A healthier green bean casserole with mushrooms made from scratch, this recipe would make the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving.
GREEN BEAN MUSHROOM CASSEROLE
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!
INGREDIENTS FOR GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
- 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.
- I always use Panko breadcrumbs 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.
- 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.
HOW TO MAKE A HEALTHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE FROM SCRATCH?
- 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.
- 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.
CAN YOU MAKE THE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE AHEAD?
- 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.
HOW TO SERVE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE?
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.
MORE SIDE DISH IDEAS?
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!
PIN IT FOR LATER!
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- 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.
- Wipe the mushrooms clean with kitchen paper, halve or quarter them as necessary. If very small, leave them whole.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mix the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan and parsley.
- 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.
- 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