Healthy Green Bean Casserole
This healthy green bean casserole is a lightened up, dairy-free, and gluten-free version of the classic Thanksgiving side. It’s made with a deliciously creamy, homemade mushroom sauce, fresh green beans, and topped with crispy golden shallots for that perfect crunch.
Serve this up next to your juicy, perfectly cooked turkey (dolloped with gravy or cranberry sauce) and you’ll have a winner of a meal!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I’d give the classic green bean casserole a Downshiftology twist. I’m ditching store-bought cream of mushroom soup for a homemade dairy-free, gluten-free version, and I’m swapping flour-fried crispy onions for more delicate (and of course gluten-free) crispy shallots. It’s an easy swap.
Then, all you’ve just got to do is add those items to fresh green beans and you’ve got yourself one tasty, healthy green bean casserole. It’s a Thanksgiving side dish worthy of a coveted spot on your table, perhaps right next to a healthy sweet potato casserole.
What Goes In This Green Bean Casserole
- Green Beans: Use fresh green beans if you have access to them. If not, frozen ones work just fine since they’re frozen at their peak.
- Olive Oil: An essential for giving the mushrooms life while sauteing.
- Mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms (or baby bella mushrooms) work great in this recipe.
- Onion & Garlic: Adds aromatics and savory goodness to the mushroom sauce.
- Tamari Soy Sauce: This gluten-free soy sauce gives a punch of flavor. You can also use coconut aminos.
- Chicken Broth: For layered richness to the sauce.
- Milk: You can use almond milk, cashew milk, or any dairy-free milk.
- Arrowroot Powder: Works wonders to thicken up the mushroom sauce.
- Shallots: Makes for the best crispy topping to this casserole.
Let’s Make A Healthy Green Bean Casserole
First, prep the green beans. Preheat your oven to 375F. Then, blanch the green beans for about 4-5 minutes until they’re tender yet crisp. Then transfer them to an ice water bath, drain, and set aside.
Next, create the sauce. Saute the oil, onion, and mushrooms on high heat for 8-10 minutes. Then, stir in the tamari soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Once it’s mixed in, add the chicken broth and milk, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. You want all those flavors to meld together.
In a small bowl, make a slurry by whisking together arrowroot powder and 2 tablespoons of water. Turn the stove off and pour the slurry into the pan and give it all stir until thick.
Layer it up and bake! Pour 1/3 of the mushroom sauce into the baking pan, add the green beans, and pour the rest of the sauce across the top. Then, bake for 10-15 minutes.
Lastly, make the crispy shallots. Saute the sliced shallots on medium high heat with olive oil for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Keep a close eye on them! Once they’re done cooking, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate. To finish off the dish, remove the casserole from oven and top it with crispy shallots. And you’re done!
Meal Prep, Store, And Reheat
- To make ahead: place everything in the casserole pan except the crispy shallots. Then cover and store in the fridge for up to two days. Store the crispy shallots separately.
- To heat: pop the casserole dish in the oven for 15-20 min, top with the crispy shallots and cook another 5 min.
- For storing: this will keep in the fridge for about 4 days if stored correctly in an airtight container.
A Few Green Bean Casserole Tips
- Make it a cheesy. While this recipe is dairy-free, you can add some grated parmesan to the sauce before baking or top it with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
- Make sure your beans are dry. After blanching, blot them with a paper towel to dry them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a much softer casserole.
- Keep an eye on your shallots! They can easily turn from golden brown to burnt. So keep a close eye on them after reducing the heat to low.
More Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes
I’ve got you covered with all the side dishes you need. Here are some of my favorites:
- Honey Glazed Carrots
- Best Mashed Potato
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Green Beans
Healthy Green Bean Casserole (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, or vegetable broth for vegan
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk, cashew milk, or other dairy-free milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 4-5 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
- Preheat your oven to 375F. Then, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the green beans. Blanch the green beans for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly tender but still crisp.
- Immediately transfer the green beans to an ice water bath, drain, and set aside.
- Then, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat in a large pan. Add the diced onion and sliced mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until soft.
- Stir in the tamari soy sauce, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Then add the chicken broth and milk, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Make a slurry by stirring the arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Turn off the stove, pour the slurry into the pan, and stir until the sauce has thickened.
- Transfer about 1/3 of the mushroom sauce to a baking pan, add the green beans on top, then top with the remaining sauce. I put the sauce down the middle for presentation, but you could spread it evenly across the top. Then bake for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.
- While the green beans are baking, add the sliced shallots to a pan with 1/4 cup or so of olive oil. Heat on medium high heat for 5 minutes, stirring the shallots, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Keep a close eye on the shallots after 7-8 minutes, as they go from golden to burnt very quickly.
- Once the shallots are lightly golden, remove them to a paper towel lined plate.
- Remove the green bean casserole from the oven, top with the crispy shallots and serve.
These were delicious, but how on earth do you get the Shallots to crisp? Mine were so soggy and i even left them on the stovetop longer than suggested. I ended up having to use a combo of the fried onions from a can (GASP – with flour) – but it was all I had. I persoanlly loated green bean casserole until I found this recipe! The mushroom sauce is so full of flavor and complemented the green beans so well. thanks!
You’re not going to get them as crispy as the canned kind, unfortunately. But another way to get them extra crispy is to deep fry them.
I made this green bean casserole for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve tried a few healthy-clean eating versions in the past, but this recipe is hands-down THE BEST! Everyone went back for seconds. I will be adding this to my weekly dinner sides to enjoy year-round. Thank you, Lisa for all your wonderful recipes. Five-Stars
Looking forward to making this for Thanksgiving this year. I am not gluten or dairy free though. Can I just use regular soy sauce and milk? If using regular dairy, would you recommend using 1/2 and 1/2 or regular milk?
Hi Kathleen – yes, that’s fine. And for the milk, it’s really just personal preference and up to you! :)
I have made this many time, we all love it want to making for camping for Thanksgiving do you have tip or suggestion on how to make in the crockpot?
I haven’t tested this in a crockpot, so will have to get back to you on that!
This was delicious. I think the people who said it lacked flavor didn’t make it right or are used to processed, cheesy stuff. I added salt to the blanching water. The crispy shallots directions work except to get mine crispy I had to have them on low heat for about 45 minutes, not 3-4. So that was a big discrepancy but really worth the wait. The mushroom sauce is basically mushroom gravy which was better than our other gravy. I think I’ll use it as gravy next year. Really good if you follow the directions well including taking the time to dry the blanched green beans.
Omg. This was delicious. First time making it. I prepared it ahead of time and made Tge crispy shallots before I went to thanksgiving dinner. I reheated the green beans for 20 min then placed the shallots on top and put the broiler on low. It was a hit. I added a little more of the aminos just for flavor. Nothing leftover. Thank u
Happy to hear you loved this green bean casserole Ruthann!
Is it necessary to bake this recipe or would placing it in a warmer after the stovetop parts be sufficient?
Yes, you do need to bake this recipe.
Sadly this lacked a lot of flavor for me. The recipe wasn’t hard to follow and it turned out alright, but it wasn’t everyone’s favorite by any means. The shallots didn’t really crisp up for me and to risk them burning I just took them off the pan.
Hi Felishia – sorry you didn’t love this recipe. The shallots are great crispy, and the key is to cook them low and slow after that first couple of minutes. Hope you enjoy some of my other recipes more!
I was so excited for this healthier take on a green bean casserole but sadly it didn’t work out and I had to throw out the sauce and turn the cooked beans into a green bean salad instead. It all went really well until I added the arrowroot flour to the sauce – I can only assume where it says 2 tablespoons it should say teaspoons? I found that only I added the arrowroot slurry to the sauce the whole thing was a gel and had a very strange texture and taste when I tried it. Such a shame as I have always found your recipes to be so easy to follow and they always come out perfectly!
Hi Alice – arrowroot powder will gel like that if you overheat it. It sounds like you may have still had the stove on when you added the slurry. It’s important to turn the heat off first, then add the slurry. If you do that, it’s shouldn’t gel weird. Hope your next try comes out better!
I love your receipe!
This one was so delicious that I made it twice that week!
Amazing! Glad you love this one :)
A great side dish! I substituted the arrowroot with cornstarch and it turned out just fine with the substitute. I like having a GF version of a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Glad this fits within your Thanksgiving menu this year :)
A new one for the annual feast! Thank you for sharing this one. The green beans were the perfect texture. The sauce was so flavorful. Next Tim will devote more time and effort on making the shallots crispy for topping. Yum!
Happy to hear this had made it to the annual list Keely!
This recipe is a dream come true! All of the deliciousness of my childhood with the nutrition and healthiness for my grown up life! Best part? My kids LOVED this! We barely had leftovers and those were fought over the next day! This will be a regular at holidays and beyond!
This recipe definitely works beautifully as leftovers :)
I made this for Thanksgiving, it is sooo delicious! Easy to make. Thank you!
Wonderful! Glad you loved this recipe Diane :)
We made this recipe and it was fantastic. I have not made this classic in 13 years because I used to make a less healthy version. My kids and I have allergies and this was perfect. Very simple and delicious!
Glad this healthier version was a hit!
This was a fail. Green beans were too Al Dente. They needed to be cooked two or three times as long. Too crunchy. Didn’t taste like GB casserole at all. Won’t take the time to cook it again. Very sad. Was looking forward to it. Way too much work for not a good result!
Hi Susan – sorry you didn’t love this recipe. I do prefer crisp green beans but you can of course always cook them longer. I hope you enjoy some of my other recipes more!
I’m looking forward to having a much healthier green bean casserole today for Thanksgiving! I do have one question: I made it a day ahead when I bake it today do I do so at 375? Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi Rita – yes, you’ll bake it at 375F. Hope you enjoy it, Happy Thanksgiving!
I can’t find arrowroot powder, what else I can use instead?
Thank you 😊
Hi Maura- You can also use tapioca flower or cornstarch as a thickener!
The consistency of my mushroom sauce did not look like your In the end. I followed the directions to a “T”. Also, the taste is a little off. Disappointed.
Hi – sorry to hear about the consistency of the sauce. Did you use arrowroot flour or another flour? And what was it about the flavor that you didn’t like?
I made this recipe and it is FANTASTIC! Couldn’t find arrowroot powder, so I used cornstarch. Substituted regular cows milk for the almond milk. I plan to serve these beans on Thanksgiving!
Glad you loved this recipe Amy with the minor small tweaks to it!
This looks amazing! Can I omit the mushrooms or substitute it with something else? I LOVE mushrooms, but unfortunately my family doesn’t haha.
Hi Sarah – that cream of mushroom flavor is definitely traditional with green bean casseroles, but you could try it with other savory vegetables, like eggplant or sun-dried tomatoes.
I love that you’ve made this a healthier version – it’s going to be on my holiday table! I also love being able to make this dairy-free!
Can’t wait for your family to try this one Jennifer :)
Ooh I love healthy side dishes for the holidays and this one is a favorite! It’s definitely going to be on repeat every year!
Wonderful! This is one that will be loved around the dinner table :)
Yummy! This looks so delicious and yummy! My husband is going to love this! I can’t wait to give this a try!
Hope you and your husband both enjoy this green bean casserole :)
I love green bean casserole but hate how unhealthy and heavy it is! I can’t wait to try this version for Thanksgiving this year!
Hope the whole family enjoys this healthy, homemade version without the canned stuff!