Green Bean Casserole (Without Canned Soup)


Giving up processed food doesn’t mean giving up your favorite green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. Frozen green beans, fresh mushrooms, and sour cream replace the canned soup and green beans in this classic recipe, along with the addition of Worcestershire sauce and cheese.

Green Bean Casserole (Without Canned Soup) |

I’ve been eating Green Bean Casserole every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. Mom always made the famous version with canned cream of mushroom soup, canned green beans, and canned fried onions. It was my absolute favorite thing to eat for the holiday. As I started cooking for myself and my palate matured, I could no longer eat a lot of canned items, especially soup. Not wanting to give up the casserole, I was on a mission to make it from scratch, and I succeeded.

I don’t think a year has gone by where we don’t make this casserole for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dad doesn’t even need me to write a shopping list anymore. It’s like, holiday shopping list? Beans, mushrooms, onions, sour cream, cheese. Done.

Green Bean Casserole (Without Canned Soup) |

Because green bean casserole is typically made in the winter, I opt for frozen green beans rather than fresh. I never knew frozen French cut beans existed, which is what we previously used in the canned version. Normally I just pick up a bag of regular frozen green beans. Feel free to use whatever green bean variation you like.

For the soup portion, I sautéed onion, garlic, and fresh sliced mushrooms then mix in sour cream and a bit of Worcestershire sauce to add some depth (bonus points if you can pronounce it). Mom always added cheese, and I didn’t know until a few years ago that there is no cheese in the original. You’ll definitely want the cheese.

For the onions on top, you can see I didn’t use a whole lot. Did you know they don’t sell shallots in a small town? I substituted more white onion, but then I ran out of white onion. So pretend the top is full of golden brown crunchy shallots. I’m just keeping it real, right?

Does anybody else recreate their favorite dishes to replace canned products?

Yields 4-6

Green Bean Casserole (Without Canned Soup)
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16 ounces frozen green beans
4 tablespoons butter (divided into 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce*
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or milk
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced thin (I subbed more white onion because I live in a town without shallots)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Have a 1.5-2 quart casserole dish ready.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and quickly run under cold water to stop the cooking. Let dry.
  3. In a large deep skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms and saute until onions start to brown and soften. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in the broth and Worcestershire sauce. Add the sour cream and stir until melted and smooth. Add the cream/milk and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add salt to taste (I use roughly 1 teaspoon). If the mixture is not thick enough, boil for another few minutes. Add the green beans.
  4. Spoon into the casserole dish and bake 25-30 minutes or until the beans are fork tender.
  5. Meanwhile, separate the shallot slices into rings. In a clean skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cook the shallots until golden brown. Sprinkle with some salt then place on top of casserole.


*Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies, so for a vegetarian casserole, omit this ingredient.

If you liked this Green Bean Casserole (Without Canned Soup) recipe, you may also like these from-scratch Thanksgiving side dish recipes:

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  1. This looks SO much better than the canned variety. I’ve posted a link to this recipe on my blog. Happy Thursday!

  2. This is so helpful! I always loved green bean casserole, too, but we haven’t had it in ages because, well, on Thanksgiving Day, ridiculous amounts of sodium aren’t needed on top of all that food! I like the addition of Worcestershire sauce, too- although I think i pronounce it a different way each and every time :)

  3. I love that you’ve made this without the canned soup, Carla! I love that dish too and have always avoided it for that very reason…I am looking forward to making this!

  4. This is the first green bean casserole that has ever looked good to me – when I clicked and saw you made it I pinned quick and then came right over – it looks delish and I have never said that about any GBC I have ever seen or tasted. Now I have found 2 things on Yum Goggle today that I want to make for Thanksgiving.

    • Aw thanks Kelli :) I was a little worried with the onions on top because ideally I’d use shallots for those golden brown onions everybody knows and not the very little onion I had left in the drawer. Either way it still tasted very good!

  5. this looks great! can’t wait to try it…do you think i could sub the sour cream with FF greek yogurt?

    • I actually thought about that too! I haven’t tried it yet, but I know it would give it the same creaminess. Of course the flavor will differ slightly, but both should still have a little bit of that tang. Just adjust to taste if you decide to try it.

  6. I’ve made the Great Plains’ favorite Tater Tot Casserole without the traditional Cream of Chicken or Mushroom soup. I’ve never had Green Bean Casserole before…The mushrooms scare me off!

  7. This looks delicious, Carla! I’m trying to muster the enthusiasm to make green bean casserole this year, and your lovely photos are helping. Want to come dig through the freezer to see if I put up some beans when I got them in the farm share? Yeah, me neither. :)


  8. This sounds delicicious! I have traditionally been the one to make green bean casserole for Thanksgiving potlucks. For the past 15 yrs or so, I have made another alternative recipe that consisted of somewhat similar ingredients. I, too, am not a fan of canned condensed soup which was my motivation for doing so. I always use fresh green beans as well. I will give this recipe a whirl this year. Thank you!

    Oh, and I say it like this…Worsh-teh-shur. :)

    • Yes I’ve seen different variations and ended up combining several ideas into this recipe. Let me know what you think of this one if you do try it!

  9. Yum! This sounds wonderful. I’ve never had green bean casserole for Thanksgiving – my mother always did succotash, and I guess there have been a lot of years when I’ve done nothing for Thanksgiving. This recipe makes me want green bean casserole.

    I have one recipe I’ve always loved, which dates back to college, which my husband affectionately calls ‘road kill’ (real name Skid Road Stroganoff), which calls for cream of chicken soup. I’ve been making my own soup for it, and also subbing plain, nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with a dab of sugar for the sour cream.

    • Green bean casserole has always been on our Thanksgiving table (although it started out as the canned soup version and has evolved over the years). I’ll have to look up that stroganoff recipe. I don’t make it often but think a casserole would be the perfect way to serve it up. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Carla, if you can’t find the stroganoff, let me know & I’ll give it to you. I’ve never seen it in print anywhere, and I got it from a college roommate back in 1966.

  11. Pinned! And thanks for the shout-out for my recipe!

  12. recipe looks great! Any chance this can be made ahead of time??

    • Yes, I did just that a few weeks ago. Make everything but the onion topping ahead of time, put in your casserole dish/pan, cover, and refrigerate. Cook the onions the day you’re serving. However if you can’t, you can substitute store bought French-fried onions (I was traveling with my casserole and wasn’t sure how homemade fried onions would hold up).

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