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Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole made from scratch with fresh or frozen beans, a homemade cream sauce (no cream soup!), cheese, and topped with French’s French Fried Onions. This is the best Green Bean Casserole!

Green Bean Casserole is one of those classic, almost iconic recipes that is typically made as part of a traditional Thanksgiving spread in many homes across America. I grew up eating the version made with Campbell’s Condensed mushroom soup with French’s French Fried Onions, as I’m sure many of you did. As a kid, I could have been completely happy eating an entire plate full of green bean casserole and my Mom’s homemade rolls for Thanksgiving dinner! I’ve always loved it.

Green bean casserole 4

Despite the fact that the canned soup version is well-known and easy to make, I wanted to share a version of the green bean casserole with you that didn’t involve canned cream soup — an updated, more modern recipe of sorts. As I was developing my own recipe, I got inspiration from a couple of different sources. I really liked the idea Cook’s Country had to use fresh mushrooms and to cook the Green Bean Casserole in the slow cooker. Crock Pot recipes are so convenient, especially for hectic holiday meals! Ree, The Pioneer Woman had a great idea to incorporate cheese, and bacon into the casserole and both Ree and Alton Brown used panko bread crumbs for the crunchy topping instead of French’s French Fried Onions. 

Green bean casserole 3

Taking all of these ideas into consideration, I came up with my own version that I have made with both fresh green beans and frozen beans. It’s made in the crock pot, from scratch with a homemade cream sauce (I used my Cream Soup Substitute recipe), fresh mushrooms, and a little parmesan cheese. While I loved the idea of using panko bread crumbs, I wasn’t entirely ready to ditch French’s French Fried Onions altogether, so I decided to use a combination of panko bread crumbs with the french fried onions. The result of this slow cooker recipe is one of the best green bean casseroles I have ever had!

Green bean casserole 5

If you are serving this for Thanksgiving dinner, you can prep the sauce ahead of time so that you can quickly assemble the casserole and cook it in the crock pot on the day that you will need it. And as I mentioned, you can use fresh or frozen green beans, the only difference will be that you’ll need to adjust the cook time a bit.

Green bean casserole 6

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I invite you to try my version of classic Green Bean Casserole, without cream soup and made in the slow cooker for extra convenience! You’ll get 8-10+ servings from one batch. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole 2

Prep Time: 20mn
Cook Time: 5hr
Total Time: 5hr 20mn

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans or frozen french cut green beans
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and sliced
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated (optional)
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, + 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups French’s French Fried Onions, divided

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter over low heat. Whisk in 6 tablespoons flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup chicken broth, then 1 cup milk. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Season to taste with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup half and half, then set aside.
  2. In a non-stick skillet, sauté 8 ounces fresh mushrooms slowly so that they release all of their moisture. Season them with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme. When the mushrooms start to turn golden brown (after about 10 minutes), add them to the sauce from step 1. 
  3. Stir in 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese. 
  4. In a large bowl, toss either fresh or frozen green beans with the mushroom sauce. Spray a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the green bean mixture into the slow cooker and sprinkle 1/2 cup French’s French Fried Onions over the top.
  5. Fresh beans: cook on low for 4-6 hours Frozen beans: cook on low for 5-6 hours
  6. Shortly before serving, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add in 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs and cook until lightly toasted. Add in 1 cup French Fried Onions and cook for a minute longer. 
  7. When the green bean casserole is done cooking, transfer it to a serving dish. Sprinkle the french fried onion/panko bread crumb mixture over the top and serve.

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Comments (68)

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  1. How long/what temperature in conventional oven?

  2. How long/temp in conventional oven.?

  3. Jacqueline Spinning

    Just reading the first sentence, It is a much needed improvement from the original. I did not grow up on stuff like this. The first and only time I made it- the original way…the trash can was the consumer of that gross side dish.
    I’m gonna try this with fresh green beans. Thank for posting.

  4. Linda Cournoyer Brunetti

    Love the old way but looking forward to the new one

  5. I am so going to try this :) I have never really liked the “old” way. And with so many other dishes needing oven space – this sounds perfect and Delicious. I have tried many dishes from your site and they all have rocked. Keep up the great work.

  6. How awesome is this!? I actually had Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole on my editorial calendar for the end of this month! Maybe I’ll have to switch it out for something new. Yours looks awesome! :)

  7. Hmmmm – might have to try this! Thank you for sharing!! :))

  8. Hi Ashley! I love that you developed a slow cooker version of this casserole. Pinning and sharing on my page tomorrow. Thanks! Melissa

  9. I love this stuff, but I don’t like french fried onions. We always crush Townhouse crackers over the top. Yum!

  10. I love green bean casserole but hate Campbells green bean casserole I must try this!

  11. Yes I am not a bean eater but I love this casserole and cannot wait to try it without the canned soup

  12. Made these with a couple of changes….. FAN-FRICKING-TASTIC!!!!! Crock Pot was scraped clean!!!!

  13. Do I have to have the mushrooms? We are not mushroom fans in our house.

  14. I have the same question about the mushrooms. A few family members hate them, ugh!! Another question, do you have any suggestions on doubling the recipe?

  15. Heather Keeton Newlun

    Can I leave out the mushrooms? If I do…do I need to replace it with anything?

  16. I make mine in the crock pot every year and every one loves it

  17. No problem to make it in oven, use crock pot for roasts

  18. Hi there! This recipe looks delicious, but I have a question:?when do you put the bacon in? I might be missing it, but I didn’t see it anywhere in the instructions. Can’t wait to try!!

  19. Can you double this recipe???

  20. How many people does this recipe serve? May have missed it, but I didn’t see servings anywhere. Thank you

  21. Do you thaw the frozen green beans before mixing into the sauce?

  22. I plan on making this but was wondering if it would work with canned french cut green beans as long as I drain all the liquid? If so, should I cook it as long as the fresh green beans or shorter? Excited to try this recipe!

  23. I m on a really limited budget this year, so no real extras are going to be bought. I do have canned beans (I know, YUK). Do you think if I put this together on low, it would be ok with THE CANNED BEANS?! (Shudder) all the other ingredients I have and this sounds marvelous! Thanks for the great recipe!

  24. I pulled this recipe this AM..going to be serving it tomorrow…I have never had green been casserole…will let you know what everyone thinks..:) Thank you for all your great recipes!!

  25. Just put mine together to start cooking in the morning :) HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

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