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Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Make the best cheesy green bean casserole ever with this elevated take on a classic recipe! Loaded with fresh green beans and a homemade cheese sauce, this dish will become a family favorite for holidays and cozy meals.
a cast iron skillet with cheesy green bean casserole topped with fried shallots on a wooden board.

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Make the best Cheesy Green Bean Casserole ever with this elevated take on a classic recipe! Loaded with fresh green beans and a homemade cheese sauce, this dish will become a family favorite for holidays and cozy meals.

a cast iron skillet with cheesy green bean casserole topped with fried shallots on a wooden board.

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This green bean casserole with cheese is NOT the same old casserole that has graced so many holiday tables. Oh no, this is easily 1,000% better.

This version is made with fresh green beans, no condensed soup, and it is mushroom-free. It has an incredible homemade cheese sauce and it will become your family’s new favorite holiday dish.

Is Green Bean Casserole Better With Canned or Fresh Green Beans?

I prefer fresh whenever possible, but canned or frozen will also work beautifully.

In the recipe card below I’ll walk you through the process of how to prep and cook the fresh green beans.

If you prefer to use canned, you’ll want to sub in 3, 15 oz cans of cut green beans (drained).

I also have a tutorial on how to can green beans, and those would work well too.

Ingredients and Variations

a bowl of green beans, fried shallots, cheese, and other ingredients on a white background.

You’ll find exact measurements in the printable recipe card below, but this recipe is rocking:

  • Green beans – trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces.
  • Cheese – my preference is an extra sharp cheddar because it gives a truly robust flavor.
  • Unsalted butter and olive oil
  • Garlic – because it makes everything better
  • All-purpose flour (see notes below for how to make this gluten-free)
  • Warmed whole milk
  • Chicken stock or turkey stock, or use veggie stock to make this vegetarian.
  • Lemon zest to enhance the flavors.
  • Fried shallots or crispy fried onions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Pan for Making Green Bean Casserole?

Since you’re making a cheese sauce on the stovetop, I highly recommend using a pan that can go from the stovetop to the oven. This cuts down on dishes, which makes everyone happier.

I recommend using a small dutch oven (3-4 quart), a deep cast iron skillet, or a braiser pan. Those pans all have a heavy bottom and will conduct heat evenly and can be used in the oven.

If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, make the cheese sauce in a saucepan and then transfer the mixture to a lightly-greased 8×8 or 9-inch casserole dish.

Do You Cover Green Bean Casserole While Baking?

It is not necessary to cover green bean casserole while it bakes. Covering it with foil can actually increase the amount of time it needs to bake through.

If the top of the casserole is browning too quickly, you can loosely tent the top of it with foil, but I have never found this necessary.

Can I Make This Gluten-Free?

Yes, absolutely! This recipe uses all-purpose flour to create a roux. You can use your favorite gluten-free flour or cornstarch (like in this Gluten-Free Cheese Sauce) instead of all-purpose flour.

Most store-bought fried onions contain gluten. To make this green bean casserole with cheese grain-free, buy gluten-free fried onions, or you can make these Gluten-Free French Fried Onions or these Fried Shallots. Both can be made days ahead of time.

How to Meal Prep Green Bean Casserole With Cheese

You can cook and blanch the green beans up to three days ahead of time. Drain and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

The cheese sauce can also be made 2-3 days ahead of time. You can store the cheese sauce separately from the green beans in the fridge OR combine the beans and cheese sauce without the fried onions/shallots. Mix in the onions/shallots just prior to baking.

8 photos showing the process of making green bean casserole without mushroom soup.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • This is a pretty “saucy” recipe. You can increase the green beans by up to 2 cups if you prefer your green bean casserole thicker and absolutely loaded with veggies.
  • Do not skip the step of warming the milk before adding it to the roux. This will prevent the sauce from breaking/curdling.
a forkful of green bean casserole hovering over a dish.
a cast iron skillet with cheesy green bean casserole topped with fried shallots on a wooden board.
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Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Make the best cheesy green bean casserole ever with this elevated take on a classic recipe! Loaded with fresh green beans and a homemade cheese sauce, this dish will become a family favorite for holidays and cozy meals.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups green beans {ends removed, and cut into 2-inch pieces}
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic {minced}
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup whole milk {warmed}
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 cups extra sharp cheddar {grated}
  • 1.5 cups fried onions {divided} {or fried shallots}

Instructions

  • Fill a medium mixing bowl with ice water. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add green beans, and reduce heat to medium-high.
    5 cups green beans
  • Cook green beans for 5 minutes, and then using a slotted spoon, transfer them to the bowl of ice water.
  • After 3 minutes, drain the green beans from the ice water and set aside.
  • In a medium heavy-bottomed oven-safe saucepan, combine butter, olive oil, and garlic over medium heat. Stir until garlic is starting to soften (~3 minutes).
    3 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 cloves garlic
  • Sprinkle flour over the top of the butter/garlic mixture, and whisk to combine. Cook until the flour turns a light caramel color (~3 minutes).
    3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Add chicken stock, warmed milk, salt, and lemon zest. Increase the temp slightly and cook, whisking constantly for 3 minutes.
    1 cup chicken stock, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Turn off the burner, add cheddar to the pan, and stir until cheddar has melted.
    3 cups extra sharp cheddar
  • Add in the green beans and ¾ cup of the crispy onions and gently stir to combine.
    1.5 cups fried onions {divided}
  • Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
  • Gently stir the mixture, add the other ¾ cup of crispy onions to the top of the mixture, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
    1.5 cups fried onions {divided}

Notes

  1. If you prefer to use canned green beans, you’ll want to sub in 3, 15 oz cans of cut green beans (drained).
  2. You can use your favorite gluten-free flour or cornstarch instead of all-purpose flour.
  3. You can increase the green beans by up to 2 cups if you prefer your green bean casserole thicker and absolutely loaded with veggies.
  4. Do not skip the step of warming the milk before adding it to the roux. This will prevent the sauce from breaking/curdling.
Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 289 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 567mg25%
Potassium 194mg6%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 845IU17%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 280mg28%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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