It’s that time of the year again! Time to get out our comfort food recipes, our warm-weather dishes, and best Holiday creations. Well, this recipe checks all those boxes! Except this vegan green bean casserole dish isn’t an unhealthy “comfort food” recipe – it’s actually very healthy!
So let’s back-track a bit. Why vegan green bean casserole? Well, for some reason it just happens to be my favorite holiday recipe! Every year at Thanksgiving growing up there were two things I ate more than any other dish. It was the garlic bread, and the green bean casserole. I don’t know why either. Green beans aren’t my favorite vegetable (I mean, they’re ok), and there are plenty of other tasty casserole and Thanksgiving dishes. For some reason, I just really loved the green bean casserole though, and looked forward to it every year.
Maybe I liked it so much because it’s more ‘rare.’ I have garlic bread in plenty of other meals throughout the year. The same can be said for garden salads, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. But I only ever had green bean casserole on Thanksgiving day. So, this recipe is for a healthy vegan green bean casserole.
This recipe is healthy because there is no cream (obviously), so it’s pretty low in fat. It has zero trans fat, zero saturated fat, zero cholesterol. Also, the crispy onion topping is sooo good here. The onion strings weren’t fried, but baked without any oil – another healthy twist.
So to summarize, it’s healthy, has tons of flavor, and tastes just like how I remember it! Let’s dive into this vegan green bean casserole recipe.
Oil Free Crispy Onions
The onion topping is so easy to make. Simply chop one large onion into strings/pieces. Then toss them in a bowl with some bread crumbs, oat flour (or other similar flour), garlic powder and salt.
Spread them evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake at 425 F for 20-25 minutes.
The above photos is what they should look like when they come out of the oven. As you can see some of the pieces got nice and crispy/charred. The bread crumbs help make a slight crunchy outer coating, so even though these weren’t fried, they end up having great texture.
Believe me, when I tried a few pieces on the tray after they came out of the oven it was really hard to stop myself from eating the entire tray! I’m definitely going to try and find a way to use these crispy onion strings in future recipes. I’m not sure what I’ll use them for, but I want to make them again sometime!
Prep The Veggies & Sauce
The rest of prep should go by fairly quickly. The next thing I did was wash and cut the green beans (trim the ends etc.). Then I put them in a big pot and boiled them for about 15-20 minutes. 15 minutes if you want them a bit more crunchy, and 20 if you want them a bit more tender.
After everything is done being prepped, the whole dish does go in the oven for awhile. But that is mostly just to get everything warmed up together. All of the individual components (like the mushrooms, green beans, etc.) should be mostly cooked before baking. So that’s what we’re doing at this stage of the process.
While the green beans boil, you can quickly blend the sauce and then water saute the mushrooms and onions. To make the sauce, simply combine all sauce ingredients in a blender.
The vegetables should be sauteed in stages. At least that’s what I prefer to do. First I put the mushrooms in the pan (with a tiny bit of water, no oil needed) and cooked them for about 10 minutes. Then add the onion and book them for about 2-3 minutes. Finally add the spices and the garlic, and cook for about another minute.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Now that everything is done, just mix it all together and bake! I mixed everything in a large baking dish, topped it with the crispy onion strings, and baked it at 350 F for 20 minutes.
Again, the baking portion is mostly to get things warmed, so if you are making this dish ahead of time for a party, you can simply stop at this step and put it in the fridge and bake it at a later time.
This dish was everything I hoped it would be, and more. It’s rich and creamy tasting, it has strong flavor from the mushrooms, greens and spices. The crispy onion topping gave it the perfect crunch, and honestly, it tasted just like I remember from growing up!
I especially like that it’s a healthier, cruelty-free version though. Which is what I’m most excited about. That a dish this good can accomplish all the things I hoped it would.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this vegan green bean casserole dish. If you try it, please leave a comment below! I’d love to know what you think.
- 1 large white or yellow onion, sliced
- 3 TBS whole wheat bread crumbs
- 3 TBS oat flour*
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup cashews (soaked)
- 1½ cup water
- ⅔ cup vegetable stock*
- 3 TBS tapioca starch
- 2 TBS nutritional yeast
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 8 cups fresh or frozen green beans
- ½ onion, chopped
- 16 oz mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Combine sliced onions, and the rest of the toppings ingredients in a large mixing bowl
- Arrange the coated onion slices on a baking tray lined with parchment
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. When they are done, bring the oven temperature down to 350 F
- Soak the cashews for about 10 minutes prior to blending, to soften them up
- Blend all sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and set aside
- Add washed and trimmed green beans to a large pot and boil them for 15-20 minutes*
- Add washed and chopped mushrooms to a large pan and water saute them for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add the chopped onion for 2-3 minutes. Finally add the garlic and spices and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Assemble the casserole - add the green beans, mushroom/onion/garlic mix, and the cashew sauce to a large baking dish and mix everything thoroughly.
- Top the dish with the crispy onion strings and bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes
*Low sodium vegetable broth is what I used.
*Boil the green beans for 10-15 minutes if you want them to be more crunchy. Boil for 15-20 if you want them to be more tender (what I did).