Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole

This holiday season enjoy a lighter, healthier version of the classic green bean casserole recipe made from scratch with no canned soup.

Green Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole

You will love this modern take on the classic! The perfect side dish to accompany your Thanksgiving Turkey along with all the fixins like Sweet Potato Casserole, Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes. You can see all my Thanksgiving recipes here.

Green Bean Casserole on a plate.

Confession: I strongly dislike mushy green beans. Year after year, I’ve been asked to post a healthy green bean casserole recipe, and I’ve opted out because the thought of mushy green beans in canned soup with fried onions just doesn’t do it for me.  I’m very particular about how I like my green beans. I love them roasted and cooked until tender-crisp, sauteed with a little garlic and oil, and even in a salad. But frozen or out of a can – I can do without them.

I know so many of you love this popular Thanksgiving side dish. After many requests, I was inspired to give it a try only made completely from scratch. I put the dish in the oven and crossed my fingers. When it was done, I served myself a plate and liked it so much that I had two servings. This absolutely delicious green bean casserole is a keeper and would be the perfect addition to your holiday table.

How to Make Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

In this new lighter version, I use fresh green beans in my green bean casserole. I blanched them for two minutes so they wouldn’t turn to mush. If you like them soft, I would boil them for 6-8 minutes.

Tips & Variations:

  • Cut the green beans in half, so it’s easier to serve.
  • To make it gluten-free: Sub gluten free panko for breadcrumbs and use gluten free flour mix in place of all purpose flour.
  • For more flavor, try adding a little bacon or pancetta to the breadcrumb topping.
  • Halve the recipe to feed a family of four.

green beans and mushrooms in a skillt.Green Bean CasseroleGreen Beans on a plate.

More Holiday Side Dishes You’ll Love:

 

Green Bean Casserole
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4.54 from 13 votes
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Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole with Shallot Crumb Topping

3
3
3
SP
160 Cals 7 Protein 22 Carbs 6 Fats
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Side Dish
CUISINE: American
A lightened up, healthier version of the classic green bean casserole made from scratch, no canned soup.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs green beans, cut in half, trimmed and washed

For The Green Bean Topping

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme, or 1 tsp fresh

For the green beans:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots, minced
  • 16 oz sliced mushrooms, (I used cremini)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock, or vegetable for vegetarian
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions

  • Boil a large pot of water, when boiling add green beans and blanch for 2 minutes (or 6-8 minutes if you like them softer). Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking.
    blanched green beans
  • Meanwhile make the topping, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add breadcrumbs, grated cheese and thyme; sauté until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, careful not to burn.
    toasted breadcrumbs with shallots
  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  • Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms, stir constantly for about a minute, then slowly add chicken stock, then milk.
  • Bring to a low boil, and cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in Romano cheese.
  • Add blanched green beans and mix well, season with salt and pepper as needed; pour into prepared baking dish.
  • Top with toasted breadcrumbs and bake about 30 minutes.
    Green Bean Casserole

Video

Notes

Adapted from Williams Sonoma

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8th of recipe, Calories: 160kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 6g, Sodium: 280.5mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g
Blue Smart Points: 3
Green Smart Points: 3
Purple Smart Points: 3
Points +: 4
Keywords: best green bean casserole, green bean casserole, green bean casserole from scratch, green bean casserole no soup, how to make green bean casserole

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115 comments

  1. Once again, a winner recipe. After reading reviews, I tweaked the recipe, but your remodel of the dear old green bean casserole has great basics. Some comments spoke of the dish being a little bland, so I followed their suggestions: I added garlic after the shallots and before the mushrooms. I seasoned the mushrooms with some thyme and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

    Because we are a small family, I halved the recipe. I’m not sure whether it was the size of the dish, or blanching the beans, but the 30 minutes in the oven seemed a little too long and the beans were really soft. Next time I’m going to skip the blanching and see how it goes.

  2. This was a fun recipe to make. You pretty much make your own cream of mushroom soup during the process. I cut the mushrooms in small 1/4″-1/2″ pieces. The family didn’t even see them, but the flavor was there. Gave it 4 stars instead of 5 as my husband missed the onion topping from the traditional (but oh-so-overly-processed) recipe. This was such a fresh tasting improvement. I will definitely keep this on our holiday menu and experiment with using Gina’s baked onion rings (or try making air fried ones).

  3. I loved this recipe! I was born and raised in Atlanta and green bean casserole was always made with canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup and French’s fried onions. I did not think there would ever be an alternative until I tried this recipe for our small Thanksgiving.

    We LOVED it! This will definitely be a staple in our monthly meal planning. Sorry Mamaw…I am never going back to the old school green bean casserole ever again!

  4. We made this for Thanksgiving and it was delicious! I would definitely make it again. I also used Panko bread crumbs.

  5. I loved this recipe.  Green beans were fresh; mushroom sauce was not overly salty and the breadcrumb topping made it complete – so yummy and I’ll make this again.

  6. I did not grow up with green bean casserole, but I saw this recipe, and it sounded so good I made it for Thanksgiving this year. It did not disappoint! So good, so fresh tasting, and the topping made me not miss fried onions at all!
    We made the whole recipe. Only 3 of us this year, but it’s already half gone. Highly recommend!

  7. Love this recipe, it’s like a gourmet green bean casserole.  So much better than the soup can stuff.  Thanks Gina!   Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. I appreciate the idea of lightening up the original recipe but this tastes nothing like green bean casserole. I had high hopes. 

  9. A green bean casserole without those nasty french fried onion things??? I might actually like this! Have to try it!! Thanks Gina!

  10. Hi! Can I substitute almond milk for the 2%?

  11. What do you mean by seasoned breadcrumbs? Italian? Or do I just use any kind of breadcrumbs?

  12. Am I missing something? How much green beans do I use?

  13. I’m wondering if I could make this ahead of time (up to the crumb topping) and freeze. Then, thaw and add crumb topping before baking

    • If you freeze the casserole, I think you might lose the crispness of the fresh green beans.  I placed mine in the refrigerator and then baked it off.  It worked wonderfully!

  14. Gina, I hope you do a holiday cookbook someday…Thanksgiving through New Year and also a Skinnytaste Favorites. I have made several of your recipes from your site, and it would be wonderful to have them all in one place. Sometimes I forget the names or what I have made before and loved.

  15. Oh my goodness! Made this for our Thanksgiving dinner and it was so good! Made exactly as written, except I only had 1 1/2 pounds of green beans. and I cut them into thirds. Blanched for six minutes the day before, left them to drain on a kitchen towel before storing them in the fridge overnight. Made the recipe a snap to throw together just before the turkey was done, and it baked while the bird rested. I used Panko for the topping with a little Italian seasoning and the shallots.. Crispy and delish!! Did not taste like a light dish! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. This is one for the rotation!

  16. Would it be too soggy if I made it the night before??
    Thanks,
    Heather

  17. Can I use celery instead of mushroom for this? Also would it taste bad if I omit cheese? It looks great!!!!

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  19. Can I make this the night before thanksgiving and, if so, should I save the breadcrumb browning step until we are getting ready to eat? I don’t want the breadcrumbs to get soggy from sitting overnight in fridge.

    Thanks !!

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  27. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was such a hit.  I always bring this dish and made it the traditional way.  This felt cleaner, lighter and had delicious flavor!  YUM!  I used Baby Bella and took the advice to cut them – I did fresh French style green beans cut in quarters.

  28. When you add the bacon you recommend do you sautée that before you toast the breadcrumbs?

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  30. Wondering if you can make this is advance and just add the shallot topping day of?

    It was great meeting you in Norwalk!

  31. Can this be made ahead of time?

  32. Gina,
    We have family that are dairy free.  Do you think Almond Milk would make it too watery?  My family and I love your recipes!

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  34. I absolutely love this recipe! Thank you so much for making this one over for the holidays. I make it for Sunday dinners too. My in-laws think this is so much better than the original canned soup recipe- believe me that is a HUGE accomplishment.  My father-in-law had found out he has diabetes, so this was super for him!

  35. This looks like something I would make and will for Christmas dinner. If a recipe calls for a can of soup, I stop reading right then and there and go on looking for another one. Always.

  36. Tips for make ahead directions for thanksgiving?

  37. This was great! Everyone at Thanksgiving meal loved it!

  38. need info from above by am…. If possible…

  39. Can I use french haricot vert green beans instead? It just seems like there is a lot of them…

  40. If these will be baked and sitting on a sterno for a while, should I still blanch them??

  41. Anyone know if putting it together today but baking tomorrow would work? I would hate for my green beans to get soggy

  42. Thinking of this with swiss and sherry cheese sauce with the mushrooms….

    Steph

  43. Wondering if 1% milk would work?

  44. This looks amazing and I will be making this for Thanksgiving this year.
    May I ask, can I replace the flour with cornstarch or potato starch?

    Thanks, Jennifer

  45. I made this last night using your topping, it was delicious! Love this topping over the "traditional" fried onions, thanks 🙂

  46. This came out so good! I grew up in another country and have never had green bean casserole… So this was my first one, and I loved it!

  47. Can this be made without mushrooms or would there be a good substitute? Also can this be made a day ahead of time?

  48. I just made this…it was fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing! I will definitely be making this again 🙂

  49. This dish was a hit! I have yet to be let down by any SkinnyTaste Creation 🙂 Thank you. I did "mince" the mushrooms so that my pickier eaters would not be "grossed out" by all the mushrooms… And, somehow I didn't use nearly any cheese – which is better on the waistline (I guess that's why I lost weight this Thanksgiving, yep – you read right!). But, I did use full fat buttermilk instead of milk. Wasn't trying to alter the recipe that much, but I originally was set up to follow Whole Foods GBC and then I stumbled on this jewel. So, I meshed to two recipes together and came out with something wonderful and delicious.

  50. Made this yesterday. Too many mushrooms for some reason. Came out runny too. Tasted great though.

  51. Just made these for Thanksgiving. I was taking a bit of a risk because my mom insisted I don't make any of that "healthy crap" for Thanksgiving. Well, she LOVED it! This is so much better than the canned beans/cream of mushroom version! Yummmm!

  52. Gina, I'm very picky about my green beans, too, but Trader Joe's frozen french green beans are excellent!! We can eat almost a whole bag between the two of us.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  53. Looks so good. Won't be able to make for this Thanksgiving (since it's today), but I will definitely be making it this season! I could eat this as a meal too!

  54. Hi, great recipe! At the end you mentioned you'd do a few things differently (like using less green beans)- does the ingredient list/recipe currently reflect what you would change, or the recipe you worked off of? Thanks.

    • I think by saying halving the green beans she meant she would cut them in half to make each green bean smaller and more bite sized. 🙂

  55. Just made this tonight and it was a huge hit! I did not grow up eating green beans and I am at a loss when I want to make them but this was SO SO GOOD and not mushy at all. Thanks again Gina for a wonderful recipe! And happy thanksgiving. Thankful for this wonderful website with lots of wonderful recipes to cook from.

  56. My favorite way to prep green beans: brush with a tiny bit of olive oil and garlic, grill. Let them get a crispy
    dark here and there. Wonderful.

  57. I'm salivating just looking at the photos! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    fellow admirable blogger

    bowtiquetoyou@blogspot.com

  58. I'm making this for Thanksgiving! Thank you for the recipe.

  59. Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful ideas and recipes 🙂

    Misty from belgium

  60. wish the printer friendly recepies came with a picture option

  61. This does look great. Thank you so much. I will also be trying a gluten free version of this. Also, would it be a big sin to use frozen green beans instead of fresh? What would you do different in that case?

  62. The original green bean casserole is a traditional dish at our family dinners.
    I would love to try this tho as my daughter's boyfriend sensitive to wheat, canned soup does not sit well with him. Which flour would you recommend adding to the mushrooms in this case?

  63. I'm not a huge fan of Green bean casserole, but my family insists it be on the table. I've lightened it as much as I could using skim milk and reduced fat and sodium mushroom soup. I never, ever use canned green beans, always par cook fresh or use par cooked frozen. I'd like to give this recipe a try and see what the masses think! 🙂 thanks!

  64. I totally agree! That mushy green bean and mushroom soup casserole is a favorite in my family. Not for me – I'll opt to bring this instead and see how it goes over.

  65. Can this be made the night before and then baked?

  66. I bought fresh green beans today as our fresh vegetable for Thursday and may try this. I don't think everything on a Thanksgiving menu needs to have a fancy presentation or be rich and high in calories. This is a great recipe.

  67. How many shallots would I need to buy to get 1.33 Cups total? I think this looks fabulous!!! Thanks so much! I haven't been let down by your site yet, Gina! Happy Thanksgiving!

  68. How many shallots would I need to buy to get 1.33 Cups total? I think this looks fabulous!!! Thanks so much! I haven't been let down by your site yet, Gina! Happy Thanksgiving!

  69. I actually just had green bean casserole for the first time. I loved it — so I'm glad I've found a lighter version!

  70. This looks great, thanks so much for sharing. The recipe I have/had calls for a dash (or teaspoon) of soy sauce … Could that be the zing that you were missing?

  71. Thanks so much! I will definitely try this one next time!

  72. I love how easy this looks! Great healthy twist on the classic 🙂

  73. Gina, this is a skinny version of the green bean casserole that's been a favourite in our house for a long time. I got very tired of it and not wanting all the fat (ours was made with cream and lots of cheddar cheese), I haven't made it in a while. I think now I might give this a try and see if anyone can tell the difference. Just a little suggestion for a flavour boost…our recipe called for soy sauce and a little shot of hot sauce in the mix. Also, we never topped it with crumbs or anything else and it was always good…so if people want to cut back a bit more on points…try leaving the topping off.

  74. I am exactly the same as you when it comes to green beans! I hate mushy, canned ones, so I used to always ask my mom to use fresh ones in her casserole. I've been seeing a lot of lightened up green bean casseroles this week and I may just have to try one this year!!

  75. How much change in flavor will using yellow sweet onions in place of shallots cause? I've read that shallots have a denser, more garlicky taste – could I simply add some garlic powder, minced garlic or fresh chopped garlic to the mix to substitute?

  76. Green bean casserole is my absolute favorite holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and any other event I can sneak it into)side dish! I am so happy you posted a healthier option. I will feel much less guilty about eating half of the pan myself with this version 🙂

  77. Looks great! I will make this for sure. I love green bean casserole but did not want the traditional version. Doing great eating the foods from your site! Feel so much better!
    BTW: My husband and kids are loving all the cooking I'm doing! And you make it so easy to follow. Can't wait for the cookbook.

  78. This recipe sounds wonderful. I'll be trying this with a few alterations to make it gluten free though. And to another poster, I don't believe French's onions come gluten free. However, there is a brand I use frequently Kinnickinnick, that makes gluten free bread crumbs, panko style even. These would work great here. I get them locally (southern Cali) at Henry's market. But perhaps Amazon might sell them? Anyway, thank you again for another great recipe I can't wait to try!

  79. This looks really good! Could this be made the night before Thanksgiving?

  80. one more typo found Gina…."In fact, I had to servings, but this was my lunch so I didn't feel guilty." Should say….I had two servings. Looks good though.

  81. This looks so much better than "traditional" green bean casserole. It actually looks like green beans. Is it rude to send this to the person bring green bean casserole as a suggestion 🙂

  82. Hi Gina
    Love your recipes, but I have a question about this one. In the directions above it says to add the shallots to a medium sized skillet and then the onions and saute about 3-5 minutes, but I don't see onions anywhere in the ingredients? Am I asking a dumb question here? lol
    Shannon

  83. Any suggestions for a gluten free topping? Are fried onions (gasp I know) gluten free? I know Trader Joes sells a baked version of them, or at least they did last year.

    • I'm not sure if they are gluten free but (gotta love trader joes) a baked version would certainly be lighter. WHat if you sliced the onions, coated them with a little oil and baked them until they get crispy?

    • I have a kitchen secret for making gluten free breadcrumbs: I like to take Udi's gluten free frozen waffles and toast them, then break them down in my food processor with herbs and fresh pecorino. They're an amazing and easy to make!

  84. Mmmm looks and sounds de-li-cious!!! Can't wait to try…and I also don't like mushy green beans..I think they are so much better with some crispness! Thanks Gina!!

  85. ok…just want to add the oil to the breadcrumb directions but I knew it was in there….. Sounds GREAT.

  86. Is there any vegetable you think might be good to substitute for the mushrooms? My husband hates mushrooms 🙁

    • I guess you can leave them out?

    • A lot of people don't like the "spongy" texture of mushrooms, but if your husband is alright with the flavor of them, then maybe you can use powdered mushrooms. If it's not too much of a hassle then you could also buy dried mushrooms in bulk and grind them in a spice grinder to make a powder and add it to the base (rue) so the flavor is there without the texture.

  87. Looks looks wonderful. Should I just add one package of mushrooms?

  88. Gina, the topping on this sounds wonderful!