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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!

A white dish with green bean casserole in it.

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.

Ingredients for a healthy green bean casserole on a table.

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.

Green beans being blanced for green bean casserole.

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.

Mushroom sauce in pans for a green bean casserole.

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.

Green beans being layered with mushroom sauce for a casserole.

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!

Crispy shallots being sauteed for a green bean casserole.

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.

Healthy green bean casserole in a white dish.

More Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

I’ve got you covered with all the side dishes you need. Here are some of my favorites:

Healthy green bean casserole in a white dish on a table.
4.78 from 9 votes

Healthy Green Bean Casserole (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
This healthy green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving classic with creamy mushroom sauce, fresh green beans, and topped with crispy shallots!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
    Beans being boiled in a pot for a healthy green bean casserole.
  • 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.
    A pan with a mushroom mixture in it for green bean casserole.
  • 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.
    Green beans and mushrooms being layered into a casserole dish.
  • 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.
    Shallots being sauteed in a pan for a green bean casserole.
  • Once the shallots are lightly golden, remove them to a paper towel lined plate.
    Crispy shallots on a plate next to a pan.
  • Remove the green bean casserole from the oven, top with the crispy shallots and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 200mg, Potassium: 428mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 587IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: green bean casserole, healthy green bean casserole, thanksgiving side dish
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26 comments on “Healthy Green Bean Casserole”

  1. 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! 

  2. I made this for Thanksgiving, it is sooo delicious! Easy to make.  Thank you!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. Hi, 
    I can’t find arrowroot powder, what else I can use instead? 
    Thank you 😊 

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. Yummy! This looks so delicious and yummy! My husband is going to love this! I can’t wait to give this a try!

  13. 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!