Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon
Filed Under: Savory | Side Dish | Thanksgiving

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

November 2nd, 2023
4.88 from 8 votes
4.88 from 8 votes

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon is bursting with so many mouthwatering savory flavors, you'll never want to make regular green bean casserole again. Best of all, there's no canned condensed soup!

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The addition of cheese and bacon PLUS the fact that the extra-creamy sauce is homemade instead of that canned condensed stuff, AND we’re using fresher frozen green beans, all takes this casserole to a whole other level of deliciousness.
Texture: Creamy, crisp, crunchy, cheesy, satisfying.
Ease: Pretty darn easy, though it is a bit more work than if we were just using condensed milk and no bacon. You can refrigerate the unbaked, untopped casserole for a couple days if you want to make ahead for Thanksgiving.
Pros: So much more fun and tasty than regular green bean casserole.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? I make this casserole every holiday season.

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Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon is about to be everyone’s favorite addition to your Thanksgiving table.

a spoonful of Green Bean Casserole being removed from the baked dish to serve.

It’s officially one of the most delicious months of the year! Between November and December, I really can’t choose which has the best food.

Not just holiday food, but rich, hearty, soul-warming soups and stews and decadent candies, cookies, and pies. I love every minute of it.

Of course, November in the U.S. means Thanksgiving. This homemade Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon has become a staple Thanksgiving side dish for me.

This is a homemade green bean casserole recipe using fresh ingredients. The fact that there are no canned ingredients in this recipe really just brightens and intensifies all the natural flavors and elevates the entire dish.

The entire dish is so scrumptious, savory, creamy, crunchy, and magnificent. This classic holiday side dish is Thanksgiving perfection.

You might just love it so much, you’ll make this easy recipe again for Christmas!

the unbaked Green Bean Casserole in a baking dish, with bowls of cheese and fried onions behind, ready to top with cheese and onions and bake.

How to Make the BEST Green Bean Casserole Recipe

The Fried Onions

While the rest of this Green Bean Casserole Recipe are homemade, I could not find any easy alternatives to the fried onion topping. But what would green bean casserole at Thanksgiving be without those crispy fried onions?! You should be able to find French’s brand crispy fried onions at your local supermarket, but you can otherwise grab them online here

How to Make Tender Green Beans

  1. Blanch the fresh green beans in boiling water for about 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Strain into a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking.
  3. Drain, then proceed with the recipe. 

Can You Use Frozen Green Beans For Green Bean Casserole?

Yes! Just thaw before using.

Can You Add Mushrooms to This Green Bean Casserole?

Yes! You can add in 3/4 pound of bella or button mushrooms that have been cleaned and sliced. Add them in with the onions and proceed with the recipe as written.

Can You Use Heavy Cream Instead of Milk?

Sure, just note that you’ll definitely get a richer, thicker, and creamier texture!

Can You Use Almond Milk in this Green Bean Casserole?

Readers have reported success using unsweetened almond milk in this recipe. Just note that the final texture won’t be as rich and creamy.

Can You Double This Recipe?

Yes! Simply double all the ingredients and bake in two 9×13-inch baking pans.

Can You Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! Here’s how:

  1. Once the casserole is assembled but just before baking, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  2. Top with shredded cheese and fried onions before baking.
  3. If baking straight from the fridge, add a few minutes to the baking time.

If you need to make this Green Bean Casserole further ahead, I’ve included tips for freezing and baking from frozen just below.

Can You Freeze Green Bean Casserole?

Yes! Assemble the casserole in a heat-safe and freezer-safe pan, but don’t top with the shredded cheese and fried onions yet. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap. Cover with tin foil, label, and date. Freeze for up to 4 months.

To bake, remove plastic and foil. If using a glass pan, allow to defrost overnight in the fridge. Top with shredded cheese and fried onions before baking. Bake for about 45 minutes from frozen.

a hand sprinkling cheese across the Green Bean Casserole in its white ceramic casserole dish, before baking.

More Thanksgiving Recipes:

See my Thanksgiving Headquarters here for all my recipes!

4.88 from 8 votes

How to make
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon is bursting with so many mouthwatering savory flavors, you'll never want to make regular green bean casserole again. Best of all, there's no canned condensed soup!


  • 4 strips bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup French’s French Fried onions


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add the bacon. Cook, stirring often, until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon is beginning to crisp. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove the mixture to a paper towel-lined plate.

  3. Sprinkle the flour over the bacon drippings and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk, then add the sour cream and bacon mixture. Stir until the mixture has thickened to gravy consistency. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste.

  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add the green beans and cook until tender but still crisp and green, about 5 minutes. Drain immediately then shock in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and pat dry.

  5. In a large bowl combine the bacon mixture with the green beans, tossing to coat. Spread evenly among a greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the unbaked, untopped casserole for up to 2 days. Top with shredded cheese and fried onions. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Course : Side Dish
Cuisine : American
Keyword : green bean casserole, side dish, thanksgiving, thanksgiving side dish

This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated with new photos, recipe improvements, and additional baking tips. Photos by Patty Kraikittikun-Phuong.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Margaret Keesler — November 22, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    I’m in a pickle, can canned green beans be used,and how much?

    Thank You

    • #
      Emily — November 22, 2021 at 4:13 pm

      Hi Margaret, that should be fine (frozen is better if you can, just thaw before using), but I honestly can’t say how many cans you’d need as we haven’t tested that, just make sure the green beans equal 1 pound.

  2. #
    Terri A Johnson — November 21, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Temperature setting was left out.

    • #
      Emily — November 22, 2021 at 11:51 am

      Hi Terri! Do you mean the oven setting? “Preheat the oven to 350°F” is listed as the first sentence in the directions of the recipe 🙂 Please let me know if you’re looking for another temperature setting. Thanks!

  3. #
    Dawn — November 21, 2021 at 5:09 am

    This is a staple at our holiday meals every year. My boys fight over the leftovers. Thank you for all or your fabulous recipes

    • #
      Emily — November 22, 2021 at 3:20 pm

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for letting us know, Dawn 🙂

  4. #
    Amber Grimlsey — November 26, 2020 at 11:03 am

    I absolutely love this recipe. Been using it for yearss ever since I found it. It has literally been a godsend as I cannot eat regular green bean casserole due to a mushroom allergy. Thank you so much. My husband loves it better than the regulat one since I introduced him to it. I have found my family loves to use maple bacon instead of regular for the additional depth of bacon flavoring.

    • #
      Tessa — November 27, 2020 at 12:56 pm

      This makes me insanely happy! Thank you so much for the kind words, Amber!

  5. #
    Rebecca — November 12, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    it turned out great!!

    • #
      Tessa — November 13, 2020 at 11:43 am

      I’m so glad to hear that, Rebecca!

    • #
      Tessa — November 16, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      So glad to hear that!

  6. #
    Chrissy Munari — November 28, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    So good!!! Everyone always gushes about them when I make it. A little extra work but so worth it!

  7. #
    Mary Kelly — November 27, 2019 at 7:03 am

    I made this last year for Thanksgiving. I will be making it again this year with one major change. I will be doubling the recipe. It is so good!

  8. #
    Shira — December 17, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Holy Smokes!
    This is the verry best casserole EVER!

  9. #
    Tina Harper — December 17, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Delicious! I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and will make it again for Christmas. My family LOVES bacon so I will double the bacon for Christmas!

  10. #
    Chica — December 16, 2018 at 12:39 am

    Hi there, If using frozen green beans do I need to defrost them first or just mix them in straight out from the freezer? Thanks!

  11. #
    Karen C. — November 22, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    This is the best green bean casserole I have ever eaten….I did have to use canned green beans…..they were all out of fresh in Wal-mart and I had a crowd so added two more cans of green beans so added some( oh no) cream of mushroom soup but honestly it did not make it worse…..was kind of dry looking so that is why I added it… turned out wonderful!!!!! Everyone loved it including me……lol

  12. #
    Linda — November 21, 2018 at 10:56 am

    My family loves this recipe and requests it every Thanksgiving! Thanks so much!

  13. #
    Lara — November 20, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    1st time trying this recipe. I’m not baking this today, so I followed the “make ahead directions” a few hrs ago.

    I just reread the recipe…OH NO!!! I didn’t see the note below the recipe that states “fresh green beans should be boiled 3 min”. I can’t believe I missed this!

    Are the green beans going to be too crunchy now? Is there anything I can do to salvage my err? I supposed I can pick them all out, but that seems tedious.

    • #
      Tessa — November 21, 2018 at 11:02 am

      Hi Lara – I just updated the recipe to make that part more clear. So sorry you missed the note! I would suggest simply baking the casserole for longer until the green beans are tender 🙂

  14. #
    Karen — November 9, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Hello Tessa,
    Can I make this recipe a few days before, freeze it and bake it on Thanksgiving? (hoping for 1 less thing to do on the day)

  15. #
    Pam — November 23, 2017 at 11:16 am

    When I take it out of the refrigerator and put the onions and cheese on top, do I cook it covered or uncovered? Thanks

  16. #
    Cristina — November 22, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Do I have to u freeze green beans?

  17. #
    CARRIE A ZUROSKI — November 21, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Has anyone used canned green beans for this recipe? If so, just follow the ounces recommendations?

  18. #
    Andi — November 20, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Can I make this a day or 2 in advance?

    • #
      Tessa — November 20, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      Hi Andi, please read the recipe: “At this point you can cover and refrigerate the unbaked, untopped casserole for up to 2 days.”

  19. #
    Charlene Fitzharris — November 3, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Can you use packaged bacon bits instead of fresh bacon?
    Recipe sounds so good. Will try for Thanksgiving.

  20. #
    Chica — December 13, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Hi! Has anyone tried this in a crockpot? If so, how long did you cook it for? Thanks.

  21. #
    Alyson — December 12, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Trying to make my sides ahead for Christmas. Do you think this could be frozen and cooked the day off? Or should I cook it now and then freeze and simply reheat the day off?

  22. #
    Lori — December 10, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    This was a big hit at Thanksgiving, very fresh tasting! Everyone is requesting this for Christmas also! The only thing I will do different is leave out some of the green beans because I prefer more creaminess in my casserole, but to each her own and I wouldn’t change anything else! Thanks a bunch!

  23. #
    Colleen — November 23, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I’m doing that. It’s in the fridge now. The directions say it will keep uncooked up to two days in refrigerator.

  24. #
    Whitner — November 23, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    This recipe sounds amazing! Do you think I would be able to pre-cook and assemble casserole tonight and just bake tomorrow? Or would that ruin everything? Thanks!!!!

  25. #
    Mark — November 22, 2016 at 6:12 pm


  26. #
    Mark — November 22, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    What anout canned green beans? Run the recipe the same?

  27. #
    Tom — November 21, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I second the question about the mushrooms?

  28. #
    Kristine — November 19, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Any recommendations on adding mushrooms to it?

  29. #
    Venessa B — November 15, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Can I make this in a crockpot? If so, would there be any differences?

  30. #
    Tanya — November 15, 2016 at 6:03 am

    Green Bean Casserole resurrected! I honestly considered not even serving green beans this year until I found your recipe. I’m not a fan of the condensed soup version, all though it’s often requested and I’m tired of boring green beans w/slivered almonds. So thanks for getting me super excited over GREEN BEANS again! Quick question, would heavy cream be an okay substitute for the whole milk, and if so should I use more or less? Thanks so much!

  31. #
    Kim — January 1, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I tried this for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a great hit. Thank you

  32. #
    Jessica — December 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    This is the BEST green bean casserole I have ever had! I made it for Thanksgiving and received so many compliments. I was even eating it reheated for days after the holiday. I forgot to save the recipe so I just spent the last 45 mins searching the internet for the exact recipe I used at Thanksgiving because I am going to make it again with our Christmas Prime Rib! So glad I found it again, thanks for sharing your recipe!

  33. #
    Tracey — November 26, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Just found this and made a trial batch before making the whole batch for Thanksgiving. So many people are tired of canned condensed soup. This recipe tastes phenomenal! The only thing I changed was using fresh trimmed haricot verts and just blanched them in hot water for 2 minutes then rinsed in cold water. I’d be leary about switching the cheese, unless it’s one that melts like cheddar. Fantastic! Thanks!

  34. #
    Judy — November 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    I’ve used almond milk plenty of times to make gb casserole and anytime I make a roux. It doesn’t thicken quite as fast as dairy milk but it still works great, and no one can ever tell! Just make sure you use UNSWEETENED plain. 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Good to know!

  35. #
    Leann — November 23, 2015 at 7:54 am

    How do you think this would work in a crock pot? I’m going to be tight on oven space so I was thinking of putting this in a crockpot on low for a couple hours and then about a half hour before serving top with cheese and sprinkle on the fried onions. I was also thinking to toast up the onions in a dry skillet before topping the green beans just to ensure they are warm and crisp.

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Sounds like it would work but I’ve never tried so I can’t be sure.

  36. #
    Tomas — November 21, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Can I add fresh cut mushrooms with the onion?

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      You can add in whatever you’d like!

  37. #
    Sarah — November 21, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Could this recipe be modified for a slow cooker? Traveling & limited oven space for Thanksgiving

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Sarah – I’m not sure as I’ve never tried that. See Leann’s comment below as she seems to have a good starting point for trying 🙂

  38. #
    Diane — December 1, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I tried this recipe-it was very good! Thank you for sharing 🙂 I will definitely be making it again on Christmas Eve.

  39. #
    Kelsi Tsukayama — November 30, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Made this last night for my Thanksgiving dinner party, it was a big hit. Used fresh green beans instead and omitted the cheese. Very flavorful and got a lot of compliments. Will definitely be making again.

  40. #
    Jay Gupta — November 27, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    This is a fantastic dish. A big hit at Thanksgiving among lifelong connoisseurs of the green bean casserole dish. I agree with what Tessa said above–casseroles are very forgiving when it comes to ingredient proportions. I went a little nuts on the sour cream, to good effect.

    • #
      Tessa — November 28, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Wonderful! Thanks for your comment.

  41. #
    Amber — November 26, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I would not substitute almond milk for whole. Almond milk will not act as a thickening agent and it will stay runny. Ever made pudding with almond milk? It never sets!

  42. #
    Adreine — November 26, 2014 at 10:19 am

    It sounds delicious. I am going to make this for Thanksgiving! I am curious if it will be ok to use Almond milk instead of whole milk?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • #
      Tessa — November 26, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      I haven’t tried but generally using almond milk in such a way will produce a more runny, thin result instead of bring thick and luscious as Amber mentioned. Since the recipe already has cheese and sour cream I would say to stick with whole milk (dairy) if possible for best results.

  43. #
    Patrice — November 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I made this last week for the Office Pot Luck. Every morsel was eaten by my co workers!! I’m going to make again for my family Thanksgiving. I do have a question though. The first time I made it there wasn’t very much fat left from the bacon. Can I add butter to the pan so the flour has something to mix with? Thank you! And I love your blog.

    • #
      Tessa — November 26, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Oh wonderful! Happy to hear that. Yes you can definitely add some butter if there’s not enough bacon grease. Happy Thanksgiving!

  44. #
    alex — November 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I need to double this. I’m feeding 12-15 people. Don’t want to use another recipe! Want the proportions right. Help!

    • #
      Tessa — November 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      You should be fine just doubling all the ingredients! Casseroles are pretty forgiving so there’s no special math involved there. You’ll probably need to use two 9×13 baking dishes since I’m guessing you don’t have a massive casserole dish.

  45. #
    kelle — November 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Jennifer, woud seem reasonable to just blanch them first (plop into boiling water for 1-2 minutes then plunge into an ice bath to stop cooking and then drain)

  46. #
    Jennifer — November 25, 2014 at 10:08 am

    This sounds delicious! I, too, would like to use fresh green beans. Any idea how to convert??

    • #
      Tessa — November 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      I would boil the fresh green beans until crisp tender, about 3 minutes, then rinse under cold water and let cool while you proceed with the recipe. Happy Thanksgiving!

  47. #
    Sandy @ RE — November 25, 2014 at 7:33 am

    So yummy! I can’t wait for the big day! 🙂

  48. #
    PsC — November 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I hate when people review recipes w their changes so I feel especially guilty asking the following: Can I substiture the bacon with pancetta & cheddar with mozzarella? The recipe as is sounds amazing, just trying to make it gel with my more Italian/rustic sides. Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      Of course! Make it your own 🙂

  49. #
    Daphne — November 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I love that there is no condensed cream soup in this recipe! I am anxious to try it!

  50. #
    Manon — November 18, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Hi ! If using fresh beans, do i have to cook them prior?? Thanks

    • #
      Tessa — November 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      I would boil the fresh green beans until crisp tender, about 3 minutes, then rinse under cold water and let cool while you proceed with the recipe.

  51. #
    Video song download — November 6, 2014 at 2:49 am

    All set to cook. I hope it would be that yummy as it is stated!

  52. #
    Greg — November 4, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Can I use French cut green beans in this recipe instead of regular green beans? The family is used to that and would like the substitution. Seems like a no-brainer, but thought that I would ask. Thanks!

  53. #
    Gaby — November 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I love that you added bacon to this, YUM!

  54. #
    Liz — November 3, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

  55. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — November 3, 2014 at 5:30 am

    YES to this being one of the most delicious months! SO. Pumped.
    Can you believe have never had green bean casserole? But, with no canned ingredients and BACON, I think yours is the best way to jump in! Pinned!

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