This no fuss green bean casserole with crunchy fried onions will be the easiest side dish you make on Thanksgiving or any holiday dinner!
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Happy Thanksgiving…and our favorite green bean casserole!
I grew up with the little red can of cream sauce and those cans of crunchy onions…you?! I tell the story of how I started learning how to make classic Thanksgiving foods from the 1980’s and 1990’s in a “real food way” in my Thanksgiving Stuffing post from 2015. You see, at the time, my first born was 6, and I had spent her toddlerhood figuring out how to make these nostalgic, comforting holiday dishes with ingredients that I felt good about. I’ve never blogged our green bean casserole, so I figured now is better than never!
Homemade cream sauce AND crispy onions?!
I know, I know…it sounds time consuming, right? Thanksgiving dinner already feels overwhelming if you’re making most of it from scratch, but I promise this is an easy add to your menu. The cream sauce is made right in the casserole pan that the green beans go into, and the little onion slices are tossed in some flour and cooked while the casserole is baking. It goes fast!
My frozen green bean short cut!
One of the ways this green bean casserole is made simpler to prep is because I use frozen green beans. I remember the first year I did this. My third baby was…well a baby. She is an August birthday, so imagine a 3 month old, 5 year old, and 3 year old on Thanksgiving. Momma needed some short-cuts. The frozen green beans made the cook time faster and much easier, and it still tasted great!
Let’s get this green bean casserole started!
Look at this super quick prep! Just slice up some onion and chop up some garlic and you’re ready to get started! Since the green beans are frozen, you don’t need to snip any ends, or blanch them, and the prep is so quick. Most people like mushrooms in their green bean casserole, and this is the part where you add those. Mushrooms aren’t a favorite in this casserole for my crew, so I leave them out!
The green bean casserole cream base
Once you get your onions and garlic softened and golden, you’ll add some flour to the pan to coat the veggies. This will allow the milk to thicken into a sauce. It will take on the flavor of the onion, garlic, and mushrooms, and it will taste like the best canned cream soup you’ve ever had!
Adding in the green beans
Once your cream base is thick and saucy, you can stir in your green beans. YES, you can stir them in frozen! You’ll add a lid, and pop the casserole into the oven to bake while you make the crispy fried onions.
How to make the crispy fried onions for the topping
As promised, the crispy fried onions couldn’t be easier! Just slice up a large Spanish onion or sweet yellow onion, and toss in a flour of your choice. I use a gluten free flour blend, but einkorn, or other wheat/AP flour will work too. Get the butter and oil nice and hot in a skillet, and crisp the onions up. Once the casserole has baked for 20 minutes, and add the topping and finish baking!
Green bean casserole is one of those sides that is the perfect timing in the oven to make while the turkey is resting. The turkey will need at least a half hour to rest anyway, so if you have the stovetop part done, and the green bean casserole ready to go into the oven, you can get it in the oven to bake as soon as the turkey comes out of the oven.
Easy Green Bean Casserole with Crunchy Fried Onions
For the Green Bean Casserole
- 3 tbsp butter to cook in ghee, olive oil, pastured lard, avocado oil would work too
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tbsp King Arthur Gluten Free Flour Blend Most gluten free flour blends will work here
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk whole raw milk or cream will work here if you tolerate the dairy
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 6 cups frozen green beans
For the Crispy Fried Onions
- 1 large sweet or Spanish onion peeled, halved, and then cut into strips
- ¼ cup King Arthur Gluten Free Flour Blend Most GF flour blends will work here
- 2 tbps butter and 2 tbsp olive oil to cook in
- Sea salt to taste to top the crispy onions after cooking
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. You’ll want to use an oven safe casserole dish or oven safe skillet to make your casserole. If you do not have one, you can make the first part of the casserole in a skillet, and then transfer the green bean casserole mixture to an oven safe baking dish to bake.
For the Green Bean Casserole ::
- Heat your oven safe casserole dish over medium high heat. Add the butter to melt, and add the onions to cook until soften and lightly golden.
- Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Then add the gluten free flour blend to coat the onion and garlic, and cook this for a minute.
- Add the coconut milk, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard. Stir to combine, and cook until the sauce thickens. This takes a few minutes.
- Add the frozen green beans, stir to combine, and put the lid on your casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes while you make the crispy fried onions.
For the Crispy Fried Onions ::
- Toss the onion slices in the flour to coat while you get a skillet hot over medium high heat.
- Melt the butter and olive oil in the hot skillet and work in batches to crisp up the onions. This process takes a good 5-10 minutes or so per batch. DO NOT add the salt until AFTER the onions are out of the pan. If you add the salt while the onions cook, they will release all their juices and get soggy.
- Add sea salt to the crispy onions. Once the green bean casserole has finished cooking with a lid on for 20 minutes, remove the lid, add the crispy onions, and bake for another 5-10 minutes at 375 degrees until bubbly and crispy on the top.
- Most people love mushrooms in their green bean casserole! I love them too, but my crew does not love them in this dish! If you want mushrooms, add them in to get golden with the onions in the casserole pan.