Pioneer Woman Green Bean Casserole Recipe | Isn’t?! Green bean casserole is holiday food. The truth is, green bean casserole is favorite holiday food. Thanksgiving is the well-known occasion. But Christmas? Easter? 4th of July? and in many cases Labor Day? Yes those too.

This is certainly Pioneer Woman’s holiday-worthy homemade green bean casserole recipe. It’s created from scratch without canned mushroom soup, the fact is, it’s made without mushrooms. Therefore, if someone inherited hates mushrooms, this is the recipe.

Pioneer Woman Green Bean Casserole Recipe


By the way and did I mention her casserole necessitates bacon? Yeah, bacon. (Note to Vegetarians.) And cheese too. The sauce is cheesy, PW’s recipe includes a “mac’n’cheese meets saving money bean casserole” vibe happening. The truth is, I kept wondering how this can taste with broccoli. Yeah. Broccoli. Wouldn’t that work well?

To become clear, I missed the texture contrast that mushrooms bring to the party, also the underlying umami that occurs with mushrooms while in the oh-such-a-favorite and life-changing World’s Best Green Bean Casserole. I did so incorporate the slightly fussy but very worthwhile tricks from that recipe: cooking the beans in many salt; shocking them in ice water to halt the cooking; drying the beans really, really properly with layers of paper towels.



  • 16 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons table salt
  • 2 – 3 pounds fresh green beans, stem ends snapped off, broken into two or three bite-size lengths (see TIPS)
  • Large bowl of ice water


  • 4 slices bacon (PW’s choice) or 6 ounces ham (my choice), cut into small pieces (see TIPS)
  • 1/2 a large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 ounces cheese (see TIPS)
  • 4 ounces pimento, drained and chopped


  1. 1/2 cup (or more or less, depending on the size of your pan) panko bread crumbs
  2. PREP Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. GREEN BEANS Bring water and salt to a boil. Drop the beans into the water, cover and cook for 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain beans into a colander, then immerse in the ice water until cool. Let drain. Spread beans in a single layer on two or three layers of thick paper towels, then pat dry with more paper towels.
  4. BACON or HAM & ONION In a large skillet, start cooking the bacon until it’s crispy or the ham until it begins to brown. Add the onion and garlic as soon as they are prepped. Cook until the onions are golden and the ham slightly crispy. If the skillet is a little dry, add a splash of water. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  5. CHEESY SAUCE In the same skillet, melt butter, then sprinkle flour over top. A tablespoon at a time, add the milk, stirring in each addition before adding another. This will take some time, but doing it carefully means no lumps in the sauce. Stir in salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir in cheese and pimento; stir until cheese melts.
  6. COMBINE Stir beans and bacon or ham and onion mixture into the sauce. Spread mixture in a two-quart casserole dish.
  7. TO BAKE RIGHT AWAY Sprinkle panko over top and bake for 30 – 45 minutes until mixture is bubbly and the panko has turned golden. If the panko doesn’t turn golden, put the casserole under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes.
  8. TO BAKE LATER Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for about 20 minutes (for a low-profile dish such as a quiche pan) to 45 minutes (for a deeper dish).
  9. TO HOLD Covered in foil, the casserole holds beautifully for at least an hour at 200F.


COOKING THE BEANS Salt is indeed essential to cooking beans and getting taste good. Sixteen cups water and 2 tablespoons salt would be the proportion learned while in the World’s Best Green Bean Casserole. My Dutch oven is smaller than that, so I recently grow it really full (leaving room with the beans) and add the salt and cook it available as one batch.

SNAPPING BEANS The beans is often snapped and cooked prior to time. It’s my job to snap two beans in the time. It helps you to line them up with the stem end, then just snap away.
HAM vs BACON Pioneer Woman’s recipe uses 4 slices of bacon. I substituted ham because I liked the thinking behind a somewhat thicker supper casserole.

SAUCE FOR 3LBS of BEANS? To my taste, this recipe has more sauce laptop or computer needs. Why I don’t know, this recipe and the World’s Best Green Bean Casserole both use two pounds of beans:3 cups liquid. Perhaps it’s because there are no mushroom to experience the sauce? Anyway, I’d recommend 3 pounds of beans here.

CHEESE Use any good melting cheese. Pioneer Woman uses 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar but recommends using Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack for lighter color. I used cotija, popular Mexican cheese.

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