Healthy Green Bean Casserole Recipe | Pamela Salzman & Recipes Skip to content

Healthy Green Bean Casserole Recipe

healthy green bean casserole | pamela salzman

I was talking to a few ladies in my class this week about the Thanksgiving meals we remember from our childhoods and how they have evolved, if at all.  We celebrated with my mother’s family some years and with my father’s family other years.  Even though my mother’s family is Italian-American, their Thanksgiving dinners were pretty straightforward, even including sweet potatoes with marshmallows.  My father grew up in Italy and therefore Thanksgiving was truly a foreign concept.  Suffice it to say, that side of the family served ravioli as a first course.  No, not pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage.  Cheese ravioli with marinara sauce!  Cracks me up to think about that now.

blanche and shock green beans

Then the discussion transitioned to new recipes which have made it onto our Thanksgiving menus in the last few years.  That’s a tough one, no?  I’ll tell you right now, I teach 5 new recipes every November and very few make it to my personal Thanksgiving table.  Not because they aren’t fantastic, but because how many recipes can you really have on one menu?  At some point, enough is enough and my menu has been at capacity for a few years now.

homemade crispy onions | pamela salzman

But, allow me to introduce a favorite newcomer to my Thanksgiving spread…..green bean casserole!  But not just any green bean casserole. I am not talking about canned green beans, coated with cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onions.  Thanksgiving deserves more respect than cans, people.  Sure, we can use heavy cream and loads of butter instead, but we don’t have to.

clean mushroom sauce for green bean casserole | pamela salzman

This green bean casserole is fresher, lighter and even tastier than all of those.  I use mushroom stock with a little (and I mean little) flour and butter to thicken it up.  Super good flavor and super easy to make.  Plus homemade crispy onions that everyone will be sneaking bites of during the day.  Trust me — 100 times better than canned.  Voila!  The best green bean casserole ever.  I have served this the last two years and I have never had a single green bean left.  If you like getting stuff done ahead, here’s your plan:

  • Blanche the green beans the day before
  • wipe mushrooms clean and slice the day before
  • make the onions the morning of
  • make mushroom mixture and assemble casserole up to 2 hours ahead
  • bake when the turkey is resting out of the oven.

green bean casserole | pamela salzman

See you back here next week with some more fabulous Thanksgiving recipes and tips!

healthy green bean casserole | pamela salzman healthy green bean casserole | pamela salzman

healthy green bean casserole | pamela salzman

5.0 from 2 reviews
Healthy Green Bean Casserole Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • Crispy Onion Topping:
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced and pieces separated
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour or rice flour
  • 2 Tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • Unsalted butter
  • Unrefined, cold-pressed olive oil
  • Casserole:
  • 1 pound of green beans, trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, or flour of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ cups mushroom stock (or chicken stock) + possibly a little more in case the gravy needs thinning
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Make the onion topping: Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl or paper bag and toss to combine.
  2. Warm 1 ½ Tablespoons of butter and 1 ½ Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop one piece of onion in the pan to make sure it sizzles. Add as many onion pieces as can fit in the pan in one layer. You may need to do this in batches.
  3. Turn the onions when they become golden on the bottom. Cook until crispy and golden on the other side. Transfer onions to a plate lined with a paper towel. If you have to cook a second batch, you may need to wipe out the pan and start with fresh butter and oil.
  4. Prepare the green beans and casserole:
  5. Blanche green beans: prepare a bowl of ice water for the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the kosher salt. Add the beans and set a timer for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately submerge in the ice water bath. Drain after 5 minutes or so, pat dry, and place green beans in a 9” square or round baking dish.
  6. Melt the butter in a medium skillet, add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté over medium until mushrooms have lost their shape and released most of their liquid (about 5 minutes).
  7. Stir the flour and thyme into the mixture and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add the mushroom stock, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  9. Pour evenly over green beans, top with the crispy onions and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling on the sides and the beans are warmed through, about 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

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Comments

15 Comments

  1. If I don’t have mushroom broth can I use chicken broth?

    • I prefer mushroom stock in this recipe, but chicken stock works if that’s what you have.

  2. Where can I find mushroom broth?

  3. Can this be made ahead and kept in fridge? If so, any tips or changes?

    • I suppose you can make it up to the point of baking and refrigerate it. Don’t do the onions until the morning of, if possible so they stay crispier. Keep some extra stock on hand if the casserole seems too thick.

      • Thank you!

  4. If you double the recipe – do you use a 9 x 11 baking dish? I noticed that in the pictures ,you used an oven safe skillet to assemble and bake the casserole. Is there an advantage to doing that versus a baking dish? Thanks for you help.

    • Sure, double and use a 9 x 11 baking dish. There is no advantage to using a skillet over a casserole dish except that with a skillet you can saute the mushrooms in it and then use it to bake. Only one thing to wash. 🙂

  5. How do you think this would be if I used all rice flour and gluten free panko in order to make it gluten free?

    • I think it would be great! I might suggest a good GF flour blend though, instead of the rice flour which can be a little gritty. Have you tried King Arthur Multi-purpose GF flour? I use that one a lot with excellent results.

  6. Looks delicious! Sorry if I missed it, but couldn’t find- how many would this recipe serve? I wonder how many times you double this as I now you cook for a big November crowd. Thanks!!!

    • My bad, I forgot to add that. Serves 4-6, but on Thanksgiving you’ll have other sides and people might only take a taste. I made this recipe x4 last year for 34 people (many of which were kids, though) and it was the perfect amount.

  7. I can’t wait to try this recipe!! Can I replace the butter with earth balance to make it vegan? If not, what do you suggest?

    • Most definitely! I’ll adjust the recipe to reflect that.


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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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