Vegan green bean casserole calls for homemade mushroom soup.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole: Healthy and Delicious

Green bean casserole is a classic American side dish that graces many a holiday spread, not to mention weeknight dinner tables for those who want to enjoy it year-round. It is a savory casserole made with green beans, cream of mushroom soup and fried onions. The dish is baked until the onions sprinkled on top of the casserole are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.

This comforting casserole dish is nostalgic for many and a great way to get some veggies—including the immune-supporting power of mushrooms—on your table.

As it is traditionally prepared, green bean casserole is not vegan because of two key ingredients: cream of mushroom soup and French fried onions. Cream of mushroom soup contains dairy products derived from animal sources, such as milk, cream and butter. The crispy topping of French fried onions is another issue for vegans because store-bought fried onions are often made with butter or animal fat.

But as this healthy green bean casserole recipe demonstrates, it is easy to make Americana dishes vegan and dairy-free. You just need a little imagination and some vegan-friendly substitutes.

Vegan green bean casserole recipe

The key to this vegan green bean casserole is making your own plant-based cream of mushroom soup from scratch using non-dairy milk, mushrooms and vegetable broth, as well as using vegan crispy fried onions.

This recipe serves 8.


  • 2 pounds green beans, cleaned
  • 6 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 16 ounces low sodium vegetable broth
  • 14 ounces unsweetened, light coconut milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 3 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup vegan crispy fried onions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add green beans to boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are bright green. Drain the water and add green beans to ice water to shock them and preserve the bright green hue.
  3. In a large, deep and oven-safe pan (or in a large saucepan) add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add minced garlic and onions and sauté for a few minutes until fragrant, stirring often.
  4. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When mushrooms are browned, push them to the side to make the roux.
  5. Add the vegan butter and the flour to the space in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, moving the flour around in the melted butter so that it will not burn.
  6. Stir the flour and butter into the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the vegetable stock slowly and stir carefully so that it does not get lumps. Once combined, add the coconut milk, salt, thyme leaves and black pepper and bring to a boil. It will get thick and creamy like gravy.
  8. Add the beans to the mushroom sauce. If you are cooking in an oven-safe baking dish, stir the beans into the thickening creamy mushroom gravy. If you are using a saucepan, add the prepared green beans to a casserole dish and then stir in the mushroom gravy. Add 1/2 cup of crispy onions and stir into the casserole. Reserve ½ cup to top the baking dish during the last 5 minutes of baking.
  9. Put the green bean casserole into the oven for 15 minutes until hot and bubbly. Top with remaining crispy onions and bake for 5 more minutes.

Nutritional values per serving*

Calories: 281
Carbohydrates: 18 g
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 23 g
Sodium: 417 mg
Potassium: 454 mg
Fiber: 5 g
Sugar: 6 g
Vitamin A: 923 IU
Vitamin C: 17 mg
Calcium: 55 mg
Iron: 2 mg

*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes.

Tips for success

  • You can use fresh green beans or frozen green beans. If you want a quicker casserole, use frozen green beans, which are cleaned and pre-trimmed and do not need to be cooked first.
  • When using fresh green beans, be sure to blanch them properly by adding the beans to an ice bath to preserve the green color. Otherwise, the casserole will be drab instead of vibrant.
  • If you like your green beans tender-crisp, cook them for only 12-15 minutes in the oven. That way they will retain a bit more of their "snap."
  • If you are not a fan of mushrooms, use frozen cubed butternut squash instead for an interesting riff on the classic.
  • To make this dish even friendlier to everyone at the table, including those who can't eat wheat products, substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs for the fried onions.
  • If you want to avoid the onion taste, try using potato chips or crushed whole-grain crackers in your casserole instead.
  • If you do not like coconut, do not fret. This dish does not taste like coconut! Unsweetened light coconut milk does not impart a noticeable taste to this dish. The mushrooms, onions and garlic are the main flavors. I like to use coconut milk in recipes like this because it is nut-free and does not separate at high heat like almond milk and other non-dairy milks. It is also very creamy.
  • You can also add nutritional yeast to the mushroom sauce for a cheesy flavor.

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Is a vegan green bean casserole healthy?

Vegan green bean casserole is a classic and beloved holiday side dish, but it can be rich. Be sure to choose healthy ingredients and limit added salt to make it as nutritious as possible, particularly if you want to make it part of your weeknight routine rather than a treat for the holidays.

Green beans and mushrooms are healthy vegetables with a number of health benefits, and incorporating them into your diet is a delicious way to support your overall health.

Green beans and mushrooms are both good sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Mushrooms' immune health benefits are particularly impressive. Thanks to their high vitamin D content, mushrooms help promote bone health and cognitive performance, and they support already-healthy blood pressure. Mushrooms also contain B vitamins and potassium, and they are a good source of beta glucans, a type of soluble fiber that has been linked to heart health.

Thanks to its vegetable base, this casserole is relatively low in sugar and high in fiber. But be sure to purchase unsweetened, light coconut milk and low-sodium vegetable broth to keep the fat, sugar and salt content lower.

What to serve with a vegan green bean casserole

Thankfully, the flavors and textures of green bean casserole pair well with other holiday classics, including the following:

  • Roasted vegetables:

    Pair green bean casserole with a variety of roasted vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus. This will add some earthy sweetness and contrast to the richness of the green beans.
  • Mashed potatoes:

    A classic holiday staple, mashed potatoes are a perfect complement to the savory flavors of green bean casserole. The creamy texture and fluffy consistency will provide a satisfying counterpoint to the crunchy onion topping.
  • Savory rolls or bread:

    A basket of warm, buttery rolls or slices of crusty bread is always a welcome addition to any meal. The bread provides a way to soak up the flavorful sauce from the green bean casserole and adds a touch of richness.
  • Salad:

    To add some freshness and lightness to the meal, consider serving a tossed green salad with a light vinaigrette. The salad will provide a palate cleanser and additional fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • Protein main dish:

    Pair your green bean casserole with a flavorful and satisfying main dish, such as a vegan roast, a lentil Wellington or some roasted tofu.

Are you getting enough support for your immune health?

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About the Author: Sara Tercero is the chef behind the popular food blog BetterFoodGuru and the author of the cookbook Plant-Based Diet in 30 Days. Her specialties are veganized Indian-inspired curries, giant rainbow salads, and healthier Mediterranean and Mexican-inspired dishes. It is Sara's mission to prove that plants are delicious and to help others cook and eat their way to health and happiness.