Old Fashioned Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

This Old Fashioned Green Bean Casserole from Scratch with homemade fried ‘onion strings’ is amazing. Fresh ingredients make ALL the difference!

Old Fashioned Green Bean Casserole

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Who hasn’t associated green bean and mushroom casserole with Thanksgiving dinner? Anyone? Canned green beans, canned mushroom soup and canned onion rings, right? And we loved it! Well, if you love that now or have ever loved it or even now hate it, this dish might be for you.

My daughter and I first made this casserole several years ago and I’ve never looked back. I published it back then too but it was time for a refresh…new photos and new friends; all combine to say new post! Fresh ingredients and homemade fried onion strings and this is one amazing casserole.

You might think you like that canned casserole but try this and I promise, you will never look back again either (you might even wonder how you could have EVER liked that canned, hot mess old fashioned recipe).

Fried Onion Strings

My daughter Emily actually made this dish that first year and as we had decided not to invite a large crowd, we kept Thanksgiving relatively simple with a turkey breast, cranberry sauce and this fabulous dish for our meal. It’s really just a flavorful white sauce that is combined with mushrooms, green beans and white wine and then covered with a bit of cheese and homemade onion rings before being baked.

Em did find the perfect recipe for the onion ring topping when she happened upon a post from The Pioneer Women; these thin little strings of fried onion are as I’m sure some would say, ‘Like Crack.’ Addictive.

Ree salivates over these onion strings…and rightfully so. Sort of a miracle of ingredients in that it’s nothing special really. Onions, buttermilk, salt, pepper, flour and cayenne. Still, something magical happens in that distance from cutting board through deep fryer to their final resting place on paper towels to drain.

I know both Emily and I were noshing on those pups each time we walked by that plate; we had to move it to make sure we had some for the actual casserole! So good! Seriously…make them for this casserole or make them just to eat as a snack…but trust me; MAKE THEM (I now make enough for both noshing and the casserole…and good thing too!).

Old Fashioned Green Bean Casserole

The only element that was not ‘normal’ in my book was the addition of some shredded cheddar cheese on top of the casserole as it baked. Everyone loved it but I think it would be just as fantastic without that extra ingredient so I’m calling it ‘optional.’ We had leftovers and I think an auction on who got to take it home (just kidding but close). Try this recipe the next time you’re asked to bring a side dish or someone expects the requisite green bean and mushroom casserole for Thanksgiving. You will be loved forever.

This weeks #FallFest with The Food Network features Thanksgiving dishes…no big surprise there right? Take a peek after the recipe for some great ideas for your Turkey Day Feast!

PIN ‘Old Fashioned Green Bean Casserole from Scratch’

Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole From Scratch PIN

Old Fashioned Green Bean Casserole

Homemade Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole with Fried Onion Strings

Creative Culinary
Just like the old fashioned green bean and mushroom soup casserole except for one thing. SO much better!
5 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 -12 Servings


For the Onion Strings

  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon scant Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons to 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 quart to 2 Quarts Peanut or Canola Oil
  • Black Pepper To Taste

For the Green Beans

  • 2 pounds green beans ends removed and beans snapped in half
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 pound button mushrooms cleaned and diced
  • 1 & 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar optional


  • !For the Onion Strings
  • Slice the onion in half; place the flat half down on your cutting board and slice each half into thin rounds.
  • Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least an hour.
  • Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Heat oil in small fryer or large dutch oven to 375 degrees.
  • Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.
  • Repeat until onions are gone.
  • Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least an hour.
  • Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Heat oil in small fryer or large dutch oven to 375 degrees.
  • Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.
  • Repeat until onions are gone.

To make the casserole:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook until deep green and tender, about 12-15 minutes (we like ours a bit crisp tender; cook longer if you prefer softer beans. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  • In a large pot or skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until they start sweating liquid, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Continue cooking, stirring often, until mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the mushroom and onion mixture and melt over medium-low heat. Add the flour and mix into the vegetable mixture, cook on low heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Combine the milk, half and half, and chicken stock and stir to combine. Add the milk mixture and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Mix in Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  • Simmer everything for about 5 minutes for the flavors to marry. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. (You want this to be a bit on the salty side, because it will mellow once you add the green beans.)
  • Stir the green beans into the mushroom sauce and toss to combine. Pour the green bean mixture into a large, buttered casserole dish (about 2 quarts). Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the grated cheddar to the top and bake another 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
  • Top with the crispy onion strings and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with additional onion strings (if there are any!)


We made this for Thanksgiving and it makes a lot; I would cut this in half if serving for a regular meal. Except the onion strings; make them all. You won't regret it.


Nutrition Facts
Homemade Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole with Fried Onion Strings
Serving Size
1 grams
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. Hi Barbara,

    Would you recommend doubling this casserole for 20-25 people? We’re having Thanksgiving at our place for about 20-25.. We are having 2 main dishes (turkey and prime rib) along with 9 sides…


  2. Ummmm….ya, you totally had me at homemade onion strings!!! Hubby and I love green bean casserole during the holidays! Now that I think about it, we haven’t made it in a bit….I may need to change that soon! Your recipe looks sooooooo good:-) Hugs, Terra

    1. We seriously loved all of it but I also seriously need some more of those onions. The fryer remains on the counter; that must be my subconscious talking. 🙂

    1. I was with you Greg, had not made it in years and years so this was just for fun but oh boy was it good. Still representative enough to be emblematic of something sentimental but with fresh, crisp beans, fresh and not overcooked mushrooms and those divine onion strings? Oh my.

  3. Ok, confession time… I have NEVER liked this casserole… first time I had it at a friend’s house I couldn’t eat it…. after reading your recipe Barb I think I am going to have to re think my position and give this one a go!! BTW… did you know we have the EXACT same salt boxes, color and all??

    1. Shh…don’t tell but it never did much for me. I made it for the hubs cause it mom had and then my girls cause we had for years when I was married but I quit years ago. Fresh beans…fresh mushrooms and especially those homemade onion strings…it was simply to die for!

      Funny isn’t it…see we are alike in more ways than one! 🙂

    1. I’ve thought of using something else but have you ever had a personal favorite you love so much just the way it is that a change seems sacrilege? That’s sort of how we feel about this. And…not to mention my local Costco carries the button, a big enough package for the entire dish; yes, that does sway me a bit! 🙂

  4. I was really happy with how well these turned out. More work, certainly, but worth the effort, especially for a holiday, when you should take the time to make something really special. I think the big difference for me was the texture. The beans kept their “bite,” instead of turning into a pile of grey mush. And those onion strings? Oh, so good!

    1. True…we are both fans of the ‘crispy bean’ and even bigger fans of the ‘crispy onion strings!’ I haven’t put the baby deep fryer away just yet; you know, in case we get the urge!

  5. Yes, it’s a Thanksgiving tradition for me even way over here. I couldn’t get the French cut green beans, didn’t have any soup so I made my own and it’s so weird but the only difference was I didn’t have any cheese. John’s not American so he doesn’t have a cheese in food gene. It was the best green bean casserole I’ve ever tasted.

    1. Amazing how good it is when homemade huh? I wouldn’t have done the cheese but The Kitchn’s recipe had it and I happened to have just enough on hand…so we did it and I have to admit; no complaint. Bet even John would have liked it. 🙂

  6. The onion strings look great! I’ve never actually made the classic green bean casserole (although of course I’ve eaten it) – I should someday. This version looks totally delish. Plus I get to make two batches of onion strings – one for the dish. And one for me. 😉

  7. Green Bean Casserole must be an American Thanksgiving traditional dish. I’m thinking that this one with the fried onion strings should on all Canadian tables at Thanksgiving too.

    P.S. I’ve never heard of canned green bean casserole!!

    1. Where have you been?? Oh yeah…in Canada. I’m certain it was a recipe first devised by Campbell’s soup but long a mainstay on Thanksgiving tables. I think it was the canned crispy onion rings that did it…and they are NO match for the real deal. Try it; you’ll like it!

    1. Thanks Claire…sort of how we felt. I love that you are the ‘realistic’ nutritionist and don’t lambast my efforts. If I could eat onion straws for every meal I might. But instead it’s Cheerios and salads and a pile of them once a year. That’s pretty realistic huh? 🙂

  8. I’d really love to try this! I gladly ate my green bean casserole from a can again this year, and was surprised it didn’t gross me out. I started eating healthy a while back and have been noticing I’ve lost my taste for a lot of things like that. But yeah, I really need to make this… looks great!!

    1. It’s a bit more timely but so worth it Rachael. I grew weary of ‘the other’ several years ago, not sure why it took me so long to do it from scratch but it’s solidly back in our holiday meal rotation.

  9. The only time I ever had the ‘hot mess’ version was at an ex-boyfriend’s mother’s house, I was not a fan (of her or of the casserole ;D). This however does sound quite good! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

    1. I quick making it several years ago, I just couldn’t anymore so this was high time for us certainly. Hope you did too!

  10. Your casserole looks infinitely better than any I’ve seen. I can just eat all those onion strings and be a happy camper.

    1. Thanks Ken and me too! I have a little fryer and I’m sure the reason it is still on the counter is that I must be planning a repeat of them…so dang good!

    1. It was fantastic; actually still is. We had so much I think I have enough for one more serving…lunch I think; if I can wait that long!

  11. This sounds like a wonderful addition to Thanksgiving dinner. My husband’s godmother used to make something similar. She added tomatoes, green chiles and cheese to her cream soup base. Sounds gross, tastes amazing! I’ll have to try these onions. They sound amazing.

    1. I think Thanksgiving could easily become green beans with mushrooms and my baked mushroom dish; hold the turkey. They were absolutely fabulous. They’ve worked their way back into the Thanksgiving rotation but those onion strings? WHY are they SO good?? But they are. I’m opening a drive thru with nothing but them. 🙂

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