Green Bean Casserole

Hello! Is anyone else out there feeling a little blindsided by the fact that Thanksgiving is next week? I feel like I just kept putting the holidays off with “We still have plenty of time!“. Oh she of little preparation. So here we are, and let me guess- you probably don’t want to gain 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas, right? So let’s lighten up some of your favorite dishes, starting with my absolute favorite, the Green Bean Casserole.

Now as a kid, I remember thinking that this dish had to be good for me. So naturally, I wouldn’t eat it. I mean, there’s a green vegetable in there, hello! But after I tried it, I realized that the topping is a lot like onion rings, and I was hooked. Come to find out, those onions are part of the reason this dish isn’t so healthy.

And the cream of mushroom sauce, oh boy. The stuff you get out of a can is filled with junk: cream (which equals high fat), MSG, and some highly processed ingredients, yuck.


But what if we cleaned it up a bit? Made a sauce from scratch, with fresh mushrooms and garlic? A sauce that could be made vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free, if you desired,with wholesome ingredients? That’s what I was looking for, so I made one myself!


I also thought that the fried onions on top the casserole needed a similar treatment. I decided to bake them, which really reduced the amount of oil needed. And red onions are such nice compliment to the dish! (Want to see them in action elsewhere? Check out my BBQ Chicken Salad!)


Now I did make this as a pretty small dish. After all, there’s only three of us in my little family. Are you preparing Thanksgiving for much more? Just increase your ingredients accordingly and it will still turn out great!


Ready for more recipe makeovers? Be sure to check back as the Thanksgiving holiday draws near, and I’ll be sharing some other recipes with you to lighten up your holiday meal! And be sure to follow my feeds on social media to hear about what will be happening next!


Green Bean Casserole

A leaner version of a holiday classic! This recipe includes a homemade mushroom sauce and baked onion strings- delicious!

  • Author: Samantha Elaine
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish


  • 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed

Baked Onion Strings

  • 2 red onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 1/2 cup instant dry potato flakes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour *
  • grapeseed oil spray

Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk or other nut milk
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese **


  1. To prepare “fried” onions, preheat oven to 450. In a bowl, toss onion rings with potato flakes and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with grapeseed oil. Spread onions out on baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes so the onions do not burn.
  2. Meanwhile, to prepare creamy mushroom sauce, heat oil for about a minute in a large pan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the cornstarch, and stir until it coats the vegetables. Pour in a small amount of broth, and use a whisk to remove lumps of cornstarch. Then, add the remaining broth and stir to combine. Add almond milk and bring to a simmer, stirring continuously. When mixture begins to bubble well and feels thick, stir in the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

  3. To prepare casserole, heat oven to 375. Steam the green beans until tender using preferred method. Toss the steamed green beans with the mushroom sauce, and pour into a baking dish. Let cook uncovered in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. Cover with “fried” onions, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Then serve!


*To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free flour.

**To make this dish dairy-free, use vegan cheese

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