The best fresh green bean casserole recipe for your Thanksgiving table

This crowd-pleasing green bean casserole recipe brings a delicious dose of veggies to your holiday meal.

Green Bean Casserole
(Image credit: Whole Foods)

Green bean casserole is one of those classic Thanksgiving menu additions that family will expect to see at your holiday table. But, most renditions of the recipe call for canned or frozen beans and processed frizzled onions that turn the dish into a mushy, buttery blend that hardly resembles a vegetable.

Enter: our favorite fresh green bean casserole recipe (which we first found via Whole Foods). It enlists fresh green beans, sauced with creamy mushroom soup and topped with crunchy baked onion rings. It has all the green bean casserole flavors we have come to know and love, but put together in a healthier way that preserves the freshness of the veggies involved.

Plus, it's pretty easy to whip up and bakes in just 30 minutes. 

Diet and nutritional information

This Whole Foods green bean casserole recipe will satisfy both vegetarian and high-fiber diets. That's thanks to its loads of veggies including, of course, green beans as well as real yellow onions (not the processed French fried onions typically used in this dish). 

It's a really hearty side with cream of mushroom soup and whole wheat breadcrumbs, so this is a great dish to bring if you're a vegetarian who will be passing on the turkey. See the full nutritional info below:

Per serving: 340 calories (60 from fat), 6g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 290mg sodium, 55g carbohydrates (12g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 17g protein.

Fresh green bean casserole ingredients

This healthy green bean casserole uses fresh vegetables like green beans and onions as well as pantry items including bread crumbs and cream of mushroom soup. Here's what you'll need to shop for: 

  • Canola spray oil
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound green beans, cut into (2-inch) pieces
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup (not condensed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

Fresh green bean casserole method

Since we're using fresh ingredients, this green bean casserole takes just a few more steps than throwing everything in a dish. You'll need to prepare the crunchy baked onion rings and cook the green beans first. From there, it's a cakewalk of tossing the casserole in the oven to bake for just 30 minutes. 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a large baking sheet and a 9x13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray; set both aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flours, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and cayenne.

3. Add onions and toss to coat. Pour buttermilk over onions and toss again to coat.

4. In a second large bowl, combine breadcrumbs and oil then add onions and toss gently to coat.

5. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Bake, gently tossing halfway through, until golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

7. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

8. Add green beans and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes; drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

9. Add soup, half of the onion rings, remaining salt and remaining pepper to the bowl with green beans and toss gently.

10. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, top with remaining onion rings and bake until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

For step-by-step help, watch this 4 minute how-to video:

How to store green bean casserole leftovers

Since many of us are attending smaller celebrations this year, there are bound to be more leftovers than usual. (Which we're totally fine with — that's the best part!) Storing cooked vegetable casseroles is easy, and they will last about four days in the fridge. 

You can mix it up by turning your green bean casserole into a pot pie or by making an egg hash with it. But if you still have leftovers when the four-day mark is approaching, you can freeze your casserole. The thing is, it will freeze and reheat best without the crunchy onion topping. 

To freeze, scrape off what you can of the crunchy onion rings. Cover and freeze the remaining green bean casserole for up to six months. To add some more crunch when you're ready to reheat it, whip up some more of the crispy baked onion rings in the oven and top when your casserole is about halfway heated through. Thanksgiving in July, anyone?