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Here's a vegan green bean casserole that's creamy, cozy, and rivals the classic. With a savory mushroom sauce, tender green beans, and a crispy panko topping, it's the perfect holiday side dish that everyone can enjoy. With simple ingredients, it's easy to make, and it's ready in an hour!
Behold our healthier take on the classic green bean casserole. If you grew up eating green bean casserole, this vegan version is every bit as creamy and comforting, but much more nutritious.
There's no store-bought cream of mushroom soup in this recipe. We make an easy savory mushroom sauce from scratch using cashews for extra dairy-free creaminess. Then we layer in some fresh green beans and bake it until it's all hot and bubbly. To finish it off, we top it with some sweet fried onions and crispy panko.
You won't need to spend all day in the kitchen to make it, either. This is a simple and easy veggie-loaded side dish and it's ready in an hour.
It's suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and it's easy to make gluten-free. It's the perfect dish to indulge on with other festive foods for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter!
What is green bean casserole?
Green bean casserole is a classic American baked dish made with green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions. The original recipe is said to have been invented by an employee at Campbell's soup company in the 1950s. It's a popular side dish often served at holiday dinners like Thanksgiving or Easter.
Vegan green bean casserole ingredients
Here's what you need to make this vegan green bean casserole recipe from scratch:
- Magic mushroom sauce – this easy-to-make creamy mushroom sauce uses cashews and is 100% dairy-free.
- Green beans – the star ingredient of this recipe; we use fresh but you can use frozen in a pinch.
- Olive oil – for sautéing the onion and making the delicious crispy topping. You can also use vegan butter.
- Onion – we make our own fried onions which add flavor and a bit of sweetness to the topping.
- Panko – panko bread crumbs are what we use for the topping. They have a wonderful crunchy texture that doesn't get soggy. Look for gluten-free panko if needed.
How to make vegan green bean casserole
Vegan green bean casserole is just like the classic, but healthier and completely dairy-free. It's the perfect dish for Thanksgiving or any holiday dinner! We bake it in a casserole dish, but you can also use a large cast-iron skillet if you prefer.
Here's how we make it in a few simple steps:
- Start by preparing the easy-to-make magic mushroom sauce. Simply saute some mushrooms then blend with cashews. Easy!
- When it's ready, build your casserole by covering the bottom of your baking dish with mushroom sauce, followed by half the green beans. Repeat another layer of sauce, then green beans, and top with a bit of water to steam the beans. To seal in the moisture, cover it tightly with some aluminum foil.
- Bake it until it's hot and bubbly and the green beans look soft.
- Now, time to make the crispy topping. Cook the onion in a bit of oil until soft then add the panko until it turns golden.
- When the green beans are ready, mix them around a bit in the dish, pour the topping over it, and serve it right away!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Where do I buy panko?
Look for panko bread crumbs close to regular breadcrumbs or in the Asian aisle of your grocery store.
Where do I buy gluten-free panko?
Most grocery stores that carry panko bread crumbs will also carry a gluten-free version. They may be merchandised in the gluten-free section of your grocery store.
Can I make it ahead of time?
If you want to save time and prepare parts of this dish ahead of time, we recommend making the magic mushroom sauce and storing it in the fridge for up to three days. Wait until the day of to assemble it and make the topping for the best taste and texture.
What to serve with vegan green bean casserole
You don't need to wait for a holiday dinner to enjoy it, though. It's a delicious side dish that goes with just about anything from a vegan lentil loaf, to lemon herb butter roast chicken, or slow roasted salmon.
More vegan Thanksgiving recipes
- 1 recipe Magic Mushroom Sauce
- 1 ½ lb green beans (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup panko (sub gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed)
- Begin by making the easy to make Magic Mushroom Sauce.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cover the bottom of an 11"x9" casserole dish with a thin layer of the mushroom sauce. Top with half the green beans, then half the remaining mushroom sauce. Repeat once more. Pour ½ cup of water over the top then seal tightly with aluminum foil.1 ½ lb green beans
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until hot, bubbling and the green beans are soft.
- While the green bean casserole is in the oven, prepare the topping. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and cook until it is soft and brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the panko to the pan and let it brown, about 2 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 large onion, 1 cup panko
- Once the green beans are soft, mix them around in the casserole dish, pour the topping over the casserole and serve immediately.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.