Green Bean Casserole is an American classic that is barely known in the UK. Using tinned mushroom soup as a casserole sauce isn’t a very British thing but you know what, America might well be on to something!
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The well know phrase might suggest that the UK and the US are two nations divided by a common language. I’d amend that to say the UK and US are two nations divided by the way that they use tinned soups.
This recipe essentially uses 3 ingredients. Tinned mushroom soup, green beans and crispy fried onions. Are there any classic British recipes that involve a tin of soup? I can’t think of any but let me know in the comments if you can!
A huge portion of the US makes a version of this dish every year on Thanksgiving. I’m sure many people make a lovely cream of mushroom soup from scratch but the vast majority are going to go the Campbell’s Soup route.
The crispy onions are also bought and used ready made but I couldn’t source anything terribly similar here in the UK. And so I just made my own. Its pretty easy!
This is a weird one I know. But I had to try it and you know what, I actually really like it!
How to Serve Green Bean Casserole
I’m not overly sure I’d want to eat this dish in it’s own right but it makes for a lovely crispy and creamy side to roast meats and everyday dinners.
It is equally great served in the middle of the table family style or served in individual portions. Just make sure to get some of that crispy onion topping in each portion.
If you are serving up rather than asking people to help themselves, do make sure that everyone gets a bit of the crunchy topping.
Make Green Bean Casserole into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether that’s a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
If you did want to make it the star of a vegetarian meal, you could do much worse that make some of my Buttermilk Biscuits or Roast Potatoes to eat with it. For a meatier affair and a UK/US mash up, try them on the side of my Roast Sirloin & Gravy. Don’t forget the Yorkshire Puddings!
Ingredients for Green Bean Casserole
Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup is the traditional ingredient. I think the original recipe was actually invented by Campbells as part of a marketing campaign in the 1950’s. But there are no soup police watching you so if there is another brand of mushroom soup that you prefer, I can’t see a problem with that.
What you do need to is make sure that the soup is the condensed kind. If it isn’t then simply use more soup in place of the milk.
I’ve left the type of onion here up to you. I used white but red onions or shallots would work equally well.
I have specified frozen beans in my recipe. It it more traditional to use canned but as I never have tinned beans and always have frozen, I used them. If you prefer canned, then go for it.
As for using fresh beans, you will need to boil or steam them first until they are fairly soft. You can then add them directly to the casserole.
I think that there are a multitude of ways that this recipe can be adapted. Firstly I’d like to add bacon. Just like with Boston Baked Beans, I think some smoked bacon lardons would provide a lovely smoky counter to the creamy sauce and salty onions.
The next element that I would consider changing is the soup. I don’t see why a cream of chicken or other creamy soup wouldn’t work. Actually I really like the idea of making this with the bacon lardons and chicken soup. A little cheese stirred through would also be a nice touch.
Lastly, you could also make this recipe with another vegetable. Take the basic sauce premise and use cauliflower, broccoli or maybe even sprouts.
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
The recipe is suitable for vegetarians without modification.
To make the recipe suitable for vegans, the soup will need to be substituted for a vegan variety. If you are not able to source a tin, you can made one. This recipe from Chris at Thinly Spread would be perfect.
You would need to treat the soup as a substitute for both the condensed soup element and the milk. The remaining ingredients are all suitable for vegans.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This casserole recipe is nut and egg free.
Gluten Free: You must look carefully at the ingredients on the soup you use. Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom contains gluten. Other tinned mushroom soups do not.
You will also need to use a gluten free soy sauce or substitute the soy with the same amount of sea salt flakes.
Dairy Free: Follow the instructions above to make the recipe suitable for vegans.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Green Bean Casserole
Trust me when I say that you want to use the largest frying pan that you have to fry the onions. The quantity of them looks like you could get away with a much smaller pan but you need the extra room to keep them separated from each other.
I used my silicone tongs to both stir the coated onions around the pan and to keep picking bits up and shaking them free of other onions to separate them. If you don’t have any tongs, I would use two spatulas to help tear them apart.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
The casserole can be prepared a couple of days in advance and set aside in the fridge until it is ready to be cooked. It can equally be covered and popped in the freezer at this point. You can freeze the crispy onions for the topping separately. Thaw fully before cooking as normal.
Leftover Green Bean Casserole
Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge and rolled out as a side for any other dinners. It is also great to be frozen in individual portions.
I tend to simply microwave my leftovers but this does leave the crispy onion topping a little less crispy. It can otherwise be decanted into individual casserole dishes and reheated in the oven.
Green Bean Casserole Tips
I know it seems weird making onions crispy and then coating them in soup. But the crispiness is oddly retained in a strange way.
If you are struggling to tame the green beans into the casserole dish, just snap any super long ones in half.
Do make sure to watch the crispy onions whilst they are cooking. They will need constantly poking, prodding and separating else you will end up with one large crispy onion rather than lots of little ones!
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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More Simple Side Dishes
Green Bean Casserole Recipe
- 100 g Onion
- 3 tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch)
- 1 tsp Garlic Salt
- 5 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 150 g Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce (Gluten free if required)
- 150 ml Skimmed Milk
- 150 g Frozen Green Beans (String Beans)
- Preheat the oven to 220c or equivalent. .
- Finely slice 100g Onion into half-moons and toss the rings in 3 tbsp Cornflour and 1 tsp Garlic Salt.
- Heat 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil in a large frying pan.
- Shake the excess cornflour off the onion rings and add them to the hot oil.
- Fry the onions until crispy and golden brown. You will need to keep turning and moving them around the pan and separating the pieces of onion from each other. Remove from the pan and leave to drain on some kitchen roll.
- Add 150g Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, 2 tsp Soy Sauce and 150 ml Skimmed Milk to a casserole dish.
- Mix together and add 150 g Frozen Green Beans and two thirds of the crispy onions.
- Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Take the casserole out of the oven and sprinkle the remaining crispy onions over the top.
- Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.