Lightened-Up Creamy Green Bean Casserole

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This Creamy Green Bean Casserole recipe is a delicious, lightened-up version of everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving green beans side dish. Made with homemade French “fried” onions and none of the canned, processed creams. A totally irresistible side dish that also happens to be vegan!

Looking for more delicious green bean recipes? Try these easy roasted green beans!

Lightened-up creamy green bean casserole is served from a baking dish.


Creamy Vegan Green Bean Casserole

This is my best-ever recipe for a deliciously updated version of the classic Green Bean Casserole. This easy vegan side dish is made with fresh green beans and mushrooms and a delicious dairy-free cream sauce. 

Naturally, I had to keep the fried onion topping; some would argue it’s the best part! Determined to keep things light, I made my own homemade French “fried” onion rings for this casserole. Crunchy, baked (hence the “fried”) and perfect for this recipe!

This creamy green beans casserole recipe is lactose-free, meat-free, and loaded with both caramelized and crispy onions for tons of flavor. A wonderfully healthy and easy casserole, indeed!

Silk Soy Milk, used to make the vegan cream sauce.

What You’ll Need

Did I mention this lightened-up casserole is healthy? It’s also vegetarian, cholesterol-free, can be made gluten-free, and the list goes on! Here are the key ingredients for this ultimate green bean casserole: 

  • Green Beans: Fresh green beans with the ends trimmed.
  • Mushrooms: White mushrooms or button mushrooms, sliced.
  • Yellow Onion: Diced.
  • Vegan Butter: I use Earth Balance vegan butter for this recipe. You can easily swap this out for regular butter if you’re not making a vegan casserole.
  • Garlic: Full fresh cloves, minced.
  • Soy Milk: My go-to is Silk Original Soy Milk, but you can use any non-dairy alternative you prefer. You can substitute regular milk as well for a non-vegan version.
  • Spices: Salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg for seasoning.Fried Onions: I use my crispy Homemade French “Fried” Onion Rings to load on top of this casserole. You can also find store bought fried onions in most supermarkets.
Cooked green beans and mushrooms combined in a baking dish.

How to Make Vegan Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

Aren’t easy Thanksgiving recipes just the best? Here are the steps to lighten up your classic creamy green beans side dish:

Prepare the Green Beans: Boil the green beans until tender, about 3 minutes. Be careful to not overcook the beans, otherwise they’ll become mushy! Rinse the cooked beans under cold water or place them in an ice bath to cool completely. Drain and then set the beans aside in a bowl.

Cook the Onions and Mushrooms: While the beans are cooling, saute the onions with butter. Add in the mushrooms and continue to cook until soft, stirring every so often. Once the mushroom mixture is finished cooking, add this into the bowl with the green beans.

Prepare the Vegan Cream Sauce: Use the same skillet to cook off the flour in melted butter. The flour should be a light brown color before you whisk in the soy milk. Keep cooking to thicken it up and then remove the sauce from the heat. Season the cream to your liking with salt, pepper, and nutmeg – remember to taste as you go!

Coat the Beans: Give the cream sauce a good final stir and then pour it over the green beans and mushrooms mixture, coating everything evenly. Lastly, transfer the green beans, sauce and all, to a lightly greased casserole dish.

Bake: Bake the casserole in a preheated oven until the sauce is nice and bubbly. Allow the green bean casserole to stand a bit after removing it from the oven. Stir, and then top with a generous layer of french fried onions and serve!

Can I Make This in Advance?

You can definitely make this green bean casserole a day ahead. Once all the ingredients are in the baking dish, cover the pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. Leave the french fried onions separate until after the casserole is baked.

Bake the premade casserole in a preheated oven (note the baking time will be slightly longer if the baking dish is straight from the fridge!). Top with the onions and then continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes.

A spoonful of creamy green bean casserole is lifted from a baking dish.

Tips for Success

  • Get the Seasoning Just Right: Taste the cream mixture and adjust for seasoning before adding it to the green beans. Make sure you are satisfied with the taste!
  • Use Unsweetened Soy Milk: Or any unsweetened dairy alternative that doesn’t contain added flavorings like vanilla.

Serving Suggestions

This creamy green bean casserole is delicious all on it’s own, and it also makes an amazing addition to a Thanksgiving spread. This is an easy holiday side dish that pairs nicely with so many other Thanksgiving recipes  – it is a classic, after all. 

Along with your Juicy Roast Turkey, here are some suggestions of dishes to serve alongside this creamy green bean side dish:

Creamy green bean casserole in a baking dish.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Like other casseroles, this green bean side dish tastes even better the following day! By then the beans have had all that time to soak up the creamy flavors. 

Store leftover green bean casserole covered or airtight in the fridge, and reheat it in the oven within 3 days. Throw some extra fried onions on top to get things nice and crispy once more!

Can I Freeze This?

You can! To freeze green bean casserole, make sure you’ve tightly wrapped the pan in plastic wrap or transfer the casserole to a freezer-safe container. An extra layer of foil will help to protect against freezer burn, and you can keep the casserole frozen for up to 4-6 months.

More Healthy Vegan Dishes to Try

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5 from 1 vote

Lightened-Up Creamy Green Bean Casserole

This Creamy Green Bean Casserole recipe is a delicious, lightened-up version of everyone's favorite Thanksgiving green beans side dish. Made with homemade "French" fried onions and none of the canned, processed creams.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 pounds green beans, , trimmed
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter, , divided (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 yellow onion, , diced
  • pinch salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, , minced
  • 16- ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4- cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Silk Original Soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt, , or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, , or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, , or to taste
  • Homemade French "Fried" Onion Rings Recipe
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  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a rapid boil.
  • Add green beans to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, or until desired tenderness. DON’T overcook – they will be mushy if you do.
  • Drain and rinse under cold water until beans are completely cooled.
  • Drain thoroughly, place in a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
  • In the meantime, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet.
  • Add onions to the skillet and season with pinch of salt; cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat to medium-high and continue to cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and transfer mushroom-mixture to a large mixing bowl with the green beans. Set aside.
  • In the same skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour; continue to whisk for about 1 minute, or until flour mixture turns light brown.
  • Slowly pour in the soymilk and continue to whisk and cook for 4 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; remove from heat.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Let stand 5 minutes.
  • Stir the sauce and pour it over the green beans and mushrooms; toss to combine and coat evenly.
  • Transfer the green beans mixture to previously prepared casserole dish.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until sauce bubbles.
  • Remove from oven and let stand several minutes.
  • Give it a good stir before serving and top with Homemade French “Fried” Onion Rings.
  • Serve.


*Onions Topping not included in Nutritional Info
Store leftovers airtight in the fridge and reheat within 3 days.
Freeze tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or foil, or in a freezer-safe container for up to 4-6 months.


Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 398mg | Potassium: 514mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1310IU | Vitamin C: 16.3mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. kellie Hemmerly @ The Suburban Soapbox says:

    Green bean casserole is my favorite side dish, love that you lightened it up!

  2. Amy says:

    Thanks for your green bean casserole lightened! Sounds divine and plan to use this Thanksgiving. I have a gluten sensitive daughter and family gatherings can be difficult for her. One concern in looking at your recipe is the all purpose flour…. I would substitute corn starch as a thickening ingredient. Then use caramelized onions on the top.
    Any other tip you may have?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi Amy! You’ve got this GF thing down to a “T”! 😀 Not sure what else I would add, but maybe using a GF Flour blend instead of the corn starch just to avoid that corn-starchy-taste? Just a personal preference, though, because I hate when I can taste that stuff. haha 😀

  3. Kristyn says:

    This recipe definitely looks just as good, if not better, than the original! Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to try this out! 🙂

  4. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says:

    LOVE this recipe! Green bean casserole is my favorite part (we don’t use the canned soup either). But the mushrooms and homemade crispy onions are amazing!

  5. Melanie | Melanie Makes says:

    Um, those onions? Talk about the perfect topping for this delicious looking casserole!

  6. Terri/Love and Confections says:

    This looks so good! Green Bean Casserole at the holidays is a must. I love the fact that this is fresh and not from a can. …and those onions… total fist bump!

  7. Beth says:

    Girl, fist bump is right! 🙂

  8. Connie | URBAN BAKES says:

    Hahaha now after meeting you, I can totally vision you explaining your thought process… at the grocery store. Hilarious. And this casserole looks delish and I love that you substituted cream for Silk. Silk is pretty awesome in its versatility!