half-and-half (what can i use as a substitute)?
Hi Lindsay, half and half is half cream, half milk. It’s widely available in U.S. grocery stores, but you could use 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup milk if that’s easier.
Hi! If I am doubling or tripling this recipe what do you recommend I cook it all in? Still a cast iron skillet just a larger size?
Hi Nora! I don’t think you’ll be able to find a cast iron skillet big enough for that. I would use a 13×9 baking dish or larger, if you have one.
I’m so sorry if I missed this, frenziedly reading recipes like crazy last minute! What flour does this recipe use for the roux? Thank you.
Hi Ingrid – I used whole wheat, but you can use all-purpose gluten-free flour for gluten-free casserole (if needed).
I didn’t see the recipe notes for dairy free alternatives. Would unsweetened almond milk work?
Hi Cindy – This recipe is a few years old and unfortunately I haven’t made it through all recipes to update alternative options in a notes section. But yes, a non-dairy milk should work for this as well.
Sounds good! I love your suggestions. I never liked those suspect canned dried onions on top. A good quality potato chip sounds so much better! My suggestions to make the green bean casserole a bit better are-use 2 cups crushed potato chips! Stir 1 cup in with the green beans and top the casserole with the remaining 1 cup chips. Also, you can bake the casserole for a longer time to get more flavor!
Thanks for sharing, Susan!
Made it before and definitely liked it, but wondering what thoughts were on omitting mushrooms and adding more green beans, if a serious mushroom hater was on the guest list?
I’m glad you liked it! I guess you could omit the mushrooms, but it would change the taste significantly since the mushrooms help with the sauce. Traditionally, green bean casserole is made with mushrooms. Thanks for your review!
Do you think this recipe would be fine to make during the day and then take to a family/friends house to serve for dinner?
You could try it, but this one is best served right away.
I can’t find your recipe notes for the dairy-free version. Can you point me to it please. I swear I’ve looked over your post three times :)
Hi Trish! I didn’t provide any specific notes as I don’t recommend a dairy free version of this. But, you can just use olive oil instead of butter. I do call for half and half. I would think coconut milk would provide the same consistency, but the flavor might be off.
Flavor using the coconut cream instead of the half and half was the bomb! This side dish actually stole the show on thanksgiving. My husband raved about it as did other guests. Superb!
Made a vegan version by using coconut cream instead of the half and half. This dish stole the show on Thanksgiving. You couldn’t taste the coconut, only the creaminess and deliciousness of the dish.
Looks delicious – can this be made ahead?
This is best served right away, sorry!
If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, what size casserole dish do you recommend?
Hi Jenni, this is a stovetop recipe. Do you have another skillet you could use?
This was a miss for me.
Many people are required to lower their salt intake. It’s bad for your health. This recipe has way too much salt. 2 1/2 t salt. Broth. Chips. Yes, I know I can adjust the recipe, but I wanted to let you know.
I have so many green beans I’m looking for things I can freeze. I wonder how those mushrooms would do Frozen? If I save putting the topping on until I get ready to bake it. When they get soggy? Any suggestions for other Bean casseroles I could freeze thank you
Hi Pam! I wish I could provide more insight, although I don’t freeze all my recipes.
Not ever having the traditional green bean casserole, when I read your recipe for this, I thought I would make it for our American son in law on our Canadian Thanksgiving. Although he appreciated the thought, none of our family enjoyed this dish. I don’t know if it was the potato chips but it was far from a home run. Oh well, this is the only recipe of yours I have not enjoyed.
Hi Kate, love your site. Thanks for sharing your talent and passion. I didn’t see the dairy free alternative and would welcome your thoughts on alternatives for the half & half.
Hi Jeff! You could try coconut milk, but the taste would likely be impacted. Let me know if you try it!
About to make this for Friendsgiving! You mentioned in the comments you have notes for make ahead, where are the notes in the printer recipe? Or are they in the comments? Read the post and didn’t see them there. I am usually so blind when it comes to this. Thanks so much!
This was absolutely delicious. Made it for Friendsgiving tonight, and it was totally gone. First time any of us had eaten non-fried onion strip green casserole along with no canned mushroom soup. So fresh, and easy to digest. The chips were also a hit for the top!
I also didn’t have a cast iron pan, so I cooked everything in my dutch oven with the lid off, and when it came time to bake, I transferred everything to a large casserole pan and then crushed chips over it and it still turned out great!!!
Can you make this ahead of time (just adding chips before baking)?
Hi Seena, That may work, but I like this one right away.
Hi can can anyone enlighten me as to what “1/2cup of half and half” is in this recipe. I’m stumped!! Can’t wait to try!
Hi Jo, Half and half is a dairy creamer you can find in the milk section of the grocery story. Heavy cream can be used as well.
This recipe is fantastic! I’ve never liked green bean casserole which is a staple at my southern holiday dinners. But this fresh take is awesome. I didn’t have any gluten free flour in the pantry so I used corn starch and it worked great. I will definitely make this again. Thank you Kate!
I’ve made this dish for multiple friendsgiving events and have had people tell me that they loved this dish, even though they thought they didn’t like green bean casserole before! It’s delicious and the recipe is straightforward. I first made it when I was 23 and not a very strong cook, and it was very successful!
Hooray! I’m happy to hear it. Thank you for sharing, Emma.
This casserole is delicious. Made it Christmas Eve for cChristmas day.
I can’t seem to find the recipe note for dairy free. W what do you use instead of half and half?
Hi Gina, This recipe is a few years old and unfortunately I haven’t made it through all recipes to update alternative options in a notes section. But yes, a non-dairy milk should work for this as well.
Just made this last night. I like that the ingredients are simple and fresh but the potato chips came out soggy with a weird texture when eating. I did miss the fried onions and would incorporate it next time.
In the end I added some non baked chips on top of my dish for some crunch!
I’m sorry to hear that. I’m glad you were able to add some crunch at the end, Joy!
Can we use something other than cream as we have some dairy free people coming to dinner.
I prefer this recipe is written. You could try with a dairy substitute, but I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure.
Delicious! Big hit at Thanksgiving, the flavor of the shrooms in the sauce is perfect.