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Healthier Green Bean Casserole

by Adina 25/11/2019 36 comments

green bean casserole made from scratch
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A healthier green bean casserole with mushrooms made from scratch, this recipe would make the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving.




green bean casserolein a casserole dish


A traditional green bean casserole for Thanksgiving is not exactly healthy. It contains canned condensed cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onions.

And I have to admit that today is the first time I’ve heard that there is such a thing as canned fried onions!!! I cannot even imagine how those feel or taste like…

But not this green bean casserole with mushrooms. No canned mushroom soup and no canned onions.

You will make the white sauce from scratch, using just flour and milk, cook your own mushrooms (it only takes minutes) and lose the onions. Freshly fried onions do taste great, but they’re not much healthier than the canned ones either.

During the past three years, I’ve cooked this healthier green bean casserole many times, not for Thanksgiving, which is not celebrated in Europe, but for Christmas or for regular Sunday lunches.


Healthy Green Bean Casserole



Delicious green beans smothered in a luscious sauce made with fresh mushrooms and onions and topped with crispy Panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan. I am telling you, this casserole dish is a delight.

No processed ingredients, you are using whole, fresh and light products. Makes perfect sense for me, especially when talking about Thanksgiving, Christmas or other festive meals. You will have enough calories on your plate as it is, so why not try save some when eating the side dishes.

You could, of course, only have plain boiled green beans and you will save even more, but that would be just a little bit boring for Thanksgiving, wouldn’t it?

So, a healthier green bean casserole is a better solution!


green bean casserole on a plate





ingredients green bean casserole


Green beans:

  • Fresh green beans are always the best choice, they are crispier, have a more pronounced taste and don’t become soggy like frozen beans sometimes do. But, for convenience and as you are making this casserole healthier in many other ways as well, you can use frozen green beans as well, if there is no other way.
  • Trim the green beans and cut them into smaller pieces.


  • Definitely fresh mushrooms, no canned soup and no canned or frozen mushrooms, that would ruin the dish.
  • You can use either white button or cremini mushrooms.
  • Wipe them clean with kitchen paper and halve them.


close up green bean casserole with mushrooms



  • I always use Panko breadcrumbs, Healthier Green Bean Casserole to make this green bean casserole.
  • Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs, they are larger and much crispier than regular breadcrumbs.
  • They will replace the fried onions in this dish, saving you lots of calories.

Soy sauce:

  • I admit that this is very unusual for a traditional American recipe, but it works, enhancing the flavor of the dish.
  • White sauce: for the white sauce you will need low-fat milk and whole wheat flour. All-purpose flour can be used instead, if you don’t have whole wheat in the house.


green bean casserole in a casserole dish




  • Trim and cut the green beans. Bring them to a boil, drain and rinse under cold water. Rinsing them immediately with cold water helps them remain crisp and achieve a beautiful, intense green color.
  • Wipe the mushrooms clean with kitchen paper and halve them. If larger, quarter them.
  • Cook the mushrooms and chopped onions for a few minutes until the mushrooms turn golden.
  • Add the white wine, stir well and cook for a few more minutes until all the wine and the water released by the mushrooms are evaporated.

White sauce:

  • Pour the milk into a saucepan. Thoroughly whisk in the flour.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes while whisking continuously.
  • The sauce will thicken quite fast.
  • Remove from the heat, add vinegar and soy sauce. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.


  • Add the vegetables to the sauce (or pour the sauce over the veggies) and mix well.
  • Lightly oil a suitable casserole dish and pour in the mixture.
  • Top with panko.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the panko is golden, about 35-40 minutes.


preparing green bean casserole step by step




  • Definitely and this will save you some stress before the actual dinner.
  • Prepare everything, but don’t top the casserole with panko breadcrumbs.
  • Cover the casserole dish with cling film/plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • Remove the plastic wrap, top the casserole with the panko breadcrumbs and bake as instructed before the guest come.

Can you reheat the casserole?

  • Yes. If you have leftovers, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until properly heated through.
  • The green bean casserole doesn’t freeze well.


green bean casserole on a plate



This casserole is a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other festive meal. It goes well with roasts of all kinds.

However, the green bean mushroom casserole makes a wonderful, light, vegetarian meal on its own. We love this dish with mashed or oven baked potato wedges, no need for meat.


green bean casserole with fresh mushrooms



Roasted Leeks: I love these sweet, caramelized leeks, they are healthy, easy to make, cheap and go well with just about anything.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon: a hearty yet light side dish, perfect to serve with a beef or pork roast and potatoes.

Creamy Spinach Potato Mash: a delicious twist on regular mashed potatoes.

Braised Fennel with Apples: a really festive side dish, you will not believe the flavors in this dish. Definitely worth trying, especially if you think that you don’t like fennel. You might just learn to love it!

Salad with Yogurt Dressing: a fresh salad is always a good idea!




, Healthier Green Bean Casserole


Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A healthier green bean casserole with mushrooms made from scratch, this recipe would make the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving.


  • 900 g/ 2 lbs green beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 400 g/ 14 oz mushrooms (See note)
  • 1 small onion
  • 350 ml/ 12 fl.oz/ 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1,5% fat)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • a few gratings of nutmeg
  • about 30 g/ 1 oz/ ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 30 g/ 1 oz/ 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • fine sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. In the meantime trim the green beans and cut them into 2,5 cm/1 inch pieces. Put them into the boiling water, bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes, they should still be crisp. Drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
  4. Wipe the mushrooms clean with kitchen paper, halve or quarter them as necessary. If very small, leave them whole.
  5. Chop the onion. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan, add onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they turn golden and all the released juices evaporate, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the flour gradually while whisking all the time. Cook while whisking continuously until the sauce thickens (it will happen fast). Season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add to the mushroom-onion mixture together with soy sauce and green beans. Stir well.
  7. Mix the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan and parsley.
  8. Lightly oil a suitable casserole dish, place the mixture inside and sprinkle the Panko-Parmesan mixture on top. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.


  1. White button or cremini mushrooms.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of the casserole
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 387mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 7gSugar: 8gProtein: 9g
Nutritional information is not always accurate.



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Amy (Savory Moments) 21/03/2016 - 12:00

This lighter version of green bean casserole looks delicious!

Adina 21/03/2016 - 14:06

Thanks, Amy.

Kate @ Framed Cooks 21/03/2016 - 12:24

Secret Recipe Club?? That sounds like so much fun! And, yay YOU for making this classic casserole actually good AND good for you! 🙂

Adina 21/03/2016 - 14:09

The Secret Recipe Club is really fun, you should join. 🙂

Debbi 21/03/2016 - 12:40

Love this without the soup!! I could use non dairy milk and make it dairy free too! Yea! 🙂

Adina 21/03/2016 - 22:47

That would work well for sure.

Anne 21/03/2016 - 12:46

Adina I am so happy that you liked my Green Bean Casserole, and the pictures look great!

Adina 21/03/2016 - 14:10

Thank you for the recipe, Anne, we loved it.

Amanda E 21/03/2016 - 13:22

Hi Adina! I was lucky enough to adopt your blog this month and made your fantastic skinny green onion sauce 🙂

Adina 21/03/2016 - 14:12

I am glad you liked it, Amanda. 🙂

Kirstin Troyer 21/03/2016 - 14:41

Yum! This sounds so good! Great choice. Fellow Group C’er

Adina 21/03/2016 - 18:53

Thank you, Kirstin. 🙂

Our Eating Habits 21/03/2016 - 14:48

You’re photos are absolutely lovely!

Adina 21/03/2016 - 18:53

Thank you, that is so nice to hear. 🙂

Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary 21/03/2016 - 15:21

Loving all your choices for the SRC, Adina! This is another great one! Green bean casserole is a classic, but a healthy spin is always winning!! Cheers, friend!

Adina 21/03/2016 - 18:55

Thank you, Cheyanne. I don’t know how the casserole tastes when made with canned mushroom soup, but I think the healthy version tastes great, I cannot imagine the other version being better.

Evi @ greenevi 21/03/2016 - 18:27

Green beans, mushrooms and white wine sound like the perfect combination 😉

Adina 21/03/2016 - 18:56

Thank you, Evi. And you could easily make it vegan by using nut milk. 🙂

Kathryn @ Family Food on the Table 21/03/2016 - 23:36

We love green bean casserole but I’ve had to tinker with the one my mom always made (it was full of processed stuff) so this version looks perfect! All the great flavors but with fresh, healthy ingredients!

Thao @ In Good Flavor 22/03/2016 - 02:58

I think I can eat any kind of green bean casserole that’s put in front of me, but there is something to be said for ones with fresh, wholesome ingredients like this one. It looks delicious and would go well with so many things.

Adina 29/03/2016 - 18:18

Thank you, Thao, I think the same about it.

Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen 22/03/2016 - 08:42

Green beans, mushrooms and white wine combination sound heavenly, Adina. Such a fantastic treat and thanks for introducing me to this new recipe.

Adina 29/03/2016 - 18:17

You are welcome, Anu. It was a new combination for me as well, I loved it.

Heather @ Join Us, Pull up a Chair 22/03/2016 - 13:23

Looks delicious and so much healthier! Great SRC choice!

Adina 29/03/2016 - 18:15

Thanks, Heather. 🙂

Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy 22/03/2016 - 14:22

Green bean casserole is one of my FAVORITES! Love that this version is so much healthier 🙂

Adina 29/03/2016 - 18:14

Thank you, Jennifer.

Brie 23/03/2016 - 00:50

Not every American is fond of a traditional green bean casserole 🙂 I usually avoid that canned soup filled questionably colored dish at holiday dinners. But yours looks so fresh and delicious! I can just imagine mashed potatoes topped with a big scoop, yum!

Adina 29/03/2016 - 18:13

I really don’t need the meat to enjoy this, it makes a perfect meal on its own.

mjskit 23/03/2016 - 03:23

Who doesn’t like Green Bean casserole? You’ve done a great job making it healthy! Thanks!

Adina 29/03/2016 - 18:11

Thank you, MJ.

sarah k @ the pajama chef 25/03/2016 - 00:00

i have to admit that green bean casserole has never been my favorite… but my husband loves it and homemade versions are always better than the processed kind. i’ll have to try this!

Adina 29/03/2016 - 18:11

I hope you do, Sarah, I think you will like it as well.

Lorelle 25/03/2016 - 05:27

I love green beans, and like you, when I see cans of soup in a recipe I delete and move on. Your recipe looks delicious and I will be trying it out over easter – thanks so much.

Adina 29/03/2016 - 18:05

You’re welcome, Lorelle, I hope you like it as much as we did. 🙂

Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook 06/04/2016 - 05:23

Green bean casserole is one of my favorite side dishes at the holidays. I’ve done a version in the slow cooker that didn’t use canned soup, but it just wasn’t the same! 😉
I’ll have to try your healthier version, now!


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