Healthy Green Bean Casserole – The Recipe ReDux

Healthy Green Bean Casserole |

I knew it was the perfect occasion to pull out my most dog-eared and most-sticky-noted old cookbook…because this month’s theme for The Recipe ReDux is ‘Vintage Side Dishes.’ As you can see below, I’ve had a lot of fun with this one, “Favorite Recipes From Our Best Cooks, Compiled by Ladies Aid Society of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.” It contains thrifty German recipes like Zucchini Pickles from dear old ladies in my church and classic 70’s jello concoctions like Frosted Lime Walnut Salad (which my Grandma brought along with her fried chicken to every family function of my youth.) And being that tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and this book contains several fun renditions of the vintage classic Green Bean Casserole, I decided this would a perfect recipe to ReDux.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole |

On page 64 and 65 of “Favorite Recipes” is a recipe for Green Bean Casserole containing sour cream , cheddar cheese, corn flakes, grated onion and 2 packages of frozen French green beans. Green Bean Royal contains a can of cream of mushroom soup, grated cheese, green beans, hard boiled eggs and crushed potato chips. And Classic Green Bean Casserole lists 4 slices of bacon, can of cream of celery soup, canned or frozen green beans and chopped onion. (There is also a Creamy Green Beans recipe with green beans, herb stuffing mix, sour cream and shredded American cheese!)

Healthy Green Bean Casserole |

I don’t think I can be so bold as to say I can ‘improve’ the ‘classic,’ because to some folks (like my brother-in-law) there is no substitute for Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup…but, I do really enjoy fresh green beans and fresh Cremini mushrooms can pack quite a mushroomy punch without any artificial flavors. And while opening a can is obviously fast, this white sauce takes only about 5 minutes and thickens beautifully to coat your green beans. I keep caramelized onions in the freezer because they take a while to make, but in my opinion their unami and sweet flavors are more tasty than canned French fried onions that tend to coat the top of my mouth with something filmy. The resulting Healthy Green Bean Casserole was a hit with my kids…who have already asked for it on more than the occasion of Thanksgiving.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole – The Recipe ReDux

Makes About 6


  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 packages (8 oz) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1/3 cup caramelized onions, warmed


  1. Add green beans to large pot of boiling water. Cook about 7 minutes until tender crisp. Immediately drain in colander and rinse with very cold water.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in large non-stick skillet. Saute onion about 6 minutes until tender. Add additional 2 teaspoons oil and heat.
  3. Stir in mushrooms, salt, pepper and thyme; saute 8 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
  4. Add flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring, then slowly add milk while stirring. Heat to boiling and cook about 3 minutes or until thickened. Add green beans and stir carefully to coat.
  5. Pour into serving dish (or oven-proof casserole dish if you plan to warm in the oven before serving) and top with caramelized onions.

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  1. I love this ReDux theme. This recipe looks delicious, green been casseroles are always a hit. My family’s version of this also uses caramelized onions but with balsamic vinegar instead mushroom/cream. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This looks delish! My husband loves green bean casserole and I have made it healthier, but this recipe looks awesome. Will have to try it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. My green bean casserole is just like this. I love the caramelized onions on top!
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Meme @ Living Well Kitchen recently posted..maple pecan barsMy Profile

  4. I love your recipe. We were definitely on the same wavelength this month! Go green bean casserole :) The caramelized onions on top are perfect!

  5. This is such a wonderful wonderful recipe! Thank you for sharing! I actually purchased some cremini mushrooms to add to my green bean casserole as well! I wanted to do away with Campbell’s cream of mushroom, but my sister insisted that I include it..Her wish is my command. I am def going to add the caramelized onions! It’ll also make the house smell wonderful and fuel my appetite 😉
    Min recently posted..From Our House to Yours – Homemade Dumplings!My Profile

  6. Happy Thanksgiving!! Hope you have a wonderful time with your loved ones!
    Min recently posted..From Our House to Yours – Homemade Dumplings!My Profile

  7. Green beans are a favourite in my family. I enjoy mine more al dente, whereas my husband likes them on the softer side. Any tips on how to manage this debate that has ‘bean’ going on forever?! haha Great recipe! I will try it out!

  8. This recipe looks fabulous!

    Green beans are a favourite in my family. I prefer them more al dente whereas my husband like them on the softer side. Any tips on how to solve this debate that has ‘bean’ going on forever?! ahah I will try this out. Great post, as always.

    • When cooking the green beans, maybe try cooking until just soft, then shock them in an ice bath so they stop cooking and they will be sorta in between al dente and soft? Good luck!

  9. Green bean casserole was not something I grew up with, but we sure did have jello salad, including a lime version with cottage cheese and pineapple, in addition to my favorite cherry jello salad. I would eat your green bean casserole in a heartbeat-looks so yummy and comforting! Wishing you and your family the happiest of Thanksgivings!
    EA-The Spicy RD recently posted..Recipe ReDux: Not my Great Aunt Sena’s Green Pea SaladMy Profile

  10. this looks like a real healthy treat!!! i would be guilty of adding a dollop of mascarpone to thicken it up. thanks for sharing, am going to have a go at this salad!

  11. Like your use of cremini mushrooms and carmelized onions in this recipe. Also, think your suggestion to have carmelized onions in the freezer is a great idea because they can take a lot of time to prepare.

    • You can never have too many caramelized onions in the freezer…I use them in scrambled eggs, salads, pizza, flatbreads, sandwiches and cheese plates!

  12. It looks so yummy, and I never thought green bean casserole could sound so fresh and healthy. What a great way of reduxing such a classic dish.

  13. I love green beans and mushies, but have never though of pairing them in the one dish- nice one!!
    Nina recently posted..Waldorf Salad (The Recipe Redux)My Profile

    • Thanks Nina. Love that you call them mushies…haven’t heard that term since I visited your grand land Down Under, many years ago!

  14. Your pictures are so gorgeous! I love cookbooks like this, I have inherited quite a few gems from my moms church. This looks delicious!
    Alexandra Caspero recently posted..Recipe Roundup: LeftoversMy Profile

    • Aren’t the community/church cookbooks the BEST, Alex?! I love flipping through them for some good smiles…and laughs…and jello recipes! (:

  15. Looks delish! And, I love the idea of freezing caramelized onions–I just made a big batch recently, but didn’t think to freeze them–I just added them to just about everything. :o)

  16. How far in advance can I cook this?

    • Great question! You could make it tonight for Thanksgiving or tomorrow too. Then refrigerate. Let warm to room temp (if possible) for about 30 minutes before baking about 30 minutes at 325 degrees in a covered casserole dish – or until warm. You could also warm in the microwave!


  1. […] Possibly retro, but definitely hip – With chefs crafting new and fresh flavors on winter comfort food, casseroles are ultimately on the menu. And we food bloggers know casseroles are some of our most popular posts. […]

  2. […] Possibly retro, but definitely hip – With chefs crafting new and fresh flavors on winter comfort food, casseroles are ultimately on the menu. And we food bloggers know casseroles are some of our most popular posts. […]

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