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This green bean casserole from scratch is made with whole green beans, mushrooms, onions and crunchy water chestnuts. This homemade recipe is even better than the canned soup version and perfect for a holiday spread!
Green Bean Casserole is a classic favorite on many holiday menus. I've loved this dish since I was a kid. I've always devoured green beans. They were my favorite green veggie when I was growing up. My grandmother would cook fresh green beans from her garden in pork fatback and they were to-die-for. I still dream of those southern-style homemade green beans.
Even if you weren't a die-hard fan of green beans, eating them in a casserole with a flavorful creamy filling and crunchy fried onions could satisfy a pickier palate. I wanted to do a recipe makeover of this traditional side dish, eliminating the canned soups and the fried onions to make it a bit healthier, and even offer a gluten-free version, without compromising flavor. I also added a few extra ingredients that I believe make this healthier homemade green bean casserole over-the-top delicious!
You won't miss the other ingredients, you get a great contrast in textures with the canned beans, crunchy water chestnuts, and creamy filling. I used whole canned beans in this casserole for the best results, not to mention, they are really easy and convenient.
If you're a green bean lover, like me, you also have to try these amazing Slow-Roasted Green Beans!
The Del Monte Blue Lake Whole Green Beans work perfectly in this recipe. Make sure that you thoroughly drain the beans before adding them to the casserole.
If you've never tried the Bragg Aminos, they are a fabulous substitute for soy sauce and work great for gluten-free eaters. You can also buy the Coconut Aminos, which are equally delicious. I have made this recipe with both the Bragg Aminos and Coconut Aminos with great results. Of course, you can use soy sauce if you prefer that option. Soy sauce is not gluten-free, so keep that in mind when making a gluten-free version of this casserole.
How To Make Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
First, chop the mushrooms and the onion and mince the garlic.
Cook mushrooms, onions and garlic until onions are translucent and mushrooms are just turning golden.
Stir in the water chestnuts, cream cheese, flour, salt, pepper and 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens.
Next, pour the drained canned beans into a 9x13 casserole dish.
Pour the creamy sauce mixture over the beans and stir to mix.
Top with remaining shredded cheese and sliced almonds. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Tips For Making Homemade Green Bean Casserole
For an even creamier casserole, you can swap the whole milk for half and half. This adds more calories but results in a richer casserole base. I also use Better Than Boullion roasted chicken stock concentrate in this recipe. It adds more flavor than regular stock, keeps in the refrigerator for a long time and mixes easily in hot water.
If you love those canned crunchy fried onions on top instead of the almonds, feel free to make that swap. We happen to love the crunchy almonds as a healthier substitute. You can also make your own crispy fried onions or caramelized onions as an alternative topper.
You can use sharp white cheddar or yellow cheddar for this recipe.
How To Make Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole
If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, just swap the regular flour for a gluten-free all-purpose flour. The King Arthur Brand gluten-free flour is my go-to product for great recipe results.
*This recipe was updated on November 24, 2019 from the original post published on Amee's Savory Dish on November 10, 2014
Amazing Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
- 1 8 oz block regular cream cheese, brought to room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp Bragg Organic Aminos or coconut aminos-great soy sauce substitute
- ⅓ cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 8 oz package sliced mushrooms chopped into small pieces
- 1 sweet Vidalia onion finely diced
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 8 oz can water chestnuts, diced
- 2 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour *Gluten-free option: just sub all-purposed GF flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½- 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated from block
- 4 14.5oz cans whole green beans, drained
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, milk, aminos and chicken broth
- Start on low speed and gradually increase to medium speed until well combined
- Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat
- Add chopped mushrooms, onions and garlic
- Cook until onions are soft and translucent, stirring frequently
- Stir in water chestnuts, cream cheese mixture, 2 tbsp flour, salt and pepper and 1 cup of the shredded cheese
- Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until mixture is bubbly and thickened
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray
- Pour green beans into baking dish, distributing evenly in pan
- Pour creamy cheese mixture on top of beans and stir to blend evenly in dish
- Top with remaining ½ cup of cheese (you can add a little more if you love cheese) and slivered almonds
- Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes
- Casserole will thicken, slightly, as it cools.