This is the ultimate homemade green bean casserole with bacon that people will rave about. You’ll love this traditional from scratch recipe.
Ultimate Green Bean Casserole With Bacon
This green bean casserole is 100% amazing and so worth eating. Whether you’ve always loved this dish, or grew up making it with canned soup and feel like this is a dish you normally wouldn’t mind skipping over the holidays – this version is the one that everyone LOVES.
It’s one of those recipes that is really worth the effort to make it from scratch. Seriously, it’s so dang good – just be prepared for everyone to ask you to make it every year!
How To Make Fresh Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
Start by blanching, cooling, draining, and drying the green beans. Next you’ll saute the bacon, onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Add in the butter, flour, half-and-half, water, bouillon, parmesan, and pepper to make the creamy sauce. Toss everything together and spread it in a baking dish. Bake for half the time, then add the French fried onions, and bake until they’re golden brown and the casserole is hot and bubbly.
Make It Ahead
This is a great recipe to make ahead of the holiday! Follow the instructions up through the point of spreading the green bean mixture into your 9 x 13 baking dish, but hold off on sprinkling the French fried onions on top. You can store it in the refrigerator covered with aluminum foil.
When you’re ready to bake it, pull it out of the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. You’ll need to bake it a bit longer, so bake it without the French fried onions until it’s warmed through (about 30 minutes), then add the onions and bake for an additional 15 – 20 minutes (or until it’s hot and bubbly).
Why Is My Green Bean Casserole Soupy?
There are a few things that could make your casserole watery. These are the most common causes:
- Add enough thickener. If you use less flour than the recipe calls for, the sauce won’t be thick enough.
- Cooking the green beans. If the green beans are blanched first, they’ll release too much liquid while the casserole bakes, which will cause the creamy sauce to break.
- Draining the green beans. Fresh blanched green beans need to be drained and patted dry with paper towels (same with canned green beans). Frozen green beans need to be defrosted, blanched, drained, and patted dry.
How Do You Blanch Green Beans?
To blanch green beans, cook them in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Then you’ll drain them, and transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once the green beans have cooled, drain them in a colander and pat them dry with paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel).
Do You Have To Cut Off The Ends Of Green Beans?
The only end you have to remove is the stem end (the one that used to be attached to the rest of the plant). Removing the other end is an aesthetic choice, but I do think it’s easier to cut off both ends than it is to go through and line the green beans up so I’m only cutting off the stem end.
What Is The Fastest Way To Cut A Pile Of Green Beans?
Start by lining up the beans so they’re all laying horizontally on the cutting board. Take a handful of the string beans and use a sharp knife to cut off the tips on the right side of the pile at once. Rotate the pile and trim off the remaining tips. Repeat this process, one handful of green beans at a time, until you’ve trimmed all of the beans.
Can You Freeze It?
I wouldn’t recommend it. Due to the dairy in the sauce, it’s likely that the sauce would break while it’s baking, which would make a lumpy and watery casserole.
How to Make It Vegetarian
The only thing swap you’d need to make for this recipe to be vegetarian is using vegetable bouillon instead of chicken bouillon.
To make this recipe vegan, you’d also need to substitute the butter with vegan butter sticks, the half-and-half with plant-based milk, and the parmesan with vegan cheese shreds.
How to Make It Gluten Free
To make this recipe gluten free, you’ll need to make a few substitutions.
- The first is to replace the 3 Tablespoons flour with 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch.
- You’ll also need to replace the bouillon with your favorite certified gluten free bouillon.
- Finally, you can either replace the French fried onions with a certified gluten free brand, or you could saute several shallots in butter and sprinkle those on top!
- Mushrooms – If you’re not a huge fan of mushrooms, you can leave them out and increase the amount of green beans to 1 1/4 pounds.
- Bacon – This recipe already has lots of bacon, but if you want more, feel free to add it! You can also use bacon bits to save some time in the kitchen, you’ll just need to add some butter and oil to the pan to saute the onions, mushrooms, and garlic.
- Cheese – Parmesan cheese is my favorite for this recipe, but cheddar cheese, white cheddar cheese, mozzarella, and cream cheese are all great options.
- Topping – If you don’t have French fried onions (or if you don’t like them), you can replace them with 1 cup of crushed Ritz Crackers that have been mixed with 2 Tablespoons of melted butter. Bake the casserole without the topping for 20 minutes, then add the Ritz topping for the final 10 minutes of baking.
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If you like this recipe, be sure to check our entire side dish recipe section! We’ve got tons that I’m sure you’ll love. Some reader favorites are:
- Green Beans with Bacon (Grandma’s Southern Green Beans)
- Honey Glazed Carrots
- Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)
- Soda Bread
- 1 pound fresh green beans (ends trimmed and cut in half)
- 6 slices bacon (chopped, I use a medium to thick-cut bacon)
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 12 ounces button, cremini, or baby bella mushrooms (chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base (or chicken bouillon of choice)
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 can French fried onions (2.8 ounce container)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C).
- Start by blanching the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then boil the green beans for 5 minutes. Drain them and place them in an ice bath for a few minutes, then drain them, pat them dry, and set them to the side.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and saute it until it’s crispy and the fat has rendered. Add the onions and saute until they’re translucent (about 4 - 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook for 4 - 5 minutes (or until they’ve cooked down and softened, you may need to turn the heat down a little bit and cook it a little longer if you’re using an enamel pot to stop the brown bits on the bottom from burning). Add the garlic and saute until aromatic (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Transfer the bacon and vegetable mixture to another dish, leaving the bacon grease in the pan.
- Add the butter to the pan and melt it. Sprinkle the flour over the grease and butter, and whisk it to incorporate it. Cook it for an additional minute while whisking constantly (or until it’s a light golden color). Slowly pour in the half-and-half while whisking continuously. Add in the water and chicken bouillon. Whisk continuously until the chicken bouillon has fully incorporated and the mixture has thickened. Add in the parmesan and stir until it has melted.
- Add in the bacon, onion, and mushroom mixture along with the pepper. Mix together and taste. Add salt to your preference, then let the creamy sauce simmer for a couple of minutes. Add in the green beans, and stir to combine everything.
- Spread the green bean mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Bake the casserole without the onion topping for 15 minutes. Top the casserole with the French fried onions, and bake for an additional 15 minutes (or until the casserole is hot and bubbly and the onions are golden brown). Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving.
If you’re making the dish in advance, cover the dish (without the French fried onion topping) and refrigerate it for up to 2 days, then allow it to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes the day of baking before proceeding with the baking instructions.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 199Total Fat: 13.1gCarbohydrates: 15.7gNet Carbohydrates: 13.1gFiber: 2.6gSugar: 3.6gProtein: 8.1g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Try making this Green Bean Casserole with Bacon recipe! It’s the perfect holiday side dish that everyone loves!