The Green Bean Casseroles I have had in the past always call for a can of cream of mushroom soup. As much as I love the flavor, my body cannot handle the MSG and other preservatives in most canned soups. My allergy to MSG has become increasingly dangerous over the years, so I have learned to check the ingredient list on nearly any processed food I consume. But this healthy green bean casserole from Cooking Light is my new best friend because it packs all the fresh flavor and creamy goodness into the dish without adding any preservatives or MSG. Everything’s from scratch! Let me show you the side dish you’re going to want to make this Thanksgiving:
Start with 1 pound of haricot verts, also known as French green beans. If these are not available, you can use regular green beans or even drained green beans from a can. Wash them and cut off any ragged ends.
Heat some water in a large saute pan in order to blanch the green beans. Blanching is a simple process that means cooking a food just until it is done and then immediately stopping the cooking process by plunging the food into ice cold water. So while the water boils, fill a large bowl with ice water so that it is very, very cold. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the green beans and boil them for about 3-4 minutes or until they are tender. Immediately remove the green beans from the hot water and put them in the ice bath.
Drain the green beans after they have cooled and pull out a small food processor. (I just use my small Cuisinart food processor.) You need to pulse two pieces of whole wheat bread until coarse crumbles form.
Then chop up a small onion, 1/4 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley, and 6 oz of mushrooms. If you don’t like mushrooms, you can easily leave them out.
Combine the bread crumbs with the parsley and add 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.
Stir in one tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Mix it all together so that it is well combined. This will be the topping for the green bean casserole.
In a cast iron skillet or large oven-safe saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and saute the onion and mushrooms. Cook them for about 8 minutes or until they are tender.
Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of all purpose flour and cook for one minute. Then stir in 1/2 cup of chicken stock, 1/2 cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons of sherry. If you don’t have sherry, you can use any type of wine you have on hand. If you want to leave out the wine altogether, just add in a bit more chicken stock. Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 4 more tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. You’ll also want to add 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg.
Add your reserved green beans to the mushroom mixture and coat them thoroughly.
Then sprinkle the breaded mixture on top and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. You can also use your broiler for 2 minutes.
When I pulled this out of the oven, I knew it was love. It’s creamy, flavorful, and healthy…what’s not to love?
And then when I had my first bite, I knew I would never resort to my old sloppy green bean casserole again. I loved that the beans were crisp, not squeaky and overdone like most recipes. The creaminess from my own sauce was far better than any soup manufacturer. And the crunch of the breading was a simple blend of bread and herbs; something way healthier than fried onions (although those French’s fried onions are pretty amazing!).
I initially served this healthy green bean casserole with a creamy herbed chicken breast, but I think it would be a sensational side for any piece of meat. It’s definitely being added to my Thanksgiving menu this year! For more savory side dishes, check out my Recipe Index or my Scrumptious Sides board on Pinterest. Happy cooking y’all!
Healthy Green Bean Casserole
- 1 pound French green beans
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley
- 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese divided
- 1 small onion diced
- 6 oz mushrooms washed and chopped
- 1 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp sherry wine, or extra chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 400 or broiler to high.
- Cook beans in large saute pan in boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until tender.
- Remove beans to an ice bath. Drain.
- Put bread into food processor and pulse.
- Chop up onion, parsley, and mushrooms.
- Add bread crumbs and parsley in a small bowl. Add 1 Tbsp oil, garlic, and 2 Tbsp cheese.
- Mix well and set aside.
- Heat 2 Tbsp oil in large skillet and saute the onions and mushrooms for 8 minutes or until soft.
- Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
- Add stock, milk, and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in 4 Tbsp cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Add beans to the skillet and toss to coast thoroughly.
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and bake.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or broil on high for 2 minutes.
- Serve warm.
Interesting! Should I leave the bread.out the night before? I’m afraid it could get soggy otherwise?
If you make this ahead of time, I would leave the topping off until you are ready to cook it. It might get too soggy.
This was delicious! I did mine a little different. I used frozen green beans and boiled them two minutes longer. I also used Moscato wine in place of sherry and portabella mushrooms. So good that my five year old that hates green beans begged for seconds.
One thing we like to add to green beans is almonds on top, or water chestnuts stirred into the casserole. I am looking forward to trying your recipe with the addition of some crunch from water chestnuts. Thanks for the recipe!
Kelly, I think adding almonds on top is a splendid idea! I’m not a big fan of water chestnuts but I know a lot of people are, so that is a good idea too.
I like to use a bag of frozen french cut green beans in my recipe. I thaw them before adding to the creamy part of the dish. This would certainly save a few steps in your current recipe. I can’t wait to try yours to serve with pork chops.
You’re right, frozen green beans would save a step!
This turned out delicious! I did cook it longer though. I cooked the beans with the sauce in the oven for a half an hour before I added the bread crumbs then cooked for another 10 minutes.
Thank you for your feedback Rhonda! I’m glad you found a new recipe you love. Did you cook the beans in the oven for 30 minutes because you skipped the warming over the stove, or did you feel it needed longer in the oven because it wasn’t heated through?