This easy green bean casserole in a skillet is made with creamy homemade mushroom sauce, fresh green beans, and crispy fried onions, just like the classic. It uses just one pan, can be cooked over your campfire, camp stove, grill, or on the stovetop, and can be partially prepped before heading out to camp.
Creamy green bean casserole probably isn't something you imagine making on a camping trip. It's a classic holiday side dish, but the traditional baked version often requires a lot of dishes and effort, which is something we aim to avoid on camping trips. At least, I do.
However, I love green bean casserole, and this skillet version has everything I adore about it -- snappy green beans, a homemade creamy mushroom sauce, and crispy fried onions. Best of all, the mushroom sauce can be prepared well in advance, which means this easy side dish comes together in just 15 minutes.
Why This Recipe is Great for Camping
- It's made in your cast iron skillet and can be cooked on your camp stove, grill, campfire, or stovetop.
- It's made with a homemade cream cheese mushroom sauce (no canned soup here!) that can be made in advance, making this casserole quick to assemble and cook at camp.
- The extra mushroom sauce can be used in a variety of ways, making it a great base for another meal on your camping trip.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Mushroom sauce--The cream cheese mushroom sauce can be made ahead of time and stashed in your cooler before you head out on your camping trip. Use leftover sauce as a gravy for pork chops, steak, or chicken, or toss it with pasta for an easy meal.
- Green beans--Use fresh green beans for best results. If you are using the slender French green beans, or haricots vert, they will need less cooking time.
- Fried onions--To get the classic green bean casserole texture, use store-bought crispy fried onions. My favorite are French's fried onions, but you can use whatever is available to you. The flavor and potency of them vary from brand to brand, so do taste them first and adjust the amount you sprinkle on top of the green bean skillet, if necessary.
- Pour the mushroom sauce into a 10-to-12-inch cast iron skillet and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
- Stir in the green beans and cook until the beans are just tender, and the mushroom sauce has reduced to a thick coating. Top with crispy fried onions and serve directly from the skillet.
Sort of. You can prepare the mushroom sauce and keep it refrigerated (or stashed in your cooler) for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months before using. Simply thaw it and proceed with the recipe.
Fresh green beans are best, but you can use frozen for this recipe. Add them directly from frozen to the skillet with the mushroom sauce. Once cooked, the casserole will have a slightly softer texture than if made with fresh beans.
I don't recommend using canned beans here. They will become too soft and mushy after cooking in the mushroom sauce.
This is a classic Thanksgiving side dish, so it will pair perfectly with your Dutch oven turkey breast, but with a dish this easy to prepare, there's no need to limit it to just once a year. Try it alongside grilled bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin or grilled chicken skewers, and don't forget some Dutch oven cranberry cobbler for dessert.
Tips and Troubleshooting
- If you prefer an extra saucy casserole, use 2 ½ cups of mushroom sauce.
- This green bean casserole skillet makes for tender, but still slightly crunchy green beans. If you prefer a softer bean, add an extra ½ cup of mushroom sauce and simmer the beans for an extra 5 minutes, or until they are softened to your liking.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in your cooler or fridge for up to 3 days. Rewarm over low heat in a skillet, adding extra mushroom sauce, milk, or cream to loosen the sauce, if needed.
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Skillet Green Bean Casserole
- 10-to-12-inch cast-iron skillet
- 2 to 2 ½ cups cream cheese mushroom sauce
- 1 pound (454 g) fresh green beans trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup crispy fried onions
- Pour 2 cups of mushroom sauce into a 10-to-12-inch skillet and set it over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer.
- Stir in the green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are just tender and the mushroom sauce has reduced to a thick coating, 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the fried onions. Serve directly from the skillet.
- Make it saucy--If you prefer an extra saucy casserole, use 2 ½ cups of mushroom sauce.
- For soft green beans--This green bean casserole skillet makes for tender, but still slightly crunchy green beans. If you prefer a softer bean, add an extra ½ cup of mushroom sauce and simmer the beans for an extra 5 minutes, or until they are softened to your liking.
- Storage and reheating--Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in your cooler or fridge for up to 3 days. Rewarm over low heat in a skillet, adding extra mushroom sauce, milk, or cream to loosen the sauce, if needed.