If you’re looking for the best green bean casserole recipe, you’ve found it! We’ve got the top variations on this traditional side dish. Think bacon, cheese and slow cooker varieties! Plus tips on how to make this casserole in advance.
I’ll admit it. Green bean casserole is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish. You can have the potatoes, corn and cranberry sauce. It never fails that I go back for seconds on rich & creamy green bean casserole.
Campbell’s green bean casserole recipe and French’s green bean casserole are very similar. From my research, Campbell’s is different only in that it calls for less milk and a splash of soy sauce for flavor. Both recipes are timeless, but today we’ll share with you a few different variations of the traditional green bean casserole you know and love.
The base of this easy green bean casserole recipe are the following ingredients:
Notice that I don’t add salt. We almost always add bacon or cheese, so when you combine that with the french fried onions, we don’t think any more salt is necessary. You can always add it after if you’d like.
We’re bacon crazy. It only makes sense that we’d add bacon to this. Use store bought REAL bacon bits or cook your own then crumble it. We add about 3/4-1 cup of chopped bacon.
Have you ever tried cheese in green bean casserole? It’s delish! You can use cheddar (which we prefer) or swiss cheese. Either works, but each gives a different twist to the flavor. We recommend grating your own cheese because it melts more quickly and smoothly than pre-shredded, but if all you have time for is pre-shredded cheese, that’s totally fine.
Yes, you can make the best green bean casserole with fresh green beans. Just be sure to steam the green beans first to the doneness that you’d like. I recommend keeping the green beans at least somewhat crisp because they will continue to cook in the casserole.
Another way to cook the green beans is to boil them for about 10-15 minutes in chicken broth and then drain when they are done. This will add to their flavor!
Yes! Mix together the green bean mixture and spread it in the prepared pan. Before baking, wrap the pan in plastic wrap, then again in foil so it is well sealed. Freeze the casserole. Remove the casserole from the freezer 1-3 days before you are ready to serve it so it can defrost and cook more evenly.
To bake the make-ahead green bean casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, unwrap it and sprinkle french fried onions on top. Then cook it for 35 minutes. It may take slightly longer to bake this way based on how cold the casserole is, so make sure you leave time if it needs a few extra minutes.
You can also free up oven space on Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving by cooking your green bean casserole in the slow cooker. Make the green bean mixture and spoon it into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2 hours until it is bubbly and heated through. I like to wait to sprinkle the extra french fried onions on top right before serving so they are crisp.
If you are serving a crowd, double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13 pan. Plan for this to cook about 40-45 minutes.