Green Bean Casserole Recipe: Lighter, Healthier and Even More Delicious

healthy green bean casserole

Green bean casserole is a Christmas dinner mainstay, but despite its light appearance, the traditional dish is unnecessarily heavy. Packed with saturated fat, artificial ingredients and a sodium, regular green bean casserole may be traditional but it’s still mostly from a can.

Make Grandma proud by getting even more rustic and hands-on than she ever did with green bean casserole by following this recipe from scratch with plant-based ingredients.

Traditional green bean casserole contains condensed cream of mushroom soup and French-fried onions. Condensed cream of mushroom soup contains about 100 calories per 1/2 cup serving as well as 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 870 milligrams of sodium and 5 milligrams of cholesterol. Ingredients include the likes of modified corn starch, wheat flour, monosodium glutamate, soy protein concentrate, dehydrated cream, yeast extract and flavoring. French fried onions contain 45 calories per 2 tablespoon serving, 30 calories of which derive from fat. Ingredients include enriched flour, palm oil, soy flour, salt and dextrose.

The nutritional profile of traditional green bean casserole isn’t so stellar, with sodium at an unnecessary high and too much fat concentrated in the crispy topping. The ingredients list is also far from “real”.

The following recipe fills in where traditional green bean casserole takes off. The butter is the only heavy component of this recipe, while the rest are mere veggies and natural flavors. Enjoy!

Lighter Green Bean Casserole

Serves 6-8


  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped crimini mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped celery root
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, cut into


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large saucepan brought to medium heat, add 1/2 tablespoon butter and onions. Cook for about 1/2 hour, giving the onions a good mix with a spatula every few minutes, until the onions have caramelized to a brown tint but are not burned. Scoop the onions onto a plate and set aside. Using the same saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining butter and mushrooms. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the mushrooms have reduced in size and are tender. Set aside on a separate plate.

Steam, boil, or bake the celery root until its pieces are completely tender and soft throughout. Once cooked, let the celery root cool down slightly before adding it to a blender with the garlic, nutritional yeast, sea salt and half the cooked mushrooms. Blend until smooth and creamy as well as liquid-like enough to be poured. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time if necessary until desired consistency is reached. This will be the “cream” of the casserole. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot full of water to a boil. Add the green beans and let simmer for 6-8 minutes before draining the beans and adding them to an 8-inch x 8-inch casserole dish. On top of the beans, add the remaining mushrooms. Atop the vegetables, pour the celery root cream and use a spatula to lightly mix the cream into the vegetables. Top the ensemble off evenly with the caramelized onions and place into the oven uncovered for 25 minutes, or until the onions have crisped slightly. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: tomcensani

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