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Can You Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead Of Time And Freeze It?

Green bean casserole is a holiday favorite in many families, with no celebration being complete until that delicious, piping hot casserole hits the table.

In many households, side dishes like potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes baked with marshmallows, and assorted casseroles are more popular than the main course.

Some recipes are timeless, holiday favorites, and green bean casserole is among them.

Green Bean Casserole

When Was Green Bean Casserole Created?

It may seem like green bean casserole has been on our tables forever, and for many of us, that’s true. Green bean casserole got its start in the Campbell Soup test kitchen in 1955, by Dorcas Reilly.

Reilly was a supervisor who was tasked with creating a new recipe that would incorporate common items found in a 1950s kitchen and some products from Campbell’s, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

The products she needed to incorporate into the recipe were Campbell’s mushroom soup and green beans. The final recipe would appear in a feature in the Associated Press.

This was a big deal and Dorcas knew that she needed to put her culinary hat on and come up with a great recipe since it would be appearing in such a prestigious news outlet.

Choosing The Right Ingredients:

Dorcas Reilly and her team started experimenting with various ingredients to find the perfect blend of flavors, ensuring it was easy to prepare and used common products found in the pantry or refrigerator.

Some initial ingredients included celery salt and ham, but those items omitted in the final recipe.

The green bean casserole we all know and love consisted of only six ingredients, it could be prepared in one casserole dish and cooked for only 25 minutes.

The main ingredients were the cream of mushroom soup, green beans, and pre-packaged fried onions.

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Green Bean Casserole Ushers In A New Trends In Cooking:

Green Bean Casserole

Like the creation of green bean casserole, the 1950s were a creative time in our culinary evolution. Many new cooking trends were introduced during that time.

The 1950s were popular for home comforts like dinner parties, using many of the new appliances that hit the market, and gathering together to watch the antics of I Love Lucy!

According to, here are some of the trends that the 1950s brought us. It is interesting to see how many of these activities are still part of our lives.

Grilling Out:

It is hard to believe that before the 1950s, there weren’t many people grilling out unless you were in the south and Midwest regions of the country.

During that time, homes didn’t have a lot of outdoor space, but newer homes featured patios and expansive yards. As people moved outside in the warmer weather, they began grilling outdoors.

Potluck Dinners:

Potlucks became popular in the post-war years as people wanted to celebrate the end of the war. As people gathered together, each would decide on a dish to make and ladies’ magazines featured an array of recipes for potluck dinner gatherings.

Casseroles Made With Cream Soups:

Our green bean casserole is the perfect example of a popular dish that featured a cream soup. Many other cream soup-based dishes also showed up during this time on dinner menus. These included Tuna noodle casserole, funeral potatoes, cheesy chicken casserole, and many others recipes were created because these recipes were easy to make and the family loved them.

Cocktail Parties:

Having first made an entre during the roaring twenties, the 1950s revisited cocktail parties. Many were themed parties like tiki parties, due to the fact the U.S. began a fascination with everything Hawaiian. Each cocktail party featured a special cocktail, usually sweet, tropical drinks

Pineapple Dishes:

As mentioned, the U.S. began having a fascination with all things tropical, so many pineapple dishes came into popularity. We saw a pineapple upside-down cake, puddings, ice cream, and pineapple rings adorning the top of our baked hams. Many continue this tradition when making their holiday ham.

Cold “Salads”:

The salads of the 1950s were not the type of green vegetable salad that we enjoy today. It was often salads made with aspic, fruits and vegetables encased in gelatin. While they were trendy when they were first introduced, it is one trend that many were happy to see go away.

Frozen Dinners:

Frozen dinner changed the way we dine. In the 1950s, WWII was going on and food technologists had to find new ways of keeping our military fed.

They came up with frozen dinners. Food that previously was made from scratch was not pre-made and pre-portioned in foil trays, we still enjoy frozen dinners—and other frozen foods—today.

One thing we can take away from the culinary trends of the 1950s is that many of the foods created, changed our palette and there was no going back.

Imagine how different our lives would be without the gadgets that fill our cabinets and having no grills, frozen foods, or foods made with cream soups.

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Can Green Bean Casserole Be Made In Advance?

Green Bean Casserole

Just about anyone that has held a large get-together knows that oven space can be at a prime, so any foods that can be made in advance and heated at the last minute can be a lifesaver.

Unfortunately, many people are unaware that green bean casserole and many other popular side dishes can be made in advance.

With these easy-to-follow instructions, you can save time and energy leading up to your gathering, and will only take minutes to reheat.

Helpful Hints:

Several things could be done to help cooks on their journey in making green bean casserole. Here are some extra helpful hints.

Special Tips:

  • It is wise to always have an oven thermometer in your oven as many run hotter or cooler than the controls state.
  • Some people believe that putting their green beans in a cold water bath (water and ice cubes in a large bowl) will quickly stop the cooking process, and keep the beans crispy with their bright green color.

Alternative Ingredients To “Jazz” Up Green Bean Casserole:

Some of us enjoy traditional recipes just the way we remember them, but others want to put a new, exciting spin on a familiar dish. Here are some interesting options from

  1. Add a little heat to your green casserole by tossing it with harissa. Top them with slivered almonds.
  2. Almond pesto green beans are another treat the family is sure to enjoy. Toss blanched green beans with nutty basil pesto and almond blend. This dish doesn’t have to be served hot, it can be served at room temperature.
  3. Vegan-friendly lemony green beans are super easy to make and they can balance out some heavier dishes that may be served such as stuffing and mashed potatoes. A light squeeze of bright lemon juice and a light layer of almond breadcrumbs bring a new twist to a traditional recipe.
  4. Greek-style green beans are a different take on the traditional green bean casserole with additions like Roma tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon.
  5. Stovetop steam-fried green beans with mushrooms and get some extra flavor with the addition of shallots and chicken and turkey stock. These are super easy to make and taste delicious.

Is It Safe To Use Frozen Or Canned Green Beans Instead Of Fresh?

It is safe to use frozen or canned green beans, but remember, fresh is always best. It has the best, freshest flavor that is lost when canned and frozen products are used.

Also remember, that this recipe is for a make-ahead green bean casserole, which means the finished dish will be in the freezer for up to two weeks before it is eaten.

This means if you have used frozen green beans, they are being frozen for a second time, which may compromise the final dish.

How Long Can Green Bean Casserole Be Frozen?

To retain the best flavors possible, it is best to cook the green bean casserole within two weeks of making it. That is not to say that it won’t last long in the freezer, but the longer it freezes, the more you may lose some of the fresh flavors.

Can I Add The Onions To The Casserole Before It Is Frozen?

It is best not to add the prepared onions to the green bean casserole. When they are added and then frozen, they lose the crispness that we look for in the final recipe.

It is best to freeze the casserole without the onions and add them in the last 20 minutes of cooking to ensure they stay crispy and delicious.

Video of Green Bean Casserole Being Made:

If you are unsure how to make green bean casserole, we thought it may be helpful to include a Video. There are many videos you can find on the internet, but here is one we thought would be of interest.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Keep Green Bean Casserole From Getting Mushy?

Make sure your green bean casserole is not wet to prevent it from getting mushy. The addition of cornstarch or flour will help the topping to sit up on top and prevent it from sinking if your topping is soggy.

What Do You Serve With Green Bean Casserole?

Green bean casserole is typically served as a side dish. However you can have it as a main dish as well. It pairs extremely well with roasted chicken, baked salmon, rice or quinoa to make it a complete meal.

Can Green Bean Casserole Be Frozen?

Yes, green bean casserole can be frozen for upto 2 weeks. Once it is cooked properly, let it cool down to the room temperature and then wrap it in a plastic bag. You may preheat it at 350 F before serving it again.

Green Bean Casserole

How To Make Green Bean Casserole In Advance

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

If you follow the tutorial below, you will be able to prepare your green bean casserole in advance and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice. This recipe from the Food Network doesn’t use mushroom soup and features fewer prepared ingredients for a fresher, more pleasant taste.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds of trimmed green beans, halved crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • ½ pound of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups prepared fried onions


  • Colander
  • 3-quart baking dish
  • Knives
  • Spoon
  • Large cooking pot
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil


  1. Wash the green beans so they are free of any dirt or residue. Cut off each end and half crosswise.
  2. Bring a large pot to a boil. Add salt. Add the green beans and cook for about 10 minutes; they should be bright green and still crispy. Drain the green beans in a colander and pat dry with a paper towel to get rid of any moisture.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onions. Cook the onions in the butter for about eight minutes. Do not let the butter burn.
  4. Add mushrooms to the onion mixture and continue to cook. During the cooking process, the mushrooms will release extra water. You will need to cook them until the water has evaporated. This usually takes about 10 minutes.
  5. Add a pinch of salt to the onion and salt mixture, then sprinkle with the all-purpose flour and stir until the flour has been incorporated. This will take about 1 minute.
  6. Add the chicken broth, half-and-half, and ¾ teaspoon salt as well as several grinds of fresh pepper from a pepper mill. 
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a light simmer. Intermittently stir until the liquid reaches a thick consistency that will coat the back of a spoon, for about five minutes. 
  8. Remove the pot from the heat source and stir in the green beans. Stir, making sure they are coated in the sauce. Transfer all ingredients to a 3-quart baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray for easy cleanup.
  9. Remove the pot from the heat source and stir in the green beans. Stir, making sure they are coated in the sauce. Transfer all ingredients to a 3-quart baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray for easy cleanup.
  10. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and aluminum foil and discard. Cover the casserole dish with new foil and bake it for approximately 45 minutes until it is thoroughly warmed. After 45 minutes, uncover the green bean casserole, by now it should be hot and bubbly. Add the fried onions and continue to bake for about 20 minutes more.
  11. Your green bean casserole will be ready to eat!
Jess Smith

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Sunday 6th of August 2023

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