Easy Green Bean Casserole

5 from 12 votes
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A staple holiday side dish gets a budget-friendly makeover with my quick and easy green bean casserole recipe that’s gluten-free and packed full of flavor and crunch.

During the holiday season, keeping cooking easy is a top priority. And with just five ingredients, this green bean casserole is the very definition of easy: it’s minimal prep and maximum impact. For this recipe, I’ve swapped out fresh green beans for frozen, which are generally cheaper in the grocery store this time of year. It’s one of the Thanksgiving classics and makes a delicious pairing with turkey, potatoes, and cranberry sauce.

Traditionally, a quick green bean casserole would be part of the side dishes at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it makes a great pairing with other veggie-heavy sides like honey-glazed roasted carrots, corn casserole, vegetable casserole and roasted brussels sprouts. It might be a holiday favorite, but this casserole is so delicious, you’ll be making it all year round.

Freshly made green bean casserole in a baking dish

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Ingredients in green bean casserole

This easy green bean casserole only needs five ingredients:

  • Frozen Green Beans: You can buy these at the grocery store or freeze your own. You can also use fresh – there’s a separate method below for prepping them for casserole. I find French-style green beans work best for this recipe, but you can use whatever you have at hand. Canned green beans are a last-resort option as I find they don’t often have a lot of flavor.
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup: You can use store-bought from a can or try making my easy cream of mushroom soup recipe. If you’re looking to make the dish allergy-friendly, homemade will help you control both the flavor and ingredients in the sauce.
  • Sour Cream: Or use milk or cheese cream. You can also use a vegan alternative if you prefer or swap out for plant-based milk (though you’ll likely need to thicken the mixture).
  • Crispy Fried Onions: You can use store-bought or follow my expert guide for making deliciously crispy fried onions. It’s a great way to use up any onions that might be starting to turn. White onions caramelize best, but you can use any kind you have to hand. If you’re out of onions or have an onion allergy, substitute with panko breadcrumbs or parmesan cheese.
  • Black Pepper: For a variation on the traditional, you can experiment with different herbs and spices to compliment the green beans. Garlic powder (or fresh garlic), paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and mustard all compliment green beans well – and mesh with the mushroom soup.
Ingredients for green bean casserole

How to make easy green bean casserole

Before cooking, take your green beans out of the freezer and allow them to defrost a little before using. They will release a lot of moisture, but this is to counteract too much of it getting into the casserole and making it soggy. These are best defrosted in the fridge as they’ll release less water in a cooler environment.

Preheat the oven 350ºF/180ºC.

Add the beans, soup, sour cream, half the crispy fried onions, and pepper into a casserole or baking dish and stir to combine. Bake the green bean mixture, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until bubbly. Then, remove from the oven and stir. You can taste-test here and adjust your seasonings if necessary.

Top with the remaining onions. If you want, you can return the casserole to the oven for an extra five minutes to crisp up the topping.

Steps for making green bean casserole

Using fresh green beans

Fresh green beans require an extra bit of preparation before they can be used in a green bean casserole.

To make this Thanksgiving side dish, you first need to blanch the fresh green beans. Boil them for 2-3 minutes until they’re slightly tender, then immediately plunge them into a large bowl of ice water. This will preserve their vibrant green color and stop cooking instantly.

Drain the beans and pat them dry before using them in the casserole so there’s no extra moisture put into it. Blanching is an essential step for maintaining texture and color, as well as pre-cooking your beans before they hit the oven and ensuring the dish is completely cooked by the time it’s ready to serve.

Then continue with the recipe as above.

Freshly made green bean casserole

Top Tips

  • Fresh or Frozen: The great thing about this recipe is that you can fresh or frozen – but I would hesitate to use cans in anything but an emergency. Canned beans tend to lose the necessary texture and taste to make the casserole delicious and can cost more. If you don’t have frozen, blanch fresh in boiling water for a few minutes before assembling your casserole.
  • Homemade Soup: To add a boost of flavor to the casserole, I recommend using homemade soup. You can make it from scratch by sauteing fresh mushrooms, onion, and garlic, then adding cream or milk for a rich flavor. You can follow my full recipe here. I find mushroom soup is the best compliment to the dish, but you can substitute other “cream of” soups if you’re in a pinch.
  • Crispy Onions: While you can buy crispy fried onions pre-made at the store, they’re so easy to make at home. If you buy fried onions from the store, put them in the oven to crisp them up before stirring them into the casserole.
  • Preventing Sogginess: Ensure the green beans are well-dried after blanching to avoid a soggy casserole. Pat them dry with paper towels if needed. Timing is important! It’s really easy to overbake this casserole recipe, so keep an eye on your timings and follow the recipe to the letter to get a perfect green bean casserole. Overbaking can give you overcooked beans and a dry casserole, so don’t let it linger in the oven!

Make ahead

To make a green bean casserole ahead of time, mix the beans, soup, sour cream, and seasoning and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Add the crispy fried onions just before the casserole is ready for the oven – they’ll go soggy and lose their crunch if you mix them with the other ingredients ahead of time.

Any leftovers can be stored in the freezer for up to three months if you’re using fresh ingredients. In the fridge, it’ll keep for up to four days, just allow it to cool before transferring it into an airtight container.

A serving of green bean casserole topped with crispy onions

More green bean recipes

If you try this green bean casserole recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Easy Green Bean Casserole

5 from 12 votes
By: Samira
A staple holiday side dish gets a budget-friendly makeover with my quick and easy green bean casserole recipe that's gluten-free and packed full of flavor and crunch.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Casserole dish 9.5×6.5 inches


  • 17 oz frozen green beans 5 cups; alternatively use fresh beans
  • 1.5 cups cream of mushroom soup or 1 10.5 oz can
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or milk or cream cheese; use plant-based alternative if needed
  • 4.6 oz crispy fried onions 2 cups, divided
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • sea salt to taste if needed


With frozen green beans

  • Allow the frozen green beans to defrost slightly before using – preferably, in the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven 350ºF/180ºC.
  • Add the green beans, mushroom soup, sour cream, black pepper and half of the crispy fried onions to a casserole dish and mix well. Cook for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and top with the remaining crispy onions. You can put the dish back in the oven for a further 5 minutes to crisp up again.

With fresh beans

  • Boil a large pot of water and cook the green beans for 2-3 minutes until they're tender. Then immediately remove them from the hot water and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking, but keep the texture and color.
  • Follow the recipe as before – mix with the other ingredients and bake.


  • In The Fridge: Allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container. It'll keep for up to four days.
    In The Freezer: Allow to cool before transferring to a freezer-safe container. If you've used fresh ingredients, it'll keep for up to three months. 


To make ahead: You can mix the beans, soup, sour cream and seasoning and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Add the crispy fried onions just before the casserole is ready for the oven– they’ll go soggy and lose their crunch if you mix them with the other ingredients ahead of time.
Check the blog post for more tips!
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 4 Days


Calories: 358kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 968mg, Potassium: 415mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1014IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 79mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. kubet says:

    Best view i have ever seen !

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says: