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Healthy Green Bean Casserole

A classic, favorite holiday side dish turned dairy-free and healthy! This oil-free green bean casserole is easy and so delicious.

Oil-free green bean casserole in a cast iron pan.

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Green bean casserole is one of my favorite holiday side dishes, second only to stuffing. The crunchy green beans and the creamy sauce and the yummy onion topping…gimme now.

This recipe is a healthier version of green bean casserole. No mushroom canned soup or oil needed. We are even making our own crispy baked-not-fried onions to put on top!

There are no mushrooms in this green bean casserole. I recently found out I was allergic to mushrooms (gasp!) which is honestly fine because I didn’t particularly like the texture, anyway. But, if you like mushrooms and want to add them, feel free! Slice or chop about 1 cup of mushrooms, then sauté them with the onions.

Instructions

Start by sautéing the onions in a little water until translucent, then add garlic and sauté for another minute or two. Mix together plain non-dairy milk (use your favorite type) and corn starch, then whisk into the pot with the onions. Season with soy sauce, vegetable bouillon, and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer until the sauce has thickened.

Toss the sauce with the green beans in a casserole dish. A 2-quart dish is best, but a 3-quart will work fine. You can also use a 9×13 baking dish. Add the onion topping and bake! (Further instructions in the recipe card below).

Homemade Onion Topping

While I love, I mean LOVE, the fried crispy onions you can find in the container at the store, this homemade version is much healthier! Also, the store-bought version contains palm oil, which is considered highly unethical. This baked-not-fried onion topping is oil-free but still very flavorful.

Sliced onions tossed with breading.

First, peel and cut an onion in half. Slice very thinly, then toss with flour, cornmeal, and salt. You can use basically any type of flour (whole wheat, all-purpose, and almond flour all work together.)

Spread the onions onto a baking sheet then bake until browned and crispy. Just note that they won’t come out totally crunchy and crispy like the store-bought version. The cornmeal certainly helps the crunch factor, but to make it ultra crunchy you can toss the baked onions with panko bread crumbs before adding it onto the green bean casserole.

Oil-free crispy onion topping on a baking sheet.

Make Ahead

Yes, absolutely! Thaw the green beans and make the cream sauce as directed. Toss the cream sauce with the green beans in a casserole dish and store, covered, in the fridge. It’s best to make it the day before (2 days before max).

I recommend making the baked onion topping the day off, so it’s fresh and crunchy. Cover and bake the casserole until warmed through (this will take 30-35 minutes because it starts out cold) then top with the onions. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Green bean casserole in a cast iron pan with a dark wooden spoon.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a comment and a ⭐ star review below!

Vegan green bean casserole in a cast iron pan with a dark wooden spoon.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen
Creamy non-dairy sauce, green beans, and a baked onion topping come together to make this delicious healthy green bean casserole!
4.53 from 19 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 8 sides
Calories 76 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 24 ounces frozen cut green beans

Cream Sauce

  • water as needed for sautéing
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk any kind – plain, unsweetened
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon (or 1-2 cubes)
  • pepper to taste

Baked Onion Topping

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon flour see notes for gluten-free adaptation
  • 2 teaspoon cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions
 

  • Thaw out the green beans. You can either place them in the fridge overnight, or rinse with cool water for a few minutes to thaw them out quickly. Drain out excess water. Set aside.

Cream Sauce

  • In a medium-sized pot on medium heat, sauté the onions in some water (2-3 tbsp) until translucent. Add a little more water if the liquid dries up.
  • Add in the garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the almond milk and corn starch until the corn starch is fully dissolved.
  • Add the almond milk/corn starch mixture into the pot with the onions.
  • Whisk in the soy sauce, vegetable bouillon, and pepper. Add more bouillon or salt to taste if needed.
  • Bring to a simmer to thicken. Remove from heat.

Baked Onion Topping

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Peel the onion and cut in half. Slice thinly.
  • Mix the sliced onions with the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Spread out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping and stirring around every 5 mins.
  • Optional: Toss the onions with panko bread crumbs for an extra crunchy topping!

Bring it all together

  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • In a casserole dish, mix the green beans and the cream sauce together. Top with the baked onions.
  • Bake covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.

Video

Notes

*Recommended casserole dish size: 2 quarts. You can also use a 3-quart casserole dish or a 9×13 baking pan.
*To make this recipe gluten-free, use almond flour.

Nutrition

Calories: 76kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2.6gFat: 1g
Did you try this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This recipe was originally published November 2017 and updated October 2019.

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16 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I made this a little different. Since I can’t have onions. I enjoyed the dish very much. However, I felt I needed more sauce.

  2. 5 stars
    I did modify by using the store bought French fried onions. I think it is better than the original recipe with soup. This has now become our go to recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never liked traditional green bean casserole, but I absolutely loved this recipe! I used fresh green beans and it turned out great! Shhh..I didn’t share

  4. Hi Karissa! This looks divine, two questions, first is there a way I could use fresh green beans? And second, do you think I could use Trader Joe’s crispy onions? I have so much to do and I’m in the process of moving into a new house as well, LOL. I’ll take any shortcuts I can. thank you!

  5. Hello. I am going to try this recipe for Thanksgiving it sounds so yummy. But I’m Vegan and noticed that the recipe calls for Vegetable Stock. Question is doesn’t Stock contain Bone? If so can a broth be substituted?

    1. I use the Better Than Bouillon brand that comes in a little jar. If you can’t find it, I would either leave it out or add a little extra seasoning.

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