Green bean casseroles are a staple on buffet tables and of family gatherings. But traditional green bean casseroles can’t be considered healthy. They are loaded with calories, sodium, fat, and unhealthy preservatives. Instead of just dumping canned green beans, over-processed soup, and dried and fried onions into a baking dish the next time you have a get-together, opt for one of the healthier green bean casserole recipes below.
Green Bean Nutrition Facts
The green bean casserole has the potential to be a filling and healthy dish—when appropriately made. Fresh green beans are available year-round, and they are an excellent budget-friendly green vegetable.
Green beans offer up dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and minerals. Let’s take a closer look at the humble green bean’s nutrition.
1 cup of green beans contains:
- Calories: 34
- Dietary fiber: 3.7 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 17.9 milligrams 30% DV
- Vitamin K: 15.8 micrograms 20% DV
- Vitamin A: 759 IU 15% DV
- Manganese: 0.2 milligrams 12% DV
- Folate: 40.7 micrograms 10% DV
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 39.6 milligrams
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are another of the key ingredients in a green bean casserole. As the recipes below use fresh or dried mushrooms instead of canned cream of mushroom soup, you and your family will benefit from the nutrients and phytochemicals in the mushrooms. Here are just some of the science-backed health benefits of mushrooms.
- Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan that the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center says may help extend the survival of cancer patients.
- Common button mushrooms and cremini mushrooms contain beta-glucan, which has been shown to boost the immune system. These popular mushrooms are two of the rare foods that contain vitamin D and are also great sources of vitamin B12.
- Pink oyster mushrooms reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels in animal models.
- Mushrooms contain two powerful anti-aging antioxidants—ergothioneine and glutathione.
- Porcini mushrooms contain more protein than any other vegetable protein source, except for soybeans.
6 Healthy Green Bean Casserole Recipes
If you have been wondering how to make green bean casserole that is healthy and full of nutrients, we have you covered. Celebrate the green bean on National Bean Day on January 6th with one of our favorite recipes that don’t use canned soups, canned green beans, or pre-packaged fried onions.
The base of a traditional green bean casserole is canned cream of mushroom soup—a true abomination to mushrooms. In this green bean casserole recipe from Cookie and Kate, you will make homemade cream of mushroom soup—trust us, you won’t miss the preservatives or the excess sodium! The green beans really retain their fresh flavor and texture. The indulgent spin here is using organic crunchy potato chips instead of fried onions on top—omit if you must—but they make this dish.
Most green bean casserole recipes use flour to thicken the sauce and to make the crunchy onions on top. But this recipe from the Edgy Veg is safe for those avoiding gluten and animal products. The creaminess in this recipes comes from ingeniously using cauliflower, almond milk, and seasonings as the base. Instead of wheat-flour coated onions, the Edgy Veg coats thinly sliced onions in coconut flour before deep frying. The result is a delicious green bean casserole that feels indulgent.
From Gimme Some Oven comes a healthy green bean casserole recipe that allows fresh green beans to be the star. In this recipe, the green beans retain their bright green color—no gray and slimy “green” beans in this dish! The twist is using an Alfredo sauce infused with mushrooms as the creamy base. Trust us, you are going to love this recipe.
If you are wondering how a green bean casserole can be creamy without the cream—The Kitchen Girl has the answer—a combination of almond milk and chickpea flour. For a twist on the classic crunchy onion topping, a touch of panko breadcrumbs are used along with sliced almonds. This green bean casserole recipe is so creamy and delicious, your friends and family will never know it is vegan.
From Sarah Baker comes this Crockpot Slow Cooker Vegan Green Bean Casserole that brilliantly employs homemade cashew cream to create the creamy and flavorful mushroom base. This recipe calls for either frozen or fresh green beans, but we think the fresh green bean stands up to the slow cooking better than frozen green beans.
Are you looking for an elevated green bean casserole recipe to wow your friends? This one from Veggie Society is it! This takes a bit more prep time than the others on this list, but it is worth every moment. Nutritional yeast adds to the flavor and the texture—but the real stars are the fresh sage, thyme, and oregano. To make this healthier, use Panko breadcrumbs instead of the processed crispy fried onions called for in the recipe.