Paula Deen's Southern Green Bean Casserole recipe is the ultimate holiday side dish with fresh green beans, sauteed mushrooms, and onions in a creamy sauce topped with crispy French-fried onion rings and gooey cheddar cheese.
Want to Save This Recipe?
Enter your email & I'll send it to your inbox. Plus, you'll get more FREE recipes and tips from my Midwestern kitchen to yours!
By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Midwestern HomeLife
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.
It's the best green bean casserole recipe I've ever had. And here in Minnesota, where casseroles are a food group, that's saying something.
This classic holiday side dish recipe is a bit of an amped-up version of the usual green bean casserole recipe with the addition of sauteed mushrooms and onions and a layer of gooey melted cheese on top!
This cheesy green bean casserole is an easy recipe you can make with fresh, frozen, or canned green beans. And to save on holiday prep time, you can make it ahead and refrigerate or freeze it.
My Version of Paula Deen Green Bean Casserole
I tried the original recipe for Paula Deen green bean casserole exactly the way she makes it. It was DELISH! Still, I had to change a few things to make it more like the green bean casserole I grew up with.
So here's how I changed her recipe:
- She puts all the fried onions in the green bean mixture. Since the crispy onion topping is one of my favorite things about green bean casserole, I put half in the casserole and half on top.
- The cheese on top was a new, but welcome, addition, and I thought it would taste great in the creamy casserole mixture, too. So, like the fried onions, I put some in and some on the casserole.
- I added more mushrooms because I like the meaty texture it adds to this delicious side dish.
If you'd like to follow Paula Deen's exact recipe, you can find it here at pauladeen.com.
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
- Homemade green bean casserole recipe with simple ingredients
- Easy make-ahead side dish idea for holidays and family dinners
- Classic green bean casserole recipe with tender green beans in creamy mushroom sauce
Please see the recipe card for the full list of ingredients.
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 french-fried onions add crunch, salt, and flavor.
Fresh mushrooms. Sauteed sliced fresh mushrooms add earthiness and taste delicious with green beans. You can use white button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms.
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. You can also use water.
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese adds flavor and gooeyness to the casserole and topping.
Black pepper and garlic powder. Paula Deen's recipe calls for house seasoning, which is salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. There's plenty of salt in the onion rings and soup, so I don't add any. Feel free to go heavier or lighter on the garlic.
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.
Step 1: In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Add green beans and boil for 10 minutes for soft green beans or 20 minutes for very soft green beans (almost like canned green beans). Drain. If desired, reserve the cooking broth for your stuffing or other recipes.
Step 2: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions and mushrooms.
Sautee for 1-2 minutes. Add the cream of mushroom soup and stir well.
Step 3: Add the cooked green beans, garlic powder, black pepper, ½ of the crispy onions, and ½ of the cheese to the mushroom mixture. Stir until combined.
Step 4: Pour the green bean mixture into a greased 1 ½ quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbling.
Step 5: Add the rest of the shredded cheddar cheese and french fried onion rings on top.
Step 6: Bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Serve and enjoy!
- 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.
- Try Paula Deen's technique and put all of the fried onions in the casserole and all of the cheese on top. See how she does it in her post here.
Use fresh green beans, blanche for 3-5 mins, then ice bath to stop cooking. Drain well to avoid extra moisture. Skip fried onions if making ahead. Serve right after baking to prevent soggy toppings from steam.
Yes. Prepare green bean casserole, but do not bake or add toppings. Cool. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1-3 days. Wrap in plastic then foil, freeze up to 2 weeks, thaw in fridge 24-36 hours.
Before baking, let it sit at room temp for 30 mins. Bake until hot and bubbly, adding 10-15 more mins, if necessary. Add the toppings and bake. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.
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.
Rest at room temp 30 mins. Stir, cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 15-35 mins until hot. Add more fried onions on top, bake uncovered 5 more mins until lightly browned and internal temp reaches 165.
For fresh green beans, boil 3-5 mins for crisp-tender, then ice bath to stop cooking. Boil 10-20 mins for soft to very soft (like canned).
Boil frozen green beans 3-10 mins to desired softness. They become softer than fresh when boiled.
More Easy Side Dish Recipes
Let's Stay in Touch
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.