Healthy Green Bean Casserole

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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.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

5 from 11 votes
Healthy green bean casserole made with a creamy mushroom cashew sauce and homemade crispy baked onions.
A wooden spoon scooping green bean casserole out of a glass baking dish.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 58 minutes
Servings 6

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
 

  • 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 8x8 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of recipe Calories: 213kcal Carbohydrates: 26g Protein: 9g Fat: 10g Sodium: 690mg Fiber: 6g Sugar: 7g
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy green bean casserole

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




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

      5 stars
      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

      5 stars
      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

      5 stars
      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

      5 stars
      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

      5 stars
      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!

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