Almost Classic Green Bean Casserole

The holidays can be one of the toughest times of the year for me. While my family attempts to serve at least a few dishes that fall in my diet, the reality is there’s always a lot of food that’s high in salt, has nuts or beans or dairy, and isn’t good for me. But my philosophy is to always make sure I bring at least one dish that I cook myself so at least I know I can eat something.  And of course, to me, the best part of any holiday meal is generally the sides.

Green Bean Casserole is a classic recipe from my parents’ era. Who doesn’t love a dish with fried onions on top? Historically, this recipe is made with condensed soup, green beans, a lot of additional salt, and those amazing crunchy onions.  So this year, I found this recipe from Alton Brown for homemade Green Bean Casserole and attempted to update it to fit my diet.  The results were fantastic – it smelled, tasted, and looked just like the original!


Original Recipe: Found HERE (courtesy of Alton Brown & The Food Network)

Revised Recipe Below: Me 🙂 Jackie


For the topping:

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons low-salt bread crumbs (Note: breadcrumbs are one of the hardest things to find as low or no salt. You can feel free to make your own by putting a piece of day-old low-salt bread in a food processor or there are a few brands you can buy, namely Asian brands like Kikkoman or Sushi Chef – these are both panko – Ian’s Gluten-Free makes a lower salt version and there’s a no-salt 4C breadcrumb)
  • Nonstick cooking spray

For beans and sauce:

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup almond or rice milk (non-enriched)


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Combine the onions, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.

(Alternate cooking method: Air fryer – found here – if you or someone in your family has one, the onions turn out great this way too. Here is a picture of my mom’s Air Fryer and the onions.)

Air Fryer

While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Melt the margarine in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the rice/almond milk. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. If you find that it still isn’t thick enough, add 1 more tablespoon of flour, but make sure to mix it in so it cooks off quickly.


Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

2 thoughts on “Almost Classic Green Bean Casserole

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