Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

A completely fresh green bean casserole recipe that can be made-ahead and frozen for your Holiday feast. Once you try this fresh take on everyone’s favorite side dish, you’ll never go back to the canned type again! You can make this casserole gluten-free thanks to this smart recipe!

Have you been following along with our make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes? Today I wanted to share with you a make-ahead green bean casserole made with only the freshest ingredients.

The best part?

This one can be frozen and stored in your freezer for the big day.

I wanted to share my make-ahead meal preparation strategies for getting my Thanksgiving dinner on the table with less stress. As we all know, the more that we get done early, the more we can really enjoy the holiday with our family.

Have you been following along in our make-ahead series?

If not, here are the recipes I have created:

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Dish Ideas:

Buttery Dinner Rolls in the Bread Machine from MomAdvice.combuttery dinner rolls in the bread machine

Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe from MomAdvice.commake-ahead gravy recipe

Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauce from MomAdvice.commake ahead cranberry sauce

make-ahead mashed potatoes make-ahead mashed potatoes

make-ahead apple, sausage, and sage sourdough stuffing

Bacon, Apple, and Cornbread Stuffing from MomAdvice.commake-ahead bacon, apple, and cornbread gluten-free stuffing

How to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.comhow to decorate store-bought pies for the big day

Green Bean Casserole is one of those dishes that our family absolutely loves. I really wanted to create a dish thought that didn’t rely completely on canned food ingredients and instead upon fresh ones.

Most of us grew up on the casserole that contained canned mushrooms, green beans (frozen green beans, if you are fancy), and a can of french fried onions.

Since we have been adding more fresh dishes to our holiday menu, I thought I’d improve on this basic casserole.

In this green bean casserole recipe, fresh green beans and mushrooms are tossed in a delicious cream sauce.

The casserole is then finished with a blend of french fried onions with buttery panko. This, truly, makes the ultimate crunch topping.

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

How to Make This Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole Recipe

To prep this dish ahead, I purchased some inexpensive foil pans and to make sure that there is no leaking from the lid. If you are preparing right away, you can just add the bean mixture to a casserole dish instead.

On the lid, I jotted down the instructions for the big day.

The panko & onion topping was poured into a baggie and placed in my pantry so it doesn’t get soggy in the freezer.

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

The difference between the cream of mushroom soup canned casserole versus the fresh casserole is amazingly different.

The green beans are crispy, the mushroom cream sauce is rich and creamy, and the panko topping adds a crispy crunch.

Although this dish is far more time consuming than a canned casserole, one bite will tell you why it is worth the effort. As soon as I tasted my first bite, I knew that I would never go back to the canned casserole again.

Here are a few commonly asked questions about this make-ahead green bean casserole!

Where Can I Locate Panko in My Grocery Store?

Have you used panko before?

It really is one of my favorite items to bread and top dishes with.

Panko is a Japanese bread crumb that is light in texture and offers a coarse crumb texture to your breading.

Panko is made from wheat bread, but has a surprisingly golden color that looks just like that golden color and texture you love from your fried dishes.

While it may sound a little more exotic than our good old breadcrumbs, these are actually available at our local Walmart.

They often have these in two spots in the store- the Asian food section or the baking aisle.

I found the ones in the baking aisle were about twenty cents cheaper so I grabbed them over there. A box of these was about $2 so they are very inexpensive, but can add a lot of crunch to your dishes that you will soon become addicted to.

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

I’m Gluten-Free. Do You Have Suggestions On How to Make Green Bean Casserole Gluten-free?

Lucky for you, so am I! This make-ahead green bean casserole can be made gluten-free. Substitute the all purpose flour with this great cup-for-cup substitute.

I have linked to the most affordable flour option that I can because I know how expensive being gluten-free can be. If you use this link, it should take an additional 25% off your order.

They also make gluten-free panko (YAY!) and I found this shop had the best price on it for this dish.

I have found gluten-free french fried onions at our local ALDI. This ingredient is always available around the holidays so stock up when you see it!

Want to save even more on your holiday ingredients? I HIGHLY recommend checking out Rakuten because you will get an additional percentage back AND it grabs the coupons for you!

Do You Have Any Suggestions on What Type of Containers Work Well for Freezing My Dishes?

Honestly, I would suggest checking out your local dollar store and stocking upon their disposable foil containers for the holidays.

You can’t beat $1 per item, can you?

They are, admittedly, flimsy. If you are looking for something more durable, try this option.

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole
Recipe Type: Casserole
Author: Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10-12
A completely fresh green bean casserole that can be made-ahead for your Thanksgiving feast. Once you try this fresh take on this casserole, you’ll never go back to the canned type again!
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups canned fried onions (about 6 oz.)
  • 2 lbs green beans, ends trimmed and halved
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb sliced white button mushrooms
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  1. In a small bowl, mix together panko and fried onions with two tablespoons of olive oil (or melted butter). Set aside.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add two tablespoons of salt and the green beans. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, for about 6 minutes.
  3. Drain beans in colander and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Set aside.
  4. Add butter to your now-empty pot and melt over medium-high heat until foaming subsides.
  5. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper them.
  6. Add the garlic next. Make sure to watch this so that it doesn’t burn.
  7. Cook this mixture until mushrooms release moisture and liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes.
  8. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Add cream, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in even layer in 3 quart (or 13 x 9″) baking dish.
  10. Store your onion & panko topping in a baggie in your pantry. Freeze in a freezer-safe container or in a foil pan. Allow the casserole to thaw 1-3 days before your event, covered with plastic wrap.
  11. Heat the casserole in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes. Add the onion topping and bake for an additional 20 minutes. You want to bake this until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling on the edges.
Follow the instructions within the post to make this a gluten-free green bean casserole

Do you have any Thanksgiving meal planning strategies to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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Do you have any Thanksgiving meal planning strategies to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

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Published November 06, 2019 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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