Not Your Grandma's Green Bean Casserole

It's here! Thanksgiving week - my second favorite week of the year! The week of Christmas obviously takes first place. Despite the inherent chaos of the holidays, it's so exciting to have family, friends and your favorite people all in one place...not to mention the glorious food! These are the moments I live for! 

To wrap up my healthy holiday swap extravaganza, I have one last traditional Thanksgiving dish upgrade for you. The green bean casserole. This holiday favorite is usually made with canned condensed cream of mushroom soup and fried onions...from a can. Would you eat french fries or onion rings from a can? Didn't think so. Why not make some fresh crispy onions of your own and bump up the nutrition of that sauce so this beautiful vegetable dish can really earn it's spot on that Thanksgiving dinner table? 

In this version, I make baked crispy onion rings and a creamy sauce out of chicken broth, milk, and herbs. No canned glop or heavy cream here. This is one less dish you have to worry about putting on those stretchy pants for. Just fresh veggies and goodness! Grandma would be proud! 


Not Your Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole

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Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Makes 8-10 servings


  • 2 lbs fresh cut green beans

For crunchy onion topping:

  • 2 medium sweet onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat or panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

For creamy mushroom sauce:

  • 1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (any variety is fine)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour or corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450° F
  2. For the onions: in a large bowl, add flour, parmesan, breadcrumbs and salt. combine well and add onion slices. Toss to evenly coat.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Spread breaded onion slices evenly across pan and roast at 450° F for 30 minutes. Very important - set timer for only 10 mins at a time so you remove and toss onions every 10 minutes to cook evenly and avoid burning.
  4. After onion rings are done, reduce heat to 350° F
  5. In a medium saucepan, insert a steamer basket and fill with 1 inch of water. Heat water to boiling, then add green beans. Cover and steam green beans for about 3 minutes - they should still be bright green and have a bit of a crunch to them. You may have to do 2 batches. Set cooked green beans aside.
  6. Lightly coat a medium pan with olive oil or nonstick spray, Add mushrooms, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated. Add garlic, thyme, nutmeg and flour to mushrooms, toss to evenly distribute and cook for an additional minute. Add broth to pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and add milk, stirring frequently until the mixture is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes)
  7. Remove pan from heat and fold in about 1/4 cup of roasted onions. Pour mushroom sauce over steamed green beans and toss to evenly coat.
  8. Transfer green bean mixture to a 9x13 baking dish (or similar oven safe dish). Sprinkle the remaining crispy onions over the top of the mixture and bake at 350° F until browned and bubbling. (about 15 mins)

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? Any desire to make them a bit healthier? There are only a few days left, so let me know and I'll be happy to help you out! 

If you try this recipe or have any special requests (ingredient swaps, food allergies, etc.), send me a message or share on social media and use #jeannereillyrd to show me your handiwork!

Thanks as always for following me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and sharing me with all your friends, family, coworkers, and strangers on the street. ;) I have availability for new clients at the moment, so if you know of anyone or any health-focused companies looking for a nutrition coach or consultant, send them my way!