Don’t want to cook your casserole with canned cream of mushroom soup or canned green beans? Here is my favorite easy homemade Green Bean Casserole Without Mushroom Soup from scratch for Thanksgiving and Christmas using frozen green beans, fresh mushrooms, and sour cream. Recipe makes 4 servings, ideal for two people to share.
I’ve been eating some variation of Green Bean Casserole every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember.
Growing up, Mom made the famous version with canned cream of mushroom soup, canned green beans, and French 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 cream of whatever soup.
Not wanting to give up the casserole, I was on a mission to make it from scratch.
And I succeeded using sour cream and fresh mushrooms plus some Worcestershire sauce to add some depth known as umami (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 to make a cheesy green bean casserole.
What are the ingredients for green bean casserole?
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? Green beans, fresh mushrooms, French fried onions, sour cream, broth, cheese. Done.
Because green bean casserole is typically made in the winter, I opt for frozen green beans rather than fresh. They’re still technically fresh green beans because they’re frozen during peak season. Regardless they’re a million times better than canned green beans.
I use frozen French cut green beans when I can find them, which means the beans are cut lengthwise into thin strips.
However, they aren’t easy to find, so you can definitely use regular cut green beans.
When I originally posted this recipe, I was on a mission to replace everything, included the French fried onions on top. Nowadays I cut myself some slack and buy them. There’s too much going on with Thanksgiving dinner, so I have no regrets.
How do you substitute for cream of mushroom soup in green bean casserole?
To substitute for cream of mushroom soup, I used sour cream, sliced white button mushrooms, and broth. I also added a bit of Worcestershire sauce to bring some earthiness to the dish, which pairs well with the mushrooms.
One note – Worcestershire sauce is not vegetarian because it has anchovies in it. If you’re making green bean casserole for vegetarians, leave it out or buy a brand specifically labeled vegetarian or vegan.
Can you make green bean casserole ahead of time?
Yes, you can make green bean casserole ahead of time! Make the green bean filling, refrigerate, then add the French fried onions on top right before baking.
You may need to add an extra 10 minutes in the oven since you’re baking cold filling straight from the fridge.
More Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
- 1 bag (12-16 ounce) frozen regular cut or French cut green beans
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
- 4 large white button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock/broth
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (*see Note about being vegetarian)
- 1 cup French fried onions
- Preheat oven to 350F. Have a 1 quart casserole dish ready.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add a big pinch of salt then add green beans. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
- Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, melt the butter. Once hot, add the onion, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Stir in flour until a roux (paste) forms. Slowly stir in the broth.
- Stir in the sour cream, cheese, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and salt to taste (up to 1 teaspoon) until smooth and cheese has melted.
- Stir in the green beans and 1/4 cup French fried onions.**
- Transfer to the casserole dish and top with remaining 3/4 cup French fried onion. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbling.
*Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies. If you’re making this for vegetarians, leave it out or buy a brand specifically labeled vegetarian or vegan.
**To make the casserole ahead of time, make the filling then refrigerate. Right before baking, top with the remaining French fried onions. You may need to add extra bake time since you're baking cold filling straight from the fridge.