Healthier Green Bean Casserole with Onion Topping

Green bean casserole with onion and mushroom
Grace Clementine/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Total Time 55 min
Prep 20 min, Cook 35 min
Yield 8 servings (98 calories each)

Green bean casserole is a holiday meal favorite and a tradition in many American homes. The classic green bean casserole includes canned cream of mushroom soup. If you make your own sauce, however, you have much more control over the ingredients—choosing your preference of butter or oil, the type of liquid to add, and the thickener to use.  

In addition, the green been casserole we're all familiar with features a topping of crispy, deep-fried onions, usually from a can. Both of these pre-made ingredients add fat, calories, and preservatives to the dish. This recipe uses all fresh ingredients, and replaces the fried onions with sauteed, making this green been casserole a much healthier version while remaining familiar and delicious. One thing to note, however, is that this casserole is not very saucy and may not satisfy all diners.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly slice
  • Salt, pepper, and seasoned salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup 
  • almond meal
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or chopped, or a small can of mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour (wheat, rice, or other flour), or see below for other thickeners
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 cup cream (or see below)
  • One 14-ounce bag frozen green beans (can use canned or fresh if preferred), thawed

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Put a small amount of oil or butter in a skillet and add about 3/4 of the onion slices. Let them slowly cook. When they start to get soft, add some salt, pepper, and seasoned salt. You want the onions to get soft and sweet, but if you let them cook down for a very long time they will start to lose too much volume. When they are soft, remove from heat and toss with almond meal. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  1. Chop up the rest of the onion slices and saute with the mushrooms in about 1 tablespoon oil or butter. Add salt, pepper, and thyme, stir, and add the thickener—if flour, stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the milk with the cream; add to the sauteed onions and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Mix in the beans and put in a casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Spread the onions on top and cook for 5 more minutes or until topping begins to brown.

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

Any type of "dairy" product works in this recipe. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, the lowest carb count is in unsweetened soy milk. This recipe combines unsweetened soy milk and cream for richness, but you can use any fat level of milk you want to use, and any combination. Since cream adds some body and thickness, you may need to adjust the amount of thickener if you change the amount of cream.

The type of thickener you use in this recipe is up to you as well. You can use any type of flour or other lower-carb thickeners such as guar gum and proprietary thickeners.

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