Healthy Green Bean Casserole

This healthy green bean casserole is a delicious lightened up version of the classic green bean casserole! Everyone in my family loves this light and tasty green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. No cans or cream of sketchiness!

A delicious lightened up version of the classic green bean casserole! Everyone in my family loves this healthy green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. No cans or cream of sketchiness! 

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. 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.

This was, of course, 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… OMG THIS IS SO FREAKING GOOD!

I went back for seconds.  Thirds even.

Vegetarian Green Bean Casserole

Light and Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Green beans have never had it so good! Feel free to double this recipe if you need to feed a crowd for the holidays. We absolutely love this lightened up recipe!

Need to make a few changes? Here are some tips!

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Use earth balance “butter” and you’re good to go!

T-Rex Swaps

Feel free to use chicken broth or turkey broth if that’s what 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!

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

This healthy green bean casserole is a delicious lightened up version of the classic green bean casserole! Everyone in my family loves this light and tasty green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. No cans or cream of sketchiness! 
5 from 5 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Green Bean Casserole
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons


  • 1 pound fresh green beans (rinsed and trimmed)
  • 8-12 ounces button mushrooms (trimmed and sliced)
  • 4-6 ounces french fried onions (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 TBSP butter or Earth Balance for vegan
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mushroom broth or veggie broth
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • a sprinkle of garlic powder if you have it!
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • 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.
  • Set aside.
  • Next melt your butter in a skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Add the mushrooms, along with a sprinkle of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Saute, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid.
  • Next add the minced garlic and 1/4 tsp nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add your flour and stir to combine.
  • Cook for 1 minute and add the broth.
  • Simmer for about a minute, then decrease the heat to medium-low.
  • Add your almond milk and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, for approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans.
  • Top with the remaining onions.
  • Place into the oven and bake until bubbly for approximately 15 minutes.


Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!


Calories: 203kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 248mg, Potassium: 288mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 638IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 1mg
Vegetarian Green Bean Casserole Recipe
Trimmed Green Beans
Green Beans and Asparagus

Sometimes I sneak a little asparagus into the mix too!

Healthy Green Bean Casserole with Fried Onion Topping

so… how was it?!

So yummy! In theory this recipe serves 6, 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 healthy green bean casserole, stat. You’ll be happy you did!

Jenn Laughlin Headshot Photo - About the Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Jenn Laughlin created Peas and Crayons in 2009 after graduating with B.S. in Dietetics from Florida State University while working as a Nutrition Educator for WIC. The goal was simple: create and share delicious tested and perfected recipes with vegetables as the star!

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Recipe Rating

Questions & Reviews

    1. Hi Mary! I’ve assembled it in advance and popped in it the fridge to cook the following day but I do not add the topping until just before baking. I also like to let the cold casserole come to room temperature before baking so it cooks through much faster without having to over-bake and risk the top overcooking. Hope this helps! xoxo

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I made it for christmas dinner and it turned sooo amazing! I added a little bit of dried cranberries for added sweetness but you really don’t need it. It was really good and I will definitely make it again for the next occasion.

  2. 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!

    1. 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

    2. 5 stars
      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!

  3. 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!!

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

  5. Now that’s a green bean casserole that I would enjoy eating! I’m totally with you in that it’s always grossed me out because of the commercials. It just didn’t look appetizing and I don’t like goopy veggies.

  6. YUM! This looks perfect .. and the fact that you said it’s not mushy … I’m sold!

    Love the larger font size!

  7. Its def an american-y dish but has always been so goopy and mushy that it was never appealing! This is totally yum and I hope you try it sometime! <3 super fall-friendly and really hearty yet light!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!!!

  10. You won’t be disappointed! <3 I had gone so long without trying it that now I’m making up for lost time by making it allll the flipping time! =) happy sunday loveyy!

  11. Thanks!!! The slow burn is the best way to describe it! I always try to sneak in some pepper flakes and cayenne where I can =) Addictive! <3

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

  13. 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!

  14. I love your font size! Makes it so readable. And I have never liked green beans but may be tempted to try this casserole…it really looks great!

  15. Like the font!  LOVE the recipe – perfect for me to bring to Thanksgiving dinner – doesn’t LOOK healthy, but it is.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Love this! Green bean casserol is one of my favorite thanksgiving dishes! Always has been. I like the new bigger font size. 🙂

  20. 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!

  21. 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 🙂

  22. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!!!  Looks so much tastier than the “classic” version!!  🙂

  23. You had me at fried onions!! 🙂 Looks delish! And I like the font both ways but I think I’m gona have to go with bigger is better! 

  24. 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.

  25. Hey schnookums! You can simply omit the mushroom, or add carmelized onions (mmm!) or even try some sauteed roasted red peppes in the mix! Anything you LOVE would probably taste fantastic here! xoxoxo

  26. The mushrooms look so awesome in this! For some reason I’m having an intense craving for just those mushrooms swimming in that sauce! This looks great 🙂 

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

  28. Jenn, I’m with you on the commercial and I’ve never been a fan of GBC, but this looks wonderful!  May have to try it!

  29. 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:)

  30. “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.

  31. 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?

  32. 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!   

  33. 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. 

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

  35. 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! 🙂

  36. 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.

  37. Green bean casserole was never a venture of my mom’s until I was in highschool. Now it’s a staple on most holiday weekends at some point… SO good.