Like the green bean casserole you grew up with but better, way better! Bacon, garlic, fresh green beans, mushrooms, plus homemade cream of chicken soup elevate this holiday dish to an entirely new, fabulously delicious level!
Why this Recipe Works
Wondering if this really is the best green bean casserole ever? Let me convince you!
Fresh green beans — Forget the canned green beans you grew up eating in this green bean casserole recipe, fresh green beans are where it’s at! No more soggy green beans, these remain tender-crisp even after they bake in the yummy homemade soup.
Bacon — Everything tastes better with bacon. Enough said.
Homemade cream of chicken — So much tastier than the canned kind, and it’s not hard to make at all! Some chicken broth, milk, garlic powder, chicken broth, salt, and flour and you’ve got yourself one heck of a creamy base for this casserole.
French fried onions — Okay I mean, some traditional ingredients still stand. You have to have that crunch on the top of this green bean casserole with bacon and I can’t come up with a better replacement, believe me I’ve tried! I have to have these fried onions on top to complete the dish.
Here’s How you Make it
Here’s how you make this super easy homemade green bean casserole – it’s easy, I promise!
Prepare the soup
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then stir in the flour to make a roux.
- Now whisk in the chicken broth and milk till the roux starts to thicken. Then, stir in the salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Take it off the heat and set it aside.
Prepare the bacon and green beans
- Cook the bacon until it’s crisp and be sure to reserve the drippings. Allow the bacon to cool a bit, then chop it up.
- In a large skillet, combine the green beans, mushrooms, and bacon drippings, sauteeing over medium heat for 6-8 minutes.
- Add the cream of chicken soup, salt, and pepper. Stir.
- Transfer the bean mixture to a casserole dish, and top with French fried onions.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Take the foil off, then put back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes or until the green beans are fork-tender and the onions are golden brown.
How Many Cups of Green Beans are in a Can?
If you are wondering how many cups you can get out of one can of canned green beans, the answer is about 2.
What can be Substituted for French Fried Onion?
If you don’t have or don’t like French fried onions (I’ll only judge you a little), then there are some things you can use as substitutes, because you absolutely have to have that crunchy top, even if you don’t use fried onions.
- Use plain, dried bread crumbs mixed with a little bit of butter.
- Salad croutons can work too, just break them up if they are big cubes.
- I admit, I have used crushed potato chips and cornflakes for casserole toppings with great results!
- Crush up butter crackers and put those on top before baking.
- Sliced and fried shallots.
It happens to the best of us — you try to make that perfect green bean casserole recipe but it ends up more like a green bean casserole soup. Not great! To thicken your green bean casserole with fresh green beans, try the following tricks.
If you combine all your veggies with the cream of chicken soup and it’s watery at that point, you can add a cornstarch slurry or flour to the mixture to thicken it. To make a slurry, add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch and a tiny bit of water together and mix until the lumps are gone, then pour slowly into the green bean mixture and stir to thicken. Follow the directions to bake the green bean casserole.
If you’ve discovered it’s watery after cooking it this easy green bean casserole with fresh green beans, it’s best to take the onion topping off, proceed with the above instructions for thickening with a slurry, then add the topping back on.
Make sure your roux is thick enough. Once you’ve made the roux, you’ll whisk in the chicken broth and milk and keep whisking as the mixture thickens. Don’t skip this part, it’s integral in getting the sauce base thick enough for this green bean casserole with bacon.
Make sure you’ve added enough flour to the roux to begin with. If you keep cooking and the sauce just isn’t getting thick enough, try adding a little more flour.
Another reason it may be mushy is that you didn’t cook the green beans long enough first before adding to the soup mixture. If the beans, mushrooms, and bacon give off a lot of moisture/grease, you can drain it first before adding the cream of mushroom soup.
Finally, canned green beans could be the culprit. They’ve already been cooked so to cook and bake them again will turn them to mush. Try using fresh or frozen green beans in this green bean casserole from scratch instead.
To save time, you can make this green bean casserole with bacon dish ahead of time. Make according to the instructions, but leave the onions off and don’t bake it. Instead, cover the casserole and place in the fridge up to 24 hours in advance. Add onions to the top and bake right before serving.
- If you end up substituting something like bread crumbs or croutons for the French fried onions in this green bean casserole, make sure to toss them in butter or oil first so that they don’t burn up to a crisp while they’re baking.
- If you want to freeze green bean casserole, then once it is cooled, wrap the leftovers up with plastic wrap, then foil, or just put in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, put in an oven-safe container, thaw, and heat at 350 degrees until warmed through.
- You can keep this green bean casserole recipe in the fridge for up to four days.
- After rinsing and cutting your green beans, pat them dry. This will ensure there’s no excess water in your dish, and it won’t be runny when you serve it.
More Holiday Side Dish Recipes
- One Hour Buttermilk Dinner Rolls
- Cranberry Salad
- French Onion Potatoes
- Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
- The BEST Classic Stuffing
- Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad
Did you make this green bean casserole? Please rate the recipe below!
Green Bean Casserole
- 8 strips thick-cut bacon
- 2 pounds fresh green beans - snapped into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 cups french fried onions
homemade cream of chicken soup
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Prehate oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cream of chicken soup. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Stir in flour.
- Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk til thickened. Stir in salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Cook bacon til just crisp (reserve the drippings!). Allow to cool slightly, then roughly chop.
- Combine green beans, mushrooms, garlic, and bacon drippings in a large skillet. Saute over medium heat for 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in bacon, cream of chicken soup, salt, and pepper.
- Transfer to a casserole dish. Top with french fried onions.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, bake another 20-25 minutes til green beans are fork-tender and onions are golden brown.