Making green bean casserole vegan and with real food is easy! Make this recipe with a dairy free condensed mushroom soup and gluten free fried onions or shallots on the stove top, or bake it in the oven for a crispy topping. Either way, it requires minimal prep time and is a delicious vegan casserole recipe for the holidays! Lower carb and whole 30 options included.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole for the Holidays
Alright, friends, this Thanksgiving recipe was a reader request for the upcoming holidays. And we promise it’s easy, no weird ingredients either!
Some of you may have grown up eating dairy products, while others of you have been vegan for as far back as you can remember. If you fit into the first category, you may have fond memories of family Thanksgiving dinners.
More specifically, you may remember the creamy green bean casserole. You know, the one with canned green beans, condensed cream of mushroom soup, and lots of crispy fried onions on top. That casserole is a classic holiday side dish must-make, just like the mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie, right?
Well, there’s no reason you need to pass on those classic sides, because I have recipes for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan side dishes that taste just as good (if not better!) than the originals!
If mashed potatoes were your favorite back then, now you can enjoy vegan mashed potatoes, made with white beans. Or, instead of the traditional pies for dessert, make my recipe for no-bake chocolate pecan pie bites. They’re just as tasty as the pie but without the dairy!
And of course, our new favorite vegan recipe, this green bean casserole, too.
Ingredients and Substitutions
You won’t find any condensed cream of mushroom soup, heavy cream, or traditional heavy cream in this recipe! Instead, we opt for whole food ingredients to create the same savory flavors and creamy casserole consistency you’re looking for with vegan ingredients you’ll love.
The best part? It comes together in a single skillet or large pot!
- Shallots – These are fried until flavorful and crisp and take the place of French fried onions on top!
- Oil – Use olive oil or avocado oil to fry the shallots and help steam the green beans.
- Balsamic Vinegar – This adds extra depth and a sweet and savory taste to the green beans.
- Vegetable Broth – Use this to steam the green beans and add extra flavor. Or, opt for plain water instead.
- Seasonings – Kosher salt, black pepper, and onion powder enhance the savoriness of the dish. We also like to add smoked paprika for extra depth and a pinch of heat!
- Green Beans – We recommend using fresh green beans, but frozen varieties also work.
- Unsalted Vegan Butter – Clarified butter also works, if you aren’t following a strict vegan diet and can tolerate dairy.
- Cremini Mushrooms – If you can’t find cremini mushrooms, white mushrooms will also work.
- Canned Coconut Milk – This creates a silky soup-like consistency without the need for regular milk or a dairy-free substitute like almond milk or oat milk.
- Garlic Cloves – Use fresh cloves, and mince them finely.
- Slurry – To keep this gluten-free, we use a combination of cornstarch or arrowroot starch and water to help thicken the casserole. No flour required!
- Optional Toppings – Technically optional but highly recommended, we love to add extra toppings like gluten free fried onions, gluten free panko, or toasted nuts for extra flavor and crunch.
How to Make This Vegan Casserole Recipe
You can make this side dish from start to finish in an oven-safe skillet on the stove top, or transfer everything to a casserole dish and bake it. Either works!
Step 1 – Make the topping. First, place the shallots in a large skillet, and cover them with oil. Pan-fry them over medium heat until they’re light brown and crisp.
Then, add a dash of balsamic to enhance the caramelization! Transfer them to a plate, blot off any excess oil with a clean paper towel, and add a sprinkle of salt.
Step 2 – Cook the green beans. Add the broth to the same pan, and place the green beans (chopped or just snap off the ends) in a steamer basket on top. Bring the liquid to a boil.
Then, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and let the veggies steam to your desired doneness. Remove the beans from the pot, and discard any remaining liquid or oil.
Alternative Cooking Method: For a faster option and less prep, use frozen green beans, and simply heat them in the microwave! Drain excess water after microwaving.
Step 3 – Make vegan condensed cream of mushroom soup. Add the butter to the pan, and set it over medium heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms and salt, and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
Pour the coconut milk in with the mushrooms, and stir in the seasonings. Bring the mixture to a light boil, and cook, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook and stir.
Step 4 – Prepare the slurry. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch or arrowroot with an equal amount of cold water. Add the slurry to the mushroom mixture the last few minutes of cooking, mixing thoroughly.
Step 5 – Assemble the casserole and bake (if desired). Once the mushroom sauce has thickened, add the green beans, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Then, top it with the crispy shallots! Add gluten free fried onions or toasted nuts on top, and place the dish in the oven to warm before serving.
Step 6 – Bake. Place the dish in the preheated oven until warmed through.
Note: If adding a topping, sprinkle sautéed shallots, gluten-free fried onions, toasted nuts, or gluten-free panko over the casserole before placing it in the oven.
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead of Time
Yes! The mushroom sauce can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to eat, add the sauce to the pan, and warm it up before layering the remaining ingredients. Then, bake as normal, and enjoy!
Storage and Reheating
Once cooked and cooled, leftovers can be covered with foil or transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to two to three days.
To reheat, loosely cover the dish with foil, and warm it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through.
We do not recommend freezing this casserole as the texture will likely change and become soggy.
Common Questions About This Vegan Green Bean Casserole Recipe
The slurry should prevent this recipe from becoming soupy. However, if it is still runnier than you would like, feel free to stir in a little more slurry.
This recipe is best enjoyed right away while the topping is still crisp and fresh. However, it can be stored and is safe to eat for up to three days.
This easy vegan green bean casserole pairs perfectly with all your favorite holiday dishes like ham, roast turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, vegan mac and cheese, and gluten-free rolls! However, it also tastes great as part of a family gathering or weeknight dinner with simple dishes such as baked pork chops or panko chicken.
We recommend covering it to prevent the top from burning.
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