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

Healthy green bean casserole with cheese and breadcrumbs in a baking dish

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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 green bean casserole from scratch that would be remembered and (this is the ultimate test) re-requested for years to come. A test that Pineapple Casserole already passed.

Healthy green bean casserole with no canned soup

5 Star Review

“This was fantastic, and I was so proud of myself for making this dish from scratch! Wonderful recipe!”

— Daria —

The Very Best Green Bean Casserole

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

What it is:

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.

This casserole is so delicious, I even used it as the inspiration for my healthy Asparagus Casserole.

How to Make This Recipe

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


The Ingredients

  • Green Beans. A Thanksgiving classic for a reason! Green beans are both delicious and highly nutritious. They’re a great source of fiber, vitamin-C, and folate.
  • Breadcrumb Topping. 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.
  • Onion + Mushrooms. To ensure the filling didn’t taste too “light,” I started it with a base of caramelized onions and mushrooms. 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.

Tip!

Do not use plain white mushrooms, as they do not have much flavor. Cremini mushrooms (also called “Baby Bella”) are the right choice.

  • All-Purpose Flour. To help thicken our scrumptious, creamy sauce.
  • Milk. 2% milk adds just the right amount of richness.
  • Greek Yogurt. 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.

The Directions

  1. Stir the Panko, Parmesan, parsley, and olive oil together for the topping.
  2. Blanch the green beans, then pat dry.
  3. Saute the onion and mushrooms in oil. Add the flour and stir.
  4. Pour in the milk a little at a time, stirring consistently. Add the spices. Stir, then let the sauce reduce. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the yogurt.
  5. Spread half of the green beans into a baking dish, then layer half of the sauce on top. Finish with the remaining green beans and sauce. Top with the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Broil for 1 to 3 minutes, until just browned. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then ENJOY!
Healthy green bean casserole with mushrooms

Dietary Note

  • Gluten Free Healthy Green Bean Casserole. 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.
  • Vegan Healthy Green Bean Casserole. Replace the milk with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk. Use a non-dairy 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.)
Vegetables in a baking dish with a breadcrumb topping

Healthy Green Bean Casserole Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate casserole in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through.
  • I do not recommend freezing this dish, as the green beans and breadcrumbs will become mushy once thawed.

Meal Plan Tips

  • Green beans can be blanched 1 day in advance and the sauce prepared 1 day in advance. Store them 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 the sauce and beans together in the baking dish, cover the dish with foil, and refrigerate it for up to 1 day. When getting ready to serve, let the dish come to room temperature, then heat it (covered) in a 350 degree F oven until hot. From there, uncover, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and broil just before serving.

What to Serve with Green Bean Casserole

A baking dish with healthy green bean casserole

Recommended Tools to Make Healthy Green Bean Casserole

High-Quality Baking Dish

Not only will this baking dish last a lifetime, but it will also look beautiful served on your holiday table.

Healthy green bean casserole in a baking dish

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

More Holiday-Worthy Sides

If you’re looking for even more holiday side dishes, this dish is just one of the many healthy Thanksgiving sides on my site.

Healthy green bean casserole in a baking dish

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

4.87 from 15 votes
Healthy Green Bean Casserole. Clean eating recipe without canned soup! Delicious, from scratch recipe with incredible flavor. A classic family favorite!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 55 mins

Servings: 10 servings

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
 

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

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

Serving: 1(of 10)Calories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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71 Comments

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

    1. 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!

  3. 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!5 stars

  4. 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!!

    1. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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 too5 stars

  7. 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.5 stars

    1. 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!

  8. 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.5 stars

    1. You said that this dish “traveled well”.  Did you make it (all) ahead of time and travel with it in a completed state, or did you do the final assembly/broil at your destination?  Just curious because I’m hunting for one that I can bring to Thanksgiving fully assembled, but maybe just throw back in the oven for a few minutes to warm back up once we arrive.  Thanks!

      1. Hi Rebecca! I think this dish would travel well once fully assembled. If you are able to place it back in the oven for a few minutes, that should help ensure the breadcrumbs are still crispy and that everything is nice and warm. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

      2. Hi Rebecca, I did throw the completed casserole in my friend’s oven when we arrived to reheat. It had already been under the broiler, and I didn’t think it needed any additional “crisping.” Hope yours turns out well!

    1. 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!

  9. 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!5 stars

    1. Hi Sonya, 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. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  10. The recipe sounds good but the nutrition info does not give sodium mg which are critical to my husband’s low sodium diet. Unless it can be updated to include this I can’t use it.

    1. Hi Jill, sodium content can vary so much based on the brands of ingredients used. I recommend using an online calculator like MyFitnessPal, which you can customize based on the ingredients you have to get a more accurate number. I hope this helps!

  11. I just made this last night for our office potluck today! I tried the method of layering the green beans and sauce, covering it with foil and left it in the fridge overnight. I am going to heat about an hour before we eat. Then, I am adding the breadcrumb mixture and setting the oven to broil for 3 minutes before serving as instructed. 

    I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it! 5 stars

    1. Hi Alexandra!
      I’m hoping to do something similar later this week for Thanksgiving at my brother’s house. Curious to hear how yours worked out and would love to know more if you have a chance to share an update!
      Thanks!!!

  12. This was fantastic, and I was so proud of myself to make this dish from scratch instead of with canned soup!  I used 1:1 gluten-free baking mix instead of flour, and gluten-free canned onions from Sprouts instead of the topping, since our son does not eat gluten.  Wonderful recipe!5 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Daria! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

      1. Ashley, the flavor would be different, but you can omit them. Maybe splash in a little Worcestershire sauce in with the milk so you get a bit of the umami effect that mushrooms usually add. If you try the recipe, I hope you love it!

        1. I made this recipe last night, it turned out great without the mushrooms and I didn’t substitute anything! It was a hit! Thank you!5 stars

          1. Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review, Ashley! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit!

  13. Hi, many of your recipes ask for whole wheat flour. I have a gluten intolerance so try to not use WW flour. Which flour would work best as a substitute?

    1. Hi Teri! You could try using a 1:1 gluten free flour instead. I haven’t always tested it as a swap, but you could experiment with it. I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Natalie! You can 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 it!

    1. Hi Deborah! I’ve never tried this swap myself, so you’d be experimenting. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  14. Absolutely love this recipe. This is my second year making this as a Thanksgiving side after getting rave reviews last year.

    How much sodium per serving? I don’t see it listed.

    Thank you!5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you’ve enjoyed it, Amy! Thank you for sharing this kind review! Since sodium content can vary based on the specific ingredients used, I recommend using an online calculator like MyFitnessPal to find a more accurate estimate. I hope this helps!

  15. Amazing!!! so delicious. I actually prepped everything the night before and put it together just waited the day of to put in the over. Also baked instead of broiled and it was wonderful!! Delicious.5 stars

  16. This recipe is SO GOOD! I made this for dinner earlier this week and absolutely loved it! The mushroom sauce is everything!5 stars

  17. Hi! This looks delicious, thanks for sharing! Can you tell me how long I’d bake this and at what temp? Thank you!

    1. Hi Brenna! You will find all of the directions on how to bake this dish in the recipe card. There is a “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page to get you to it easier. Hope this helps!

  18. I am making this for Thanksgiving. Husband bought Pecorino Romano instead of Parmesan. Will it affect the outcome much?

    1. Hi Linda! It shouldn’t affect it too much, just keep in mind Pecorino is made from sheep’s milk and is saltier than Parmesan. Hope this helps!

  19. I’m not sure how this recipe had such great reviews. There was no depth of flavor. It was definitely lacking something, maybe some vegetable better than bouillon would have made it better or something. I gave it 3 stars bc it’s healthier, but I would not make this again. The topping wasn’t great either.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Lindsey. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it, so I truly wish it would have been a hit for you.

  20. First time making green bean casserole and I was not disappointed. Thank you so much for sharing this treasure.5 stars