Just in Time for the Holidays, Here is a Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Just in Time for the Holidays, Here is a Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that’s so delicious, it can even make vegetable-phobes ask for seconds. The only problem? It was dreamed up by a soup company during the 1950s, an era dominated by processed food hacks. But the crux of this all-American dish has a lot going for it nutritionally, so we’ve reinvented it without the canned ingredients. Our healthy green bean casserole has the creamy mushroom and onion crisp goodness of the original, but with homemade flavors that will have your cousins sparring over the last helping.

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How to Make a Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Invented by Dorcas Reilly, string bean casserole is undoubtably iconic. In fact, the original recipe card was placed in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002. While it might be a formidable feat to match, we think our healthy green bean casserole is good enough to break the internet.

The biggest difference is that we use all fresh ingredients to make our own creamy mushroom sauce. Mushrooms grow year-round, but they’re most abundant in fall, which is perfect for Thanksgiving!

Here’s how simple it is to make a healthier green bean casserole:

Make the mushroom sauce

Making a creamy mushroom sauce on the stovetop is fairly easy, and the results are far tastier than glop out of a can. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Sauté cut-up mushrooms and garlic until they’re tender.
  2. Add broth, flour, and milk, and reduce until thickened. (When adding the flour, pre-mix it first with some of the broth to form a paste, or a “slurry.” This will prevent it from clumping.)

Create the casserole

Once you have the sauce made, mix it up with the green veggies!

  1. Toss the sauce and green beans for your base casserole layer.
  2. We recommend blanching fresh beans, but if you’re really short on time, you can also use frozen beans (just let them thaw beforehand).

Top it off

Now, we haven’t forgotten the clincher: the crispy fried onion topping. However, again we’re opting for the real deal and making our own. Which is also pretty easy to do:

  1. Thinly slice an onion and add it to a skillet with cooking spray.
  2. Toss the cooked onions with whole-wheat panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, and parsley.
  3. Sprinkle that mixture on top of the casserole, and pop the dish into the oven and presto to cook and crisp up the onions.

That’s it! With these simple steps you can create the best green bean casserole you’ve ever tasted, no cans required. Get the full recipe below, and remember to snag a serving before everyone else dives in.

healthier green bean casserole- process shot

healthier green bean casserole- process shot
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Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword green bean casserole
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 151 kcal


  • 8 cups string beans blanched
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided use
  • 1 cup white button mushrooms quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 4 Tbsp parmesan cheese grated, divided use
  • 1 cup white onion thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and spray a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add mushrooms and garlic, cook for 5-8 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally.

  3. Meanwhile, combine the flour and broth in a separate bowl and whisk together.

  4. Once mushrooms are tender, reduce the heat to medium, and add broth mixture to skillet. Whisk the mushroom broth and cook for about 2 minutes.

  5. Slowly add milk to the skillet, stirring continuously.

  6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the mushroom sauce for approximately 3-5 minutes, or until the sauce begins thicken. Stir in 2 Tbsp parmesan, mix well and remove from heat.

  7. Mix the blanched green beans and mushroom sauce together, ensuring that the beans are equally covered in mushroom sauce. Transfer to casserole dish and set aside.

  8. Spray the same skillet you used for the mushroom sauce with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced onions, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the onions are soft and begin to brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. 

  9. In a separate bowl, combine onions, panko crumbs, remaining 2 Tbsp. parmesan, parsley and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Stir well and sprinkle onion mixture over the green beans and place casserole in oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

  10. Serve immediately.  Leftover can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Healthier Green Bean Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 151 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 79mg3%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 6g12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

plant based thanksgiving recipes - green bean casserole

Photography by Anguel Dimov, AB Creative