Can You Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time?

When I think of Green bean casserole I think Thanksgiving dinner staple, but really, it is delicious all year round. Follow along to learn the best way to make green bean casserole ahead of time.

green bean casserole with blue banner and text

I love casseroles because they are so easy to make ahead of time and keep on hand. They are perfect make-ahead dishes that you can pull out for a weeknight dinner or the next big get-together.

Not only is traditional green bean casserole the perfect dish to make months ahead of time and store in the freezer, but it is also a great dish to make the night before a meal. 

Prepping the night before saves time without sacrificing flavor.

Check out these green bean casserole recipes: Crack Green Bean Casserole, Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole, and a fun Green Bean Bundle Casserole!

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plate of green bean casserole

Can you prepare green bean casserole the night before?

Green bean casserole is one of those dishes that can be made in advance and stored for later, making it a perfect side dish to prep the day before.

Green bean casserole is made with mushroom soup and green beans. I like using homemade cream of mushroom soup and fresh green beans, but you can use canned green beans and canned soup. The casserole also usually has crispy fried onions on the top.

If you are making the casserole ahead of time, you can prepare the whole casserole like normal, except do not top it with the fried onions.

If you add the crispy onions ahead of time, they can get soggy in the fridge or freezer, which will ruin the crispy topping. I suggest preparing the fried onions the day you serve the casserole.

After you have the casserole in a baking dish, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. 

The casserole dish will last up to three days in the fridge. If you plan to serve it after three days, I recommend freezing it instead.

close up of casserole dish

How far in advance can you make a casserole?

One reason why casseroles are such a popular recipe is that they can be prepared months in advance.

A casserole will last up to 6 months in the freezer.

If you are using fresh green beans, cook them over medium heat before combining the mixture. Having tender green beans is important for the texture of the dish. Once the green beans finish cooking, let them cool to room temperature before combining with the other ingredients.

If the green beans are at a different temperature than the rest of the mixture, then the whole thing will freeze unevenly.

Once the green beans are at room temperature and the mixture is combined, add it to a baking dish, then wrap the dish with plastic wrap. Use aluminum foil over the plastic wrap to create an airtight container before storing it in the freezer.

Like refrigerating, green bean casserole, freezing green bean casserole also makes the crispy onions soggy, so leave them out of the dish and add them when reheating for the best results. 

green bean bundle casserole in a white dish

Can you prepare green beans the night before?

Yes, you can prepare green beans the night before. Parboiling is the best way to prep green beans.

Parboiling is a cooking process of gently simmering food in water to partially cook it. Cooking green beans ahead of time means they won’t become overcooked when you bake the casserole.

The cooking time for green beans is only 2-3 minutes. After parboiling, submerge them in cold water to cool them to room temperature or chill naturally. 

Once they are at room temperature, pat the green beans dry to remove any excess moisture.

Store the dry, parboiled green beans in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. If you don’t want to go through all this, use frozen green beans.

bite of casserole with green beans on a fork

Can you mix casserole the night before?

The reason casseroles are so popular during the holiday season is because they are easy to prep the night before a big day. Like Thanksgiving.

Casseroles are amazing because you can completely assemble them in advance and bake them right before serving. 

If you are mixing a casserole the night before, prepare it like normal. Then cover with foil or plastic wrap and store it in the fridge overnight.

The next day, just pop it in the oven before you want to serve it. Be sure to leave off the French’s Fried Onions until right before baking.

green beans in a white casserole dish

What can I add to green bean casserole for flavor?

To add some pizzazz to the classic recipe, you can season the green beans with oregano, paprika, or thyme.

You can also consider adding soy sauce to the green bean casserole mixture like the Campbell Soup Company recipe does, or add water chestnuts for some more crunch. You can also experiment with adding white wine to the mixture.

I like adding cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese to the top of my casserole.

scoop of green bean casserole with blue banner and white text

Need more information?

Check out this Ultimate Guide to Green Bean Casserole to answer these important questions:

  1. Can you freeze it?
  2. How to reheat it.
  3. Can you make it without cream of mushroom soup?

Favorite Green Bean Casserole Recipes:

If you love this recipe as much as I do, pin this to your favorite casserole Pinterest board and share it on your favorite social media channels!

plate of green bean casserole with blue banner and text

There are many ways to add your own spin to this classic holiday side dish that it’s hard to go wrong. No matter how you customize the recipe, green bean casserole will always be a go-to make-ahead dish.

Hopefully, these tips for making green bean casserole ahead of time will help you get that holiday favorite on the thanksgiving table with ease. 

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