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Healthy Green Bean Casserole

by Cameron Greene November 11, 2020

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Since we are getting closer to the holidays, we thought it would be a great idea to share some healthier versions of all of your favorite recipes. The turkey and gravy may be the showstopper on your Thanksgiving spread, but it's important to also showcase delicious sides like stuffing, green bean casserole, mac n' cheese, mashed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberries, and more! There's no reason you can't make your favorite dishes healthier, vegan, and/or gluten free! 

Thanks to Well Plated, you can make a healthy green bean casserole without canned soup! Sometime the real deal can be mushy, over cooked, too rich with creamed soup, and filled with canned green beans to save time. This healthier version is fresher, rich in the center, golden and crispy on top, complex to keep you interested, and classic enough to feel traditional.

Ingredients:

    • ½ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
    • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus additional for garnish
    • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
    • 2 ½ 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
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    •  teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 7 ounces 2% Greek yogurt

Cookware: 

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.
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.

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

 

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.

 

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 ½ 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.)

Thanks for the healthy green bean casserole, Well Plated!

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Cameron Greene
Cameron Greene

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