Have you ever wondered How to Make Green Bean Casserole into a healthy recipe? Now is the time to ditch Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole recipe made with canned mushroom soup, and move onto bigger and better things!
This Green Bean Casserole is made completely from scratch, all while keeping ingredients and time spent in the kitchen to a minimum. It truly has that homemade, comfort-food flavor, without all the hassle!
Enjoying Healthy Green Bean Casserole All Year Long
Green bean casserole is traditionally a holiday-based dish. Most people enjoy this casserole on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and maybe Easter, but forget about it for the rest of the year. It doesn’t have to be this way! Don’t limit your green bean casserole to just the holiday seasons. Instead, add it throughout the year! In fact, while green beans are harvested all year long, green beans reach their peak season from early summer through mid-fall. Click here for a great resource for seasonal produce!
While we love to integrate seasonal produce into our diets, frozen green beans are still full of nutritional value, and cook very well from frozen. When out of season, we love grabbing a big bag Costco, and keeping them in our freezer for use in various dishes and casseroles.
Is Organic Necessary?
With green beans in particular, we highly recommend choosing organic. That’s because along with strawberries and peppers, green beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crops in conventional agriculture. Want some disturbing information on what exactly is on your conventional green beans? Click here!
Worried about insects on organic produce? Organic growers have a variety of “clean” methods for keeping insect pests under control, and it really does make a difference in health and taste to go the extra organic mile when buying green beans.
How to Make Green Bean Casserole
As for green bean casserole, I realize there are two types of people; those who love green bean casserole, and those who don’t.
Even before clean eating, I was never a particularly big fan of mushroom soup on top of green beans. If you didn’t know, this method grew in popularity in the 50’s due to Campbell’s soup. However, I have always loved a good homemade green bean casserole.
One of the reasons people love the “cream of mushroom soup” method is because of the creaminess it adds. Thankfully, you absolutely do not need cream of mushrooms soup, or even dairy at all to achieve this same result! By opting for cashew cream, alongside fresh mushrooms, this recipe emulates the same texture and flavor, without all of the preservatives, sodium, and unhealthy ingredients. It really is as simple as that!
Sneaking In a Superfood
The pumpkin seeds I use for the crumbly topping add just as much in nutrition as they do in taste.
Pumpkin seeds have lots of fiber, protein, omega fats and magnesium. They are also rich in the amino acid tryptophan—richer in fact than turkey (by the way, tryptophan increases the brain’s levels of mood-improving serotonin.)
When processed in a food processor and mixed withs, the subtly sweet flavor and chewy texture of pumpkin seeds makes them perfect for a crumbly casserole topping. In fact, the crumbly topping is my favorite part of the whole dish. I promise you won’t miss the greasy French fried onions one bit.
If you don’t want to buy a pre-made version, you can make the crumbly topping by putting gluten free bread in a blender, and then toasting the crumbs at 400 for about 10 minutes.
As a side note, you might want to double the recipe for the crumbly topping and use it for baked fish, as a topping for salads or even on top of tomato soup.
One Last Tip…
Finally, be sure to resist the urge to chop the mushrooms into military uniformity—breaking them up by hand keeps them from assuming that dreadful canned texture.Print
How to Make Green Bean Casserole
Ever wondered How to Make Green Bean Casserole healthy? Now is the time to ditch your mushroom soup, and move on to better things!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1/3 cup cashews plus 3/4 cup water
- Unrefined sea salt – for boiling water, plus more for seasoning
- 1 1/2 pounds organic green beans – ends snapped and broken into bite-sized pieces
- 7 ounces shitake and oyster mushroom mix – cut into bite sized pieces
- 5 ounces baby portabella mushrooms – brushed clean and stems discarded
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil – divided
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- White pepper – to taste
- 2 tablespoons 1-for-1 gluten free flour
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds – plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup of gluten free panko crumbs OR gluten free bread crumbs
- Place the cashews and water in a mini food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Set cashew cream aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.
- Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold ice water and ice. Set aside.
- Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tablespoon of salt; bring water to a boil. Add green beans to boiling water and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until fork-tender.
- Drain the beans in a colander and immediately plunge them into an ice bath.
- Drain the beans again in a colander. Dry the beans with a kitchen towel or paper towels (don’t skip this part!). Set aside.
- Break the mushroom tops into pieces using your hands.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil; add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Remove skillet from heat.
- Add the cooked green beans into the skillet with the mushrooms and gently toss.
- Transfer the green bean-mushroom mixture to the prepared baking dish. Season green beans with salt to taste.
- To the same skillet used to cook the mushrooms, add 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoons flour; heat over low heat and whisk constantly for 1 minute.
- Add the cashew cream very, very slowly and continue whisking until all of the cream is used and the mixture is creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Add this roux to the green bean-mushroom mixture and gently toss to coat.
- Add the pumpkin seeds, bread crumbs, and remaining 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil to a food processor; process by pulsing about 10 quick times. Season with salt and pulse again.
- Top green bean-mushroom mixture with the pulsed pumpkin seed mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- Garnish with whole pumpkin seeds before serving.
Using fresh green beans? You can test the freshness of a green bean simply by bending it; if it is dull in color, rubbery and limp then you know it is past its prime. You want a lively bright green bean that bends a bit and then snaps right in half, that’s how you know it is fresh.
Keywords: How to Make Green Bean Casserole
Check out more clean Thanksgiving side dish recipes HERE.