Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Next in our series of lighter, fresher versions of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes: Healthy Green Bean Casserole!

Healthy Green Bean Casserole. Clean eating recipe without canned soup! Easy, from scratch, and a favorite of families. Thanks to simple ingredients like Greek yogurt and caramelized onions, this skinny green bean casserole tastes just as decadent as the original. A must for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving!
Pin it on Pinterest!
Despite its OG status in today’s Thanksgiving spread, green bean casserole is one of those recipes I forget about every year until it’s in front of me in its French-onion-crowned glory.

Holiday mealtime is sacred, and plate (and stomach) space is a premium. Every side should shine. Thus, I set out to create a Healthy Green Bean Casserole from scratch that would be remembered and (the ultimate test) re-requested for years to come.

The Very Best Green Bean Casserole

Creamy, crispy, and deeply comforting, this Healthy Green Bean Casserole recipe is as much about what it is as what it isn’t.

What it is:

  • Fresh.
  • Luscious, velvety, and rich in the center.
  • Golden, crispy, and addictive on top.
  • Complex enough to keep you interested.
  • Classic enough to feel traditional.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole. Made from scratch with no canned soup!

What it is not:

  • Mushy.
  • Cream of anything soup-ed. (If you came looking for a Healthy Green Bean casserole without mushroom soup, this is it!)
  • Canned. No canned green beans. No canned soup (see above). No canned onions. I promise you won’t miss them!
  • Forgettable.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole. The Thanksgiving classic is lightened up with Greek yogurt and a golden breadcrumb topping.

How Do You Make Healthy Green Bean Casserole?

  • To enrich the filling without adding unnecessary fat, I made the Healthy Green Bean Casserole with Greek yogurt. It’s just as thick and tangy as sour cream but is low in fat and high in protein.
  • To ensure the filling didn’t taste “light,” I started it with a base of caramelized onions and mushrooms.
  • I skipped the fried onions in favor of a crispy Panko Parm topping.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole. Clean eating recipe without canned soup! Easy and a favorite of families.

The caramelized onions give the casserole its signature French onion flavor, and the mushrooms play off of the whole classic cream of mushroom soup thing without actually adding it.

Topping-wise, the combo of whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan is delightful. I love the extra nuttiness and saltiness of the Parm. The crisp of the breadcrumbs makes the casserole feel complete. As an added bonus, skipping the fried stuff makes for a more heart healthy green bean casserole too.

This is a skinny green bean casserole that tastes anything but lightened up!

Healthy Green Bean Casserole. A lightened up family favorite for Thanksgiving!

Recipe Adaptations for Different Diets

  • Healthy Green Bean Casserole, Gluten Free: Swap the all-purpose flour for a 1:1 baking blend like this one. (Not yet tested, but I think this would work nicely; I’ve had good results in other recipes with this product.) Use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  • Healthy Green Bean Casserole, Vegan: Replace the milk with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk. Use a nondairy yogurt. Swap the Parmesan for a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast and add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. (Also not yet tested, but I think this would be delicious! If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes.)

More Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

4.8 from 5 votes
Leave a Review »

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Yield: 10 people
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Healthy Green Bean Casserole. Clean eating recipe without canned soup! Delicious, from scratch recipe with incredible flavor. A classic family favorite!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley — plus additional for garnish
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil — divided
  • 2 1/2 pounds green beans — trimmed
  • 1 medium onion — very thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms — sliced (do not use plain white mushrooms, as they do not have much flavor)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 ounces 2% Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat to broil. Lightly coat a 2-quart, broiler-safe baking dish with nonstick spray.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together the Panko, Parmesan, parsley, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.

  3. Blanch the green beans: Bring a very large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath and set out a large, clean kitchen towel. Place the beans in the water and cook just until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking, then drain and transfer to the towel. Lightly pat dry.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, wide saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and golden and the mushrooms brown and have given up their liquid, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle the flour over the top. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes more, until all of the flour turns golden and no white bits remain.

  5. Slowly add the milk a few splashes at a time, stirring between each addition to prevent lumps from forming. Increase the heat to medium high. Stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook and stir, allowing the sauce to bubble, running a wooden spoon or spatula along the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce reduces and thickens to resemble a creamy gravy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt.

  6. Transfer half the green beans to the prepared baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the green beans. Add the remaining green beans and top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top.
  7. Broil, watching closely, until the casserole is bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 1 to 3 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let stand for 10 minutes prior to serving. Garnish with additional fresh parsley.

Recipe Notes

  • Green beans can be blanched 1 day in advance and the sauce prepared 1 day in advance. Store separately in the refrigerator, then gently reheat the sauce on the stove until steaming before combining with the green beans. If the mixture becomes too thick, thin it out with a splash or two of milk. I haven’t tested assembling the entire casserole in advance, but I think that you could layer together the sauce and beans in the baking dish, cover the dish with foil, then heat it (covered) in a 350 degree F oven until hot. From there, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and broil closer to serving.

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1(of 10)) — Calories: 169, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Carbohydrates: 19g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 8g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Healthy Green Bean Casserole. Clean eating recipe without canned soup! Easy, from scratch, and a favorite of families. Thanks to simple ingredients like Greek yogurt and caramelized onions, this skinny green bean casserole tastes just as decadent as the original. A must for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving! #wellplated #greenbeancasserole #thanksgiving

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

29 comments

  1. Love this healthier spin on a Thanksgiving staple!

  2. Can you give an example of a broiler safe baking dish?

  3. I am so excited about this because I was just looking for a healthier green been casserole recipe the other day to make for Thanksgiving. I did not find anything that I liked, but this recipe looks great! Can’t wait to try it out!

  4. Green bean casserole is my FAVORITE Thanksgiving side dish, and for the holiday itself, we always make it the OG way, canned soup and all! It’s just a classic. But I love that I now have an option to satisfy my green bean casserole craving in a healthy way any time of the year! So excited to try this over the weekend! Do you think it would freeze well? I plan to use almond milk instead of 2% milk, but will use Greek yogurt. I wasn’t sure if dairy could be frozen. Thanks!

    • Hi Annie, I do give a few tips in the notes below the recipe for making a day ahead, but I wouldn’t recommend freezing this as veggies tend to get mushy and watery when frozen, thawed, and reheated. I hope you enjoy!

  5. Thank you very much for this recipe. My health problem (osteopenia – thinning bones) requires I eat less sodium, so the canned soups must be eliminated from my diet. When our kidneys dump sodium, they also take calcium with it! I only wish I could copy and paste this recipe to Microsoft Word, which is what I do for my “keepers,” so I can redneck laminate them onto a 3″ x 5″ note card with clear mailing tape. It looks like I will have to type it out to file it in my recipe box. Thanks again!

  6. This sounds so good! I pinned your recipe to my casserole dishes and will be making this soon!

  7. Do you think I could use frozen green beans? My mom gave me so many this summer. I couldn’t eat them fast enough so I froze a bunch! Thanks!!

    • Colleen, I think you’d have to experiment. I’d try thawing them first, then blanching a few and see if they stay crisp tender. As long as they do, you should be good to go.

  8. The absolute best GF flour is Cup 4 Cup brand!
    Once you try it you’ll never use anything else!

  9. I’m not a mushroom fan (and luckily neither is my husband). Would this dish be okay without the mushrooms or do you have another substitute suggestion?

  10. Made this last night and I loved it. It didn’t taste heavy. My husband thought it was too healthy but it was perfect for me. Maybe next time I might add some more onion and maybe garlic too

  11. Do you think I could use non fat milk and yogurt instead of 2%?

  12. I learned how to blanch green beans last night!!! Also this recipe is amazing. Green bean casserole was my grandma’s favorite dish to make for Thanksgiving, and I wish she were still around for me to share it.

    • Savannah, I’m so glad you enjoyed the dish and that it sparked a memory of your grandma too. Thank you for taking the time to leave this comment!

  13. I made this for a Friendsgiving, and it was nearly all gone at the end of the meal. It traveled well, and the green beans are seriously al dente! If I made it again, I will double the onions and mushrooms. The flavor is good, and everyone appreciates healthier options at this time of the year.

  14. Love your recipes!  Do you think I could possibly  bake it instead of broil?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Lisa! Yes, you could bake this, but it may not get as brown on top. Try heating the oven hot and putting the dish close to the top if you can. I hope you enjoy!

  15. Green bean  casserole is my favorite dish at thanksgiving but I hate how bad it is for you. This was a way healthier option and not hard to make! I prepped everything the night before making it a lot easier on me when the time came to cook it. Good job! I will definitely be making it again for thanksgiving this year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *