Bacon and Cheddar Green Bean Casserole

Bacon and Cheddar Green Bean Casserole

The green bean casserole is a classic holiday side dish, and you’ll find it on many Thanksgiving menus in one form or another. Some never veer from the original preparation, made with condensed cream of mushroom soup and crispy fried onions. This bacon and cheddar version has that same simplicity and flavor, but with two additional ingredients: cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. 

If some of your family members are not fans of the quintessential green bean casserole, this one might be the game-changer. The fried bacon adds smoky flavor, and cheddar gives the casserole a savory, cheesy boost.

The casserole is versatile, too. If you prefer not to use cream of mushroom soup, feel free to use a different condensed soup. Cream of chicken soup or cream of celery are excellent options, or you might try making an alternative sauce to bring everything together. The crispy fried onions are classic, but breadcrumbs or extra cheese would work as well.

A green bean casserole is an excellent choice for a holiday meal or Sunday dinner. And it’s easy enough to make and serve any night of the week, all you need is a great casserole dish. Serve the casserole with a slice of pork or beef roast, chops, ribs, hamburger steaks, roast chicken, or a comforting meatloaf.

“Quick and easy recipe for a holiday meal. Biting into the bacon bits is a nice surprise and the cheddar adds great flavor to this dish. If you have fresh beans on hand, you can easily boil and use them instead of the canned beans.” —Tara Omidvar

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 6 ounces bacon, about 4 to 6 strips

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced, optional

  • 2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

  • 8 cups cut green beans, four 14.5-ounce cans, drained, or 1 1/2 pounds fresh, cooked

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 1/2 cups crispy fried onions

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F.

    ingredients for bacon and cheddar green bean casserole

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  2. Put the bacon in a large skillet or Dutch oven and place over medium-low heat; fry the bacon for about 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Drain on paper towels, crumble, and set aside.

    bacon in the dutch oven for green bean casserole with bacon and cheddar

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  3. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings from the pan and increase the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, if using, and cook for 1 minute longer.

    dutch oven with onions sauteeing for green bean casserole

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  4. Pour the cans of cream of mushroom soup into the pot along with the drained green beans, about half of the cheddar cheese, milk, and all but 2 tablespoons of the crumbled bacon. Taste and add about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, or to taste.

    dutch oven with green bean and bacon casserole filling

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  5. Transfer the green bean mixture to a lightly greased 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole.

    baking dish with bacon and cheddar green bean casserole filling

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  6. Top the casserole evenly with the remaining cheese, crumbled bacon, and fried onions.

    bacon and cheddar green bean casserole is topped with crispy french fried onions

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  7. Bake the green bean casserole for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the fried onions are golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

    baked cheddar and bacon green bean casserole with french fried onion topping

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray


  • To make the casserole with fresh green beans, trim 1 1/2 pounds of green beans and cut them into 2-inch lengths. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, add the green beans, and cook them for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender.
  • To make the casserole with frozen green beans, cook them following the package directions.

Recipe Variations

  • To make the bacon cheddar green bean casserole with mushrooms, cook 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms in the bacon drippings for about 6 minutes, or until their liquid has evaporated, then add the onions and proceed with the recipe.
  • Instead of crispy fried onions, finish the casserole with a topping of 1 1/2 cups of fresh breadcrumbs that have been tossed with 3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil and a dash of kosher salt. Bake as directed.
  • For a richer sauce, replace the milk with half-and-half or light cream.
  • For a gluten-free casserole, choose store-bought or homemade gluten-free cream of mushroom soup and skip the fried onions or use a gluten-free alternative for topping. And check the label on the cheese; pre-shredded cheese might contain gluten.

How to Store and Freeze Green Bean Casserole

  • Cover and refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours and eat within 3 to 4 days.
  • You can freeze cooked leftover green bean casserole, but the fried onion topping will not be as crisp when reheated. Transfer the leftover casserole to an airtight freezer container and freeze for up to 10 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat leftover (refrigerated or frozen and defrosted) green bean casserole, transfer it to a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

What can I use instead of mushroom soup in green bean casserole?

You can replace the cream of mushroom soup with the same amount of cream of celery or cream of chicken soup, or make about 3 1/2 to 4 cups of basic béchamel sauce or a seasoned medium white sauce.

What else can you top green bean casserole with?

Fresh breadcrumbs or panko crumbs make a tasty, crunchy topping for a green bean casserole. For each cup of breadcrumbs or panko, toss with a dash of salt and about 2 tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil. Or toss 1 1/2 cups of butter cracker crumbs with 3 tablespoons of melted butter.


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