Light + Tasty Green Bean Casserole

Light + Tasty Green Bean Casserole

Just say NO to mushy veggies!

I grew up eating green beans cold and straight from a can.  Odd?  Absolutely!  But that’s how my mom gave them to me and, unless there were mashed potatoes present, that’s what I devoured first!  Sometime after college I branched out and tried steamed green beans… then a fantabulous boss of mine introduced me to green beans and feta… and finally, I sucked it up and tried the super popular green bean casserole.  Oh. My. Gosh.
Let’s rewind a second.  Have you seen those Campbell’s commercials for their green bean casserole?  It plays on loop every holiday season, but in case you missed it, [click here] for the video.  This commercial is the reason I refused to try green bean casserole for yeeeears.  I think it was the visual of the goopy cream of mushroom soup… It turned me off to GBC entirely.  Until I watched Paul’s family make it from scratch last Thanksgiving.  To let you in on how my mind works, my thought process went a little like this:
Ewwww Green Bean Casserole!!! 
Oh!  No soup?  Cool! 
Well that seems harmless enough… those green beans look so… GREEN!  
I suppose I should try just a bite.  To be polite…  
I went back for seconds.  Thirds even.  
Light + Tasty Green Bean Casserole

Light + Tasty Green Bean Casserole

[sketch-free and delicious]
Light + Tasty Green Bean Casserole
Recipe type: side, casserole
  • roughly 1 pound of fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
  • 8-12 ounces of button mushrooms , trimmed and sliced
  • 4-6 ounces of french fried onions, homemade or store bought
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of mushroom or veggie broth
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • a sprinkle of garlic powder if you have it!
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Blanch green beans by bringing a pot or skillet of water to boil, adding green beans, then removing after 3-5 minutes. You'll want them bright green and slightly tender. While the green beans are cooking, add ice and water to a large bowl and set aside. This will serve as your "ice bath" to shock the green beans and prevent them from continuing to cook. No mushy green beans here! Once the beans have finished boiling, drain them in a colander, pop em in the ice bath, and then drain again.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Next melt your butter in a skillet on medium-high heat.
  5. Add the mushrooms, along with a sprinkle of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  6. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid.
  7. Next add the minced garlic and ¼ tsp nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add your flour and stir to combine.
  9. Cook for 1 minute and add the broth.
  10. Simmer for about a minute, then decrease the heat to medium-low.
  11. Add your almond milk and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, for approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  12. Remove from the heat and stir in ¼ of the onions and all of the green beans.
  13. Top with the remaining onions.
  14. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly for approximately 15 minutes.
Vegansaurus Chefs use earth balance and you’re good to go! 
Spicysaurus Chefs try a sprinkle of cayenne + a pinch of red pepper flakes
T-Rex Chefs feel free to use any broth you have on hand and even half and half or milk for the dairy option… but I promise you wont miss either if you try this version =)
vegan green bean casserole
trimmed green beans
green beans and asparagus
Sometimes I sneak a little asparagus into the mix too!
mushroom and green beans
So… How was it?
Duh!  Yummy!  In theory this recipe serves 4, but in reality I only ever get 2-3 servings out of it.  Either one for me and one for Paul…. or 3 small servings for just moi over the course of 2 days.  At least that’s standard operating procedure around here =)  It’s good. REALLY good!  Like last year, I plan on making this all fall/winter long and probably won’t tire of it until I go salad crazy in the spring.  So put down the pumpkin, and make this for dinner.  You’ll be happy you did! <3


  1. says

    MMMMMmmm I’ve never had green bean casserole for the same reasons you never did… canned green beans… cream of mushroom soup… BLAH.

    I love fresh green beans though… and mushrooms… and french fried onions! I gotta try this.

  2. says

    I have always been a green bean casserole hater because of those commercials. That and the sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Not my idea of delicious Thanksgiving sides. This looks absolutely yummy. Nice and green:)

  3. Emily Dryden says

    Oh my gosh, this looks amazing! 
    Casseroles are typically so heavy that I tend to avoid them altogether, but this one is just the opposite. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Myinnercheerleader says

    It looks so fresh and tasty.  On my list to try this weekend.  I grew up on canned veggies but now only buy fresh. 

  5. says

    We were just talking about making this from scratch this t-giving….since Joe and I both like it (a lot), but both of our families use the canned stuff! I really like the add of asparagus too.
    Thanks for sharing! 
    Either font size works for me…but I think I do like the bigger a bit more. 

  6. says

    This looks WAY better than the stuff where you open a bunch of cans & bake.  My sister is crazy about the other kind (I hope she’s not reading this). I think it’s awful!   

  7. Kay says

    Okay, so I know this is like, green bean casserole blasphemy, but I am NOT a mushroom eater.  Any suggestions for something else to sub in?

  8. Viviane Bauquet Farre says

    “Just say no to mushy vegetables” – I love this mantra! You’ve crafted a wonderful looking lunch here and I’ll bet the crunch is all there.

  9. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean says

    i LOVE green beans, but have never liked the casserole. however hubby loves it. def making this for him for thanksgiving

  10. says

    My 4 year old would go crazy for this as he is a mushroom-aholic.  This looks great and thanks for a healthier alternative to the “cream of” laden traditional recipe.

  11. says

    Mmm that looks delicious, anything with mushrooms and fried onions sounds brilliant to me! 
    And I do love asparagus :-)
    I would definitely go for the spicysaurus version and add some red chili flakes!Beautiful photos :-)

  12. says

    I made green bean casserole for the first time last year (and it was the first time I’d ever tried it) and loved it!  I think I’m going to try your recipe this year!

  13. says

    I think green bean casserole is the most disgusting Thanksgiving dish mainly because of the cream of mushroom soup.  I would love to actually try it though with this recipe.  My husband would love me that much more because he adores the stuff.

  14. says

    I STILL haven’t tried green bean casserole! It’s one of those classic Thanksgiving dishes that was never classic in my house. I guess that’s a good thing?! The goopy mess in the pictures gives me the heeby jeebies too. ;-p

    Your version, on the other hand, looks amazing! Yum yum yum. I think I’m going to add this to the turkey day repertoire this year! And I love the idea of kicking up the heat with cayenne.

  15. Elizabeth Brunetti says

    This looks really great!  I love the addition of red pepper flakes – I like to use those to add a slow-burning kick to homey recipes like this!  Great pics, too!

  16. egcounce says

    I have never been a fan of GBC either.  I’ve always seen the mushy kind at holiday dinners or BBQ restaurants.  Sad that I have never even thought about using fresh green beans–guess I’ll have to try this–it looks good!

  17. Alicia says

    My husband just asked me the other day id I would make a green bean casserole for Thanksgiving, This one looks so delicious!!

  18. says

    I have NEVER tried green bean casserole!  Although… truth be told I think this it is more common/popular in the US than here in Canada (I have actually never seen it as part of a holiday meal).  I HAVE seen the commercials though and always thought it had to have the soup also.  This looks so yummy!  I think I am going to try serving some up this holiday season!!!

  19. says

    NICE! I’ll never forget how years ago I made this dish for T-day at a boyfriend’s family’s house, and I didn’t know you were supposed to cook the beans first. . . so it was totally raw greenbeans under the baked casserole!  But personally I prefer crunchy beans.  This is a good solution!
    I think the font size is great.

  20. Missymaki says

    yes, yes, YES!  This is what I am going to serve for a veggie side.  EXACTLY the way you have it here.  Delicious!

  21. Ellie says

    This looks amazing!!!! I wish I had found your blog before the holiday! Will definitely make this next year when I veganize my Thanksgiving meal! And for a “few” meals in between too! I love green beans!!

  22. says

    I have a question for you… what do you think about using frozen green beans? I have to travel and was thinking of whipping up this delicious looking sauce at home, then combining it with thawed green beans and baking when I get there (long drive). Costco has some pretty darn good frozen beans, thought it might save some time. What do you think? Looks yummy, can’t wait for Thanksgiving dinner already!

    • says

      Have you had them thawed out before? I know the microwave packets at the grocery store lead to mushy beans — but thawing good quality frozen ones might be great!!! If you’ve tried them and like them I’d vote 100% yes! The blanching is really quick and easy but I’m absolutely curious to try them with frozen now — let me know how it goes! <3 Happy early Thanksgiving! <3

    • says

      They turned out excellent! Waaaaaaaaaaay better than canned green beans. Not mushy. Probably the best green bean casserole I’ve ever had, though I did use onion instead of the mushroom. Thank you for the recipe!

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