Our Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with bacon is just what you need for the holidays! Made from scratch (don’t worry, it’s easy), loaded with that classic GBC flavor + the addition of bacon and cheddar, and ready with just 15 minutes of prep!
Growing up, my family never really made green bean casserole for the holidays, but I’m in charge now. 😉
A big chunk of my family is on Team No Mushrooms Ever, so the classic green bean casserole recipe that everyone serves isn’t the best choice for us, but this Green Bean Casserole with Bacon? Yep. Everyone loves bacon.
We make this recipe from scratch – no cans of cream of mushroom soup needed! (Although, my homemade cream of mushroom soup is always delicious when recipes call for that stuff!)
Between the crispy bacon stirred into the cream green beans, the sprinkling of cheddar cheese over the top, and the crispy, salty fried onions, there are never any leftovers of this one. Make a double batch if you want to fight Uncle Frank for this one.
Oh, and I considered making some of my onion strings to top this recipe with, but then decided that I was being ridiculous and taking “homemade” way too far. I mean, those little cans of fried onions are divine. Why mess with perfection? But if you have the time and the energy, go for it!
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Bacon – We use regular or thick cut bacon (both work!) and chop it into small pieces before frying.
Green Beans – We’re using cans of French style green beans. You could use traditional cut green beans in a can as well, if you prefer those. We have not tested this recipe with fresh or frozen beans.
Milk & Flour – No cans of soup in this green bean casserole! I know that sounds scary, but trust me, this is better. You’ll make a creamy substitute from milk, flour, and a bit of bacon grease.
French Fried Onions – These add loads of flavor and crispy textures to the casserole and they’re so easy. I love that they are just ready to go with no preparation required. It makes them such an easy addition.
Cheddar – We prefer freshly grated cheddar for maximum meltability, but pre-shredded does work.
What We Love About BACON GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE:
- Ease: I love a nice, easy casserole recipe. This one doesn’t require a lot of work besides frying the bacon and it’s a huge hit at holiday meals.
- Tradition: This casserole is a classic Thanksgiving recipe! It’s a familiar and comforting dish that is enjoyed by millions, but updated with a nice twist!
- No Cans of Soup: I don’t mind those canned soups every now and then, but if I can easily make the recipe from scratch, I know it will taste better every time!
- Speed: This does need a bit of time in the oven, but you’ll only need about 15 minutes or less of hands on time. That’s a win for me!
How to Make Green Bean Casserole with Bacon:
Bacon: To get started you’ll need to fry up some bacon. Add the diced bacon to a large skillet and fry until crisp. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Don’t drain the grease, because we’ll need that to make the roux. Just sprinkle the flour right over the top of it all.
Roux: Stir the flour and bacon together until the flour has soaked up that bacon grease. Pour the milk into the pan and start whisking. Keep cooking over medium heat until the mixture thickens up and is nice and smooth and creamy. You’ve essentially just made cream of bacon soup here.
Combine: Drain the canned green beans and add them to a large mixing bowl. Pour the creamy bacon mixture in with the green beans and top with the salt, pepper, and half of the fried onions. Stir well to combine it all.
Top & Bake: To finish preparing the green bean casserole spread the mixture into a greased 9×9 baking dish and then top with the grated cheddar. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes before sprinkling the remaining French fried onions over the top and baking for an additional 5 minutes. Serve the casserole nice and hot.
Have leftovers? Try adding some to our leftover turkey casserole!
And if you enjoyed this recipe I think you’ll also love this air fryer green bean casserole recipe!
Can You Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time?
Like many other casserole recipes this green bean casserole can be prepared in advance! That makes it perfect for holidays when you’ve got a lot going on.
To make in advance, prepare the recipe per the instructions and then cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Bake as directed, uncovered, adding an extra 5-10 minutes to the bake time before adding the fried onions. .
Feed a Crowd
This recipe should serve 8 as a side dish. To double the recipe, you’ll want to double all of the ingredients and bake as directed in a 9×13 baking dish. The bake time should remain the same.
The casserole itself will take about 40 minutes to bake in the oven. You will need to fry the bacon first in a skillet which may take about 5 to 10 minutes or so.
Leftover green bean casserole can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days. You can reheat it in the oven or the microwave! The onions will not stay crispy if refrigerated but you can always add more later!
Yes, let it cool completely before transferring to a freezer safe container. It can be frozen for up to a couple of months. The onions will not stay crispy after freezing/thawing so you may need to add more before reheating if you want the crispy topping.
We have not tested this recipe using fresh or frozen green beans, but if I were going to try it, I would boil the green beans for a few minutes to soften them just a bit and warm them up before mixing with the other ingredients.
Green Bean Casserole with Bacon
- 4 slices bacon diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 4 14.5 ounce cans French style green beans drained
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup French fried onions divided
- 1 cup grated cheddar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the bacon to a large skillet over medium heat and fry until crisp.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring constanty, for one minute.
- Whisk in the flour until smooth and creamy.
- Whisk in the milk and continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a gravy.
- Add the drained green beans to a large mixing bowl and pour the bacon mixture over the top. Add salt, pepper, and half of the fried onions. Stir well to combine.
- Spread into a greased 9×9 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with cheddar.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining onions over the top of the casserole and continue baking for 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
This recipe was originally published October 2017. It was updated with new photos in October 2023. Original photo below.