Paula Deen's Southern Green Bean Casserole recipe is the ultimate holiday side dish with fresh green beans, sauteed mushrooms and onions, french fried onions, and gooey cheddar cheese.
- Paula Deen's Green Bean Casserole -- Slightly Revised
- Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
- How to Cut Green Beans
- How Long Do You Boil Green Beans for Green Bean Casserole?
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- Storage & Freezing
- How to Reheat Leftover Green Bean Casserole
- How to Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time
- Recipe Variations
- Expert Tips
- Recipe FAQs
- Recipe Essentials
- More Delicious Recipes for the Holidays
- Let's Stay in Touch
- Paula Deen's Southern Green Bean Casserole
Is it your turn to make the green bean casserole for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner this year? Then you have to try Paula Deen's recipe for southern green bean casserole.
This classic holiday side dish recipe is a bit of an amped up version of the usual green bean casserole recipe. It has sauteed mushrooms and onions in the green bean mixture and a layer of melted cheddar cheese on top!
Paula Deen's Green Bean Casserole -- Slightly Revised
Paula Deen's original recipe calls for putting the fried onions in the casserole mixture and topping the casserole with shredded cheddar cheese. But we like it best with fried onions and cheese in AND on the casserole. Plus, I think every green bean casserole needs some crunchy texture on top. I also added more mushrooms.
This is the best green bean casserole recipe I've ever had.
You can make this cheesy green bean casserole with fresh, frozen, or canned green beans -- and I'll even show you how to cook your green beans to whatever consistency you love, from crisp-tender to super soft. You can also make it ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it.
If you'd like to follow her exact recipe, you can find it here at pauladeen.com.
Try these holiday side dishes next
- Apple Wild Rice Salad
- Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
- Cream Cheese Corn Casserole
- Maple Balsamic Glazed Carrots
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
Easy recipe you can make ahead of time
Family favorite holiday side dish everyone loves
Classic green bean casserole recipe with tender green beans in creamy mushroom sauce
Gooey melty cheese and crunchy fried onion topping
Please see the recipe card for the full list of ingredients.
Sliced fresh green beans. For the best texture and flavor, use fresh green beans in this casserole. Frozen green beans and canned green beans also work.
French fried onions. Crispy fried onions add crunch, salt, and flavor. Paula Deen folds them into the green bean mixture -- I put half in and half on the casserole.
Fresh mushrooms. Sauteed sliced fresh mushrooms add earthiness and taste delicious with green beans. You can use white button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms. I use 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms; the green bean casserole recipe Paula Deen posted calls for ½ cup.
Onions. Diced onions sauteed in butter are a great way to add flavor to any dish.
Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. You can use any "cream of" soup you love, or your own homemade cream of mushroom soup.
Chicken broth. Boiling the green beans in chicken broth adds rich and savory flavor.
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese adds flavor and gooeyness to the casserole and topping. Paula Deen's green bean casserole recipe puts all of the cheese on top; I put half in and half on the casserole.
Black pepper and garlic powder. Feel free to go heavier or lighter on the garlic. There's plenty of salt in the onion rings and soup, so I don't add any.
How to Cut Green Beans
Here's a quick and easy way to prepare green beans for cooking.
Line them up in a uniform pile on a cutting board. Push them up against the edge of your knife and cut the ends off. Turn them around, line up the other end against your knife edge, and cut the other ends off.
You really only need to remove the stem end, but it's picky work to line them up that way, so I trim both sides.
Chop the green beans to your desired size. You can cut them short or keep them long for Paula Deen's green bean casserole.
How Long Do You Boil Green Beans for Green Bean Casserole?
How long you boil the green beans depends on whether you are using fresh or frozen green beans and how soft or firm you like your green beans. You can even boil canned green beans. Paula Deen does it!
Fresh green beans
Crisp-tender green beans. If you like firmer, crisp-tender green beans in your green bean casserole, drop fresh beans into boiling chicken broth for 3-5 minutes, then immediately submerge them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking further.
Softer green beans. If you like softer green beans, boil them for 10 minutes for soft, fork-tender green beans and up to 20 minutes if you like them very soft, like canned green beans.
Frozen green beans
Frozen green beans will boil to a softer texture than fresh green beans. Boil them for 3 to 10 minutes, depending on how soft or crisp you like them.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups chicken broth to a boil.
Add the green beans and boil for 10 minutes for soft green beans or 20 minutes if you like your green beans with a softer texture (almost like canned green beans). Drain. If desired, reserve the cooking broth for your stuffing or other recipes.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions and mushrooms. Sautee for 1-2 minutes.
To the sauteed mushrooms and onions, add the cream of mushroom soup and stir well.
Add the cooked green beans, garlic powder, black pepper, ½ of the crispy onions, and ½ of the cheese. Stir until combined.
Pour the green bean mixture into a greased 1 ½ quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbling.
Add the rest of the shredded cheddar cheese and french fried onion rings. Bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Storage & Freezing
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freeze cooled leftovers tightly covered in plastic wrap and foil for 1-2 months.
How to Reheat Leftover Green Bean Casserole
If the casserole is frozen, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
- Let the casserole rest on the counter at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Stir everything together and cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 350 for 15-35 minutes (exact time will depend on how much you're warming up) until hot and bubbly.
- Add another layer of fried onions to the top and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes or until the onions are lightly browned.
- Leftovers should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
How to Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time
Green bean casserole is a great make ahead dish for the holidays to store in the refrigerator or freezer. Green bean casserole should be baked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
The best way to make green bean casserole up to a few days ahead of time is to assemble it up to the point of baking it and store it in the refrigerator.
- Cover the unbaked casserole (without toppings) in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1-3 days.
- Before baking, set the casserole out at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Bake as directed, adding another 10-15 minutes, if necessary, until it is hot and bubbly.
- Add the cheese and fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes.
The best option for freezing green bean casserole is to freeze it unbaked.
- Assemble the casserole up to the point of baking (without toppings).
- Let it cool in the refrigerator, then tightly cover it in plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 2 weeks.
- Thaw 24 to 36 hours in the refrigerator.
- Remove casserole from the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes.
- Bake as directed, adding 10-15 minutes of baking time as necessary, or until it is hot and bubbly.
- Add the cheese and fried onion toppings and bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Water chestnuts. Add a little crunch to the casserole by stirring in chopped or sliced water chestnuts.
Toppings. Try a mixture of melted butter and Panko or bread crumbs, crushed butter crackers, crispy bacon, or sliced almonds on top of the cheddar cheese.
Cheese. Instead of grated cheddar cheese, try Swiss, gruyere, or Parmesan cheese.
Soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Add even more earthy flavor to the mushroom mixture by adding a splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
Spices. Kick up the heat with a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
Cut large mushroom slices into small bite-sized pieces.
Heat the shredded cheese and fried onion topping just until the cheese melts. Any longer and the cheese can harden and the onions can burn.
To follow Paula Deen's technique for assembling her ultimate green bean casserole, put all of the fried onions in the casserole and all of the cheese on top. See how she does it on her post here.
There are a few things you can do to minimize the mush factor from setting into your green bean casserole.
1. Use fresh green beans and blanche them for 3-5 minutes in boiling water, then submerge them in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
2. Drain the green beans well to keep from introducing more liquid to the casserole.
3. Do not add the fried onions if you are making this ahead of time.
5. Serve your delicious green bean casserole shortly after you remove it from the oven. If it sits too long, the steam from the casserole can cause the fried onions on top to get soggy.
You can make an unbaked green bean casserole up to 2 weeks in advance and freeze it or a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it.
As an alternative to fried onions, you can top your green bean casserole with breadcrumbs or panko mixed with melted butter, crushed up crackers, chow mein noodles, bacon bits, corn chips, potato chips, sliced almonds, or crushed pretzels.
This Pyrex Easy Grab 8-inch square baking dish is one of my favorites in my cupboard. The handles make it super easy to grab things out of the oven without sticking my oven mitt in them and it comes with a handy lid.
I love a stainless steel colander with a solid base and handles. In this recipe, I use mine to clean the beans and drain the cooked beans. If you're out of storage space, it could also double as a cute fruit bowl :).
More Delicious Recipes for the Holidays
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Paula Deen's Southern Green Bean Casserole
- 2 cups green beans fresh, frozen, or canned (use 2 cans, drained)
- 3 cups chicken broth skip if using canned green beans
- 2 ½ tablespoons butter
- ½ cup diced onions
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup 1 small can
- 2.8 ounces french fried onions, divided About 1 ½ cups
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder more or less, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups chicken broth to a boil. Add the green beans and boil for 10 minutes. If you like your green beans with a softer texture (almost like canned green beans), boil the green beans for up to 20 minutes. If you are using canned green beans, you can skip this step.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions and mushrooms. Sautee for 1-2 minutes and remove the skillet from the heat.
- In the skillet or a large bowl, stir the cream of mushroom soup and sauteed mushrooms and onions together. Add the cooked green beans, garlic powder, black pepper, ½ of the crispy onions, and ½ of the cheese. Stir until combined.
- Pour the green bean mixture into a greased 1 ½ quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbling.
- Add the rest of the shredded cheddar cheese and french fried onions. Bake for 5 more minutes or just until the cheese is melted.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze them for up to 2 months.
- Refrigerated: Assemble the casserole up to the point of baking it (without toppings). Cover the unbaked casserole in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for 1-3 days. Before baking, set the casserole out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake as directed, adding another 10-15 minutes, if necessary, until it is hot and bubbly. Add the cheese and fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Frozen: Assemble the casserole up to the point of baking (without toppings). Let it cool in the refrigerator, then tightly cover in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw for 24 to 36 hours in the refrigerator. Before baking, let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes. Bake as directed, adding 10-15 minutes of baking time as necessary, or until it is hot and bubbly. Add the cheese and fried onion toppings and bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.
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