Classic green bean casserole is made with a can of canned cream of mushroom sauce, well, not this one! We make a homemade roux that creamy, cheese, and oh so good! We top it with cheddar cheese and panko crumbs for a great cheesy and crunchy topping!
This recipe may seem a little intimidating with all the steps, but we promise it is worth it! If you are hosting or bringing a dish to Thanksgiving, this will be a winner!
How to make green bean casserole from scratch
Start by blanching the green beans. You want to boil them in salted water for 3-5 minutes. You are not cooking them long enough for them to be really soft, you want an al-dente texture since they are going to continue to cook in the oven.
Homemade Sauce (Béchamel)
The homemade sauce is creamy, flavorful. Start by making a roux with butter, onions, mushrooms and flour. Add milk. The mixture will thicken up beautifully. Stir in pimentos, pepper jack cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme. The pepper jack cheese gives it a nice kick and the thyme really compliments the earthiness of the mushrooms.
Assembling the casserole
The assembly is the easiest part! Add the green beans to a large baking dish. Add half of the béchamel sauce and stir until all the green beans are coated. Add the remaining béchamel sauce, cheddar cheese and panko bread crumbs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is bubbly and the panko is nice and golden brown.
How to make this green bean casserole ahead of time
We love that this green bean casserole can be put together up to 2 days in advance and baked the day of. We suggest making it according to the recipe instructions. Do not add the bread crumbs until you are ready to bake.
Let the casserole come to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate. Before you bake in the oven. Let the green bean casserole come to room temperature. Top with panko bread crumbs and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is nice and golden brown and bubbly!
How to make a smaller batch
This recipe can easily be scaled down to half if you are having a smaller get together or bringing it to a small dinner party.
Green beans: If you want to use frozen green beans, thaw it out completely and drain. You want to make sure it has the least amount of excess water.
Cheese. Feel free to substitute the peperjack cheese for cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, of colby jack. It really boils down to your favorite cheese. Just please use a block that is freshly grated! That pre shredded stuff has anti caking agents, which can cause curdling.
Panko. If you want to use fried onions, go for it! We personally like the texture and taste of panko.
Mushrooms: If you aren’t fan of mushrooms, feel free to omit.
The BEST Green Bean Casserole
- 2 lbs green beans (ends cut off)
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped button mushrooms
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups warm whole milk
- 4 oz pimentos
- 8 oz shredded pepper jack cheese (freshly grated)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (freshly grated)
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Fill a deep pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil and drop the green beans. Blanch for 4-5 minutes. Remove them immediately and add them in a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking and they will retain the nice green color. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet on medium high heat add butter, once melted add onions and sautè for 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add flour, stir for 1-2 minutes in order to cook the flour.
- Add milk and stir until the roux thickens up. Remove from heat and add pimentos, pepper jack cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme.
- In a 13x9 baking dish add green beans. Stir together. Add half of the creamy béchamel sauce. Stir it into the green beans. Top with remaining béchamel, cheddar cheese, and panko bread crumbs. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is bubbly and the panko is nice and golden brown.
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