Healthy Green Bean Casserole

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.

Casserole dish with healthy green bean casserole topped with crispy onions. A wood spoon is beside the baking dish.

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.

A plate of healthy green bean casserole topped with crispy onions and a gold fork is on the plate.

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.

Mixing bowl with green beans, crispy onions, and a vegan, creamy mushroom sauce.

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.

Casserole dish with healthy green bean casserole topped with crispy onions. A wood spoon is scooping some of the casserole.

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.

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A wooden spoon scooping green bean casserole out of a glass baking dish.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 58 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

Healthy green bean casserole made with a creamy mushroom cashew sauce and homemade crispy baked onions.


Ingredients

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)

Instructions

  1. Add 1/2 cup cashews to a bowl with water for soaking. Let soak for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  3. 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.
  4. While the onions are cooking, prepare your green bean mixture.
  5. 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.
  6. Drain cashews and add to a blender with almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy and set aside.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 213
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 690mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 9g

Keywords: healthy green bean casserole

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    35 comments
    1. Sandie
      December 1, 2020 AT 9:57 pm

      This recipe is a 12/10! Seriously good. This is probably the best green bean dish I have ever had, so the fact that it is healthy is just an added bonus. This is going to be a Thanksgiving staple from here on out. Just make it. You will not be disappointed.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 2, 2020 AT 12:54 am

        Ahh yay, that makes me so happy to hear! I’m pumped you hear you loved this recipe, Sandie. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    2. Mikki M
      November 30, 2020 AT 9:05 am

      I made this recipe for my family‘s Thanksgiving and while it was a lot of extra work, it was all definitely worth it! The one comment my family had is that they would have preferred canned green beans which I think would be good as well. I definitely enjoyed it and thought it was a very unique and flavorful recipe. I always love testing out Brittany‘s recipes..thank you for sharing!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 30, 2020 AT 11:45 pm

        I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe, Mikki! Thanks for making it – it means the world to me. 🙂

    3. Jessi Doshier
      November 29, 2020 AT 1:59 pm

      I made this for my first vegan thanksgiving and I LOVED it! Sad to say my thanksgiving guests did not appreciate it as much as I did. I guess they were used to more “soggy” beans from the can (which I think is gross) but to each their own! More for me!! Only mishap was that I burnt the first round of onions following your instructions. I ended up having to do another batch with my oven turned down about 50 degrees. Maybe its my oven! Thanks for this amazing recipe, it made my day!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 29, 2020 AT 5:38 pm

        I’m glad you enjoyed this casserole, Jessi! And I’m glad the second round of onions worked for you. Sorry the first round burned, it definitely could have been because your oven got hotter and maybe they just needed less time or a lower temp.

    4. Alisa Standley
      November 27, 2020 AT 9:01 pm

      This was a huge hit at Thanksgiving, loved it. However, it had a little kick and trying to figure out what it is? I wouldn’t have thought nutmeg would make it spicy?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 28, 2020 AT 11:20 pm

        So glad this casserole was a hit at Thanksgiving! It definitely shouldn’t have been spicy. Nutmeg adds a warm, woody flavor, with hints of clove, but it shouldn’t necessarily be spicy especially with just 1/4 tsp.

    5. Samantha
      November 26, 2020 AT 7:32 pm

      This recipe is great, we used cup for cup gluten free flour as a sub and it came out perfectly. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 28, 2020 AT 11:29 pm

        So glad this casserole turned out for you, Samantha! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    6. Jillian
      November 25, 2020 AT 10:54 pm

      Can I make this the day before and add crispy onion toppings before I bake it?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 28, 2020 AT 11:36 pm

        Hey Jullian, Sorry I’m just seeing this comment. Did you end up making this casserole? How’d it turn out?!

    7. Katie
      November 25, 2020 AT 1:02 pm

      This is so delicious! I have always avoided this on the Thanksgiving table because it was always presented to me with canned everything and did not appeal. THIS, however, is AMAZING. It is Thanksgiving Eve and I have parboiled the green beans and I made the sauce. I will make the onions and assemble and bake tomorrow. But this sauce is so so so tasty! And the sauce is what counts so that is why i have already given this 5 stars. Seriously. How is this vegan?! Thank you, Brittany! Your recipes have been making my transition to whole food plant based eating easier! And your treats that aren’t necessarily whole foods are great in that they check the boxes for being vegan and healthier and tasty!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 25, 2020 AT 3:42 pm

        Ahh yay, this makes me so happy to hear, Katie!! I’m so glad to hear that you tried this recipe. Definitely come back and let me know what you think of it once you have it tomorrow. 🙂 I really appreciate the sweet review, it means the world to me!!

    8. Becky Menke
      November 22, 2020 AT 10:15 am

      I am going to make this two days before we eat it and I was wondering about the onions still crisping up after they have sat on top of casserole in fridge. Do you think I would be better to leave them off and just put them in a bag after they have cooled then add then right before baking casserole?
      Thank you. I really like following you on Instagram!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 22, 2020 AT 6:28 pm

        Hey Becky – Yeah, I would maybe keep the onions separate so they don’t get soggy from the sauce and then add them to the top of the casserole right before baking. Let me know how it turns out for you!

    9. Paige
      November 20, 2020 AT 11:06 am

      This sounds amazing! However, my children are severely allergic to all tree nuts. Any suggestions for substitutions for the cashews and almond milk?

      1. Elisabeth
        November 23, 2020 AT 3:55 pm

        Paige, you could try a store-bought unsweetened vegan creamer. Maybe oat, coconut (it might have a slight coconut taste but the other flavors are fairly strong and it isn’t a large amount, so I think it would be okay here) or soy?

        Coconut would be the creamiest so that’s probably what I would go with myself. Hope that helps!

      2. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2020 AT 12:45 pm

        Hey Paige, I’m not sure. I haven’t tested the sauce with anything else and the cashews are what makes it creamy.

    10. Janine
      November 5, 2020 AT 8:37 am

      Can you make this recipe in advance?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 5, 2020 AT 8:53 pm

        Yes, it should be fine to make this dish a few days in advance and then just heat it up in the oven prior to serving.

    11. Cynthia
      October 31, 2020 AT 5:52 pm

      This recipe was so delicious! i didn’t have any mushroom, so I cooked the green beans in the cashew cream sauce.i couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day! I will try this recipe again, this time with the mushrooms. Thank you for this amazing vegan recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 2, 2020 AT 12:15 am

        So glad you loved this recipe, Cynthia!! And I’m glad it still tasted delicious without the mushrooms.

    12. Regina Ippolito
      June 4, 2020 AT 10:07 pm

      This was so so so so amazing!! A few months ago I made your gluten free samosas and they were AMAZING, and now this!! This was just delicious. Seriously so good! Thank you for all your amazing recipes!! The only thing I had to change was oat milk instead of almond milk. My dad drinks vanilla almond milk and I didn’t want to make it vanilla flavored lol so oat milk worked perfectly!! Thank you again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 5, 2020 AT 2:49 pm

        Ahhh yay! This makes me so happy to hear, Regina. Love that you all enjoyed both of these recipes! And I totally feel you on the vanilla almond milk. One time it was all I had so I used it in a savory quiche recipe. It turned out fine and you couldn’t really taste the vanilla flavor, but I feel like it might be more prominent in this dish. Glad you had some oat milk on hand!

    13. Angela
      June 2, 2020 AT 3:37 pm

      Hi there! It’s so nice coming across dairy-free/GF recipes!
      My husband isn’t a fan of mushrooms. Do you have any ideas for substitutions? For example, would it make sense with maybe another bean like black beans or chickpeas?
      Thanks for your time 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 2, 2020 AT 6:17 pm

        Hey Angela, The mushrooms are a big component of the sauce and I don’t think the casserole would be as yummy without the mushrooms.

    14. Marliese Mauro
      February 22, 2020 AT 11:25 pm

      Simple yet delicious recipe to add a change to my veggie routine! Love the dairy free option and the crispy onion topping is the best part!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 23, 2020 AT 2:43 pm

        I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Marliese! I really appreciate you coming back to leave a comment and star rating!!

    15. Kim
      November 29, 2019 AT 4:04 pm

      This was delicious!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 29, 2019 AT 4:42 pm

        This makes me so happy to hear!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it! <3

    16. Nicole
      November 29, 2019 AT 11:23 am

      This was crazy delicious—I have never really been a green bean casserole fan, but this took it to the next level and now I get it! My fiancé and I were trying to figure out other ways we could use the crispy onions and mushroom sauce because they are so stinkin’ good! My beans were a little undercooked so I’ll boil longer next time, but overall an awesome recipe. Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 29, 2019 AT 4:45 pm

        Woo-hoo!! Thanks for trying this recipe, Nicole. I’m so glad you loved it. And thank you for leaving a comment and star rating, I so appreciate it. <3

    17. Christy
      November 5, 2019 AT 12:59 pm

      Sounds great. I am going to try this tonight! One thing I missed in the directions…do I coat the onions with the flour mixture before baking and use the remaining amount for the sauce or just bake the onions plain? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 5, 2019 AT 1:44 pm

        Yay! Can’t wait to hear what you think, Christy. You coat all the onions with the flour mixture before baking. Once they’re baked, you portion out 1/2 cup for the green bean mixture and use the rest for the topping. The flour used for the sauce is just the 2 Tablespoons of oat flour that’s in the ingredient list under green beans and sauce. Let me know if this makes sense.

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