Clean Green Bean Casserole (Vegan, Paleo)

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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

 

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4.7 from 26 votes

Clean Green Bean Casserole (Vegan, Paleo)

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
Cuisine American
Keyword casserole, dairy free, paleo, vegan
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 69kcal

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • *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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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!)
  • 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!)
  • Smooth the creamy vegetable mixture with a spatula, and top with the caramelized onions to finish.
  • *At 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!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 397mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Per Serving: Calories: 69, Fat: 1g, Carbohydrates: 11g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 3g

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

Helen Ingram

Thanks for a clean version of this family favorite. I seasoned the sauce with garlic and tripled the nutritional yeast. I used the steaming water for the water in the sauce, too. Finally, I chopped 1 c. raw almonds and sauteed in butter in the same pan as the mushrooms and onions to add a nice crunch to the top. Yummy!

Stefanie Joseph

Thank you so much for sharing your Thanksgiving recipes. I absolutely love the detail that you put in all of your posts. I recently began eating clean and it is so helpful to see step by step with pictures because I don’t cook that well. Thank you again!

karin

can I make it without the parsnip? don’t like it….

Sara

I made this for my work potluck and it was a hit. I had plenty of sauce left over that I saved, and I think I may even just use it as a sauce with rice or veggies. It is a pretty versatile sauce.

Hila

This recipe looks fanstastic. I look forward to trying this for Thanksgiving. I bought all the ingredients. However, I have two questions.

1) I just realized that I got turnips instead of parsnips. Will it still work?

2) Also, I got the white button mushrooms – will that be OK?

Thanks!

Indirect Libre

This looks amazing! Having a big holiday party. How well would this double and what size pan should I use?

Robin

Holy moses this is good, no, great, no awesome!!

Stacey

Hi, Can I sub Asparagus for green beans in this recipe? Also, I do not have parsnips. Will this work?

Thank you & Happy Thanksgiving ๐Ÿ™‚

Laurie

Made it for TG dinner tonight at a potluck dinner 3 # of green beans!!. It was a hit!! Tastes just like the real thing! THANK YOU!! Now, I am wondering what to do with the leftover gravy, I had about 2 cups left. Any ideas??

Laurie

Forgot to rate it…definitely 5 stars!!

Char

Well, my family loved it! Thanks again!

Indirect Libre

Girrrlll, this is amaaazing. I just doubled it for a gigantic feast I’m throwing for all my friends (I’m an expat in Canada so missing traditional American Thanksgiving this year) and I could not help tasting immediately after it came out of the oven. Stellar. Simply delish.

Anna

Everyone (including those without a dairy intolerance) absolutely loved this! I didn’t change a thing and it was perfect. I also used the leftover sauce over roasted squash and it was delicious

Rachel

This wasn’t as good as I thought it was gonna be. The portions were kinda off in my opinion, I think it should call for 2 onions. I made this for Thanksgiving and I thought it was ok. I ended up just mixing it with my stuffing and mashed potatos to make it taste better.

Josey

I suppose I did not steam the parsnips long enough. The sauce which I have so much of really tastes like raw parsnips. Not a fan of the sauce at all but I like the idea of it and I think it would work with cauliflower and greek yogurt instead of parsnips.

Tora

Great post! Your blogs are so informative. Keep the posts coming ๐Ÿ™‚

Chris Zaccharia

Wow, this looks so good and I believe this is very delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚

AnnaMarie

Can I freeze this recipe? I also am wondering if I can use frozen green beans instead of fresh? I am trying to use what I have on hand! Thanks!

    Megan

    I’ve never tried freezing it or using frozen green beans, so it will be an experiment. I assume frozen beans should work fine if you thaw them first, and I can’t imagine why the casserole wouldn’t freeze well, but please let us know if you try it so we can be sure!

Mia

I made this last night and my picky and carnivore husband loved it!!
Thank you for your delicious recipes!
I have some leftover sauce, do you think I can freeze it?
Thank you!

Megan

Hi there,
This looks really yummy! I’m unable to eat gluten and dairy, nuts, and several other things, so this should work for me ๐Ÿ™‚ I was wondering if there was another veggie I could use in place of parsnips? Unfortunately, I really don’t care for them. I’m thinking a more savory and mellow veggie. Any ideas? Does the parsnip serve a purpose aside from flavor, or might I just leave it out? I assume it thickens the sauce. Thanks!

    Megan

    Yes, the parsnips help thicken the sauce. Maybe cauliflower would work as a substitute? Let us know how it turns out for you!

      Donna

      I have made sauces with carrots, too, though the sauce would be orange unless you use yellow carrots. You might want to try that…
      Last year I made a slow-cooker version that was really good, but it used pretty much the traditional ingredients (I always add sliced water chestnuts as well — really good). I think I will try this one this year, as I am always looking for the cleaner option…
      Happy Thanksgiving!

Linda Welter

Trying this is a must for Thanksgiving….can’t wait to taste it with a trial run this week.

Jennifer

I’m short on oven space for thanksgiving. Do you think this could be made in the crock pot and still taste as yummy?

Alex

Made this for my thanksgiving (we are doing ours a little early) and it came out great! thanks for the recipe!

Lee-Ann

Has anyone tried adding bacon to this?? I think it would be AMAZING. I will be trying this recipe with bacon for Thanksgiving this week ๐Ÿ™‚

Jill

What can I substitute for parsnips? I am on a no starch diet, and parsnips are very starchy. Would turnips and/or carrots work the same?

    Megan

    Maybe cauliflower would work?

    Donna

    Carrots, yes… will affect the color unless you use yellow carrots. Definitely a good option.

Jill

Oooooo I was thinking turnips but cauliflower might be better! Thank you!!!

danielle

Hi Megan,
I couldn’t find nutrional yeast at store. Is there something else I could use instead? Is it just a thickener? Corn starch?

thanks
Danielle

sabrina

this is very very good. I am making now and it is hard not want to keep eating the whole thing. I think this would also be good for other casseroles instead of a cream soup base. Thank you so much for the yummy recipe, that is good to gobble up.

Renee

I just made this. It isn’t out of the oven yet, but I had to comment. The sauce is sooooo good! I can hardly wait to eat it!

Lindsay

DELICIOUS! THANK YOU! I made this recipe last year. I’m making it again this year. Thank you so much for this post. My husband and I are always on the look out for healthier alternatives to our favorite foods. If I may make a few suggestions to those who would here them: I cooked more mushrooms than were required in the recipe and pureed about a cup of them along with the parsnips to make the sauce. It adds a nice color and flavor. Also, I doubled the amount of onion. To make assembly easier, I just mix everything together in a separate bowl before pouring it into a casserole. Then, to give a little crunch, I sprinkle on faux Parmesan. It’s made with equal parts raw cashews and nutritional yeast. Just grind them together in a food blender (such as a Magic Bullet). Yes, it adds a bit of fat due to the nuts, but it’s well worth it. Thank you again so much! This is my new go to recipe for green bean casserole.

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