Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

5 from 1 vote
1 hour
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Here’s a green bean casserole everyone at your holiday celebration will love! This Cheesy Green Bean Casserole recipe is easy to make with no canned processed soups or mushrooms!

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole in white oval gratin dish with serving spoon and blue napkin.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

If I served the typical green bean casserole with mushrooms and mushroom soup at a holiday gathering, I’d be the only one eating it. I married into a family of mushroom haters and have a husband that is even allergic to them.

However, this easy, Cheesy Green Bean Casserole recipe is always a hit with everyone! How can anyone say no to green beans in a creamy, cheesy sauce baked until bubbling hot with a crispy, nutty topping?

This cheesy green bean casserole is:

  • Easy!
  • Make ahead!
  • A guaranteed crowd-pleaser!

Let’s make it! (And you can always add mushrooms!)

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole in white oval gratin dish with some spooned out to expose beans and sauce.

How to Make Cheesy Green Bean Casserole:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this easy green bean casserole recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Cheesy Green Bean Casserole in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Green Beans: Use fresh green beans if possible but frozen green beans will also work.
  • Shallot: Shallots are a member of the onion family and are used extensively in French cooking. They grow in clusters (heads) similar to garlic but without the quantity. They have a mild oniony flavor with a hint of garlic. Regular onion can be used instead if you prefer.
  • White Wine: Use a good dry white wine that you enjoy drinking. You can also use beer in place of wine. NON-ALCOHOLIC SUBSTITUTION: Use an alcohol-free wine, beer or use extra chicken broth with a tablespoon of white wine vinegar added to it.
  • Chicken Broth: To keep the green bean casserole vegetarian, use vegetable broth.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Definitely use sharp Cheddar cheese for the flavor. Mild or medium Cheddar cheese doesn’t have the same “oomph.” Also, it’s extra work, but I highly recommend you shred the cheese yourself; the flavor is so much better than pre-shredded bagged cheese.
  • Half-and-Half: Can also use whole or 2% milk.
  • Pecans: If you have a guest who can’t have nuts, use extra fried onions and omit the pecans.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart (approximately) baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Prepare an ice bath. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
  • Place the beans into the boiling water and cook for approximately 3 to 4 minutes or to the desired doneness. (NOTE: The green beans heat through when baked so crisp-tender beans will stay fairly crispy. If you like softer beans, cook them longer.)
  • Remove and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain, discard the water and pat dry.
Green beans in ice water in glass bowl.
  • Transfer the beans to the prepared baking dish.
Blanched green beans in white oval gratin dish.
  • Heat the butter over medium heat in the saucepan you used to cook the beans.
  • Add the shallot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened, being careful not to burn the shallot. Add the garlic and cook briefly (approximately 10 seconds) until fragrant.
Shallots and garlic in butter in stainless steel saucepan.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown the flour.
Shallot, garlic and flour with wire whisk in stainless steel saucepan.
  • Add the wine (or beer), whisking constantly then slowly pour in the chicken broth and half-and-half. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking until smooth and thickened.
Sauce for green beans in stainless steel saucepan before cheese is added.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat. Let the sauce stand for 1 minute then add the shredded Cheddar cheese by the handful, whisking after each addition until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Season the sauce with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper if desired.
Cheese sauce in stainless steel saucepan.
  • Pour the sauce over the green beans. MAKE AHEAD: Can be made two days ahead of time to this point and refrigerated.  Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats.  Sprinkle with the pecans and the fried onions when ready to bake.  You’ll need to add additional baking time if it’s cooled completely.
Green beans with cheese sauce poured over.
  • Sprinkle with the pecans and the fried onions.
Unbaked green bean casserole fully assembled.
  • Bake the green bean casserole for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.
  • Cheesy green bean casserole deliciousness without mushrooms! However, mushrooms in this casserole would be just fine, too!
Baked Cheesy Green Bean Casserole on wood cutting board with serving spoon.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

Over my 20+ years as a personal chef, I’ve tried numerous ways to speed up the process of trimming the stem ends from beans. Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way.  However, keep in mind it’s only the stem end that needs to be removed; the bottom tip is tender and perfectly fine to eat. Here are all the ways you can do it:

  • Do them one by one and simply enjoy the zen of it.
  • Line several up on a cutting board and cut the ends with a knife. I find it time-consuming to line up the beans, then grab the knife and cut but it works.
  • Grab two or three at a time in one hand and break the stem end off with the other hand.
  • Grab two or three where you see stems together and snip them with kitchen shears.
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole in white oval gratin dish with serving spoon.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can this Cheesy Green Bean Casserole recipe be made ahead of time?

Absolutely! This casserole can be made two days ahead of time and refrigerated.  Let it stand at room temperature while the oven preheats.  Top with the pecans and the fried onions when ready to bake.  If the casserole is cooled completely, you’ll need to add additional baking time.

Can this Cheesy Green Bean Casserole be done in a slow cooker?

–Prepare the beans and cheese sauce as directed up to the point of placing it into a baking dish. Transfer to a slow cooker instead. Keep the topping off until ready to serve.
–Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or until heated through. If LOW, give it 4-5 hours.
–You can add the pecan/onion topping without crisping the top. Or, place the insert with the topping on top of the green beans in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes until crisp. Another option is to put the French fried onions and pecans in a skillet, then gently heat and lightly toast them. Sprinkle over the casserole.

Can this green bean casserole with cheese be made ahead of time and frozen?

Yes, but I think the quality will suffer.

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with pecan and crispy onion topping with serving spoon.

Serve with:

More great green bean side dish recipes you’ll love!

Get all my vegetable side dish recipes at: Vegetable Side Dish Recipes – From A Chef’s Kitchen

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Cheesy Green Bean Casserole in white oval gratin dish with serving spoon.

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

5 from 1 vote

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Here's a green bean casserole everyone at your holiday celebration will love! This Cheesy Green Bean Casserole is easy to make with no canned processed soups or mushrooms!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dishes – Vegetables
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 239 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Cooking spray
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans - trimmed and halved widthwise
  • 3 tablespoons butter - preferably unsalted
  • 1 large shallot - finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine - or beer
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper - optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup french fried onions - from a can

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart (approximately) baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Prepare an ice bath. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
  • Place the beans into the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes or to the desired doneness. (The green beans heat through when baked so crisp-tender beans will stay fairly crispy. If you like softer beans, cook them longer.)
  • Remove and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain, discard the water and pat dry. Transfer the beans to the prepared baking dish.
  • Heat the butter over medium heat in the saucepan you used to cook the beans.
  • Add the shallot and cook 2-3 minutes or until softened, being careful not to burn the shallot. Add the garlic and cook briefly (10 seconds) until fragrant.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown the flour.
  • Add the wine (or beer), whisking constantly then slowly pour in the chicken broth and half-and-half. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking until smooth and thickened.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat. Let the sauce stand for 1 minute then add the shredded Cheddar cheese by the handful, whisking after each addition until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Season the sauce with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper if desired.
  • Pour the sauce over the green beans. MAKE AHEAD: Can be made two days ahead of time to this point and refrigerated. Keep the topping off until ready to bake.
  • Sprinkle with the pecans and the fried onions.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made two days ahead of time and refrigerated.  Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats.  Sprinkle with the pecans and the fried onions when ready to bake.  You’ll need to add additional baking time if the casserole is cooled completely.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 291mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 989IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 1mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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2 Comments

    1. Hi, Kelly, Thanks so much for your question. I haven’t done these in a slow cooker, but here’s what I would suggest:

      –Prepare the beans and cheese sauce as directed up to the point of placing it into a baking dish. Transfer to a slow cooker instead. Keep the topping off until ready to serve.
      –Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or until heated through. If LOW, give it 4-5 hours.
      –You can add the pecan/onion topping without crisping the top. Or, place the insert with the topping on top of the green beans in a 350° degree oven for about 10 minutes until crisp. You can also put the French fried onions and pecans in a skillet and gently heat and lightly toast them then sprinkle them over the casserole.

      Thanks so much and hope you enjoy!