Green bean recipes are a must for tender, nutritious, and versatile eats. They are also a part of any collection of Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes or Friendsgiving Potluck Ideas. If you agree, I recommend trying my other crowd-pleasing green bean dishes, such as my rich and robust Buttery Garlic Green Beans. Or, transform this vegetable into an endlessly customizable vegan snack or side dish with my Air Fried String Beans recipe. No matter how you prepare them, these green beans will surely be the star of your dinner menu.
Ingredients You’ll Need
You don’t have to sacrifice an ounce of flavor when making this gourmet mushroom-free recipe. A quick roux and umami-rich ingredients, like bold cheeses, are all you need to make the ultimate substitute for cream of mushroom soup in a green bean casserole.
- Fresh green beans: Fresh, firm, and unblemished green beans (also sold as string beans) are essential to giving this dish its mildly sweet, earthy flavor. Before using them in your recipe, clean and dry your veggies as much as possible, trim their ends, and cut them into two-inch pieces.
- Unsalted butter: Butter is the key to achieving a rich, decadent flavor profile when making the roux and prepping your baking dish. You may also use salted butter instead, but be sure to adjust the other seasonings to avoid over-salting your recipe.
- All-purpose flour: Flour is an essential ingredient in any roux, which will help thicken the sauce of your green bean casserole.
- Vegetable stock: I use vegetable stock in this recipe to lend it a light, fragrant flavor. However, you may also use chicken stock to give your mushroom-free green bean casserole extra hearty, savory undertones.
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream is the key to giving creamy decadence to this simple casserole recipe. You can also use 2% milk for a lighter, low-calorie green bean casserole, though your recipe won’t have the same rich, thick flavors.
- Cheese: Strong cheeses make the perfect substitute for cream of mushroom in green bean casserole, given their savory umami flavor. I use a mixture of white cheddar and parmesan cheese in this recipe, but you may also add more white cheddar if you prefer not to use parmesan. You can also use Colby Jack for a butterier, mildly sweet taste.
- Fresh herbs, spices, and seasoning: Bright, warm, and savory, the ultimate seasoning for this green bean casserole recipe is a mixture of fresh thyme, ground nutmeg, Kosher salt, and ground black pepper. For a slight spice kick, you may also add a pinch of red pepper flakes, though this ingredient is optional.
- French fried onions: Any store-bought French fried onions, including the Durkee brand, will give your casserole a crisp, rich topping.
Want to make your green bean casserole with an alternative topping that will make the most of your pantry and stun your dinner guests? Prefer to make it without fried onions or want to use up some of the crackers in your pantry? These simple solutions will ensure your side comes out with all the crisp, savory taste of traditional green bean casserole recipes.
- Panko breadcrumbs: A go-to substitute for fried onions in green bean casserole, one cup of lightly toasted panko breadcrumbs make an excellent topping when mixed with two tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Even better, you can sprinkle this rich, savory mixture on top of your green bean casserole at the beginning of baking to simplify the cooking process.
- Crumbled croutons: Crumbled croutons—pre-seasoned and already crisp—make another great topping for this green bean casserole recipe.
- Crackers: Equally parts crunchy and buttery crackers are a simple, cost-effective substitution for fried onions in green bean casserole recipes. Most people prepare green bean casserole with Ritz crackers due to their rich, mildly sweet flavor, but feel free to experiment with whatever crackers best fit your desired flavor profile.
- Cornflakes: Don’t want to run to the grocery store for extra ingredients? No problem! For this simple green bean casserole topping, you only need to crumble one cup of cornflakes on top of your casserole before baking.
- Caramelized onions: Take your no-mushroom green bean casserole recipe to the next level by adding caramelized onions’ sweet, rich, and robust flavor. Simply prepare your caramelized onions separately and add them to your casserole while adding your blanched green beans.
How to Make No Mushroom Soup Green Bean Casserole?
There’s no secret to making a delicious, crowd-pleasing green bean casserole without canned soup. These step-by-step instructions will ensure your casserole has all the tender, creamy, and rich flavors you love in this signature side.
- Prep the green beans: Wash, dry, and trim the ends of your fresh green beans. Then, cut them into two-inch pieces and set aside.
- Boil water and prepare the ice bath: Add water and salt to a large pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. As this water heats, fill a separate large bowl with ice and water and set it aside.
- Boil the green beans: Following the blanching method I describe in my foolproof guide to boiling green beans, add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until crisp and tender—5-7 minutes in total. Be careful not to overcook the veggies during this step, as they should still maintain their shape and firm texture to avoid mushiness.
- Cool the green beans: Use a slotted spoon or strainer to transfer the cooked green beans directly to the ice water bath. Let the green beans sit in the ice bath for five minutes or until they cool to room temperature. Once cool, drain the green beans from the water, spread them on a clean kitchen towel, and pat dry as much as possible.
- Prep the oven: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. While the oven heats, butter your casserole dish with a tablespoon of butter and set it aside.
- Saute the garlic: Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute it for 30 seconds.
- Make the green bean casserole roux: Add the flour to the melted butter and whisk constantly until lightly browned (about five minutes). Then, gradually pour in the stock, followed by the heavy cream. Whisk the mixture constantly for about ten minutes until thickened, adjusting the heat as necessary to avoid burning.
- Finish the sauce: Remove the roux from the heat and whisk in the cheddar cheese, parmesan, thyme, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).
- Add the green beans: Fold the blanched green beans into the sauce until they are evenly coated.
- Fill the casserole dish: Transfer the green bean mixture to the prepared dish, evenly spreading the filling.
- Bake and serve: Bake the dish in the preheated oven for ten minutes. Then, sprinkle the fried onion rings in an even layer over the casserole’s top and bake for five minutes or until the onions turn golden brown.
What to Serve with this Dish?
No one can resist the creamy decadence of a thick, veggie-packed green bean casserole. Not only is this recipe perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners (especially when served alongside roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and mashed potatoes!), but it also works as a tasty side dish ideal for Sunday supper.
- Turkey: Roasted turkey is a given main when serving this decadent, creamy side dish. However, if you don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen, you can serve it with equally savory, tender turkey dishes, like Roasted Turkey Tenderloin, Baked Turkey Wings, and Turkey Meatloaf.
- Chicken: Not a fan of turkey? No worries! No-mushroom soup green bean casserole makes an ideal pairing with any poultry main. Whole Roasted Chicken and Goat Cheese Chicken are five-star dishes worthy of a master chef’s kitchen, while Roasted Cornish Hens are a succulent way to prepare perfectly portioned meals for all your dinner guests.
- Beef: When you make the best green bean casserole without cream of mushroom soup, it’s a given that you’ll want to serve it alongside your tastiest mains. My filling and savory Pot Roast and unbelievably tender Reverse Sear Chateaubriand are just what you need to satisfy your Instagram followers and your tastebuds.
If you want to know more about this easy homemade green bean casserole, look no further! This no-fuss FAQ will answer all your questions, from the origins of green bean casserole to ideal texture tips.
According to Wikipedia, this classic Thanksgiving side comes from the kitchen of Dorcas Reilly—a home economist working for Campbell’s test kitchen—in 1955. Reilly created this dish hoping to make a simple, accessible recipe for Americans using ingredients many had on hand—namely, canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup. Though the original recipe called for a mixture of cooked green beans, cream of mushroom soup, seasonings, and crispy fried onions, many have since adapted this dish to meet their own dietary needs, taste preferences, and available ingredients, leading to this recipe for homemade green bean casserole no soup.
Because we make this easy green bean casserole without mushroom soup, it’s unlikely to come out soupy like other soup-based versions. However, if you want to reduce the casserole sauce, you may cook it longer, let it sit longer, or drain excess sauce before serving. You might also consider adding breadcrumbs on top of your casserole, as this addition will soak up some of the liquid from the mixture, eliminating unwanted soupiness.
Fresh green beans are the best option to give your casserole a nutritious, mild taste. However, between canned and frozen options, I prefer frozen because these veggies tend to have a better, firmer bite to them.
Other Green Bean Recipes You Might Also Like
Tender, mild, and endlessly customizable, it’s no wonder why green beans are such a popular veggie. Below, you’ll find just a few of my favorite green bean recipes, guaranteed to pack your table with fresh, savory flavors in minutes.
If you try this Green Bean Casserole recipe without mushroom soup, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Green Bean Casserole without Mushroom Soup Recipe
- 2 pounds fresh green beans* cleaned, ends trimmed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more to coat the casserole dish
- 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cups vegetable stock or chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese approximately 2 cups
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese* shredded approximately ¾ cup
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 cup French fried onions 6 ounces
- To blanch the green beans, place water and a pinch of salt in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water. Set it aside.
- Carefully add the green beans to the boiling water. Cook until crisp and tender, 5-7 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon or a spider strainer, transfer the green beans into the ice water. Let them cool to room temperature for about 5 minutes. Drain.
- Spread out the blanched green beans on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry as much as you can.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the casserole dish with a tablespoon of butter and set it aside.
- In the large skillet, melt the rest of the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the flour and whisk constantly until lightly browned, for about 5 minutes.
- While continuously whisking, gradually pour in the stock, followed by the heavy cream (again while gradually pouring), until thickened for about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary to avoid burning.
- Off the heat, whisk in the cheddar cheese, parmesan, thyme, nutmeg, kosher salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).
- Fold in the green beans and toss until they are evenly coated with the sauce.
- Transfer the green beans to the prepared casserole dish and spread it out evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then, sprinkle the fried onion rings over the top of the casserole dish and bake for an additional 5 minutes until the fried onion rings are golden brown.
- Yields: This homemade green bean casserole makes enough for 6 to 8 side dish servings. The nutritional values below are per serving.
- Canned or Frozen Green beans: I recommend using fresh green beans when making this dish because of their crisp, bright taste. However, if desired, you may also prepare frozen or canned green bean casserole. If using canned green beans (or canned French-style green beans), you’ll need three 14.5-ounce cans thoroughly drained and dried. If using frozen green beans, three 10-ounce bags should suffice. However, be sure to increase your casserole’s cooking time to 17-18 minutes to ensure it heats through, given the colder veggies. Furthermore, if you use canned or frozen green beans, you do not need to blanch the veggies before adding them to your casserole, so you can skip those steps.
- Heavy cream: You can also use 2% milk for a lighter, low-calorie green bean casserole, though your sauce won’t have the same rich, thick flavors.
- Cheese: We found that the addition of parmesan cheese provided the overall dish with the umami flavors it was lacking. However, if you do not have parmesan cheese, you can use more cheddar cheese. Also, you can use sharp yellow cheddar cheese in place of white cheddar.
- Fresh mushrooms: Clearly, we wanted to show you how to make green bean casserole without canned mushroom soup in this recipe. However, if you’d like to add fresh mushrooms to the mixture (preferably baby bella mushrooms), you can easily do so in a few basic steps. Simply saute the sliced mushrooms with a tablespoon of butter, remove them from the pan, and prepare your roux. Once you drain your sauteed mushrooms (if necessary), add them to the sauce mixture while adding the green beans, tossing them until thoroughly coated.
- Covering the top: During our testing, we did not feel the need to cover the top with foil. However, if you find your topping browns too quickly while baking, cover the casserole with aluminum foil until the baking is nearly complete. Then, uncover the dish for the last few minutes until ready to serve.
- Make Ahead: To make it ahead of time, prepare the recipe until the step in which you transfer the green beans to the prepared casserole dish. Then, let the mixture cool down, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and store it in the refrigerator for up to one day in advance. When ready to eat, bake the dish as directed.
- Store: You can store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: To reheat your casserole, place it in a 350-degree F. oven for 7-10 minutes or until heated through.
- Freezing: Though technically possible, I don’t recommend freezing green bean casserole without condensed soup, as it will likely come out mushy after thawing.