Fresh green beans, a creamy casserole, and perfectly crunchy topping all come together to make a traditional Healthier Green Bean Casserole! In this recipe I'll show you how to make a totally vegan cream of mushroom mixture to give you a classic taste that everyone can enjoy.
Can you believe we're already looking toward Thanksgiving? These end-of-year holidays just zoom right by. I'm always looking for ways to make comforting, traditional Thanksgiving dishes that are allergy- and diet-friendly, and I was so excited when this Healthier Green Bean Casserole came together even better than I'd hoped!
It tastes just like the Green Bean Casseroles you ate growing up, but this one is made totally vegan and gluten-free.
My go-to grocery store when preparing for a big holiday dinner is Sprouts. I love that I can shop both their bulk bins and their wide selection of gluten-free, vegan, and organic ingredients. Once I found Sprouts Brand Organic French Fried Onions I was so excited to include them in this recipe! Sprouts has everything I need to make gluten-free and vegan Thanksgiving dishes so everyone at my table can enjoy traditional, seasonal dishes.
One of the hardest parts of making a vegan casserole is thickening it without creamy canned soup. To achieve the perfect texture for this casserole I used an arrowroot slurry (this is just a tablespoon of arrowroot powder whisked with a tablespoon of water!) with soaked and blended cashews. Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post. When combined with the mushrooms it acts like a totally vegan cream of mushroom soup! It's thick, hearty, and works perfectly to give this dish a classic Green Bean Casserole consistency.
How to Blanch Green Beans
Blanching green beans is super easy and gives you a fresh-tasting, perfectly cooked casserole. I use fresh green beans for this recipe! Just wash, trim, and cut them into thirds.
I put them in boiling water for two minutes, then transfer them immediately to an ice water bath. This parcooks them; in other words, it begins the cooking process, then halts it immediately. Blanching helps the green beans retain their color, texture, and flavor through the oven cooking process.
I always salt the water I blanch the green beans in so they don't taste bland in the casserole.
All About Green Beans
They're one of the healthiest things on the Thanksgiving table--let's see why! Green beans are super low in calories and cholesterol. They're high in fiber and naturally low in sodium. One cup of green beans has about 2 grams of protein as well as folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and the minerals manganese and calcium. At the grocery store or farmer's market, look for green beans that are bright in color and feel sturdy.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are low in calories and high in dietary fiber and riboflavin. They are also a good source of niacin, copper and pantothenate. They're a great addition to this casserole!
All About Cashews
The creaminess for this vegan green bean casserole comes from raw cashews which offer plant-based protein and are also incredibly nutrient dense. Cashews are considered an excellent source of copper and a good source of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous and zinc.
I buy raw, unsalted cashews in the bulk section and store them in my refrigerator in a large mason jar that is airtight. In the refrigerator cashews can last up to six months. They can actually last up to a year if you store them in your freezer.
For more nutritional information and a discussion on the health benefits of cashews, see my post on Cashews Benefits for Vegans (+ Recipes).
Should I Soak My Cashews?
For the creamiest results, I do recommend soaking in advance. No one wants a gritty casserole. If you are pressed for time you can do a quick soak in boiling water for two hours. As a bonus, soaking the cashews makes them more easily digestible. I’ve also read that soaking helps make the nutrients more available. Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post.
To soak your cashews, simply place them in an airtight container covered in water. Place in your refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours). When it is time to use them in this recipe, drain and rinse the cashews well and allow them to dry a bit.
More Healthy Vegan and Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes
Healthy Maple Candied Pecans (refined sugar-free) (this is my favorite appetizer and I also love to put it out for dessert)
Restaurant-Style Sautéed Mushrooms (everyone goes crazy for these!)
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (a must!)
Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Quinoa Salad (a filling side or plant-based entree)
No-Bake Pumpkin Pudding (so easy and delicious - and you can make it ahead!)Print
Fresh green beans, a creamy casserole, and perfectly crunchy topping all come together to make a traditional Healthier Green Bean Casserole!
- 1.5 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, cut into thirds (each piece should be about 1.5 inches long)
- 1 tablespoon fine salt (for blanching green beans)
- 2 tablespoons vegan soy-free butter
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of cayenne
- 8 ounces mushrooms, diced
- arrowroot slurry (1 tablespoon arrowroot powder whisked with 1 tablespoon filtered water)
- 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight (measures 2 cups when fully soaked). Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post.
- ¾ cup filtered water
- 1 cup vegetable broth or "no-chicken" broth
- 2 cups Sprouts French Fried Onions (gluten-free, made with buckwheat)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fill a 5.5 quart dutch oven with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the prepared green beans. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain and place blanched green beans in a large ice water bowl to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside to dry on a cloth. Set aside.
- Add butter, onions and salt to the dry dutch oven on medium heat. Saute for 2 minutes then add the garlic and dry seasonings (1 teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper ,¼ ground nutmeg, pinch of cayenne). Next, add the diced mushrooms and cook on low heat until the mushrooms release their juices (7-10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Place cashews in a high speed blender along with ¾ cups filtered water. Blend on the highest speed for one minute. Stop and scrape down the sides if needed. Set aside.
- Add the arrowroot slurry to the dutch oven and saute with the mushrooms for 1 minute.
- Add the cashew cream from the blender and then the vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
- Once the creamy mushroom sauce is ready you can combine everything in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. First, add the blanched green beans (make sure they are dry). Next, add 1 cup of the Sprouts French Fried Onions. Pour the creamy mushroom mixture overtop and stir to evenly coat. Top the casserole with the other cup of Sprouts French Fried Onions.
- Bake the casserole for 10 minutes. Serve immediately while hot.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.
This dish is best when served immediately as the fried onions will start to get soggy overtime and the sauce will start to thicken once refrigerated. If you want to make it in advance you can blanch the green beans and make the cream sauce and store separately. You can then assemble and bake the casserole just before you plan to serve. You may need to thin out the sauce if you make it advance (you can use water or vegetable broth).
If you prefer more green beans than creamy mushroom sauce in your casserole you can use 2 pounds of green beans. It will still be delicious and just more veggie-forward. Either way is delicious.
If you prefer a thinner more soupy sauce, you can adjust the consistency of the sauce by thinning it out with water.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Oven and Stovetop
Keywords: easy vegan green bean casserole
This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. All writing and opinions are my own. I honestly do shop at Sprouts weekly (I use InstaCart) and absolutely love this grocery store. It carries unique speciality and allergy-friendly products that work well for my diet. And their prices and sales make it a huge savings for someone who buys groceries the way I do!