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. Dairy-free, vegan + gluten-free friendly.

Growing up, green bean casserole was at every single holiday meal and I’m still such a big fan!

Traditional green bean casserole is made with canned cream of mushroom soup and packaged fried onions, but in true EBF fashion, I have 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 to keep this version dairy-free.

Healthy green bean casserole in a baking dish.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s a healthier version of a classic holiday staple.
  • It’s dairy-free, vegan and can easily be made gluten-free!
  • No canned veggies or soup required… we’re only using fresh, real-food ingredients for this recipe!

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients measured out to make crispy onions for Healthy Green Bean Casserole: cooking spray, onions, panko, oat flour and sea salt.

Crispy Baked Onions

  • yellow onions – instead of using the traditional packaged crispy fried onions we’re coating fresh onions with oat flour and panko bread crumbs and baking to create crispy onions to top the casserole.
  • oat flour and panko bread crumbs – to coat the onions before baking and to achieve that crispy “fried” onion texture that we all love! If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, use gluten-free bread crumbs or almond meal. If you don’t have oat flour on hand, all-purpose or gluten-free all-purpose flour will work as a substitute.
  • sea salt – to season the onions.
Ingredients measured out to make Healthy Green Bean Casserole: cashews, oat flour, green beans, almond milk, sea salt, pepper, vegetable broth, nutmeg, tamari or soy sauce, vegan butter, baby portobello mushrooms and garlic.

Green Beans and Sauce

  • cashews – make sure to use raw, unsalted cashews! Instead of using canned cream of mushroom soup we’re soaking and blending cashews to combine with the mushrooms to create a lovely, creamy sauce.
  • almond milk – my go-to milk is unsweetened almond milk, but feel free to use your favorite dairy-free or regular dairy milk if you don’t need this recipe to be vegan. Just make sure whatever milk you’re using is unsweetened otherwise it could change the flavor of the sauce.
  • fresh green beans – you won’t find canned green beans over here! We’re only using fresh green beans for this recipe and blanching them for a few minutes before baking.
  • vegan butter – to keep this recipe vegan, we’re using vegan butter to sauté the mushrooms. Feel free to use oil, ghee or regular butter instead!
  • mushrooms – a key ingredient for green bean casserole! Baby portobello mushrooms or baby Bella mushrooms work perfectly for this recipe.
  • garlic – a nice flavor enhancer for the sauce.
  • oat flour – to help thicken the sauce. Feel free to use all-purpose flour, cornstarch or arrowroot powder instead if that’s what you have on hand.
  • vegetable broth – this is the base liquid for the sauce. I prefer to use low-sodium veggie broth so I can control the saltiness of the dish better. Feel free to use chicken broth if you don’t need this recipe to be vegan.
  • tamari or soy sauce – just one teaspoon adds nice umami, savory flavor to this sauce! Coconut aminos will also work.
  • salt and black pepper – for seasoning.
  • nutmeg – just a pinch adds a subtle nutty flavor to this casserole. Feel free to skip this if you don’t have any on hand or aren’t a nutmeg fan.
Collage of 12 photos showing the steps to make homemade green bean casserole from crispy onions, mushroom creamy soup and baking with green beans.

How to Make Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Soak cashews: Add cashews to a bowl with water and let soak for at least 30 minutes.

Cook onions: Preheat the oven to 475°F. Combine 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, about 25 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. When they’re done baking, remove and set them aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Blanch green beans: 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.

Make creamy mushroom sauce: 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.

Bake: Pour sauce into a large bowl with the green beans and ½ cup of the crispy baked onions. Place green bean mixture into an 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.

Healthy green bean casserole in a baking dish with a serving spoon.

How to Make in Advance

You can definitely make this healthy green bean casserole ahead of time! To prep in advance, prepare the dish as directed, but don’t bake! When your green bean and mushroom mixture is ready, pour it into a prepared baking dish, cover and store in the fridge. Store your cooked onions in a separate container in the fridge. Don’t top the casserole with the onions until you’re ready to bake, otherwise the onions will get soggy.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven, top the casserole with your onions and bake as directed!

Green bean casserole in a baking dish.

What to Serve with Green Bean Casserole

This healthy green bean casserole is a staple in our house for Thanksgiving every year! Here are some ideas for what to serve it with:

A serving of green bean casserole on a plate with a fork.

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can reheat the green bean casserole on the stovetop, in the oven or microwave. 

More Holiday Side Dishes

Be sure to check out the full collection of Thanksgiving recipes as well as all of the green bean recipes on EBF!

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

4 from 41 votes
Healthy green bean casserole made with a creamy mushroom cashew sauce and homemade crispy baked onions.
Healthy green bean casserole in a baking dish.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 58 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

Crispy Baked Onions

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ 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 oz baby portobello mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons oat flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium tamari, or soy sauce

Instructions
 

  • Add cashews to a bowl with water for soaking. Let soak for at least 30 minutes.
    Cashews soaking in water.
  • 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.
    Onion slices coated in bread crumbs spread across a baking sheet.
  • 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.
    Green beans blanching in an ice bath.
  • Drain cashews and add to a blender with almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy and set aside.
    Cashews and almond milk blended together in a high powered blender.
  • 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.
    Mushrooms and seasonings in a sauté pan cooking.
  • Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the cashew cream. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
    Cashew cream and mushrooms in a sauté pan.
  • 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.
    Healthy green bean casserole assembled in a baking dish.

Video

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




    56 comments
    1. Debbie
      December 20, 2022 AT 7:56 am

      need it to be NUT-free; don’t mind dairy
      I would use gluten-free flour in place of oat flour (because I have it). Can you recommend a substitute (heavy cream perhaps) for the cashew mixture?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 20, 2022 AT 11:27 am

        Hey Debbie, I’m not sure because I haven’t tried it myself, but I think heavy cream or half and half should work just fine!

    2. Fran
      November 24, 2022 AT 5:39 pm

      5 stars
      Delicious. Happy to have vegan and healthy options for Thanksgiving. Gave the recipe to friends as well.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 28, 2022 AT 10:53 am

        WOO! I am so glad that you are loving this recipe, Fran. Thank you so much for sharing this with your friends and for your review + star rating, it means so much to me.

    3. Ashlee
      October 25, 2022 AT 12:46 pm

      What do you think about swapping the green beans for broccoli? I don’t love green beans but I love broccoli!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 26, 2022 AT 10:13 am

        This is a very interesting idea, Ashlee! I haven’t tried broccoli in this recipe so I am not sure how it would work out. If you do give this a try, I’d love to know how it works out for you!

    4. Janet Pilkington
      November 30, 2021 AT 1:35 pm

      5 stars
      Being British I have never heard of this dish so I decided to have a go and make it. I was not disappointed not one bit. Absolutely Dlish with a capital D. Will be making again and again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 1, 2021 AT 11:42 am

        Ah yay! This makes me so happy to hear, Janet! Thanks so much for trying this recipe out and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!

    5. Courtney
      November 25, 2021 AT 10:13 pm

      5 stars
      Update- I made the dish the night before and topped it with the onions once we got to our in-laws. This was by far the best dish on the table!! I loved it and the rest of the family did too! Such a yummy dish. I will be making this one again very soon! Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 29, 2021 AT 10:50 am

        Ah yay!! So pumped to hear this green bean casserole was a hit, Courtney!! Thanks so much for the review. It means so much to me!

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