Vegan Green Bean Casserole (Gluten-Free Optional)

Vegan Green Bean Casserole with fresh green beans, homemade dairy-free mushroom cream sauce, and crispy onions. A Thanksgiving staple.

This Vegan Green Bean Casserole is always a hit on Thanksgiving. Even though it’s dairy-free, it’s still super creamy and tastes much more decadent than it actually is! With fresh green beans and a savory, from-scratch mushroom cream sauce, it honestly blows the traditional Campbell’s recipe out of the water while still tasting so nostalgic and delicious. I’ve also provided instructions to make this gluten-free if needed.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole Ingredients

  • Fresh green beans. You can get away with using canned green beans if you’re short on time or space in the kitchen, but nothing really compares to fresh! We blanch these and then shock in an ice bath so they’re vibrant green and still slightly crisp when they go into the oven. This helps us to avoid a mushy green bean casserole!
  • Mushrooms. Traditional green bean casserole calls for a can or two of Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup. For this vegan-friendly recipe, we’re making our own savory and creamy mushroom soup base! Typically I use white button mushrooms or creminis because they’re easy to find and more affordable, but if you want to amp up the flavors in this dish, feel free to use a blend of fancier mushrooms!
  • Onion and garlic. These contribute to the savory backbone of the dish.
  • Vegan butter + all-purpose flour. Together, these form a roux which will thicken the vegan-friendly creamy mushroom soup base. You can use white rice flour if you need a gluten-free alternative.
  • Homemade cashew cream (or plant milk). If you know me, you know I love using cashew cream (just soaked raw cashews blended with water till smooth) whenever I need a creamy base for a soup or sauce. If you aren’t a fan of cashews, you can substitute in a vegan-friendly heavy whipping cream alternative (such as Silk Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative or Country Crock Plant Cream). Or you can use a plain unsweetened nondairy milk that you think would taste good in a savory context.
  • Vegetable broth. I like to use a chicken-style vegetable broth for extra umami. If you’re using regular veggie broth, you might consider adding in a tablespoon of soy sauce to round out those flavors.
  • Dry white wine. Wine enhances the flavor of this mushroom soup base and adds a little extra sweetness and acidity. If you prefer, feel free to just substitute in extra veggie broth.
  • Dried thyme and nutmeg. Thyme gives this an extra cozy flavor that screams “Thanksgiving,” and nutmeg makes the dish more aromatic and flavorful. Feel free to sub in fresh time if you have it on hand (but add more than you would dry).

How to Make Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Prep the Green Beans and Veggies

  1. Prep the green beans. If using fresh green beans (highly recommended), give them a thorough wash and trim the tips. Cut them into nice bite-sized pieces (either halves or thirds).
  2. Blanch the green beans. Bring a pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, prepare a bowl of ice water. Blanch the green beans for about 1 minute, until they are bright green. Drain them and transfer directly to the ice water to stop them from cooking.

Make the Dairy-Free Creamy Mushroom Soup Base

  1. Prepare your cashew cream (if making from scratch). Soak raw cashews in cool water the night before, or several hours before. Drain and blend soaked raw cashews with water until completely smooth. Set aside.
  2. Brown the mushrooms. Sauté onions and mushrooms until onions have shed their excess moisture and have begun to brown.
  3. Form a roux. Add in garlic. Stir in vegan butter and sprinkle (or sift) flour over the mushroom and onion mixture. Stir to cook out the raw flavor of the flour for about a minute, then deglaze with dry white wine (or veggie broth). Give the wine 1-2 minutes to simmer, then add in the veggie broth, cashew cream, thyme, and nutmeg. Cook until thickened, then remove from heat.
  4. Combine the ingredients. Thoroughly shake dry the blanched green beans. Stir them into the mushroom soup mixture along with half of the crispy onions. Transfer to a greased casserole dish and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Top with crispy onions. Top with remaining crispy onions and bake for an extra 5 minutes.
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Substitutions and FAQ

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes! Simply substitute in white rice flour (or a 1:1 gluten-free all purpose flour blend) in for the flour in the roux. You’ll also want to use a gluten-free all-purpose blend for the onions.

What can I use instead of cashew cream?

  • Your favorite unsweetened, plain plant milk. Ideally it’s one that you know will taste good in a savory context. I find some brands taste really good in smoothies or desserts, but taste a little “off” in savory dishes.
  • A vegan heavy cream substitute. Silk’s Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative, or Country Crock Plant Cream, are two options.
  • Vegan sour cream. Mix 1/2 cup vegan sour cream with 1/2 cup water to thin it out to use as your cream substitute.

Can I used canned green beans?

If you’re short on time or space in your kitchen, you can totally sub in canned green beans. Just note that the finished green bean casserole will have a bit of a mushier texture, whereas fresh, blanched green beans will retain some crispness and vibrancy.

Can I use frozen green beans?

These are an acceptable substitution, but I would recommend thawing them out in the fridge overnight and draining them in a sieve/colander, and patting them dry (use a napkin or clean kitchen towel) before adding them to the casserole. Frozen veggies have a tendency to shed a lot of excess moisture so you’ll want to take these precautions to avoid a soggy Green Bean Casserole.

What kind of white wine to use?

A dry white wine with higher acidity will work best in this recipe, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. You could also use a Pinot Grigio, a dry Riesling, or a Marsala wine. There’s no need to splurge, but you should pick a wine that tastes good enough for you to drink. You can check that the wine is vegan-friendly using Barnivore.

I don’t like to cook with wine

That’s okay! Simply sub in some extra veggie broth.

healthier green bean casserole for thanksgiving

More Vegan Thanksgiving & Holiday Recipes

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Vegan Green Bean Casserole (Gluten-Free Optional)

Vegan Green Bean Casserole with fresh green beans, homemade dairy-free mushroom cream sauce, and crispy onions. A Thanksgiving staple.
Author Sarah Sullivan

Ingredients

For the Green Bean Casserole

  • 1 pound green beans or about 4 cups, ends trimmed, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter
  • 16 oz white or brown mushrooms sliced
  • 1 white or yellow onion chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (recommended: chicken-style vegan bouillon)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or sub extra broth
  • 1 cup cashew cream recipe follows, or sub unsweetened plain plant milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to preference
  • 1 6 oz can French fried onions or prepare crispy baked onions, recipe follows

Cashew Cream

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked 4+ hours
  • 3/4 cup water

Crispy Baked Onions

  • 1 large onion very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk
  • spray oil

Instructions

Homemade Crispy Baked Onions (Can Sub Store-Bought)

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine flour, spices, salt and pepper in a wide, shallow dish. Pour soy milk into a small bowl.
  • Toss onion slices in soy milk, shake off excess milk and toss in dry mixture to coat.
  • Spread onions on a lined baking tray in one layer. Spray generously with cooking oil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove, toss gently with tongs, and return to oven for 15 more minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Allow to cool.

Cashew Cream

  • Blend soaked cashews with 3/4 cup water in a high-powered blender until completely smooth.

Prep the Green Beans

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
  • Blanch green beans for 1 minute. Drain green beans and submerge in an ice bath to stop them from cooking further. Once cooled, drain them and shake off as much excess water as possible. Set aside.

Make the Creamy Mushroom Soup Base

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease or butter a medium casserole or 8×8" baking pan.
  • In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter. Add in sliced mushrooms and sprinkle with salt to draw out moisture. Sauté for 5-8 minutes, or until most of the excess liquid has cooked off.
  • Add in diced onions and sauté for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the mixture begins to brown. Add in minced garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Add in 3 tablespoons vegan butter and stir to melt and coat vegetables.
  • Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. The flour mixture may stick to the bottom of your pan slightly; this is okay! It'll produce a lot of flavor.
  • Add white wine to deglaze, scraping and stirring any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in broth and cashew cream/plant milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Add in fresh or dried thyme. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper to preference.

Assemble the Green Bean Casserole

  • Stir in the blanched green beans, as well as half of a 6 oz container of French fried onions (if using). Reserve the rest to top the casserole.
  • Transfer to prepared baking pan or casserole dish and bake in preheated 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes, until bubbly.
  • Top with remaining French fried onions, or the crispy baked onions if you made them from scratch. Enjoy!

Notes

Gluten-free. Simply substitute in white rice flour (or a 1:1 gluten-free all purpose flour blend) in for the flour in the roux. Simple Truth Organic French Fried Onions are gluten-free (available at Kroger family stores).
Cashew Cream Substitutes.
  • Your favorite unsweetened, plain plant milk. Ideally one that you know will taste good in a savory context. I find some brands taste really good in smoothies or desserts, but taste a little “off” in savory dishes.
  • A vegan heavy cream substitute. Silk’s Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative, or Country Crock Plant Cream, are two options.
  • Vegan sour cream. Mix 1/2 cup vegan sour cream with 1/2 cup water to thin it out to use as your cream substitute.
Canned or frozen green beans. If you’re short on time or space in your kitchen, you can sub in canned or frozen green beans. If using frozen, thaw them out in the fridge overnight and drain them very well before adding them to the casserole.
White wine. Use a dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio. You can check that the wine is vegan-friendly using Barnivore. If you prefer not to cook with wine, you can sub in an equal volume of extra veggie broth.
Did you make this recipe?We’d love for you to leave a review on the website! You can also share a photo on IG and tag @SarahsVeganKitchen_ or #sarahsvegankitchen.

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