Clean Green Bean Casserole (Vegan, Paleo)


This isn’t your Grandma’s green bean casserole.

cooked green bean casserole

This version has all of the flavor, without the heavy food-coma to follow!

Featuring fresh green beans and caramelized onions, this homemade green bean casserole is just about as clean as it gets. Rather than relying on a cream-based soup, it’s held together by a creamy puree of parsnips and mushrooms! The caramelized onion topping delivers the buttery onion flavor that we all love, without the deep-fried grease and refined flour to go along with it.

Because it’s made from scratch, the preparation can be a bit time consuming. This would be a great casserole to make ahead of time! Simply prepare as directed, but don’t bake in the oven until right before serving. It should store well in the fridge for a couple days beforehand!

Clean Green Bean Casserole (Vegan, Paleo)
Makes one 8″ x 8″ dish

Ingredients:

1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon coconut oil, or butter
2 cups parsnips, chopped
10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 lb. fresh green beans

Directions:

Melt a pat of coconut oil, or butter, in a large skillet and add the sliced onions. Saute gently over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramelized. Use a splash of water, as needed, to prevent sticking.

sauteed onions in a skilletOnce the onions are tender and golden in color, remove from heat and set aside in a bowl for later.

While the onions are cooking, you’ll have plenty of time to steam the parsnips.

steeming parsnips

Fit a steamer basket into a saucepan, and fill with one inch of water. Add the 2 cups of chopped parsnips, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low, steaming for about 8 minutes, or until the parsnips are easily pierced with a fork.

Transfer the steamed parsnips to your blender container, and set it aside.

Using the same steamer basket and saucepan, break the pound of fresh green beans into one-inch pieces, and toss them into the steamer basket. Bring to a boil, then cover and steam for 6-8 minutes, until the green beans are bright green with a bit of crunch.

cooked green beans

Note: At this point, cook the green beans to be as tender as you like– if you prefer them softer, steam them longer. The baking process later will not make them any more tender, so this is your chance to achieve the texture you like.

Transfer the cooked green beans to an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish.

Once the onions have finished caramelizing, you can use the same pan to saute the mushrooms and garlic. Melt another pat of coconut oil or butter, and saute the garlic for about 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 6 minutes, until liquid is released from the mushrooms.

sauteed mushrooms in a skillet

Spread half of the mushroom mixture into the baking dish of green beans, and pour the other half of the mixture, along with any liquid, into the blender container with the steamed parsnips.

Into that same blender container, add 1 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt and 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast to the cooked parsnips and mushrooms. Blend until smooth and creamy. (This mixture may be a bit salty to taste at this point, but keep in mind that it will be diluted when it’s poured over a pound of green beans!)

mixing green bean casserole in a dish

Pour the creamy sauce over the green beans and mushrooms in the glass baking dish, and stir to coat well. (You may end up with more sauce than you need for this recipe– I only used about 1 1/2 cups to coat the vegetables well. Save the rest for a future dish!)

Smooth the creamy vegetable mixture with a spatula, and top with the caramelized onions to finish!

green bean casserole with carmelized onions on topAt this point, you could cover the dish and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to heat and serve.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, until bubbly. Serve warm and enjoy!

bowl of green bean casserole

4.81 from 21 votes
Print
Clean Green Bean Casserole (Vegan, Paleo)
Prep Time
1 hrs
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 30 mins
 

Featuring fresh green beans and caramelized onions, this homemade green bean casserole is just about as clean as it gets. Rather than relying on a cream-based soup, it's held together by a creamy puree of parsnips and mushrooms! The caramelized onion topping still delivers the buttery onion flavor that we all love, without the deep-fried grease and flour to go along with it. All of our favorite flavors covered, without the heavy food-coma to follow!

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 9
Calories: 69 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 yellow onion , sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil , or butter
  • 2 cups parsnips , chopped
  • 10 oz . mushrooms , chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 lb . fresh green beans
Instructions
  1. Melt a pat of coconut oil, or butter, in a large skillet and add the sliced onions. Saute gently over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramelized. Use a splash of water, as needed, to prevent sticking. Once the onions are tender and golden in color, remove from heat and set aside in a bowl for later.
  2. While the onions are cooking, you'll have plenty of time to steam the parsnips. Fit a steamer basket into a saucepan, and fill with one inch of water. Add the 2 cups of chopped parsnips, and bring the water to boil over high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low, steaming for about 8 minutes, or until the parsnips are easily pierced with a fork. Transfer the steamed parsnips to your blender container, and set it aside.
  3. Using the same steamer basket and saucepan, break the pound of fresh green beans into one-inch pieces, and toss them into the steamer basket. Bring to a boil, then cover and steam for 6-8 minutes, until the green beans are bright green with a bit of crunch. Transfer the cooked green beans to an 8" x 8" glass baking dish.
  4. *Note: At this point, cook the green beans to be as tender as you like-- if you prefer them softer, steam them longer. The baking process later will not make them any more tender, so this is your chance to achieve the texture you like.
  5. Once the onions have finished caramelizing, you can use the same pan to saute the mushrooms and garlic. Melt another pat of coconut oil or butter, and saute the garlic for about 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 6 minutes, until liquid is released from the mushrooms.
  6. Spread half of the mushroom mixture into the baking dish of green beans, and pour the other half of the mixture, along with any liquid, into the blender container with the steamed parsnips.
  7. Into that blender container, add 1 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt and 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast to the cooked parsnips and mushrooms. Blend until smooth and creamy. (This mixture may be a bit salty to taste at this point, but keep in mind that it will be diluted when it's poured over a pound of green beans!)
  8. Pour the creamy sauce over the green beans and mushrooms in the glass baking dish, and stir to coat well. (You may very well have more sauce than you need for this recipe-- I only used about 1 1/2 cups to coat the vegetables well. Save the rest for a future dish!)
  9. Smooth the creamy vegetable mixture with a spatula, and top with the caramelized onions to finish.
  10. *At this point, you could cover the dish and store it in the fridge until you're ready to heat and serve.
  11. When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, until bubbly. Serve warm and enjoy!

Hope you’ll enjoy this healthier alternative at Thanksgiving, or at any time of the year!

Reader Feedback: Are you a fan of green bean casserole? I’ve never liked the traditional stuff, but I did usually sneak some crispy fried onions before they became the topping!

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Comments

janet @ the taste space

I have never had the traditional green bean casserole but this looks veggielicious!! I even appreciate that you used parsnips instead of cashews to make the cream sauce. Booyah! 🙂

Vicky (Sweet and Healthy Living)

Wow, this looks so good! What a great idea to put parsnips in the sauce! They have such a great flavor.

kaity @ kaityscooking

this looks so good! i never liked them because i never was a fan of mushrooms until now but never would still have it because its all soup based like you said but i am 100% making this this weekend if i had parsnips at home i would be making it now lol

Maria (skinwellness.ca)

GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!! THank you!!! Exactly what I needed! I’ve been trying to find a holiday dish that I can make “clean” to bring. This is PERFECT! Exactly what I had in mind. THANKS!! 🙂

karen

I WILL be making this for Thanksgiving!

Cadie

That looks amazing!

Lauren

Hahaha, I posted the same thing yesterday! Yours looks great though! 🙂

Amanda Jewell

YES! I was never usually a fan (I always preferred fresh green beans, even as a kid!), but I’m definitely making this paleo & IQS friendly recipe!

jamie

what is a good substitute for nutritional yeast? I am allergic. thank you! ~JLH

    AshleyL

    I agree. I came looking through the comments for a sub. I’m not allergic but I’m not a fan for many reasons.

      AshleyL

      Could you use goat/sheep cheese?

    Megan

    Yes, you could definitely use goat or sheep cheese, if you prefer! I’m not sure if there are any other vegan substitutes for nutritional yeast, but you could probably leave it out and season the sauce to your taste.

    Rick

    I have found that a good substitute for Yeast flakes to make a cheesy flavor is Red Bell Pepper, salt and a couple of Garlic Cloves, blended with a handful of cashews will make a thick cheesy sauce!

maryrose

lovely recipe

tereza

this is my perfect type of dish!! love it! I am making this for Thanksgiving.

Laura

Looks interesting!! I am not fond of root vegetables so I was wondering if you knew of an alternative. I do have a plethora of zucchini from my CSA-could this possibly work?

eat2evolve ~ diana allen, ms, cns

Megan, this looks SO amazing! Thank you for taking the time to figure out how to do this. My kids love green bean casserole more than any other holiday dish, and this year, I’ll be eating it too! So thrilled, and can’t wait to try.

Jen

I am sooo excited to make this! I’m going to my parents for Thanksgiving, but showing up with my own food. I’m bringing plenty for everyone else to and hopefully they will indulge in the healthy versions of everything! I will also be bringing a batch of the ginger cookies – delicious!

Emmalydia

Is there a nutritional breakdown anywhere? This look so good!

    Megan

    You can use a free website, like Fitday.com, to calculate the nutrition info that you need.

Leann

I have been searching for a healthier green bean casserole & have found a couple, but your recipe looks the best. Will try it for Thanksgiving. I don’t have the yeast & saw your answer about that it could be omitted. My question is what is it & what is the benefit of using nutritional yeast? Just found your site, so will be interested to look around.

Joe

Do you have any suggestions on a potential substitute for mushrooms?

    Megan

    Sauteed onions might add a nice flavor. I would use whichever flavors you enjoy, and tweak it to your taste!

Jackie

OH…….MY…..WORD….this is unbelievable!!! The sauce is genius and so tasty. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it tonight as a trial run before bringing it to the family’s on Thanksgiving. It IS WORTHY!!! I even think my non-Paleo family members will love it. The only thing I had to change was I needed 2 onions. Delicious!

Sara

I made this last night for dinner with friends and everybody loved it. I really liked the sweetness that parsnips bring to the dish. Easy to do and delicious! a big thank you from Ontario 🙂

Lawler

I am pleased with the traditional recipe but this look good. Can you make it on like Monday and cook it on the day before thanksgiving.

Geet

I just made this right now and it’s delicious! Is there a way to make low carb without parsnips?

    Jamie

    Geet, I know this is old, but what about some steamed cauliflower?

Michelle

Tried out this wonderful casserole yesterday, to serve with our Thanksgiving dinner! Thank you for the recipe, it turned out so delicious! I followed every step and it was so easy thanks to your extremely well laid-out format and the pictures help so much too! The only thing I had to change, because my one and only steamer was busy doing other things, was that I quickly sauteed the green beans in a tiny dab of extra virgin coconut oil, just for a couple of minutes, instead of steaming them, they were crisp, bright green and ready to eat. The onions on top of the entire dish, after carmelizing for 45 minutes and then baking in the oven…mmm mmm good! Can’t wait for leftovers tonight! Will reheat in the oven for another 30 min, to get that same crunch to the onions :)!

S

I was not expecting a lot and this recipe totally took me by surprise. It was delicious! My 5-year-old daughter is allergic to dairy and I wanted her to try our family staple of green bean casserole at Christmas for the first time this year. She loved it and had seconds. My husband is not usually a fan of vegan stand-ins, but this was a surprise hit with him too. I loved it because it doesn’t have all that heavy cream and who knows what from a soup can. Thanks!

taryn

I made this for christmas dinner and it was a HUGE hit– my mom liked it much better than a traditional green bean casserole and my husband enjoyed it as well– looking forward to making it a holiday staple!

kristina

I made this tonight and it was delicious!!!!! I did not expect the sauce to taste so rich and decadent! I caramelized the onions much more than what is pictured so they would taste extra sweet and earthy. My omnivore husband even went gaga for this casserole. We ate it along side the vegan mac n cheese ( https://detoxinista.com/2011/01/move-over-kraft/ ) with roasted broccoli and sauteed mushrooms and garlic mixed in to the mac n cheese before baking.

Claudine

I love this recipe! I made a few substitutions (used ghee instead of butter/coconut oil, sweet potatoes instead of parsnips, 12 oz portabello mushrooms, and 3 cups of green beans) and it turned out well. The sauce blew my mind…just soooo tasty! Like you said, I ended up with way too much sauce (about twice what I needed. Can I freeze it?

Lisa

I tried this on the weekend, but think maybe i put too many mushrooms in the sauce, it turned out pretty grey and funky looking and I think a bit too thick… I think I might need to try this one again, it was tasty but I think there is more potential 🙂

Katie

THIS IS THE BEST!!!!!!! I absolutely loved it!!! So So SO yummy and as a lactose-intolerant person I have to say the sauce was perfect!!! I’m so thankful people like you come up with these amazing recipies!

Josie

I have been getting pounds and pounds of green beans in my CSA box and finally found a yummy recipe that I could use them in. I love eating them as a raw snack or lightly steamed, but this recipe turns them into a main course. I added black pepper, cumin, parsley and a little cayenne to the sauce. It came out so creamy and so delicious!

Tammy

Thank you! I have been looking for an alternative to cream of mushroom soup and I think I have found the perfect one. Two great recipes in one. Who could ask for more?

Christina

I’m not vegan, so I used some chicken stock and cream with the parsnips sauce, but I really really liked this. Much healthier then previous versions I’ve had growing up and very tasty. I’m happy to add this to our thanksgiving list and as a more regular meal as well. Thank you for sharing.

Ashley

I am making this for Thanksgiving this year, but I am trying to go through my list of what I am making and trying to figure out what can be made a day early. Do you think this could be made a day early and still be just as delicious?

Thanks,

Ashley 🙂

Ashley

Hubby and I just made this to test it out before making it for Thanksgiving. It’s delicious. But definitely does NOT serve 9 – 12 people.

Hubby and I ate the whole thing ourselves and it was about two servings for each of us. So if one person had ONE serving, it could serve FOUR people. I have no idea how saying it serves 9 – 12 works.

We are making it for Thanksgiving, but we are doubling the onions to caramelize and the green beans. Though even doubling it, it probably will only serve 8 people if each person only had ONE serving.

Thanks for the awesome recipe. It really is delicious!

Krystal

Unreal!! This is the second year in a row that I’m using an untraditional recipe. This one is being sent to a high tennis team’s potluck Thanksgiving dinner! What a wonderful flavor!!!

char

Wow! This was soooo good!

I made a few minor changes and I feel like it tastes like the “real” (albeit fake frankenfood) thing!

I used a little goat cheese in place of the nutritional yeast as someone suggested, I used organic chicken broth instead of water, and when the mushrooms were cooking I added some chicken broth, a dash of coconut milk and a dash of arrowroot flour to thicken that up. Loved this and I think it could fool even some of the most devout green bean casserole lovers.
Looking forward to making it next week for Thanksgiving!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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