Vegan Green Bean Casserole

When you think of green bean casserole, the version made with a can of condensed soup and fried green onions probably comes to mind.

healthy-green-bean-casserole

Several years ago, I made a clean green bean casserole using pureed parsnips and caramelized onions as a healthier alternative to the traditional version. It’s delicious, but a bit time consuming to prepare. This year, I wanted to make a healthy green bean casserole that was almost as fast as the traditional version, so you don’t have to spend any extra time in the kitchen.

I’ve made this dish as fast and affordable as possible by using pre-cut frozen green beans, paired with a creamy sauce of garbanzo beans blended with fresh garlic and rosemary. While many dairy-free sauces are made from raw nuts or seeds, I love using garbanzo beans in this recipe because they are so cheap and easily accessible. (Plus, you don’t need a fancy blender to break them down!)

chickpeas

Garbanzo beans are a great source of protein and fiber, so this casserole will likely leave you feeling more satisfied than the kind made with cream of mushroom soup. In fact, people who consume garbanzo beans have been shown to consume less food overall than people who don’t include them in their diet, and the fiber found in garbanzo beans has been shown to  lower cholesterol and triglycerides better than the fiber found in other foods. [source]

The resulting cream sauce is absolutely delicious, and I imagine it would work well over any number of vegetables. To keep this casserole gluten-free, I topped it with ground hazelnuts for some crunch, but you could keep this entire dish nut-free by using toasted breadcrumbs instead. As always, feel free to adapt this recipe to fit your needs!

Vegan Green Bean Casserole with Creamy Chickpea Sauce
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 pound frozen cut green beans (or fresh)
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, or 1 (15 oz.) can, drained and rinsed
1 1/4 cups water
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 1 teaspoon minced)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Optional topping:

1/2 cup dry roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
1/4 teaspoon salt, for topping

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Heat the olive oil in a 3 1/2-quart dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the onion until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the frozen green beans and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir well. Cover the pot and let the vegetables cook until heated through, about 8 to 10 minutes.

green-beans

While the vegetables are cooking, combine the beans, water, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, rosemary, a couple grinds of fresh black pepper, and the balsamic vinegar into a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside. If you’d like to prepare the optional topping, use a mini food processor or blender to grind together the hazelnuts and salt, just until coarsely ground. (It’s doesn’t need to be super-fine like a nut flour– you want some crunch!)

chickpea-creamy-sauce

When the vegetables are tender, pour the sauce over the top and stir well. Adjust any seasoning to taste, then sprinkle the crushed hazelnut mixture over the top, if using. Bake the casserole at 350ºF for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are piping hot and the topping is lightly golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

vegan-green-bean-casserole

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Author: 
Serves: 4 to 6
 
A creamy green bean casserole that's a healthy side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pound frozen cut green beans (or fresh)
  • 1½ cups cooked garbanzo beans, or 1 (15 oz.) can, drained and rinsed
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 1 teaspoon minced)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Optional topping:
  • ½ cup dry roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Heat the olive oil in a 3½-quart dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the onion until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the frozen green beans and ½ teaspoon of salt and stir well. Cover the pot and let the vegetables cook until heated through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, combine the beans, water, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, rosemary, a couple grinds of fresh black pepper, and the balsamic vinegar into a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside. If you'd like to prepare the optional topping, use a mini food processor or blender to grind together the hazelnuts and salt, just until coarsely ground. (It's doesn't need to be super-fine like a nut flour-- you want some crunch!)
  3. When the vegetables are tender, pour the sauce over the top and stir well. Adjust any seasoning to taste, then sprinkle the crushed hazelnut mixture over the top, if using. Bake the casserole at 350ºF for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are piping hot and the topping is lightly golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: If you need a nut-free or bean-free recipe, be sure to check out my other Clean Green Bean Casserole, which is made entirely of vegetables. As always, if you make a substitution in this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us all know what worked, or what didn’t work, for you.

For those of you who have joined me in taking the Pulse Pledge— committing to eat one serving of pulses like lentils, beans, chickpeas, and dry peas each week– this healthy green bean casserole is an easy way to get your pulses in! I hope you’ll enjoy it as we continue to celebrate the 2016 International Year of Pulses.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite holiday side dish? 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada as part of my ongoing partnership to help promote the International Year of Pulses. 

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

6 thoughts on “Vegan Green Bean Casserole

  1. Christine

    This sounds wonderful for thanksgiving.

    One question about the quantity if hazelnuts. Should it be half a cup or half a pound, rather than half a teaspoon?

    Reply
  2. Marci

    Lovely recipe. Can’t wait to try it. Thinking about adding nutritional yeast. Would you add to the bean sauce please?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Alyssa

    Just made this for Thanksgiving! For a whole casserole dish worth I would recommend doubling the recipe. Just for daily dinner this would suffice. I used both the nuts and the breadcrumbs on top & chopped up some peppers in it as well. So delicious!!

    Reply
  4. Kelly

    We made this and it was so good! We are currently going nut free but I still wanted a topping so I actually put some partially crispied (in the oven) quinoa on them and it tasted great. My husband didn’t even realize it was quinoa. Thank you for another great recipe!

    Reply
  5. Teresa

    how ingenious to use garbanzo beans as the base. The rosemary adds such a nice flavor, too. I made this Thanksgiving, and it was such a hot that I made it again for Christmas. Looking forward to making it again when we thaw our leftover turkey!

    Reply

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