Green bean casserole is probably my favorite Thanksgiving dinner dish of all time. Unfortunately, cream-of-mystery-franken-foods-soup is not healthy. Neither are the french-fried onions that typically grace the top of this casserole. (Note: real onions don’t turn crispy when fried by themselves … I tried … they burn)
This was one of my most requested recipes, and I’m happy to share the healthy version. I think I actually prefer this one to the processed version, though it’s been so long that I don’t completely remember how that one tasted. Either way, this one is good! It’s also free of mystery ingredients!
The Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe
The classic green bean casserole features Campbell’s canned soup and mushy canned green beans. Then the whole thing is topped off with crispy fried onions. Some conventional fried onions in a can surprisingly have fairly decent ingredients, but most still have all-purpose flour so they aren’t gluten-free. Making green bean casserole from scratch isn’t just healthier, but it tastes so much better!
It is a little time-intensive to make, but is worth the effort. You can even make it ahead of time to make prep time faster on Thanksgiving. See the directions below the recipe to make this veggie casserole dish ahead.
Prepping the Green Beans
You can use the typical canned green beans in this recipe, but I really prefer fresh. They’ll take forever to cook in the oven if they aren’t precooked though and by then the onion topping will be burnt. I’ve found that the easiest way is to lightly steam them before I add the mushroom sauce.
Another option some people like is to blanch the green beans in a large pot of boiling water and then put them in ice water in a large bowl.
If you can’t find fresh green beans frozen will also work. Lightly cook them and then drain before adding the mushroom sauce.
A Faster Option
Since originally writing this recipe, I discovered an easier way to make cream of mushroom soup at home. It reduces the time needed to make this recipe. If you opt for this version, just use the homemade cream of mushroom soup in whatever green bean recipe you use (though no need to dilute half and half with water like the canned versions).
If you’re looking to save even more time, you can always use Kettle and Fire’s Mushroom Bisque soup. It’s an amazing option to homemade and tastes great!
Healthy Green Bean Casserole Recipe
Healthy Cream of Mushroom Sauce
- 2 pounds fresh green beans (or 5 cans or 2-3 bags of frozen)
For Onion Topping
- Put the sliced onions, eggs, and heavy cream into a medium-sized bowl and mix until evenly incorporated.
- Add the coconut flour and mix by hand until evenly coated.
- Put coconut oil (or tallow) in a large skillet and turn on medium heat.
- When hot, add the coated onions and evenly brown, turning occasionally.
- When browned, remove from heat and set aside.
For Mushroom Sauce
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.
- Add the diced mushrooms and sauté until starting to brown.
- Add cream or coconut milk.
- Whisk in egg yolks and spices and about 1/3 of the onion topping mixture (save the rest for the end) and continue stirring until the yolks begin to cook and the mixture thickens.
- If needed, add extra milk or water to the mushroom cream sauce to thin.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Lightly steam the green beans and drain to remove excess liquid. If you’re using canned green beans then drain off the liquid. Place the green beans into a 9×13 baking dish.
- Pour the cream mixture over and mix until incorporated.
- Top the green bean mixture with the remaining onion topping mixture and heat in the oven until the topping starts to crisp (but not burn!) and the green beans are heated.
- If you want the mushroom sauce to be even saucier, add an extra egg yolk.
- You can use the leftover egg whites to make the topping for this sweet potato casserole.
How to Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time
To make this ahead of time make the recipe according to the directions above, but don’t add the onions to the top. Refrigerate for up to several days until ready to eat. Let the casserole come to room temperature before putting it in the oven or the cold casserole dish could explode in the hot oven. Add the onions to the top and reheat in the oven until the topping is golden brown and crunchy.
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Mashed Potatoes (Made With Cauliflower)
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Grain-free Pumpkin Pie
- Root Vegetable Stuffing
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Leave a comment and let me know!