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Homemade Green Bean Casserole, the Grown-up, Food Lovers Version

I have a lot of Non-American readers, making it necessary for my to explain why I’m doing a post about a green bean casserole.

In America, we have this very strange tradition of making our Thanksgiving feast from cans of food. Nearly every dish that most Americans grew up eating on that November Holiday involved a can of soup, or a package of Jell-o. I see you all, nodding your American heads in agreement. A smile for Grandmas Jell-o salad that still graces your Holiday table because your own kids would FLIP if it wasn’t there in that big Pyrex bowl. I know, don’t think I was exempt from this in my upbringing. But we are grown-ups now. We live in a country that has over 13 million acres of farm land dedicated to fruits and veggetables. We even grow 100 million TONS of produce every year.

We should eat it.

A lot of it. Eat food, not chemicals.

Try it, my American friends, we are lucky enough to live in a country with more produce that we could ever eat. Let’s give it a shot.

Could you do it? Cook an entire Thanksgiving without ONE can? I’m gonna.

Beer Brined Turkey


  • 1, 12-16 lb turkey, thawed (try to find a fresh, never frozen turkey if possible)
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups Kosher or Sea Salt (don't use iodized table salt)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, quartered
  • 1/4 cup whole allspice berries
  • 1 tbs whole cloves
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 large (1 pint, 6 oz) bottles of brown ale such as Rogue Hazelnut Ale (about 5 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cup ice
  • 3 celery ribs, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of chicken broth, plus 4-6 cups water if needed
  • Additional equipment
  • 2 large turkey oven bags, or bucket large enough to fit the turkey, but small enough so that the entire turkey is submerged.


  1. In a large pot, add the water, salt, garlic, allspice, cloves, and one of the onions. Bring to just barely boiling and remove from heat, stiring occasionally to dissolve the salt. Add the beer and ice, stir. (if your turkey is over 18 lbs, double the brine recipe)
  2. Allow to cool to room temp, refrigerating if necessary.The brine must be cooled before you add your turkey or you will start to cook.
  3. Rinse the thawed turkey and remove anything that has been place inside the cavity.
  4. Place turkey in either the large bucket, or the oven bags. If you are using the oven bags, place one inside the other and the turkey inside those. Pour the brine over the turkey. If using the oven bags, make sure to remove as much air as possible and seal as tightly as you can, placing in a roasting pan in case the brine starts to leak. Place in the refrigerator.
  5. Brine for 16-18 hours. If using the oven bags, rotate the turkey every 6-8 hours to insure an even brine.
  6. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse really well, inside and out with cold water.
  7. Place turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. Place in the fridge, uncovered, for 12-18 hours to dry the skin. This is the step that will give you a nice crispy skin to go along with your juicy bird.
  8. Preheat your oven to 400.
  9. Truss your turkey if desired.
  10. Brush your entire turkey with olive oil, sprinkle with salt.
  11. Stuff the other quartered onion, and the celery inside the cavity of the bird.
  12. Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. Add the broth to the bottom of the roasting pan. If the pan starts to dry out during the cooking, add the additional water to the bottom of the roasting pan. Do not allow the broth/water in the roasting pan to touch the turkey.
  13. Cook until your turkey reachs about 160 degrees (it will continue to cook once out of the oven to meet the 165 degree temperature). Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.


If making this for Thanksgiving, start brining the turkey Tuesday night. Do not use a Kosher, Enhanced or any turkey that list sodium on the package. These turkeys have already been exposed to salt and may be too salty with brining. Use a turkey that has not been processed in this way.

Printable Recipe: Grown Up Green Bean Casserole

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Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls November 14, 2011 um 1:19 pm

Yes, we can do this! Thanksgiving the way it is SUPPOSED to be done … celebrating the bounty of the earth. 🙂 … I love this recipe. It looks incredibly delicious and so much better than the "canned" versions!


Jackie November 14, 2011 um 1:29 pm

This was one thing I never had growing up! I know, weird. My husband introduced me to Green Bean Casserole, the French’s version, when we started dating. I love that real life green beans still have a bit of a snap and don’t turn to mush when you bake them!


Tiffany {A Clove of Garlic} November 14, 2011 um 1:20 pm

YES! I am guilty of the can thing, I admit, but this year I have turned over a leaf and I am trying to live as can free as possible. Thanks for making a dish I love with a recipe I can follow sans cans. 🙂


Jackie November 14, 2011 um 1:30 pm

Great! Hope you love the can-free version and never go back 🙂


Blog is the New Black November 14, 2011 um 1:29 pm

I was never a huge fan of this because of the canned ingredients that went with it! As an adult, I can appreciate the fresh ingredients!


Jackie November 14, 2011 um 1:32 pm

Exactly! And we are so lucky to live in a country where we are always surrounded by fresh produce. It’s those little things that we sometimes forget to appreciate! or maybe that’s just me…


Christine November 14, 2011 um 1:50 pm

Sounds great.


Christine November 14, 2011 um 1:51 pm

Love green bean casserole… yours sounds good.


Lindsey@Lindselicious November 14, 2011 um 2:04 pm

Oh this looks seriously delish! I love the grown up version of this dish, lets see if I get assigned this – this year!


Colleen November 14, 2011 um 6:28 pm

I love love LOVE homemade green bean casserole. The original is so good on its own. Making it from scratch just makes it that much more awesome!


Kim Bee November 14, 2011 um 8:58 pm

This is fantastic. Love the grown up version. The pictures are beautiful!


chinmayie @ love food eat November 15, 2011 um 9:02 am

Love your efforts to replace cans with REAL vegetables 🙂 Looks colourful and delicious…


Keenan Sweetwood November 17, 2011 um 3:42 pm

OMG This is splendid! Thanks! 🙂


Jo November 26, 2011 um 9:20 pm

This looks so delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at


Julie at Burnt Carrots November 29, 2011 um 8:55 am

I totally agree about the cans. Its either canned or frozen. This recipe looks like a great adult green bean casserole. I might have to make this even though thanksgiving is over!


Michelle November 29, 2011 um 4:29 pm

Made this for Thanksgiving. It came from the fridge so I put the timer on for 20 minutes. Burned a good bit of the topping while the interior stayed cold. I would recommend covering for 20 minutes, add the topping and brown for 10 minutes at 350.

Otherwise it came out great!


Jackie November 29, 2011 um 5:53 pm

Thank you so much for the feedback! I just made it stove to oven so it’s good to know what happened from the fridge to oven. I updated the recipe and the PDF. Thanks for letting me know!


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Ashley November 19, 2012 um 9:43 pm

I know this might sound weird but what kind of cream? I new to cooking so like where would I find this cream in the grocery store?


Jackie November 19, 2012 um 9:47 pm

Not a problem! it’s heavy cream. You buy it in the milk section, it is usually in a smaller container, near the buttermilk and the coffee creamer. Also, you can make your own whipped cream with it. It’s really, really easy. Just put 1 cup heavy cream, 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla in a stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer) and beat on high for about 3 minutes until it sets up.


Hannah Dados November 21, 2012 um 9:23 am

Wonderful! Turned out great 🙂


Teresa K September 22, 2013 um 8:22 pm

I made this last night, it was absolutely fantastic!!! Creamy and delicious, full of flavor! Made gluten free by using gf breadcrumbs, and 1 tbs white rice flour and 1 tbs corn starch instead of the 2 tbs flour. Thank you for making recipes that don’t have canned garbage in them, that I can actually convert to gf! You rock!


Jackie September 22, 2013 um 8:24 pm

Awesome! Thanks for the GF adaptions 🙂


Lauren October 8, 2013 um 1:11 pm

Any idea about how many people this might feed?


Jackie October 8, 2013 um 1:12 pm

It makes about 8 servings


Thanksgiving Recipes from the AHA Staff November 20, 2013 um 9:14 am

[…] Grown-up Homemade Green Bean Casserole (from Domestic Fits) and Twice-Baked Sweet Potato with Chipotle Pecan Streusel (from Cookin’ Canuk) […]


Meal Planning Monday: Be thankful for those who share meal, traditional or with a twist | Our Food and Fun November 25, 2013 um 8:58 am

[…] Green Bean Casserole – To see the recipe which uses fresh, not canned, ingredients, click here.   Glazed Carrots – Leah Kelley reports: “In my family, we always have carrots on […]


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[…] and pies and sides and such. Making a basic dressing a la Ruhlman, and the green bean casserole is basically this recipe without the cream, and I'm lazy and using TJ's fried onions for the topper. __________________ […]


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