Q. Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and everyone is already asking me if I’m going to make green bean casserole. I like to make it, but I have so many other dishes to get ready that I don’t know if I will have time to prepare it Thanksgiving Day. I never make green bean casserole in advance because of the crispy topping, which will I think will wilt and go soggy in the freezer. The trouble is, I think that making it ahead and freezing it is the only way I can make green bean casserole this year. Can you freeze green bean casserole?
A. Yes, you can freeze green bean casserole, although you are correct in assuming that the crispy topping, typically made with crisp fried onions and Panko bread crumbs, will go soggy after freezing. However, with a few modifications, the majority of the green bean casserole can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, and the finishing touches can be saved for the day the casserole will be eaten. I recommend preparing the casserole ingredients and then freezing them before baking for best results.
How to freeze green bean casserole?
To freeze green bean casserole, prepare the ingredients for the casserole minus the crispy topping and mix well. Pour the entire mixture into a freezer and oven-safe container. Cover the container in aluminum foil, or place the freezer-safe casserole lid tightly over the top. Place the casserole into the freezer until the night before you need it. By freezing the casserole before baking it or adding the crispy topping, you can preserve the texture of the entire casserole and cut down on the amount of work needed the day you want to eat it.
Remove the casserole from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight to allow it to thaw. The next day, prepare the crispy topping for the green bean casserole. Preheat the oven according to the recipe instructions. Cover the casserole with the crispy topping, and place the casserole in the preheated oven for the amount of time specified by the recipe.
It is not recommended to freeze already cooked green bean casserole because it has a tendency to go soggy, losing much of its texture after the freezing process. Should you choose to freeze already baked green bean casserole, consider removing the crispy topping first, and making new crispy topping for when you thaw the casserole. Reheat in the oven with the new crispy topping on top.