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green bean casserole a la French's--but from scratch

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My family has always done French's green bean casserole. Last year I was determined to move us away from canned (it calls for canned cream of mushroom soup). Unfortunately, the recipe I used, which was essentially green beans in bechamel, was not a winner. Any super tasty mushroomy recipes that don't require a can? TIA!

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  1. Canned cream of mushroom is really just like a bechamel with mushrooms you would make at home, except it has MSG. Not sure if you can really recreate it at home without MSG.

    I suppose you can try this TK recipe, which is not a bechamel but mushrooms and cream: http://www.thecookbookchronicles.com/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaykayen

      My family hates the one with mushroom soup, so I make this one, and they love it: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

    2. Have you seen Thomas Keller's Green Bean Casserole recipe?


      1. One thanksgiving I steamed fresh green beans, made a sauce from mushroom brie and more mushrooms with home made crispy onions on top. Before tasting, everyone was skeptical. But YUM!!!

        1. Fry bacon, add green beans and garlic, saute until golden, steam until tender, serve.

          1. May I suggest you make it anyhow? People tend to like their same old same old. It's a salt lick recipe--if whatever you make isn't salty it's never going to fly as a substitute.

            I'd suggest making a half recipe of a new one alongside the standard French's. Maybe when people can taste test they'll choose based on taste rather than what their mouth was watering for all year. I do this with desserts when everyone wants the same old pies, and the 'new' desserts I bring for my own fun always disappear first. But there are those that want their sliver of pumpkin pie, otherwise it just isn't Thanksgiving.

            This recipe looks good to me, actually, I think because it's so cheesy. The extra saltiness from the cheese might make people like it. They put onions and a squeeze of lemon in their bechamel.

            Or really freak everyone out and bring this as an appetizer!

            1. This is a recipe I used last week: http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.b... It went over very well.

                1. thank you so much everyone!!

                  1. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt created a tremendous recipe for homemade green bean casserole last year just in time for Thanksgiving. I used haricots verts and a mixture of white and brown (baby bella) button mushrooms but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. It was a huge hit.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: CDouglas

                      I made the J. Kenji Alt recipe this weekend for a pre-thanksgiving with friends. It was fantastic! Mine came out a little soupy, but I didn't mind as the mushroom gravy is really great. The trick is soy sauce and lemon jus in the sauce, for umami and lift.

                      Highly recommend.

                      1. re: yumyum

                        I am glad you enjoyed it.


                      2. re: CDouglas

                        Followed this recipe, and it was OUTSTANDING!!! Thank you so much CDouglas. It was just what I had hoped for. And a tremendous hit. A keeper for sure

                        1. re: noya

                          I was fortunate enough to be a diner for Thanksgiving this year and not a cook but I will be making this recipe later this holiday season.

                          I am glad you tried it and liked it.

                      3. Trader Joe's has their own version of the fried onions in the cardboard canister. It's a lot better than the supermarket brands. Has a green lid, and is only available around Thanksgiving, rarely any left by December.

                        1. This version of mine has even had Green Bean Casserole haters coming back for seconds:


                          1 pound package frozen whole green beans, thawed
                          6-8 fresh Shitake mushrooms
                          1-2 clusters Oyster mushrooms (or 1 cluster oyster mushrooms & 1 cluster Maitake mushrooms)
                          6-8 Cremini mushrooms
                          2-3 tablespoons butter
                          1 can regular condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (NOT low or no fat!)
                          ¾ cup of half-and-half or heavy cream
                          1/3 cup dry sherry
                          Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
                          1 can French’s Original French Fried Onions

                          Preheat oven to 350.
                          Rinse & trim mushrooms (discard shitake stems or save for stock); slice. In a skillet large enough to hold all ingredients, melt butter & sauté mushrooms until they release their liquid & are “just” starting to brown a little. Stir in soup, half-&-half or cream, & sherry. Stir & simmer gently until mixture thickens a little, season to taste with salt & pepper, & gently fold in thawed green beans & approximately 1/3 can of fried onions. Transfer mixture to a baking dish (around 2-3 quart size) & bake for 20 minutes or until heated through, then top with remaining fried onions & continue baking for another 10 minutes or until onion topping is toasted a bit.