Whip up the tastiest side dish, made with whole ingredients – fresh green bean casserole. This recipe doesn’t use any canned ingredients. It’s all made from scratch. Juicy cremini mushrooms, fresh green beans, a savory gravy base, and all topped with fresh shallots.
What is fresh green bean casserole?
All year long – but especially around Thanksgiving – you’ll see lots of recipes for green bean casserole made with canned green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup, and canned fried onions.
Fresh green bean casserole is simply a healthier and tastier version of that classic Thanksgiving staple. While there is nothing wrong with using canned ingredients for the casserole, this recipe has so much more flavor.
Why this fresh green bean casserole works
- Crispy fresh green beans are bursting with earthy sweet flavors.
- Fresh shallots have a rich and deep flavor for the topping.
- Fresh herbs fill your kitchen with inviting aromas.
- Thick homemade gravy has deep umami flavors.
What type of onions to use for fresh green bean casserole
Shallots are the best type of onions to add on top of this homemade green bean casserole. They have a mild flavor that doesn’t overtake the rest of the dish.
Fresh green bean casserole ingredients
In addition to the green beans, I used ingredients as close to whole and fresh as I could.
- Green beans
- Cremini mushrooms
- Unsalted butter
- Turkey stock
- Soy sauce
- Lemon juice (1 lemon)
- Heavy cream
- Garlic, grated
- Fresh sage
- Fresh thyme
- All-purpose flour
How to prepare the green beans
Snapping the green beans is the first thing you do to prepare them for the casserole.
If you get already trimmed green beans, then just snap them to be about an inch and a half each.
After prepping the green beans, blanch them. Blanching is kind of like flash cooking. If you put the raw green beans into the casserole, they aren’t going to cook through.
Put the green beans into boiling water for a few minutes and then stick them into an ice bath to prevent them from cooking more. This is how you achieve that bright green color and tender texture!
How to clean mushrooms
Next comes the mushrooms; I used cremini mushrooms. Mushrooms are like sponges!
If you wash them with water, they will soak them all up, preventing them from browning properly. I use a damp paper towel to clean the mushrooms’ dirt.
How to cook the mushrooms
- Dice the mushrooms into ½ inch pieces. Don’t cut them too small because they will shrink while cooking as they release moisture.
- You want to cook them on medium heat to prevent them from being soggy and not browning.
- You also want to make sure they have enough fat when cooking. I utilized butter, but you can substitute olive oil.
- They will go through the stages shown above; once they release their water, continue to sauté them until it evaporates.
- Next, sprinkle flour over the mushrooms and stir until they are coated.
- In a small bowl on the side, whisk together turkey stock (or vegetable), heavy cream, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of soy sauce. The lemon juice and soy sauce are going to give the sauce a depth and freshness that is so tasty.
- Slowly whisk it into the mushrooms until it’s all combined.
- Once it begins to boil, lower the heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
Mushroom sauce tip:
A great way to know when the sauce has thickened enough is to take a wooden spoon and run your finger down the middle. If the sauce comes back together, it’s too thin and not ready. When it stays divided above, it is thick and done.
In a greased baking dish, spread the blanched green beans and carefully pour the sauce over the top. Mix with a spoon until all combined and place in the oven uncovered.
You’ll know the green bean casserole is done in the oven when it is browned and bubbly all across the top.
Double the recipe for the gravy and reserve half of it. This is the tastiest gravy you will ever make! Serve this gravy on top of mashed potatoes or cooked turkey. It doesn’t take you much longer to make twice as much gravy.
How to fry shallots
Typically you buy canned fried onions and throw them on top of your casserole, but again, this homemade touch makes a huge difference.
You can hand slice the shallots or use a mandoline (SAFELY!). Just make sure they are thinly sliced.
In a small dutch oven or pot that can handle high heat, heat fry-safe oil over high heat (mine was on 8). Then, add the shallots to the hot oil. They will cook through first, and then they’ll start to fry and become golden brown.
How long it takes shallots to fry?
The timing can vary due to the type of pot, type of oil, and volume of shallots. Mine took about 10-15 minutes, and I kept stirring every few minutes. I did burn my first batch because I wasn’t paying attention, so keep a close eye once you approach the 10-minute mark.
Once golden brown, remove them and place them on top of a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil. I sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt over the top.
Serving fresh green bean casserole
Top with the fried shallots, and serve!
With the depth of flavor of the mushroom gravy, the tender green beans, and the texture of the crunchy, subtly sweet shallots, this will be the best green bean casserole you’ve ever made/eaten!
Do not top casserole with fried shallots until you are ready to serve. If you’re not going to serve right away, cover with foil and keep it warm by placing it in a low-temperature oven or on top of the hot oven.
When storing leftovers, try to remove as many shallots as possible before you put the casserole in the refrigerator. The shallots will just become soggy the longer they stay in the refrigerator.
Trust me… throw out the canned vegetable and mushroom soup. This fresh green bean casserole from scratch is a total game changer.
For the web story version of this recipe, click here!
Looking for other Thanksgiving dishes?
- Wet Brined Turkey
- Cornbread Stuffing
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
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Fresh Green Bean Casserole with Fried Shallots
Green Bean Casserole
- 2 pounds green beans trimmed and cut into 2-in pieces
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms roughly chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups turkey stock or vegetable
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 lemon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme stems removed
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups shallots thinly sliced with mandoline or hand cut
- 2 cups fry safe oil
- Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prep the green beans, trim the ends and cut into 2 inch pieces. In a boiling pot of water, add green beans and cook till bright green about 4-5 minutes. While green beans are cooking, get a large bowl and add ice and water. Once green beans are done blanching, immediately drain and transfer to ice bath to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, stock, cream, and set aside.
- In a dutch oven or large sauté pan over medium/high heat, add the butter. Once the butter is melted add the mushrooms and sage/thyme, cook for 10 min until the mushrooms release their liquid, and the liquid evaporates. Grate the garlic and cook for minute until fragrant.
- Add the flour slowly, mixing until mushrooms are coated. Whisking constantly, slowly add the broth/cream mixture to the mushrooms and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer until sauce thickens about 5 minutes. Taste and season to taste with kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper.
- Add green beans to greased baking dish and pour mushroom sauce over the top. Stir gently until green beans are fully mixed into the mushroom sauce. Place uncovered into the oven for 30 minutes, until the top is browned and bubbling.
- While the casserole is baking in the oven, time to fry the shallots. In a small dutch oven or fry safe pot, add 2 cups of fry safe oil and heat over high (an 8 on my range). Once heated up, add shallots and stir frequently until the shallots are crisp and golden brown about 10-15 minutes [see note]. Transfer to a plate, lined with multiple paper towels to drain excess oil. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and let cool.
- Remove casserole from oven, top with fried shallots, and serve immediately [see note].
- The shallots will first cook in the oil which takes majority of the time. Then they will begin to fry in the last few minutes. Keep a close eye because they can burn quickly.
- If you’re not serving immediately, do not top with fried shallots. Cover the casserole with foil and only top with the shallots when you’re ready to serve or else they will get soggy.
- You can prep the casserole ahead of time and just heat through on 350 degrees prior to serving.
- Serving size is based on this dish being served as a side dish