A delicious and healthier version of the traditional green bean casserole
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Green bean casserole is one of the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes. The recipe typically includes a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup. However, just the sound of canned cream of mushroom soup is not my cup of tea. So, I’ve come up with my own version that doesn’t include mushrooms or anything canned. The green beans are soft and tender, and they’re cooked in a creamy white cheese sauce. It’s so delicious, and I can’t wait for you to try it!
Why you’ll never go back to traditional Green Bean Casserole
- Perfectly tender fresh green beans
- Velvety smooth cream sauce
- Crispy fried onions
- A delicious, healthier option for green bean casserole!
Fresh green beans
I found a two-pound bag of fresh green beans at Costco. They are already trimmed and snipped, which saves me a lot of time. They are a little more expensive, but I do everything I can to save time at Thanksgiving. If you’d prefer to save a bit of money, get the best-looking fresh green beans you can find and trim them yourself. It’s not hard and can sometimes be a little stress-relieving with all of that snapping!
No cans, no condensed soups
- Green beans –trimmed and cut in half or thirds
- Onion –or shallots finely chopped
- Garlic cloves –grated
- Olive oil
- All-purpose flour
- Whole milk
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground black pepper
- Dried thyme
- Shredded parmesan
- Optional: a handful of shredded mozzarella or gouda cheese
- French fried onions -Costco has a pretty clean version here
- Chicken or vegetable broth
Optional breadcrumb topping
Not everyone enjoys buttery crisp fried onions. So, instead of the French fried onions, you can make a breadcrumb topping by combining 1 and 1/2 cups of unseasoned panko breadcrumbs with 6-8 tablespoons of melted butter. Then, season the mixture with salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Stir it together until the breadcrumbs are coated and sprinkle over the green bean casserole. It’s a delicious buttery crisp alternative!
How to make Green Bean Casserole without mushroom soup
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add 2-3 teaspoons of salt.
- Add the green beans and boil them until they are fork-tender—about 7 minutes.
- Drain the beans and place them in a bowl of ice-cold water.
- Then, transfer the beans onto a kitchen towel and pat dry.
- Place the beans in a 9 x 13-inch (33 by 23 cm) baking pan and season with salt.
Make the Sauce:
- In a medium saucepan, cook the onion with olive oil and a pinch of salt for 8 minutes or until softened.
- Add the garlic and warm through, then add the flour.
- Cook it for 2-3 minutes or until toasted.
- Next, add the milk, salt, pepper, thyme, and nutmeg, and cook while constantly whisking until thickened.
- Remove from the heat and pour the sauce over the green beans.
- Top with the parmesan shredded cheese and stir together.
- Pour a cup of chicken broth on top and stir together to thin out the sauce a little bit.
- Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
- Bake on the center rack of a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly.
- Remove the tray from the oven, top with the French fried onions and serve warm.
You’ll feel so much better serving this cleaner version of green bean casserole to your family at Thanksgiving. It’s a traditional dish that everyone looks forward to eating, and they may be so happy with my version that they ask for it all year long. Kali Orexi!
More Delicious Holiday Sides:
- Spinach, Feta, Mac & Cheese Casserole
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Greek-Style Holiday Stuffing/Dressing
- Rosemary Dinner Rolls
- Easy Crispy Skillet Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole without Mushrooms
- 2 pounds (900g) green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil'
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3-4 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- 1/2-1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- optional: a handful of shredded mozzarella or gouda cheese
- topping: 1 and 1/2 cups French fried onions
- 1-2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add 2-3 teaspoons of salt to it. Add the green beans and boil them until they're fork tender. About 7 minutes. Drain the beans and place them in a bowl of ice-cold water. Transfer the beans onto a kitchen towel and pat dry.
Place the beans in a 9 by 13-inch (33 by 23 cm) baking pan. Season the beans with salt.
Make the Sauce: In a medium saucepan cook the onion with the olive oil and butter and a pinch of salt for 8 minutes or until softened.
Add the garlic and warm through.
Add the flour and cook it for 2-3 minutes or until toasted.
Add the milk, salt, pepper, thyme, and nutmeg. Cook while constantly whisking until it has thickened.
Remove from the heat and pour the sauce over the green beans. Top with cheese and mix together.
Pour a cup of chicken broth on top and mix together to thin out the sauce a little bit. Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
Bake on the center rack of a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Remove the tray from the oven and top with the french dried onions.
Serve warm. Kali Orexi!
For a breadcrumb topping: Instead of the french fried onions you can make a breadcrumb topping by combining 1 and 1/2 cups of unseasoned panko breadcrumbs with 6-8 tablespoons of melted butter. Season with salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Mix together until the breadcrumbs are coated and sprinkle over the green bean casserole. Bake until bubbly and serve.
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