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Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Why wait for the holidays to enjoy homemade green bean casserole? This recipe includes a delicious, made-from-scratch sauce with bacon and shallots over frozen green beans that cook to perfection in the slow cooker. 

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole on black plate and fork served

If there ever was a holiday made for the slow cooker – it’s Thanksgiving! Besides the turkey, it’s a given you’ll find a heaping scoop of green bean casserole on my plate! This recipe is easy enough to prepare with a full menu during the holidays or just a weeknight gathering.

What’s To Love About This Recipe 

  • Many of us love to serve green bean casserole with our holiday favorites, but it can be tricky to time everything just right! The slow cooker lets you prepare some dishes earlier than others and you can “set it and forget it.” Your mental energy – and your oven! – will be freed up to focus on other dishes. 
  • Using the slow cooker for green bean casserole with frozen beans ensures even cooking all the way through. It also prevents overcooked or burnt edges that can happen in the oven.
  • With the slow cooker on your counter, you will use less energy than heating the oven for several hours. When you have lots to cook, this can really reduce your oven time!
  • Another bonus of the slow cooker is that it requires less monitoring. This is the perfect solution for busy days or when you have multiple dishes to prepare.
  • Lastly, my easy slow cooker green bean casserole utilizes a homemade sauce which is healthier than canned soups full of preservatives or nonessential ingredients. And, it’s super simple to make!

Ingredients Needed  

  • Green beans – For this slow cooker recipe, we’re going to get super specific with our green beans! Use frozen extra-fine green beans for the best flavor and texture. These will cook well in the slow cooker and still have a little crunch!
  • Bacon – Use thick-cut bacon for delicious bites of flavor. Chop it up finely to distribute it throughout the casserole. 
  • Shallot – Mince a shallot to add a slight sweetness to the green beans. 
  • Minced garlic – I used jarred minced garlic for convenience, but you could also finely mince fresh garlic cloves. 
  • Flour – Thicken the sauce with a bit of all-purpose flour. Gluten-free all-purpose flour also works as a substitute!
  • Chicken broth – Use your preferred chicken broth or bone broth.
  • Heavy cream – Don’t skimp on full-fat heavy cream! It replaces typical “cream of” soups and provides the richness necessary for a thick, creamy sauce.
  • Seasonings – Season the sauce with salt and homemade herb and garlic seasoning (or a store-bought version of the seasoning blend).
  • Parmesan cheese – Fresh parmesan (versus grated) yields the best results since it melts better into the sauce. However, you can also omit the cheese if you prefer.
  • French fried onions – Use classic crispy onions to top off the casserole. Nowadays, you can usually find a gluten-free version from several different brands as well!
Ingredients, frozen extra fine green beans, slices thick cut bacon chopped finely, 1 medium shallot minced (about 1/4 cup), 2 cloves minced garlic I used jarred 1/4 cup flour, 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon herb and garlic seasoning, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 6 oz french fried onions laid out on the counter

How To Make Green Bean Casserole In The Slow Cooker

  1. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Add frozen green beans to the slow cooker.
Cut green beans in a slow cooker bowl
  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté bacon until lightly browned (around 3-5 minutes).
  2. Add shallots and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until they just start to brown.
  3. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  1. Add flour evenly to the pan, and stir the sauce to coat the bacon, shallots, and garlic.
  2. Slowly add chicken broth while stirring until smooth.
  3. Let the mixture simmer for about 4-6 minutes until the sauce thickens enough to stick to a spoon.
  4. Add cream and seasonings and let the mixture continue to simmer for another 3-4 minutes until it is thick and heated through.
  1. Pour sauce over the green beans in the slow cooker and toss lightly to evenly coat them.
  2. Sprinkle the green beans with cheese, cover, and cook on high for 2 ½ to 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours.
  1. About 15 minutes before serving, sprinkle French-fried onions across the top and let the casserole heat on high until lightly crispy.
Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole cooking in slow cooker and 6 oz french fried onions laid on top

Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • I recommend sticking to the thin, frozen green bean variety, although you can use fresh green beans instead if you prefer. Factor this into your cooking time since it will take a bit longer for the green beans to soften. If you need them to cook faster, try parboiling them before adding them to the slow cooker. 
  • I left mushrooms out this time to make it a more universally appealing dish, but you can add some if you like! Slice them and add them to the sauce along with the garlic and shallot.
  • Feel free to swap out parmesan cheese for another favorite shredded cheese like cheddar or Colby jack.
  • If you like a bit of spice, add just a sprinkle of crushed red pepper to the sauce.
  • For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free flour and gluten-free French fried onions.

What To Serve With Green Bean Casserole

Most of us probably save this yummy casserole for our Thanksgiving holiday plates, so it’s only natural to serve it with some extra sides! Of course, you have to include some scrumptious carbs like Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Slow Cooker Cheesy Potatoes.

In my opinion, this casserole also deserves more time on regular menus! Try serving it with your main protein for a family dinner at home. Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Rosemary and Garlic would be a perfect choice for a delicious meal any time of the year.

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole served on plate

Storing and Reheating

Store leftover casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, try these tips for the best results:

  • Microwave: Heat in a microwave-safe dish, stirring occasionally.
  • Oven: Reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes.

This dish doesn’t freeze well due to the cream-based sauce and is best eaten within a few days of refrigeration.

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole on black plate and fork served

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Jennifer Draper
Why wait for the holidays to enjoy homemade green bean casserole? This recipe includes a delicious, made-from-scratch sauce with bacon and shallots over frozen green beans that cook to perfection in the slow cooker.
4.84 from 12 votes
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Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 251 kcal

Equipment

  • Skillet
  • large slow cooker or casserole slow cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 24 oz frozen extra fine green beans
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon chopped finely
  • 1 medium shallot minced about 1/4 cup
  • 2 cloves minced garlic I used jarred
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon herb and garlic seasoning
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz French fried onions

Instructions
 

  • Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray
  • Add frozen green beans to slow cooker
  • In skillet over medium-high heat, sauté bacon until lightly browned (around 3-5 minutes)
  • Add shallots and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until they just start to brown
  • Add minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute
  • Add flour evenly to pan, and stir the sauce to coat bacon, shallots, and garlic
  • Slowly add chicken broth while stirring until smooth
  • Let mixture simmer for about 4-6 minutes until sauce thickens enough to stick to a spoon
  • Add cream and seasonings and let mixture continue to simmer for another 3-4 minutes until it is thick and heated through
  • Pour sauce over green beans in slow cooker and toss lightly to evenly coat them
  • Sprinkle green beans with cheese, cover, and cook on high for 2 ½ to 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours
  • About 15 minutes before serving, sprinkle French-fried onions across top of casserole and let it heat on high until lightly crispy

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in a microwave-safe dish, stirring occasionally, or in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Use a standard casserole slow cooker or any 6-quart or larger slow cooker. This recipe will serve about 12 helpings.
  • Double (or halve) this recipe by adjusting the slow cooker size accordingly to prevent the mixture from being spread too thinly or too deep to heat properly.
  • To thicken the sauce a bit more, turn off the slow cooker and let it set for about 15 minutes before serving.
  • To make this recipe in the oven:
    • Prepare the sauce following the directions as written.
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F and allow the frozen green beans to thaw at room temperature.
    • Assemble the casserole as directed in an oven-safe dish and bake for about 30 minutes.
    • Add the French fried onions to the top of the casserole and bake for about 15 more minutes or until bubbly.

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 7gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 412mgPotassium: 213mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 752IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 139mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @slowcookergourmet or tag #slowcookergourmet!
Important nutritional disclaimer

Green Bean Casserole FAQs

  • How do you keep green bean casserole from getting mushy? Frozen green beans are the best choice to prevent a mushy casserole in the slow cooker. When they begin the cooking process frozen, they will be able to cook for several hours without falling apart – unlike precooked green beans.
  • Can you use fresh or canned green beans instead of frozen? You can use fresh green beans instead of frozen if you prefer but it will take longer to prepare since frozen green beans are already partially cooked. It may be helpful to parboil the fresh green beans prior to slow cooking. Canned green beans will not yield the best results for this recipe.
  • How long can this dish be left in the slow cooker on “warm” setting? I don’t recommend leaving this casserole on the warm setting for much longer than 2 hours. Longer than that amount of time can leave the food at a questionable temperature for safe consumption.
  • How do you thicken green bean casserole? To thicken the sauce for the casserole, whisk an additional 1-2 tablespoons of flour with an equal amount of water. Then, stir the mixture into the sauce and let it simmer until thickened.
  • Should the French fried onions be browned? You won’t need to brown the onions as an additional step. You can simply add the French fried onions to the top of the casserole about 15 minutes before serving, and they will warm up while maintaining a crispy texture.
Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole cooked in slow cooker

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39 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Look delicious! I have this on the menu this week, but had a question; do you use grated parmesan cheese or fresh parmesan?
    Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    Hello, would it be ok to make the sauce the day before??? Then on Thanksgiving we can just combine with beans and cook in the 9 x 13 casserole slow cooker… Do you think 32oz bag green beans would fit in casserole slow cooker with the sauce changed 1 1/2 more??? Or should I use 32oz ‘cut’ green beans??? Thank You…

    1. I think you’ll be ok with the 32oz and maybe a little less than 1 1/2 times the sauce. I haven’t tried making it ahead, but I would think it would work. You may need to stir a few times as it heats up.

      1. Thank You Jennifer… We’ll be sure to let you know how the recipe turns out with 32oz green beans… We love love the 9×13 slow cooker casserole… Having are fun trying your recipes and our old casserole recipes in it…

  3. 4 stars
    Quick question… My family does not like change… When making the recipe with sauce from scratch, does it get as thick as with the canned soup??? If not do you think adding one can of the soup would help it to be as thick as canned soup version??? reply would like to ease the family into the new version… Thank You…

  4. 4 stars
    We made this for my hubby’s office potluck and he was very pleased with it — Green Bean casserole always having been one of his favorites!

  5. Do you have any suggestions for me before I triple this recipe ? I’m a little nervous with so much liquid . Thanks for any input !

  6. 5 stars
    You should taste the multiple dishes Lynn Heuer makes (she lives in Schaumburg, Illinois), she could win prizes! I miss Lynn, I moved to Virginia to be near my daughters. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

4.84 from 12 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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