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Anything I can make ahead, I will – and that includes classic, must-have holiday dishes like green bean casserole. This method is a total game-changer when it comes to Thanksgiving prep, letting you make that traditional holiday side dish up to 3 days in advance so you can check one thing off your list a little sooner.

Overhead view of a large rounded rectangular casserole dish holding a make-ahead green bean casserole.

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Green bean casserole is one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides, but I love it even more when I can get it out of the way early. Holidays or not, the more recipes I can cook ahead of time and have ready-to-go when I need them, the better. At Thanksgiving, though? Absolutely invaluable. Figuring out how to make a green bean casserole ahead of time totally saved my dinner.
  • It’s everything you love about a traditional green bean casserole, right down to the crispy, crunchy, French fried onions. How do you keep them crispy in the fridge, you ask? Well, the key is not to add the onion topping until literally the very, very end, that way they don’t have time to soak up the liquid from the green beans, milk, and cream of mushroom soup.

Chef’s Tips

  • Take the time to pat the green beans dry before adding them to the rest of the ingredients. It seems like a throwaway step, but it actually makes a big difference. If you don’t pat the green beans dry, that moisture will throw off the consistency of the soup, keeping it from really covering the green beans completely. That moisture will also make the mixture wet and kind of soggy as it sits in the fridge.
  • If you’re using a glass casserole dish, let it warm up a little after it comes out of the fridge, before you put it in the oven. Cold glass going into a hot oven can make the glass crack or shatter, which will absolutely ruin your green bean casserole (and maybe your whole dinner in general).
  • We used canned green beans because they’re easy and classic, but you can absolutely use fresh green beans instead. Just trim them and cook them, then let them cool completely before patting them dry and stirring them into the other ingredients.
  • Feel free to add chopped pieces of bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, or any other ingredients that make up your family’s favorite version of green bean casserole.
Close up, overhead view of an angled casserole dish holding a make ahead green bean casserole.

Holiday Recipes You’ll Be Thankful For

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik

Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour
Save yourself a lot of time and worry with this creamy tender, crispy green bean casserole, made up to 3 days ahead of your holiday dinner.
8 servings


  • 9×13 casserole dish with lid or aluminum foil, or plastic wrap
  • silicone or rubber spatula
  • refrigerator
  • Oven


  • 1 10.5-ounce can cream of mushroom condensed soup or make your own
  • cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans cut green beans drained, rinsed, patted dry; or 4 cups cooked cut green beans, patted dry
  • 1 ⅓ cups French's® French Fried Onions divided


  • Add cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, green beans, and 1 cup fried onions directly to casserole dish. Stir ingredients together until thoroughly incorporated, then spread mixture out into one even layer covering entire bottom surface of casserole dish.
    Overhead view of an unbaked make ahead green bean casserole in a large casserole dish.
  • Cover dish tightly with lid, aluminum foil, or food-safe plastic wrap. Place covered dish in refrigerator up to 3 days ahead of cooking.
  • When ready to cook casserole, preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Remove casserole dish from refrigerator, uncover, and place dish directly in preheated oven. Bake 35 minutes.
  • Remove casserole dish from oven. Top casserole evenly with remaining ⅓ cup fried onions, then return casserole dish to oven and bake 5 minutes or until onion topping has browned.
  • Remove casserole from oven. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve as desired.
  • Fried Onions: I just think French’s fried onions are the best for green bean casseroles, but feel free to sub with any brand you like.
  • Freezer Option: Prepare the casserole as instructed. When ready to store it, press a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the casserole so it touches the food directly and covers it completely. Cover the casserole dish with its lid or with a tight layer of aluminum foil, then place the dish in the freezer. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw casserole in fridge overnight before baking.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 160calProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 1012mgPotassium: 349mgTotal Carbs: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gNet Carbs: 13gVitamin A: 33IUCalcium: 71mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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