Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with bacon made with just 8 basic ingredients. This remarkably simple recipe is easy to make but results in the richest, most delicious creamy green bean casserole for your holiday table. Make it during the holiday season for entertaining guests.

Large casserole dish of cheesy green bean casserole with chopped cooked bacon sprinkled on top and a napkin off to the side.

During the holidays, I make it a point to ask everyone I come into contact with about their family’s green bean casserole. Spare no details!

What can I say? I have a very odd, very deep-seated obsession with green beans. Guilty as charged. 

My family went with the classic green bean casserole when I was a kid: condensed cream of mushroom soup and French-fried onions.

A few years ago I took it upon myself to make a Healthy Green Bean Casserole recipe, using all fresh, unprocessed ingredients.

I then enhanced the OG recipe and made version 2.0 last year with my Mediterranean Green Bean Casserole, which includes goodies like sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. 

Well.

I recently learned that my partner and one of our close friends both grew up on cheesy green bean casserole.

CHEESE?! 

This was the first I had heard of a creamy cheesy green bean casserole, and I was instantly drawn to the concept like a fly to a bug zapper.

Horizontal photo of finished green bean casserole fresh out of the oven with a wooden spoon inside the casserole.

So here we are chit chatting all about the glory of this dish.

This cheesy green bean casserole recipe requires just 8 basic wholesome ingredients, none of which are canned cream of mushroom soup.

Of course, we’ve casted crispy bacon as a supporting role in the show, because we know how to party.

Let’s discuss those eight fresh ingredients to make this easy green bean casserole!

Ingredients for Cheesy Green Bean Casserole:

Fresh Green Beans: Fresh French green beans are the star of this cheese fest. You can find them prepackaged and pre-trimmed in the produce section of your grocery store. If you prefer canned green beans, you can use 4 (14-oz) cans of green beans instead of fresh. If you do so, you won’t need to pre-cook the green beans to make this casserole, as they will already be cooked.

Avocado Oil: We use avocado oil to coat the green beans so that they have a nice layer of flavor.

Bacon: Thick cut bacon gets cooked to crispy perfection and is added to the casserole. We use the bacon drippings to sauté the onion to maximize the bacon flavor.

Yellow Onion & Garlic: Onion is sauteed until it is nearly caramelized to enhance its flavor. The combination of onion and garlic adds a great depth of flavor to the casserole.

Full-Fat Canned Coconut Milk (or Cream): To keep the casserole lighter in dairy, I use full-fat canned coconut milk. This is ideal for folks who are lactose intolerant but can tolerate cheese. If you and your guests tolerate dairy just fine, swap out the canned coconut milk for 1 ⅔ cups of half & half or heavy cream.

Colby Jack Cheese: A great deal of cheese gets grated up and added to the creamy sauce to make it ultra cheesy. We also top the casserole with grated cheese because we’re very committed to this cheese concept. Use sharp cheddar cheese if you prefer it.

Sea Salt & Black Pepper: Kosher salt and black pepper are added to your personal taste. I sprinkle the green beans with salt and add salt to the sauce to ensure the casserole is well-seasoned.

Recipe Adaptations:

If you love mushrooms in your green bean casserole recipes, add 6 ounces of chopped mushrooms to the sauce mixture. I add them in with the onions to be sure they soften up completely. 

Incorporate fresh herbs or dried herbs into the sauce, such as parsley, oregano, thyme, etc.

Swap the fresh garlic for 2 teaspoons of garlic powder if you’d like.

Add grated parmesan cheese if you have it on hand.

Now that we’re familiar with the simple ingredients needed to make the best green bean casserole for your Thanksgiving dinner, let’s fashion it up!

How to Make Cheesy Green Bean Casserole:

Lightly coat a large casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside until ready to use.

Heat a large pot of water on the stove top and bring it to a full boil. Add the trimmed and chopped green beans. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the green beans have softened but are still slightly al dente. This cooking process ensures the green beans are nice and soft rather than overly crunchy.

Green beans cooking in a pot of water

Drain the green beans into a colander then pat them dry with a paper towel. Transfer drained green beans to the prepared baking dish then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Mix everything together until the green beans are lightly coated with oil and salt.

Green beans in a large casserole dish.

You can prepare the rest of the recipe while the green beans are cooking.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the bacon, flipping every 2 minutes, until much of the fat has rendered and the bacon reaches your desired level of crisp.

Transfer the bacon to a cutting board and allow it to cool. Once cool, chop the bacon into small bits.

Use the bacon fat to sauté the onion and cook the sauce. Keeping the bacon drippings on medium-high heat, add the chopped onions to the skillet. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Onions sautéing in a skillet

Add in the canned coconut milk and bring the mixture to a full boil. Allow the mixture to cook at a full boil, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Creamy sauce cooking in a skillet.

Stir in the grated cheese, most of the chopped bacon, the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Mix until the creamy sauce is thick and well-combined.

Creamy sauce with cheese and cooked bacon sprinkled on top

Note: If using cream instead of coconut milk, be sure to monitor the sauce closely so that it doesn’t come to an uncontrolled boil. You want to cook it to a gentle simmer and cook until thick, but don’t bring it to a boil.

Pour the creamy cheesy sauce mixture over the green beans and mix everything together until the beans are well-coated with sauce.

Green beans in a white casserole dish with creamy sauce poured on top.
Green beans coated with creamy sauce in a casserole dish.

Sprinkle the rest of the cheese (and any added cheese) over the saucy green beans and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden-brown and the sauce is bubbly.

Green beans coated with sauce in a casserole dish with grated cheddar cheese on top.

Remove the cheesy green bean casserole from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cooked bacon bits.

Serve alongside your main entrée and enjoy!

Store any leftover green bean casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Close up shot of cheesy green bean casserole with bacon in a casserole dish.

There you have it! A delicious cheesy, creamy green bean casserole that the whole family will love! This is the perfect side dish for cheese lovers and an easy way of getting kids to eat a vegetable at your holiday meal.

Enjoy these cheesy green beans at any upcoming holiday dinner!

If you’re looking for more easy recipes for healthy side dishes, check these out!

More Healthy Side Dish Recipes:

What’s in your family’s green bean casserole?! 😉

Large casserole dish of cheesy green bean casserole with chopped cooked bacon sprinkled on top and a napkin off to the side.

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

4.67 from 3 votes
Easy Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with crispy bacon is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or any gathering necessitating food! This rich and creamy vegetable side dish is a favorite for all!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs green beans cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 6 strips thick cut bacon
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 15-oz can full-fat canned coconut milk*
  • 6 ounces colby jack cheese grated**
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt divided
  • ¼ tsp black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot of water on the stove top and bring it to a full boil. Add the trimmed and chopped green beans. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the green beans have softened but are still slightly al dente. This cooking process ensures the green beans are nice and soft rather than overly crunchy.
    Green beans cooking in a pot of water
  • Drain the green beans into a colander then pat them dry with a paper towel. Transfer drained green beans to a large casserole dish then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Mix everything together until the green beans are lightly coated with oil and salt.
    Green beans in a large casserole dish.
  • You can prepare the rest of the recipe while the green beans are cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the bacon, flipping every 2 minutes, until much of the fat has rendered and the bacon reaches your desired level of crisp. Transfer the bacon to a cutting board and allow it to cool. Once cool, chop the bacon into small bits.
  • Use the bacon fat to sauté the onion and cook the sauce. Keeping the bacon drippings on medium-high heat, add the chopped onions to the skillet. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
    Onions sautéing in a skillet
  • Add in the canned coconut milk and bring the mixture to a full boil. Allow the mixture to cook at a full boil, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
    Creamy sauce cooking in a skillet.
  • Stir in the grated cheese, most of the chopped bacon, the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Mix until the creamy sauce is thick and well-combined.
    Creamy sauce with cheese and cooked bacon sprinkled on top
  • Note: If using cream instead of coconut milk, be sure to monitor the sauce closely so that it doesn’t come to an uncontrolled boil. You want to cook it to a gentle simmer and cook until thick, but don’t bring it to a boil.
  • Pour the creamy cheesy sauce mixture over the green beans and mix everything together until the beans are well-coated with sauce.
    Green beans in a white casserole dish with creamy sauce poured on top.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese (and any added cheese) over the saucy green beans and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden-brown and the sauce is bubbly.
    Green beans coated with sauce in a casserole dish with grated cheddar cheese on top.
  • Remove the cheesy green bean casserole from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cooked bacon bits. Serve alongside your main entrée and enjoy!
    Horizontal photo of finished green bean casserole fresh out of the oven with a wooden spoon inside the casserole.

Notes

*Replace the coconut milk with 2 cups of heavy cream plus 2 tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour or regular all-purpose flour.
**Use your favorite melting cheese such as cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella, gruyere, or gouda.
Store any leftover green bean casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 10) · Calories: 219kcal · Carbohydrates: 10g · Protein: 9g · Fat: 15g · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 5g
Author: Julia
Course: Side Dishes & Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheesy green bean casserole, green bean casserole no soup, green bean casserole recipes, green bean recipes, healthy side dishes, low-carb recipes, Thanksgiving side dishes
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

Read More

Need Help With Dinner?

View More Dinner Ideas
4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.