Healthier Green Bean Casserole With Onion Topping
Green bean casserole is a holiday meal favorite and a tradition in many American homes. The classic green bean casserole includes canned cream of mushroom soup. If you make your own sauce, however, you have much more control over the ingredients—choosing your preference of butter or oil, the type of liquid to add, and the thickener to use.
In addition, the green bean casserole we’re all familiar with features a topping of crispy, deep-fried onions, usually from a can. Both of these pre-made ingredients add fat, calories, and preservatives to the dish. This recipe uses all fresh ingredients, and replaces the fried onions with sauteed, making this green bean casserole a much healthier version while remaining familiar and delicious. One thing to note, however, is that this casserole is not very saucy and may not satisfy all diners.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, thinly slice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1/4 cup cream
- 14-ounce bag frozen green beans, thawed
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Put half of oil in a skillet and add about 3/4 of the onion slices. Let them slowly cook. When they start to get soft, add salt and pepper. You want the onions to get soft and sweet, but if you let them cook down for a very long time they will start to lose too much volume.
- When they are soft, remove from heat and toss with almond meal. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Chop up the rest of the onion slices and saute the mushrooms in the rest of the oil. Add thyme, stir, and add the thickener. Stir for another two minutes.
- In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the milk with the cream; add to the sauteed onions and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Mix in the beans and put in a casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Spread the onions on top and cook for 5 more minutes or until topping begins to brown.
Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips
Any type of “dairy” product works in this recipe. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, the lowest carb count is in unsweetened soy milk. This recipe combines unsweetened soy milk and cream for richness, but you can use any fat level of milk you want to use, and any combination. Since cream adds some body and thickness, you may need to adjust the amount of thickener if you change the amount of cream.
The type of thickener you use in this recipe is up to you as well. You can use any type of flour or other lower-carb thickeners such as guar gum and proprietary thickeners.