Inexperienced Bean Casserole Makeover

Fresh, bright and definitely still a comfort food, my healthy Green Bean Casserole is a delicious side dish at Thanksgiving or any meal you need an amazing side dish for!

What is Green Bean Casserole?

I remember eating green bean casserole growing up and thought it was so delicious – which I’m sure it was! Traditional green bean casserole is made with canned green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions. The original recipe was on the back of a Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup can. I didn’t even know fresh green beans were a thing until later in life when we started growing them in our garden.

Fresh green beans are a serious game changer. The traditional green bean casserole is rich, heavy and very salty. My version is lightened up, fresh and so so good!

green bean casserole in a white baking dish

How to Make Green Bean Casserole

The star of this dish is obviously the green beans. Everyone likes their green beans cooked a bit different. Some like them a bit crisp, some like them soft, and everywhere in between. How you cook your green beans for this recipe will be determined by what texture you like your green beans.

If you prefer them a bit more on the crisp side: Blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes. If you prefer them on the softer side: Cook in your Instant Pot for ‘0’ minutes. You can also boil them for 10+ minutes to get a softer green bean if you don’t have an Instant Pot.

After your green beans are cooked, you will make the sauce. For this recipe, you are going to make a homemade cream of mushroom soup. You can find the recipe and how to do it on this post. Once your sauce is made, you can add it your shredded cheese. Combine the sauce with the green beans in your baking dish.

Last, make the crunchy onion topping. Melt the butter in a saute pan and saute your onion until soft. Remove the onion to a plate and then add the remaining butter to your pan and brown the panko. Add a bit of salt and pepper.

Now it’s time to assemble! Put your cooked green beans in a 9×13″ baking dish and pour the cream of mushroom sauce over them. Give it a good stir to coat the green beans. Then sprinkle the crunchy onion topping on top and pop it in the oven to bake.

green bean casserole portion on a white plate with a blue checkered cloth underneath

Why Are Green Beans Healthy?

Green beans are a great veggie to include in your family’s diet!  Green beans are a good source of :

  • Copper
  • Vitamin B1
  • Chromium
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Niacin
  • and even protein!

Can you Make Green Bean Casserole Ahead of Time?  

Yes! You can make the majority of this casserole ahead of time so that if you are cooking lots of other things for Thanksgiving, or a big meal, the majority of the work is done.

You basically make the entire casserole except for the crunchy onion topping. You will want to make that right before you bake it. Follow the rest of the instructions accordingly.

green bean casserole closeup photo in a white baking dish with a wooden soon

green bean casserole in a white baking dish with a wooden spoon serving some

  • 1 pound green beans trimmed

Sauce

  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 cups mushrooms chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Crunchy Onion Topping

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Preheat oven to 375° F.

  • Rinse and trim green beans. Cook according to your texture preference. For a more crisp green bean, boil for 5 minutes. For a softer green bean, boil for 10 minutes or cook in the Instant Pot for ‘0’ minutes. Once cooked, place green beans in a 9×9 baking dish.

Sauce

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and bubbly, making a roux.

  • Remove the saucepan from heat and slowly add in chicken broth and milk, whisking continuously. Whisk until combined, then return to the heat. Add in 2 tbsp chopped onion and all the mushrooms.

  • Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until thickened. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in shredded cheese until melted.

Crispy Onion Topping

  • Saute onions in 1 tbsp of butter until they are soft. Set onions aside.

  • In the same pan, add remaining butter and saute the panko until browned. Stir the onions and panko together.

  • Time to assemble! Stir the creamy sauce and green beans together and place in your baking dish. Sprinkle the crispy onion topping on top.

  • Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Serve warm.

Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 643mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g

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