Healthy Traditional Green Bean Casserole (Gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free)

Gluten and Dairy free Green Bean Casserole

Gluten and Dairy free Green Bean Casserole

gallery-thanksgiving-sides-2

I have to admit that when I think Thanksgiving, I don’t think about the traditional Green Bean Casserole.  I didn’t grow up eating it and so I tend to think about dishes  like  mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie!  But I received a few requests for this dish on the Thanksgiving Menu Planner so I thought I would take the challenge to create a healthy, gluten-free and dairy-free version.

Most recipes I found called for canned onions loaded with sugar and wheat as well as the all-famous Cream of Mushroom soup.  Well, neither of these ingredients are anything close to allergen-friendly or healthy so I knew everything had to make from scratch!

I found one recipe at Eating Well that caught my eye.  Here is the description of the dish:

“This is not the no-mess, super-easy recipe of yore, but it is low in fat and high in flavor. To go one step further, substitute 1/2 pound fresh green beans for frozen. Simply trim and cut into 1-inch lengths. Then blanch the beans for 1 to 2 minutes in boiling water, refresh under cold water and spread in the baking dish.”

So, I took this recipe, which called for milk, sour cream and breadcrumbs and made it gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free!  I will say that it is no longer low in fat as claimed by the original recipe.  But it is all healthy fat from nuts and healthy oils.

This recipe is part of my Thanksgiving Day Menu Planner, but I decided to make a blog post about it and share the recipe because I think there are a lot of people who would love a healthier and allergen-free version of this traditional but not so healthy recipe!

So here’s the recipe!:

Healthy Traditional Green Bean Casserole recipe (gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free)

From:  Heart of Cooking, adapted from Eatingwell.com
TOTAL TIME:  1 HOUR * MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Ingredients:
Onion topping
1      Tbsp. olive oil
1      large onion, thinly sliced
1/2   cup ground almond, pecan or hazelnut meal/flour

Sauce & green beans
2      cups water
2/3  cups soaked cashews
Pinch grated nutmeg
1      Tbsp. olive oil
1      small onion, finely chopped
1/2  pound mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (3 cups)
1      clove garlic, finely chopped
1      teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2  teaspoon freshly ground pepper, to taste
1      12-ounce package frozen green beans, or 12 oz. fresh – trimmed and blanched

Steps:
1.  To make onion topping: Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add sliced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and golden, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread breadcrumbs nut meal on a baking sheet and toast, stirring once, until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

3.  To make sauce: Combine water, cashews, and nutmeg in a blender and process until very smooth.   Poor into a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Once it starts to boil, reduce heat immediately to low and continue stirring until the sauce is thick.  Remove from heat.

4.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8-10 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, 5-6 minutes.  When veggies are cooked, add the thickened cashew sauce and stir into the veggies.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

5.  To assemble and bake casserole: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread green beans evenly over the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish and pour the sauce over the top. Toss together the reserved onions and breadcrumbs toasted nut meal in a small bowl and spread over the beans. Bake until bubbling, 18 to 25 minutes.

Per Serving: 210 Calories; 14g Fat (55.3% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 367mg Sodium.

If you make this recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! I am submitting this recipe to be part of Wardeh’s Gallery of Thanksgiving Sides which will be posted on Thursday November 19th.  Enjoy!

And I welcome any comments or suggestions about making this recipe allergen-friendly and healthy.  What would you do to make it nut-free?

Thanks so much!

Happy Thanksgiving!

38 Responses to Healthy Traditional Green Bean Casserole (Gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free)
  1. Debbie
    November 16, 2009 | 4:08 pm

    Sarah,
    I’m like you in that I never grew up eating this at Thanksgiving. I think most people did, because of the ease of using that can of soup to create an easy vegetable dish. I would love to make your version. I haven’t found cashews yet that are free of all our allergens yet. Where do you purchase yours?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Sarah
    November 16, 2009 | 10:04 pm

    Hi Debbie,
    It really is delicious! I buy my cashews bulk from my coop. But I have to be honest that I don’t know the brand, etc. I’ve never had a problem with them but you have a good point about cross contamination.

    To my knowledge, cashews are never really raw because they always put them through some kind of a process. It talks about this in Nourishing Traditions. When I soaked and dehydrated mine, they didn’t get crispy like the other nuts did. I’d like to find a better source as well.

    Thanks so much Debbie!
    Sarah

  3. Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS
    November 17, 2009 | 12:47 pm

    Sarah, this recipe looks beautiful. I am going to put it on my menu for Christmas! I’m really happy you’re sharing this recipe in the Gallery of Thanksgiving Sides. Like you, I didn’t grow up with a green bean dish for Thanksgiving – my husband did, though. So I know he’ll enjoy this when I make it.

  4. Hänni
    November 17, 2009 | 3:36 pm

    Another excellent Thanksgiving recipe hack. Seriously, you are genius. I can’t wait to try this.

  5. MarthaAndMe
    November 19, 2009 | 8:53 am

    This looks great. I like the addition of cashews!

  6. emily
    November 19, 2009 | 5:14 pm

    yum! i have never liked regular green bean casserole much but this one looks mmmmm… good!

    p.s. i purchased the thanksgiving menu and am so exited to use it!

  7. Sarah
    November 20, 2009 | 3:45 pm

    thanks Emily! I hope you love the casserole and the menu planner!
    Sarah

  8. Erica
    November 22, 2009 | 10:27 am

    This looks fantastic! What a great blog- I love it!

  9. Sonya Hemmings
    November 22, 2009 | 4:54 pm

    Sarah—I’m so glad you shared this recipe in the Twister! I made the Eating Well version you mentioned last year, and I can’t wait to try this one this year. I bought your Thanksgiving Planner because everything looks so amazing and I know I can use the recipes for years to come!
    —Sonya

  10. Sonya Hemmings
    November 22, 2009 | 10:51 pm

    Oops! I meant the Gallery, not the Twister!

  11. Sarah
    November 23, 2009 | 10:53 am

    Hi Sonya,
    Thanks so much! I’ve really enjoyed visiting your blog as well! I hope you enjoy the planner!
    Sarah

  12. Tootsie Plunkette
    November 23, 2009 | 6:07 pm

    In the body of your recipe, you refer to “breadcrumbs” to coat the onion, but they are not listed in your ingredients. Is this supposed to be referring to the nut meal/flour?

  13. Sarah
    November 23, 2009 | 8:11 pm

    Hi Tootsie,
    Yes, that is a typo! Sorry, yes it is supposed to be the ground almond or pecan meal that is at the beginning of the ingredients list that you toast. I will update it.
    Thanks so much,
    Sarah

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  15. Alessandra
    November 24, 2010 | 1:06 pm

    I made this last year for Thanksgiving and it’s literally been mentioned over a dozen times since. Just pulled it up again and started soaking my cashews. Can’t believe it’s been a year already! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. So delicious. My boyfriend can’t wait to eat it tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving.

    A

  16. Abby
    November 24, 2010 | 5:04 pm

    Do the cashews need to be raw? (Not the roasted kind.) What do you need to do to soak them? For how long? I’m a cooking novice. ;-)

  17. Sarah
    November 24, 2010 | 5:14 pm

    Hi,
    Sorry the recipe is not specific – I use raw cashews. Roasted would work too but probably not the salted kind and it’s better not to have ones that have added oils in them. You soak them in water for about 3-4 hours and that should make them soft (this step can be skipped if you’re short on time but it’s better for you to soak them). Then drain and blend with the water in the recipe. Hope that helps!
    sarah

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  22. Michelle Routh
    November 23, 2011 | 8:12 pm

    Hi,

    I’m wondering if it would work well to prepare the sauce and onions, toasted the nut meal ahead the night before and then bake it all together the day of?

    Thanks!

  23. Sarah
    November 23, 2011 | 9:34 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    Yes I think this would work fine as long as you don’t combine it until you want to bake it. enjoy!
    Sarah

  24. Alli B
    November 24, 2011 | 3:17 pm

    This version of green bean casserole was delicious! Soooo much better than pouring out cream of mushroom soup from a can! Thank you! This was my first Thanksgiving to cook everything myself and everyone was impressed! I’ll keep it for years to come!

  25. Susanne
    November 25, 2011 | 12:03 am

    Delicious! I made a batch of these green beans this afternoon for our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. The finished product looked just like the “traditional” green bean casserole (we had a batch of that on the table as well), and tasted just lovely.

  26. Sarah
    December 24, 2011 | 4:44 pm

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!
    Although, are you supposed to put the onions in the nut meal at some point? I’m confused.

  27. kristen
    September 16, 2012 | 12:06 am

    Great recipe! I added dill and cayenne pepper to the veggie mixture because I like a little kick. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Dani Radle
    September 19, 2012 | 1:06 pm

    Should the green beans be thawed?

  29. Sarah
    September 19, 2012 | 1:24 pm

    You can cook them from frozen or you can defrost them first. They will just take longer if they are frozen. Fresh green beans are really best – they really do taste better if you can get fresh ones.

  30. Amanda
    October 28, 2012 | 2:46 pm

    What I’d the best type of mushroom to use for this recipe??

  31. Sarah
    October 31, 2012 | 10:06 am

    Hi Amanda,
    I just use button mushrooms or baby portobellos. Enjoy!
    Sarah

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