Healthy Vegan Green Bean Casserole
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!
For more tasty green bean recipes, try our sautéed green beans, green beans with garlic scapes aioli, and our green beans with tahini maple dressing.
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.
Look for panko bread crumbs close to regular breadcrumbs or in the Asian aisle of your grocery store.
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.
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
This vegan green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving must along with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, vegan mushroom gravy, ginger orange cranberry sauce, and the best stuffing recipe ever.
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
Healthy Vegan Green Bean Casserole
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 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.
This dish was amazing. I made it for Easter as my hubby and I are on this Whole30 program. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
Yay! I’m so happy you liked it!
Can u use canned green beans? My mom needs very soft foods.
I haven’t tried it with canned beans but if your mom needs it to be extra soft then I think that would be a great idea!
If I use frozen green beans instead of fresh, would I just eliminate the 1\2 cup water poured over the top? Thank you!
While I haven’t tried it, I suspect that would work just fine.
DIisclaimer: I am NOT a mushroom person, especially cooked mushrooms. There are few foods that I loath with quite as much passion as mushroom soup.
My husband requested Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving. With great scepticism I set out to find a dairy allergy friendly recipe that didn’t make me gag to cook.
I prepared the magic mushroom sauce to a T. Unfortunately, I have to go back to the store because my taste testing turned into eating a bowl of soup, and then I didn’t have enough left to make the casserole.
If this had been the mushroom soup of my childhood, I may not have spent the last twenty some years of my life believing that mushrooms were gross and mushroom soup was of the devil.
I haven’t yet made the casserole, but the mushroom sauce is magical and life changing. I’m very excited to try the green bean casserole now.
That is seriously THE BEST compliment ever! I’m so so happy you like the soup!
I’d like to make in advance and re heat for a party! What are your recommended time and temp for reheat?
If you have access to the oven for 40 mins, you could simply assemble the casserole and bake it right before serving it. Otherwise, I would bake it for no more than 30 minutes then reheat/ finish cooking it for 15 mins. Undercooking it a little will ensure it doesn’t overcook when you reheat it. 🙂
Approx ow many does this recipe serve? Wanting to make it as a side dish for a party of 30!
It will serve 6 as a part of a regular dinner or 8 if you’re serving it for a bigger, Thanksgiving style dinner. 🙂
Question: How far ahead can you make the Magic Mushroom sauce? I’d like to make this for Thanksgiving but there is only so much time.
It keeps well for several days in your fridge! You can definitely make this ahead of time. You can prep the casserole up to the point where it goes into the oven up to a day ahead. Just add a couple minutes to the cooking time as you’ll be cooking it from cold. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
The green beans need to be blanched first. Even after an hour mine were still crunchy. Next time I’d probably also use a non-dairy milk instead of water on top of the casserole. I did like the mushroom recipe just the way it was however.
The beans definitely do have a little crunch to them still, but that’s the way I like it. Blanching them would be a great idea if you like them softer. If you’re subbing non-dairy milk, just make sure it’s not one that is too flavorful or overly sweet. 🙂
This was delicious, but took WAY longer then 40 minutes. Definitely only going to make when i have plenty of time. Starving after the gym was not the right time to try this..
Oh no, I just re-read the recipe and realized I didn’t account for making the Magic Mushroom Sauce. I’ve updated it now. Hope you weren’t hungry cursing me too much!!
I made this the other day, didn’t tell my husband it was vegan, and he love it! That magic mushroom sauce, certainly is magic – there are all sorts of stuff I can use that for!
I love it! It’s the best when you don’t tell them and they love it. 🙂
O man, I’m always looking for hosting ideas and this one is a keeper! Pinned! Thank you Kristen!
Thank you so much for the pin!!
This looks wonderful. Is turkey traditional for E-Day? My family always had ham.
We always do a turkey. Ham would be deelish though!
Vegan Green Bean Casserole that’s just as good as the stuff I grew up with? SOLD! I’ve been meaning to try you magic mushroom sauce, and darn it, I’m doing it this weekend! This dish just looks too good to pass up!
I’ve been totally obsessed with the magic mushroom sauce. I’ve decided that it’s good with EVERYTHING lol!
Thank you for this recipe Kristen,
This is on the menu for tonight!
You’re so welcome!!
This looks so yummy! I gotta try that mushroom sauce 🙂
Thanks, Mel! That mushroom sauce really is to die for. 🙂