Healthy Green Bean Casserole

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This Healthy Green Bean Casserole is a lighter alternative to the traditional green bean casserole but without any canned goods or fried onions! It is made entirely from scratch with fresh green beans and mushrooms in a creamy sauce with an extra crispy onion topping!

And don’t forget one of the most important holiday side dishes: Easy Homemade Dinner Rolls to soak up any leftover cream from this casserole, as well as the gravy from the turkey.

Baking dish filled with green bean casserole.

HEALTHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

This super simple, Healthy Green Bean Casserole is made 100% from scratch with fresh ingredients. There are no canned goods or pre-made fried onions. Everything is made with lighter ingredients from the creamy mushroom and green bean casserole to the extra crispy onion topping.

Forget the canned creamy mushroom soup, packaged fried onions, and canned or frozen green beans. This lightened-up green bean casserole tastes so much better with its fresh ingredients. Once you tried this version fully homemade, you’ll never go back to the old way!

When I initially started trialing out healthier alternatives to this infamous holiday dish, I was a bit skeptical in what I could sacrifice and what I could not when it came to key ingredients. But my husband was pleasantly surprised and wow’ed by the end result! And I hope you are, too. This green bean casserole is fresh and flavorful – the way it should be.

Casserole dish filled with green bean casserole being placed on the table.

As a kid and for part of my early adult years, I would forgo this side dish at family gatherings. It was simply too bland, too mushy, and too boring for me. And why go for green beans when you can go for an extra helping of turkey or a buttery roll? But I have always been one to shy away from trying new things until I am forced. And every time I find myself sorely mistaken, wondering how I could pass up such a delicious dish.

So for this holiday season, I wanted to provide not only my family, but yours, with a delicious, homemade and lightened up rendition that is bursting with flavor!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

Full recipe with directions can be found via the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Simply scroll down!

  • Crispy onion topping: Onions, olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Green beans: I recommend using fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces. It will taste so much better than canned or frozen.
  • Mushrooms: baby bella mushrooms cooked in unsalted butter on high heat before being seasoned with fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.
  • Creamy sauce: butter, all-purpose flour (or GF flour), milk (dairy or dairy-free alternative), vegetable stock or broth (or chicken), garlic powder, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese.

WHAT MAKES THIS GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE HEALTHY?

My recipe is a lightened up, homemade version that does use a lot of the same key ingredients, but on a “less is more” side. The butter for example is not as heavily used as it is in traditional green bean casserole. I also use vegetable stock over cream for the sauce. This keeps the calorie and fat count low. There are no canned creamy soups or fried onions in this, which in turn, helps to control the amount of sodium in the dish, as well.

When it comes to the holidays and all the festivities that occur, we need all the help we can get as we pile our plates high with delicious side dishes!

Baking dish with casserole baked inside.

HOW TO STORE & REHEAT THIS CASSEROLE

— To store: If you happen to have leftovers, this casserole can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Unfortunately the milk from the creamy sauce will not freeze well, so it is not a recommended freezer-friendly dish.

— To reheat: To reheat any leftovers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake until cooked through, approximately 15-20 minutes. Time will be dependent on how many leftovers there are.

— Want to make ahead of time? With all the cooking one has to do around the holiday, sometimes making a dish or two ahead of time can save you on a lot of stress, as well as time! Follow the steps of the recipe up until it’s time to bake. Rather than bake, simply cover and place into the fridge for up to 24 hours. When ready, remove cover and bake as directed.

Baking dish filled with creamy green bean casserole.

OTHER DELICIOUS SIDE DISHES TO TRY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON:

  1. Simple Traditional Herb Stuffing 
  2. Crispy Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts 
  3. Cheesy Pepper Jack Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  4. Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potato Foil Packets 
  5. Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes



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Baking dish filled with green bean casserole.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

5 from 1 vote
This Healthy Green Bean Casserole is a lighter alternative to the traditional green bean casserole but without any canned goods or fried french onions! It is made entirely from scratch with fresh green beans and mushrooms in a creamy sauce with an extra crispy onion topping!
Print Recipe Rate Recipe
Course: Side, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Healthy Green Bean Casserole, Thanksgiving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Samantha Buckner

Ingredients:

For the crispy onion topping:

  • 2 medium yellow onions, (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, (fresh is best!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the green beans:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, (trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces)

For the mushrooms:

  • 1 pound baby bella mushrooms, (washed and sliced thin)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, (or 1/3 teaspoon of dried)
  • salt and pepper, (to taste)

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, (or GF all-purpose flour)
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock, (or chicken stock/broth)
  • 1 cup milk, (dairy or dairy-free)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, (more or less, to taste)

Instructions:

Crispy onion topping:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl, toss the onions with the olive oil to fully coat.
  • To a medium mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Add the breadcrumb mixture to the onions and gently fold everything together. Spread out into an even layer onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, stirring or flipping halfway through.
    Remove from oven, set aside, and lower the temperature to 350 degrees F.

Green beans:

  • While the onions are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans, cooking 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in very cold water to remove any heat to stop the cooking process. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels if needed.

Mushrooms:

  • Meanwhile, place a large saucepan over high heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted and bubbling, add the sliced mushrooms. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until all of the moisture has cooked out and they are golden brown. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
  • Remove to a bowl or even the pot you used to boil the beans (one less dish to wash) and set aside.

Sauce:

  • Place the same saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and once melted and starting to bubble, sprinkle in the flour, whisking until a paste forms.
  • Slowly poor in the stock, whisking consistenly and vigorously until no clumps remain. Pour in the milk and raise the temperature to medium-high heat to bring to a boil for 1 minute before reducing to a simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring often until the sauce begins to thicken.
    You want a thin, gravy-like consistency.
  • Turn off heat, add the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese has melted.

Putting it together:

  • Spray an 8x12 or 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add the green beans and mushrooms.
  • Pour the sauce overtop and stir to coat.
  • Top with the onions, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, keeping an eye on the onion topping.
  • Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper, additional parmesan cheese, and freshly chopped thyme. Serve hot.

Notes:

 
To make gluten free:  use gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Vegetable stock: can swap for vegetable broth, chicken broth, or chicken stock.
Sodium:  If using regular broth or stock (rather than unsalted), I recommend seasoning with salt, to taste.
Milk: We use cashew milk, but you can use heavy cream, half and half, regular milk, or another dairy-free alternative (although I cannot attest to the results with all dairy-free options).
Extra-crunchy onion topping: If the onions are not as crispy as you would like them to be, simply turn the oven to low broil and allow the topping to cook for 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on it!
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NUTRITION:

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Green Bean Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 235 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 548mg23%
Potassium 592mg17%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 1041IU21%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 165mg17%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimer:The nutritional information provided on each recipe on With Peanut Butter on Top is given as a courtesy and as approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Nutritional information varies per brand/product. We recommend using an app to calculate full and accurate nutrition based on your ingredients used per recipe. Thank you! 🙂

Baking dish filled with green bean casserole.

 
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