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A classic, favorite holiday side dish turned dairy-free and healthy! This oil-free green bean casserole is easy and so delicious.
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 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.
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 9x13 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.
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.
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.
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Oil-Free Green Bean Casserole
- 24 ounces frozen cut green beans
- water as needed for sautéing
- ½ 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
- ½ teaspoon salt
- optional: ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 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.
- 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.
This recipe was originally published November 2017 and updated October 2019.