This easy Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole can be baked from frozen, and taken out the day of! With a sauce made from scratch with no canned soup- this fresh to frozen casserole is a great way to make a classic favorite ahead of time!JUMP TO RECIPE
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Easy Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole!
A quintessential Thanksgiving side in my house, this Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole is an easy and stress free way to make sure you've got one delicious side dish checked off your Holiday table list!
Made with a homemade sauce, fresh mushroom and a classic crispy onion topping, this tasty casserole tastes just as great from the freezer as it does made the day of!
Can you freeze green bean casserole before baking?
This recipe for Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole was designed to make in advance, so you can take one thing off your list on Turkey Day! It freezes well for a few weeks in advance, and can also be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days ahead instead!
Why it works
This casserole works because it contains minimal dairy, helping it to not break when baked. You can cook it right from the freezer, with a bit longer bake time, and none of the fuss!
Can you use fresh green beans instead of frozen?
Yes! If using fresh, just be sure to trim them first. You may also want to keep an eye on the beans when boiling, and reduce the cook time if needed. They may take a bit less time than the frozen variety. Both will be briefly boiled, then transferred to an ice bath to retain their vibrant green color. Be sure to remove any excess liquid when adding to the sauce and assembling the casserole.
Can you use canned green beans
You can! Just be sure to use more of them, and drain them well. I would recommend 2-3 cans (such as Del Monte) for 1 lb fresh or frozen. You could use cut or French cut, according to your preference.
What goes into the casserole?
To make this easy and freezer friendly Green Bean Casserole, you'll need:
- 1 lb frozen (or fresh) petite green beans. You can use either! Just be sure to briefly cook them, and set them in an ice bath to cool (this will help them keep a bright green color). Remove all excess liquid before folding into the sauce for the casserole.
- 2 tbsp butter.
- An onion.
- Fresh button mushrooms, sliced thinly.
- A couple cloves of garlic.
- Some all-purpose flour, to help thicken the sauce.
- A can of chicken broth.
- Some half and half. This helps keep the dairy light and minimal, making this dish easier to freeze and reheat without breaking.
- Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, for some extra umami.
- French's fried onions/crispy onions. Without these- is it even a Green Bean Casserole?!
This casserole is a breeze to bake right away, or from the fridge or freezer!
Baking the Green Bean Casserole from frozen
To bake the casserole from frozen:
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take dish out of freezer while oven is preheating.
- Uncover and remove plastic wrap. Rewrap dish with new foil.
- Bake covered for 1 hour. Some dishes may retain cold more than others, so if it looks a bit firm, give it about 15 more minutes.
- Uncover, and stir well.
- Top with even layer of crispy onions and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered, until onions are browned, and casserole is bubbly.
Baking the Green Bean Casserole right away
To bake the casserole right away, or from the fridge:
If you are not freezing the casserole- bake for 20 minutes covered, and 25-30 uncovered. If it was previously refrigerated, leave it out while the oven preheats.
Making the casserole for a crowd
If you want to double this recipe, you could expand to a larger baking dish, or make 2 and freeze/store them separately. If making a double batch and cooking from frozen- you'll want to adjust the cooking time. Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes covered and 40 minutes uncovered. A bigger batch frozen would benefit from sitting on the counter for about an hour prior to baking as well.
How long does green bean casserole last in fridge?
You can prepare this Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole up to 3 days ahead of time for storing in the refrigerator. Once it has been baked, it will last up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container, too!
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Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole
- 9"x6" (roughly) sized metal or ceramic baking dish
- plastic wrap
- aluminum foil
- 1 lb frozen (or fresh) petite green beans, trim ends, if fresh
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 oz fresh button mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose Flour
- 1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
- ½ cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 ½ cups French fried onions/ crispy onions
- Prepping the Casserole: 1. In a medium saucepan, boil green beans for 4-5 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath to cool. Drain well, removing any excess liquid. 2. In a deep sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. 3. Add onions, and season with salt and pepper. 4. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes. 5. Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally 5-6 minutes. 6. Add garlic until just fragrant, 1 minute. 7. Add flour and stir well. 8. Whisk in chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and half and half. 9. Cook 6-8 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally. 10. Fold in drained green beans, and cook 2-3 minutes more. 11. Transfer to greased ceramic or metal baking dish (about 9”x6”), and allow to cool completely to room temperature. 12. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil. 13. Freeze for up to 2 weeks.To Bake: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take dish out of freezer while oven is preheating. 2. Uncover and remove plastic wrap. Rewrap dish with new foil. 3. Bake covered for 1 hour. 4. Uncover, and stir well. 5. Top with even layer of crispy onions and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered, until onions are browned, and casserole is bubbly. If Cooking right away: 1. If you are not freezing the casserole- bake for 20 minutes covered, and 25-30 uncovered.
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