For Green Bean Casserole, Just Say NO!
to Canned Green Beans & Mushroom Soup
(Part 3 - The Onion Topping & Baking)

Just Say 'No'!
How to make a green bean casserole from scratch with fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms. Below are step-by-step photos showing how to make the fresh green bean casserole recipe so many cooks have made (and loved!) since 2006. It's an adaptation of a Cooks' Illustrated recipe so good I dubbed it the World's Best Green Bean Casserole.

To make the pages load faster, especially for those using their phones and other mobile devices from the kitchen, the recipe tips are in three sections:

~ Part 1: How to Cook the Green Beans ~
~ Part 2: How to Cook the Mushroom Sauce ~
~ Part 3: How to Mix the Topping & Bake the Casserole (you are here) ~

~ return to recipe for World's Best Green Bean Casserole ~
~ Printer Friendly Recipe ~

Gather the ingredients for the topping.TIP #12 - CANNED ONION RINGS So this is slightly controversial, not everyone agrees. But what "keeps" the World's Best Green Bean Casserole firmly entrenched in its "familiar comfort food" position is canned onion rings. I know, I know, read the ingredient label and you wonder if we can't do better. They are mixed with good bread, so we use fewer of them than the traditional version with canned beans and canned mushroom soup. But still.

Since 2006, I've used the canned onion rings. This year, just to see, I'm going to try a homemade topping. The recipe for the World's Best Green Bean Casserole includes several techniques used by other cooks.

So with that, is it okay to carry on? Let's.
Give it all (except the onions) a whizTIP #13 - WHIZ THE BREAD CRUMBS ETC BUT NOT THE CANNED ONION RINGS Break the bread into pieces, add the soft butter. Don't forget the salt and pepper, they're critical. Whiz the bread a few times, you want relatively large pieces, pieces that are obviously made from real bread, not a fine grain.

OH. The bread. I've used homemade bread, Whole Grain Bread and Light 'n' Fluffy Homemade Whole-Grain Bread & Buns but any good-tasting, whole-grain bread will do. In the photo, I've used an artisan olive and rosemary roll from the bakery, it was excellent. No white bread!
Stir together the bread crumbs and the  onionsTIP #14 - MIX THE TOPPING BUT DON'T PUT IT ONTO THE BEANS UNTIL YOU'RE READY TO BAKE THE CASSEROLE Now stir together the bread crumbs and the onion rings. What you do now depends on whether you're going to bake the casserole right away or whether you're going to bake it later.
Sprinkle the topping over the beansTO BAKE THE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE RIGHT AWAY Sprinkle the topping, well, you know, on top of the beans. Use your fingers to do this, it's easier to spread the topping evenly.

Bake uncovered at 425F for about 15 minutes. It doesn't take long, everything's cooked and is either warm or slightly warm, definitely not cold so you're just heating it through and crisping up and browning the topping.
Cover and refrigerateTO MAKE AHEAD AND BAKE LATER Cover the beans with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Keep the crumb topping separate from the casserole. If you put the topping on now, it would get all soggy. We don't want soggy! Refrigerate the topping mixture too.
Let the casserole warm to room temperatureTIP #15 - BEFORE BAKING, ALLOW TIME TO RETURN THE CASSEROLE TO ROOM TEMPERATURE It just makes sense that it takes longer to heat a dish that starts off cold than to heat a dish that starts off slightly warmer. This is especially important at Thanksgiving, when oven space is so coveted. That's why I always recommend bringing side dishes to room temperature well before they need to go in the oven.

A single or double batch in a shallow dish will take less time to warm to room temperature than a triple or quadruple batch in a deep casserole dish.

Once the casserole has warmed up, then take off the plastic wrap but do NOT put the topping on yet.
Then bake just the beansFor the moment, leave off the topping and bake just the beans, baking them until they're all hot and bubbly. Depending on the temperature of the bean mixture and the depth of the dish, this can take from 10 to 40 minutes.

Doesn't this look just delicious?!
Sprinkle the topping over the partially baked beansNow sprinkle the topping over the hot and bubbly beans and put back into the oven, still uncovered, for another 15 minutes.
World's Best Green Bean CasseroleFinally, it's time to dig in! Give yourself a big pat on the back for investing extra time and effort into making something that's really fresh and delicious. Look around you -- doesn't everyone agree? This is truly the World's Best Green Bean Casserole!

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2010

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This may seem silly but...the green beans in the your finished dish aren't broken into bite-sized pieces as directed in the green-bean section.

    Just something I noticed.

  2. Hi Parin -- Great attention to detail! I actually totally forgot to break up the green beans when I shot the photos with this last batch. I point that out in Part 1 that shows all the tips for cooking the beans. And it's an important step -- because the servings will go farther, because it's easier to spoon out onto plates. Thanks for pointing out my oversight, I love careful readers!

  3. Thanks for the helpful post! I would not have gotten this otherwise!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna