This must-have recipe for Ultimate Green Bean Casserole takes the classic dish up a notch by adding bacon, mushrooms, and cheese! Perfect for your Thanksgiving table!
There’s a lot that can be said about the humble Green Bean Casserole. LOTS. And I’ve seen some pretty serious arguments about what can and can’t be in the side dish. To me, Green Bean Casserole must include 3 things… cream of mushroom soup, canned green beans, and fried onions. You’re welcome to throw whatever else in there, but it’s gotta have those 3 things in my opinion.
Now if you want to take that classic version and kick it up a notch, or three… man, do I have a recipe for you. I add fresh mushrooms for even more umami flavor and add… wait for it… BACON! Yes, I love the smoky flavor that bacon adds to this dish and it complements the mushrooms beautifully! I’ve always had a love affair with the bacon and mushrooms combo. And, this amazing green bean casserole recipe is no exception!
This recipe is SERIOUSLY the best GBC I’ve ever, ever had! And that’s saying something, ’cause I’ve eaten a lot of this casserole over the years. Oh, did I mention that I added cheese, too? Yep. Monterey Jack. Y’all, this is seriously amazing. You need to try it. And pin it on Pinterest so others can try it too. Enjoy!
Should you use homemade or pre-made ingredients in green bean casserole?
You are welcome to make homemade cream of mushroom soup. You are welcome to use fresh green beans. And you can make your own fried onions – or even use fried shallots. Go on with ya bad self. I just know it’s going to be delicious.
Now, call me lazy, call me old school, whatever you’d like… that’s just not the way I want mine. I like the tenderness and convenience of canned green beans. I also love the pre-made cream of mushroom soup. And, I just like to live by the motto of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But, if you want to make these ingredients from scratch, knock yourself out!
Which is better in green bean casserole – canned or frozen?
In the end, the choice between canned and frozen green beans for a green bean casserole depends on personal preference and the desired texture. Some people prefer the tenderness of canned green beans, while others enjoy the slightly firmer texture of frozen green beans. Consider experimenting with both to see which version you prefer or choose based on availability and convenience.
I, for one, much prefer the tenderness of canned green beans. I don’t know if that’s just because that’s what I have consumed most around these parts through the years or what. But, I do know one thing… the biggest advantage to canned is simply the convenience. And, I’m all about convenience!
With all that being said, if you opt for frozen beans, you’ll need about 2 pounds for this recipe.
Can I prepare green bean casserole the night before?
You absolutely can prepare green bean casserole the night before with three easy modifications/tips:
- Add your fried onion topping on the day you plan to bake the casserole: Fried onions are meant to be a crisp topping on your casserole. If you add them to the top before placing in the fridge overnight, then you run the risk of those onions being soggy when you bake the dish the following day. And no one wants soggy French fried onions.
- Place all of your mixture in your baking dish and wrap it airtight with plastic wrap. You want to make sure it is airtight so the mixture does not dry out.
- You will want to adjust your baking time since the casserole will be starting from a cold state. I recommend adding 5 minutes to your baking time to begin with, but check that the dish is baked through when your timer goes off. If it’s not quite done, simply pop it in the oven for another 3-5 minutes until it is hot and bubbly throughout. And keep in mind that you’ll want to start the cold dish in a cold oven or allow the dish to come to room temperature before putting it in the pre-heated oven. Putting a cold dish in a hot oven could cause it to shatter.
Bacon – You will need 6 strips of bacon for this recipe. I’m not really opinionated on what kind of bacon you choose – thick-cut vs thin. That’s really up to you. I do not, however, recommend you use bacon bits. It just won’t render the same results since we need the bacon fat to cook the onions and mushrooms.
Onion – I recommend you using a white, yellow, or sweet onion for this recipe. Steer away from the purple onion in your green bean casserole.
Button mushrooms – If you can find button mushrooms, grab those. However, if your grocery store does not have them available, other fresh mushrooms like baby bellas will work. You will want to be sure you slice them up fairly thin. Button mushrooms are basically the same thing as whole mushrooms. They are just harvested at an early stage of growth when it is small and button-shaped.
Garlic cloves – Freshly minced garlic is superior to the squeeze-bottle minced garlic, in my humble opinion. I’m sure you can use the pre-minced variety. But keep in mind, the flavor just won’t be as fresh and robust.
Cream of mushroom condensed soup – Any brand of cream of mushroom soup will do. You could even make your own from scratch if you feel up to the challenge. I’m just happy enough with the pre-made soup, so I like to opt for convenience when it’s an option.
Milk – I recommend whole milk for the rich flavor it provides in this green bean casserole recipe. However, I do know of some people substituting heavy cream in place of the milk. Just keep in mind, it may make your dish a bit richer, which is totally fine!
Monterey Jack cheese – I highly recommend Monterey Jack cheese for this recipe. You could use mozzarella, gouda, or even cheddar, I suppose, but the Monterey Jack cheese has a mild and creamy flavor and melts more easily than sharp cheddar cheese.
Canned cut green beans – I can hear the gasps now… yes, I recommend canned. Simply put, it’s super convenient and provides a tenderness to the green beans that fresh or frozen just doesn’t offer without a good amount of prep. And, when I’m trying to get supper on the table or Thanksgiving lunch ready, I will opt for the quicker prep time where I can. If you want to use frozen beans, you’ll need about 2 pounds.
French fried onions – I love these jokers. Add them to the top right before baking for a fun and savory crunch!
If you tried this Ultimate Green Bean Casserole Recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it turned out in the comments below.
Ultimate Green Bean Casserole
- 6 strips bacon
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped button mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (10.5-ounce) cans cream of mushroom condensed soup
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- salt and pepper
- 4 (14.5-ounce) cans cut green beans, drained
- 1 1/2 cups French fried onions
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium low heat until crisp. Remove to drain on paper towels, then crumble. Drain away all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease, then return the pan to medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the undiluted mushroom soup and add the crumbled bacon back. Stir to combine. Stir in the milk and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the green beans until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Top with the fried onions. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbly.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.