Do You Cover Green Bean Casserole While Cooking?

Since I’ve been making green bean casserole for as long as I can remember, I’ve never questioned whether the casserole should be covered while cooking. But, now that I think about it, what is the right way to cook a green bean casserole?

Green Bean Casserole should be baked uncovered at 350 °F for 30 to 35 minutes. Cooking it uncovered can lead to a mushy dish, and the crispy fried onions will not retain their crispiness. However, it should be covered if being reheated.

The recipes of French’s, who makes crispy fried onion rings, of Campbell’s, who makes cream of mushroom soup, of Reynold’s, who makes Reynolds Wrap Pan Lining Paper, and Betty Crocker, who has been providing us with recipes and cooking tips for many years, all agree that the correct way to bake green bean casserole is uncovered at 350℉ for 30 minutes, then top with more onion rings and bake an additional 5 minutes.

The rest of the article will cover the details of cooking green bean casserole properly and answer a few common questions.

Cooking Methods

Cooking Green Bean Casserole On a Stovetop

A green bean casserole can be cooked on the stovetop. In this case, the casserole will need to be cooked over medium to low heat for approximately 30 minutes and stirred often to prevent sticking and burning. When it is done, just turn off the heat, add the fried onion rings, put a lid on the pot, and let the pot sit for about 5 minutes covered before serving to heat the onion rings.

Cooking a Green Bean Casserole In the Microwave

A green bean casserole can be cooked in a microwave by placing all the ingredients in a microwave-proof dish and microwaving on high for about 10 minutes. Then add the onion rings, cover, and let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the onion rings to heat.

Can I Cook a Green Bean Casserole In A Slow Cooker?

You can cook a green bean casserole in a slow cooker by combining all ingredients in a slow cooker and cooking on low for 4 to 5 hours. Add the onion rings during the last 30 minutes of cooking time. 

There is even a recipe for slow cooker green bean casserole on the Betty Crocker website that adds some additional ingredients, and that looks really good.

How Can I Reheat Green Bean Casserole?


The best ways to reheat green bean casserole are:

  • In an oven: Cover the casserole with foil and bake at 350℉ for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil, add more onion rings, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • In a microwave: Be sure the casserole is in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for about 5 minutes.

Can I Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead Of Time?

Green bean casserole can be made ahead of time. Here are a couple of options:

  • The day before: Make green bean casserole the day before it will be served, cover, and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Just prepare the casserole up to the baking process and then cover and refrigerate. When you are ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the refrigerator, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes because the casserole will be cold and will require extra baking time, top it with fried onion rings, and bake for 5 more minutes.
  • Weeks or months before: Make green bean casserole up to 3 months in advance and freeze until the day before it will be served. Just prepare the casserole up to the baking process, wrap well, and then freeze.  Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator, bake for 35 to 40 minutes, top with fried onion rings, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. If you forget to take the casserole out of the freezer the day before, add an extra 15 minutes to the baking time.

Can I Double the Green Bean Casserole Recipe?

The green bean casserole recipe can be doubled. Bake it in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and increase the baking time by about 40 minutes. The green bean casserole recipe doubles well and can feed up to 12 people, which makes it a good dish to take to a potluck dinner.

Can I Use Fresh Green Beans Instead Of Canned?

If you have fresh green beans instead of canned, they will make a delicious substitute for canned green beans in a green bean casserole.  I would drop the fresh green beans into boiling water and cook them for approximately 7 minutes, drain them well, and add them to the other ingredients of the green bean casserole.

If those fresh green beans happen to be from your own garden and they are picked right before cooking them, they will contain the maximum amount of nutrients possible. Vegetables start losing nutrients immediately upon picking, and the faster you can cook them, the more nutrients are retained.

Can I Use Frozen Green Beans Instead of Canned?

If you want to make a green bean casserole and do not have any canned green beans, but you do have frozen green beans, can you use them in the casserole instead of canned? Frozen green beans are an excellent choice as a substitute for canned green beans in a green bean casserole. All you have to do is rinse the green beans well, drop them into boiling water, cook them for about 10 minutes, drain them with a strainer or colander, and add them to the other ingredients in the casserole and bake.

What Can I Use If I Am Out Of Crispy Fried Onion Rings?

There are several things you can use instead of crispy fried onion rings when making green bean casserole.

  • Bacon, fried until crispy and crumbled, makes a good substitute for crispy fried onion rings in green bean casserole.
  • Homemade onion rings are another great substitute for the crispy fried onion rings in green bean casserole.
  • Use chopped green onions instead of the onion rings.
  • Substitute toasted slivered almonds for the onion rings.
  • Use grated cheddar cheese in the casserole and on top. It may be necessary to bake more than 5 minutes after adding the topping of cheese. Just bake until the cheese topping is melted and bubbly.
Bacon makes a great fried onion substitute

What Can I Substitute For Cream Of Mushroom Soup?

There are several options to use as a substitute for canned cream of mushroom soup in a green bean casserole. 

  • Any cream soup such as cream of chicken or cream of celery.
  • Any homemade cream soup.
  • A basic white sauce.

Final Thoughts

I don’t know about you, but I only make green bean casserole for holidays. I really don’t know why, because it is very good. But, it is one of those dishes that seems to be part of our traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and that go well with turkey and dressing or ham, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato casserole. 

The original green bean casserole recipe was created in 1955 by the test kitchen manager for the Campbell Soup Company. Even though we think of green bean casserole as a special side dish for the holidays, it makes an excellent side dish at any time. 

And we can even turn it into a main dish by simply adding a cup of cooked chicken, half a cup of sliced mushrooms, and sprinkling about half a cup of grated cheese on top. Pair that with a fresh green salad and a loaf of crusty French bread, and it sounds like an excellent meal for any day of the year.

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

Jelly Grandma

For more, don’t miss Does Food Cook Faster Covered or Uncovered? (Lid on vs Off).

Anne James

Anne James has a wealth of experience in a wide array of interests and is an expert in quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, mixing drinks (bartending), and making jelly. Anne has a professional canning business, has been featured in the local newspaper as well as on the Hershey website, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is. With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass. Amazingly, she doesn’t need to reference many resources due to her vast wealth of experience. She IS the source. Anne wants nothing more than to pass on her extensive knowledge to the next generations, whether that be family or anyone visiting her website, her YouTube channel, or

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