A Thanksgiving Recipe: Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Y’all, 2020 has been wild to say the least.  Every evening I sigh loudly and think, “I have to cook dinner AGAIN?” I have not been to an actual restaurant to dine in since February, my brain is fried, and I have run out of any new creative ideas for the kitchen.

I thought about just letting someone else do all the cooking for Thanksgiving, but last year I made green bean casserole from scratch and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since.

“From scratch” can sound intimidating, but I promise you this recipe is super simple and will have you feeling like a master chef on Thanksgiving.  I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of hype I need for myself this year.  (With that said, I understand if Thanksgiving already seems overwhelming.  If you are just trying to get it done, do not count this post as shaming canned goods.)

Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

  • 1 lb Green Beans, washed, trimmed, and halved
  • 2 TB Butter
  • 1 Yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 8 oz Mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 sprigs Fresh Thyme, minced
  • 2 TBL Flour
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can French Fried Onions

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch and shock green beans by adding to boiling water for five minutes, draining, and immediately transferring to a bowl of ice water.
  3. In a large pan, add butter, garlic, and onions. Cook until onions are softened, and then add the thyme.
  4. Add flour to the pan and stir constantly for about one minute.
  5. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and heavy cream mixing completely.
  6. Bring to a low boil and then down to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Stir in the green beans and transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly around the edges.
  8. Add the fried onions to the top and bake for an additional 5 minutes just to brown the topping.

To make things easier on Thanksgiving Day you can make this the day before.  Just wait to add the fried onions until you are ready to put it into the oven. If you are feeling extra creative, here are a few ways to spruce up the recipe even more:

  • Mix in some crispy bacon. Bacon makes everything better, right?
  • Parmesan cheese! Need I say more?
  • Add the juice of a lemon into your sauce (especially if you add cheese or bacon) to balance the fat.
  • Make your own fried onions!

The possibilities are endless. I’m definitely going to buy the French fried onions though.

If you make your own version of green bean casserole from scratch, let us know how yours is different in the comments!

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Alex is a former cook and culinary arts graduate turned stay at home mom to her sweet heart warrior toddler, Wyatt. Alex moved to Cedar Rapids almost 10 years ago after graduating from UNI where she met her husband. While awaiting her husband to return home from his first deployment, she stays busy by having dance parties with Wyatt, taking her two dogs on long walks, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, reading, and watching reality tv.