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VEGAN GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE (HEALTHY)

Vegan Green Bean Casserole is made from scratch with fresh green beans wrapped in a savory mushroom gravy and topped with baked crispy onions for a healthy and delicious classic American side dish perfect for holiday entertaining!

side angle view of healthy green bean casserole.

Eating healthy during the holidays can be challenging and I’m here to inspire you with healthy options. And, you can be sure this vegan green bean casserole is nothing short of delicious!

Instead of frying onions in oil, we’ll be baking them in the oven, making them lighter in calories. I love the flavor and texture of preparing them this way.

Baking them yourself is an extra step, but it’s super easy and well worth the effort. But feel free to use store bought fried onions in place of making your own. I’ve used Traders Joe’s fried onions with delicious success!

Also, we’ll be making this dairy-free by using unsweetened non-dairy milk in the mushroom gravy instead of creams. It’s another great way we’ve reduced both the calories and fat content.

I think you’ll agree that this gravy isn’t lacking in flavor one bit and adds the perfect creaminess to the green bean casserole. Wholesome, easy, and made from scratch with lots of love, it’s simply the best!

top down view of ingredients used to make healthy vegan green bean casserole.

Ingredients + Subs

This is what you will need, including ideas for substituting ingredients. Measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Green beans – use your favorite regular or French (Haricots Verts)
  • Mushrooms – brown cremini are my favorite here, but white mushrooms will do as well
  • Onions – use yellow pref
  • Garlic 
  • Panko – can sub with fine cornmeal or masa flour for gluten-free
  • Olive oil
  • Plant milk – unsweetened almond, cashew, oat, or soy milk
  • Flour – spelt, whole wheat, all-purpose, or oat
  • Vegetable broth – I used my Better Than Bouillon veg past with water
  • Nutmeg – optional
  • Salt + pepper
side by side photos of prepped veggies.

How To Make Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Here is a quick look at the steps, see the bottom of this post for the full printable recipe.

  • Start with the onions, thinly slicing and baking them on a rimmed baking sheet for 30 minutes.
  • While the onions are baking, blanch the green beans on the stovetop, or make it super easy and cook them in the microwave.
  • The gravy is super easy too and comes together in about 20 minutes on the stovetop.
  • Once the gravy is ready, mix in the cooked greens beans, place the mixture in a casserole dish, add the onions on top and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

That’s it, easy as can be healthy green bean casserole ready for your table!

Top Tips

  • You can make the green beans, mushroom sauce, and bake the casserole with one dish if using an oven safe pan or skillet.
  • The baked onions are a modified Alton Brown recipe and can be a little tricky, so check on them regularly. I would suggest having packaged crispy onions on hand just in case you have any issues, or omit them all together.
  • For ease, if you don’t feel like making the baked crispy onions, store bought fried onions are great (I don’t think anyone will complain)!
  • If you don’t have non-dairy milk on hand, use all vegetable broth.

top down view of a pot with freshly made mushroom sauce with green beans mixed in.

Can Green Bean Casserole Be Made Ahead?

Yes, this vegan green bean casserole can be made a day ahead. Simply make the casserole, but don’t add the onions, keep them separate. Keep covered in the refrigerator for a day or two. When ready, add the green bean/mushroom gravy mixture to a serving dish, and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for about 25 – 30 minutes, until heated through. Add onions on top, and cook 5 – 10 minutes more. If onions brown too much, cover with foil.

top down view of freshly baked vegan green bean casserole in a white baking dish with serving spoon.

Serving Suggestions

Looking for ideas to turn this side dish into a delicious full meal? Here are a few of my favorite options:

More Healthy Side Dishes

head on view of spoon scooping up vegan green bean casserole in a baking dish.

If you try this green bean casserole recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

VEGAN GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE (HEALTHY)

Made from scratch, this is an easy vegan green bean casserole with savory mushroom gravy and baked crispy onions is a healthy and delicious side dish for your holiday table, or just whenever!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Side
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

Crispy Onions

  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup flour (spelt, unbleached all-purpose, or oat)
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs (or fine cornmeal or masa flour)
  • generous pinch of mineral salt

Casserole

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 812 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of nutmeg, optional
  • 3 tablespoons flour (spelt, all-purpose, or oat)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or your favorite plant milk)
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with oil.

Onions: Slice onions as uniform as possible and make sure all the pieces are separated. In a large mixing bowl, combine the onions, flour, panko and salt, toss to combine. Spread the onions evenly in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake until golden brown, approx. 30 minutes. Stir/toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. After about 20 minutes, remove, and set aside, any onions that are cooking too fast. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.

Green Beans: Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, add beans and blanch for 7 minutes. Drain beans into a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Mushroom sauce: In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat, add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to sweat and release their juices, approx. 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg, continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the broth and let simmer for 1 minute. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the non-dairy milk. Cook until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approx. 6 to 8 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, add more salt + pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Assemble & bake: Add the beans to the mushroom gravy and give a good stir. Place mixture in a baking dish and top with the baked onions. Place in oven, on the center rake, and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. If onions start to brown too much, cover with foil. Let cool slightly and enjoy.

Serves 6

Store: Leftovers can be kept for up to 4 – 5 days in the refrigerator.

Notes

If you don’t have panko bread crumbs available, fine ground cornmeal is a delicious substitute.

Don’t have vegetable broth on hand? Try saving and using 1 cup of the water the beans were cooked in. This worked well when I was in a pinch.

The baked crispy onions is from Alton Brown. Feel free to use store bought fried onions in place of making your own. I’ve used Traders Joe’s fried onions with delicious success. Plus, it’s one less step.

Make this gluten-free by using a gluten free flour blend, mesa flour, or oat flour.

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

Updated: Vegan Green Bean Casserole was originally published in November 2016. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in November 2020.

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8 Comments

  1. Can i use frozen green beans? They dont sell fresh where I live

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Jessica! Yes, you can use frozen green beans in this casserole. Enjoy!

  2. The instructions for the gravy say to add nutmeg, but I don’t see that in the ingredients list – how much should I add?

    Thank you!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I’ve added it to the recipe ingredients, it calls just for a pinch and is optional. Thanks so much for pointing that out!

  3. I just made this and ended up using store bought onions, needless to say it was delicious!

  4. WOW! Showstopper! Gotta try it!

  5. This looks terrific, can’t wait to try it. Think I’ll serve it with Thanksgiving dinner. ?

  6. Clinton van Heerden says:

    I’ve been checking every day for your next post! Thanks for this one – going to try it out next week.

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