What sets this Southern Green Bean Casserole apart is its 5 layers of irresistible taste! A layer of green beans is topped with a creamy mixture of sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. Then, add a layer of sliced Velveeta cheese (oh yeah!) and a layer of crushed Ritz crackers drizzled with melted butter!
With only 5 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of cook time, you can create a Southern Green Bean Casserole that elevates your Thanksgiving feast to the next delicious level. Its creamy, cheesy, and crunchy goodness will make it an unforgettable classic side dish that's as irresistible as it is easy to prepare.
Don't forget the Sweet Potato Casserole, too! They're the perfect side dishes for any holiday meal.
- Why You'll Love This Casserole
- Ingredients You'll Need
- Ingredient Substitutions and Additions
- Best Way to Crush Ritz Crackers
- How to Make Southern Green Bean Casserole
- Tips for Success
- What to Serve With Green Bean Casserole
- Make Ahead Directions
- How to Reheat Green Bean Casserole
- Recipe FAQs
- More Side Dishes to Try
Why You'll Love This Casserole
Well, I love this Southern Green Bean Casserole because my sister gave it to me, and I happen to think it's the best! This is the second recipe of hers that I've featured on my blog. She's a great cook, and I'm proud to share it with you!
As you probably know, when it comes to Thanksgiving, everyone anticipates the hearty feast that brings family and friends together. While the turkey often takes the spotlight, it's the delicious side dishes like this one that truly complete the holiday spread.
Ingredients You'll Need
Cut green beans - canned green beans are a convenient option that still delivers the classic taste and texture you're aiming for in this dish. I like the regular cut but you can use French style green beans if that's all you have.
Sour cream - adds a rich, creamy, and tangy flavor to the casserole's sauce.
Cream of mushroom soup - when mixed with sour cream, forms a creamy and flavorful sauce that coats every green bean! This sauce is what gives the casserole its signature comforting and indulgent flavor.
Velveeta cheese - serves as a star ingredient in a green bean casserole, adding a rich smooth texture and melty cheesy flavor! Instead of slicing the Velveeta cheese into cubes, it's cut into slices. This way, it melts into each and every nook and cranny!
Seasonings - garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. That's it! No need to add salt because the soup, cheese, and crackers already provide enough salt for this casserole.
Ritz Crackers and butter - A buttered Ritz cracker topping serves as the proverbial cherry on top of a green bean casserole! It's crunchy, buttery, salty goodness that bakes up golden brown. It's perfect!
Ingredient Substitutions and Additions
- You can use fresh blanched green beans instead of canned, or use frozen green beans. If you use frozen green beans, let them thaw first and drain off the excess moisture.
- Opt for a different type of cheese, such as cheddar cheese, if Velveeta isn't your preference.
- Instead of Ritz crackers, use corn flakes or French fried onions. The flavor will be totally different but will still work.
- Cream of celery soup or cream of chicken soup are good replacements if you don't like the flavor of mushrooms. Mushroom gravy is also a good choice if you just don't want to use the soup.
- Plain Greek yogurt is a great substitute for the sour cream.
- For an extra layer of flavor, consider adding sautéed mushrooms or crispy bacon bits to the casserole before baking.
- Add slivered almonds for added crunch!
Best Way to Crush Ritz Crackers
If you've been taking the Ritz crackers out of their container, putting them in a zip lock bag, and crushing them with a rolling pen....you've been doing way too many steps!
The easiest way to crush Ritz crackers is to simply hold the sleeve of crackers, don't open it, and use your fingers to press on the crackers, going up and down the sleeve until they're the right consistency for your preference. That's it!
How to Make Southern Green Bean Casserole
Be sure to follow the recipe card when making this recipe!
Layer 1 - spread drained green beans in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Layer 2 - combine the sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Spread on top of the green beans.
Layer 3 - add a layer of sliced Velveeta cheese.
Layer 4 - add crushed Ritz crackers.
Layer 5 - drizzle melted butter on top of crackers. Bake!
Tips for Success
- Make sure to drain the canned green beans thoroughly to prevent excess liquid in the casserole.
- Don't skip the buttered Ritz Cracker topping—it adds a rich buttery crunch that contrasts beautifully with the creaminess of the casserole.
- Taste test before baking and adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a subtle kick 😉
- Use leftover Ritz crackers to make my famous Cabbage Casserole!
What to Serve With Green Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole is the social butterfly of Thanksgiving sides. It mingles splendidly with roasted turkey, cozying up to mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, tangy cranberry sauce, and those buttery dinner rolls. Its creamy and savory nature makes it a must-have at your holiday table – it's like the best guest who gets along with everyone!
Make Ahead Directions
You can totally prep this casserole ahead of the big event! Here's how to do it in 3 easy steps:
- Assemble: Go ahead and layer those green beans, sauce, and cheese (don't add the cracker topping yet! We don't want it to get soggy.
- Cover and Refrigerate: Instead of baking it right away, cover your casserole tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then pop it in the fridge. It can chill out there for up to a day.
- Bake When Ready: When it's go-time, simply take the casserole out of the fridge. Now you can add the crackers and butter. Then, slide it into the preheated oven and bake according to the recipe card. You might need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time since it's going in cold.
How to Reheat Green Bean Casserole
If you happen to have leftovers (which might be rare given how quickly this casserole disappears), store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat green bean casserole in individual servings in the microwave or reheat the entire casserole in the oven until heated through. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Make sure the green beans are thoroughly drained of all liquid. You can also blot the green beans with a paper towel to ensure they are completely free of excess liquid.
While you can freeze it, the texture of the casserole may change due to the moisture content in the ingredients. If you choose to freeze it, avoid adding the topping until you're ready to bake. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Absolutely! Blanch fresh green beans until slightly tender before using them in the casserole. This might require a slightly longer baking time.
To maintain the crunchiness of the topping, add it just before baking. If you're concerned, you can also slightly pre-toast the Ritz crackers before crumbling them over the casserole.
More Side Dishes to Try
If you tried this recipe, please let me know by leaving a comment! I'd love to hear from you.
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Southern Green Bean Casserole
- 3 cans cut green beans, drained
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into 16 thin slices
- 1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed or crumbled About 20 crackers, but add more, if needed, to fill in any gaps.
- ½ cup melted butter
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9 x 9 inch pan or casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Spread the green beans in the pan.
- In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
- Spread sour cream mixture on top of the green beans.
- Evenly spread the sliced cheese on top.
- Evenly sprinkle the crushed crackers on top.
- Drizzle melted butter all over the crackers.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.