Homemade Green Bean Skillet Casserole
Fresh green beans and meaty mushrooms in a rich and creamy, from-scratch sauce topped with French fried onions sure beats those “made-from-a-can” Green Bean Casserole! This homemade recipe gives this classic Thanksgiving side dish the homage it deserves.
Deciding on what main courses to serve for Thanksgiving is easy! Throw me a giant bird, and I can turn it into a scrumptious dish in a few different ways and make Lamb Wellington and Bacon and Cranberry Stuffed Pork Tenderloin without thinking twice. But side dishes are another story! Give me a plate, and I immediately make a beeline for the side dishes and maybe save some space for the mains. With so many scrumptious options to choose from, there is one side dish I will never pass up – Green Bean Casserole! This traditional holiday recipe is a staple on most Thanksgiving table. And there is only one right way to make it—from scratch using fresh ingredients!
The Best Homemade Green Bean Skillet Casserole
I am not against cutting a few corners when it comes to cooking. Some days, using ready-made ingredients are lifesavers- especially when you are in need of quick and easy weeknight dinners. However, this philosophy should never extend to Thanksgiving dishes! I mean, this holiday happens once a year, and I like going all out by using fresh ingredients and making things from scratch, even the basics like my Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, and Homemade Turkey Stock.
This recipe uses crunchy blanched green beans and meaty baby Bella mushrooms sautéed in butter with caramelized onions and toasted garlic. They are tossed in a delicious cream sauce made of flour, turkey stock, and half-and-half. It is then baked and topped with French fried onions for a golden and crunchy finish. It is all about building the flavors! And this Green Bean Casserole is absolutely delicious and well worth the extra effort to make. Once you’ve tried this, you will never go back to making them from canned goods.
As I recommended in my Easy Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving, it is always best to get your grocery shopping done 2 to 3 days before the big day! You should already have most of the ingredients for this recipe, so you won’t have to buy much! Here’s what you’ll need.
- Fresh green beans- choose those that are vibrant green in color and are firm yet flexible, and easily snap when bent. Fresh beans have a crunchier texture and vivid color.
- Baby bella mushrooms- this makes the dish heartier! I also love how these add a meaty texture that complements the crunchiness of the beans. White or brown button mushrooms, cremini, or Portobello mushrooms would also work.
- Unsalted butter- I like using this in sautéing the aromatics because it makes a richer flavor base for the dish.
- Yellow onion
- Kosher salt and freshly ground to taste
- All-purpose flour- this will thicken the sauce.
- Turkey stock- if you are not making this from scratch, make sure to use a high-quality stock. This is what will give the sauce its flavor, so do not skimp on this. You can also use chicken broth as an alternative.
- Half-and-half- it is simply a 50-50 mixture of cream and milk. This will make the sauce creamier. You can also use whole milk instead.
- Dijon mustard – for a bit of tang if desired
- Worcestershire sauce -adds a depth of flavor with the vinegar to the mushrooms
- French fried onions- you can buy this one ready-made or make your own.
- Make it cheesy! If you are a cheese lover, you can sprinkle shredded cheddar or mozzarella on top before baking it.
- This dish is still good without the mushrooms if you already have a side dish that features them.
- If your oven is unavailable, you can skip the baking part and just cook it longer using your stovetop until the sauce thickens further. Then top it with the crispy onions.
- You can also make this using a slow cooker. Make the sauce as instructed, pour everything into the slow cooker, and cook at high for 2.5 to 3 hours.
How to Make Green Bean Casserole
From-scratch does not mean difficult. You may need to exert more effort, but like I said- this is THANKSGIVING! And when you start getting praise from your guests, you can thank me.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes and water leaving about 3 inches from the top
- Blanch the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add green beans and cook until bright green. Scoop them out using a slotted spoon or tongs and immediately plunge them into the prepared ice bath. Once cooled, drain and transfer the green beans to a large bowl.
- Cook the veggies. Using a large 10 or 12 inch ovenproof skillet, melt the butter using medium heat. Saute the onion for 5 minutes or until they are tender. Add mushrooms, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes more. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, then transfer the veggies into the bowl with the green beans.
- Make the cream sauce. Using the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter and whisk in the flour. Stir continuously and cook for 2 minutes or until golden. Then, add the homemade turkey stock and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low and add the half-n-half & Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
- Bake. Add the green bean and mushroom mixture to the skillet and toss until they are fully coated. Bake for 30 minutes, until it is warmed through and the surface bubbles. Top with fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes or until golden brown.
- Do not leave the green beans in the boiling water for long, or they will become mushy. A minute or two will do until the colors brighten even more.
- Make sure to stir the flour and butter consistently to prevent lumps from forming and the bottom from burning.
- Use room temperature half-and-half. This will prevent the sauce from becoming grainy.
- If you want your sauce to be thicker, cook it longer until you are satisfied with the consistency.
You can make this ahead of time, sans the French fried onions, to save you time on the big day! Just place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days. Simply top with the onion and reheat it in the oven for a few minutes.
Homemade Green Bean Skillet Casserole
- 1 lb Fresh green beans, trimmed
- 4 tbsp Unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large Yellow onion, diced
- 8 oz Baby bella mushrooms
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup Homemade turkey stock or chicken stock
- 1 1/4 cups Half-and-half
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups French's fried onions
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes and water leaving about 3 inches from the top to allow the green beans to rest in the bowl.
- Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add green beans and cook until bright green. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, quickly transfer the green beans to the ice bath. Once cooled, drain and transfer the green beans to a large bowl.
- In a large 10 or 12 inch ovenproof skillet, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Next, add in the mushrooms, kosher salt, and pepper. Continue to cook until softened, about 5 minutes more. Next, stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the green beans.
- In the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter and whisk in the flour. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the homemade turkey stock and simmer for 3 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-n-half, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Stirring occasionally, cook until the mixture is thick-about 10 minutes or maybe longer if you prefer a thicker sauce.
- Next, add the green bean mixture to the skillet with the sauce and toss until combined. Bake until warmed through and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Top with fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes or until golden brown.