Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions

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If I’m the one preparing an entire holiday meal, I really limit the number of fancy, time-consuming side dishes. Entertaining is supposed to be about the people, and I like to be able to enjoy my company – not be frenzied in the kitchen, or ready to pass out when they arrive.

If I’m serving roast turkey, it’s usually accompanied by creamy (and very simple) buttermilk-mashed potatoes, a savoury bread stuffing, and just one vegetable dish (plus gravy and cranberry sauce). However, this green bean casserole with crispy onions is one multi-step dish that almost always makes the cut. I could eat it on its own as a meal. Bubbly, creamy and topped with crispy golden fried onions, it’s one of my favourites at the holiday table.

Ingredients for Green Bean Casserole.

My version is from scratch – nary a canned soup nor a French’s onion in sight. It just tastes so much better to do it right.

The recipe has a few components – you start by frying flour-coated onion slices until crisp and golden. Then you make a buttery béchamel sauce, and blanch the green beans in boiling water.  You can assemble the casserole a day in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake (it’ll probably take a bit longer to heat through).  

Just store the crispy onions in a paper bag at room temperature so they don’t go soggy.

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Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions

A delicious green bean casserole with crispy fried onion topping (from scratch!).
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


For topping:

  • Peanut or canola oil for frying
  • ½ medium onion thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • salt

For Casserole

  • 2 lbs green beans trimmed
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ medium onion minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella optional
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To make topping:

  • Heat 1/2″ oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat (you’ll know it’s ready when you slide a test onion into the oil and it bubbles up vigorously). Toss onion with flour and, using a slotted spoon, slide half of them into the hot oil (always slide, never drop things into the oil). Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, watching closely. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle immediately with salt. Repeat with remaining onions.

To make casserole:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 1 1/2 litre/quart baking dish and set aside.
  • Cook the green beans until crisp-tender in a pot of salted boiling water, about 6 minutes. Plunge in an ice bath (big bowl of ice and water) to stop the cooking.
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes (reduce heat if browning occurs). Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly whisk in milk. Simmer 5-10 minutes, until mixture thickens. Whisk in sour cream, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain beans and transfer to prepared baking dish; add sauce and stir to combine. Top with Mozzarella if desired. Bake 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Top with crispy onions and bake 5 minutes more.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 621mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1788IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 302mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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