Healthy green bean casserole made with a creamy mushroom cashew sauce and homemade crispy baked onions on top. Vegan + gluten-free friendly.
Growing up, green bean casserole was at every single holiday meal (at least from what I can remember!). A few years back, someone dropped green bean casserole off the holiday roster and I really missed it! I love when food and memories collide and this casserole does just that.
Traditionally green bean casserole is made from canned cream of mushroom soup and packaged fried onions, but in true EBF fashion, I upgraded the recipe! No more canned veggies and soup… we’re using fresh green beans and mushrooms, homemade crispy baked onions and a homemade cashew cream sauce.
There are two main parts to a green bean casserole… the crispy onion topping and the creamy green beans. When I upgrade recipes to make them healthier, I don’t want to miss out on the essence of the dish so yes, this is still a creamy casserole topped with crispy onions. Trust me, your friends and family won’t even know it’s the “healthy” version.
Aren’t the bright green beans so pretty and fresh looking? And they taste way better than canned beans, IMO!
Let’s Make Healthy Green Bean Casserole
Start by soaking your cashews in water. Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, tossing every 10 minutes. When they’re done baking, remove from the oven and set aside.
As your onions cook, you’ll prep your green bean mixture. The key here is blanching your fresh green beans! To do so, you’ll bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When the beans have cooled, drain and set aside in a large bowl.
Mushroom Cashew Cream Sauce
Time to make the cream sauce! Drain the cashews and add to a blender with almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy and set aside. In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally. Then add garlic and nutmeg. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Add the broth and tamari and bring to a simmer. Decrease the heat and add in the cashew cream. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
To assemble, pour the cream sauce into the large bowl with the green beans and add 1/2 cup of the baked onions. Place the green bean mixture into the prepared casserole dish and add the onion topping. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly and warm throughout.
Cooking for the Holidays? Here are More Upgraded Holiday Favorites!
If you try this healthy green bean casserole recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out! Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.
Healthy green bean casserole made with a creamy mushroom cashew sauce and homemade crispy baked onions.
Crispy Baked Onions
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup oat flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs (gluten-free, if needed)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Nonstick cooking spray
Green Beans and Sauce
½ cup cashews (soaked)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
24 oz fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
2 Tablespoons vegan butter
12 ounces baby bella mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons oat flour
1 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
Add 1/2 cup cashews to a bowl with water for soaking. Let soak for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 475°F.
Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 25 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
While the onions are cooking, prepare your green bean mixture.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside in large bowl.
Drain cashews and add to a blender with almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and tamari, simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the cashew cream. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour sauce into a large bowl with the green beans and ½ cup of the crispy baked onions. Place green bean mixture into a 8×8 baking dish and top with the remaining crispy baked onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly and warm throughout, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.