Vegan Life > Recipes > Dinner > Classic Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Classic Vegan Green Bean Casserole with mushrooms, cashew cream, and crispy onions

September 18, 2020

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Green bean casserole on a plate with a spoon, with casserole dish in background

Thanksgiving dinner just isn't the same without a creamy, crunchy, delicious green bean casserole. Obviously, the traditional version isn't vegan, but we can easily transform it!

I prefer this vegan version because I like everything as fresh as possible. Creating my own cashew cream sauce and using fresh mushrooms instead of using canned cream of mushroom soup makes a difference you can taste in the flavor. Green bean casserole used to be a "meh" dish for me, but now it's become a favorite of the holiday season!

Close up view of green bean casserole
What used to be a boring Thanksgiving dish is now one of my favorites thanks to fresh ingredients and rich flavors.

The cashew cream gets its rich flavor from vegetable broth, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), and nutritional yeast. And the crispy french fried onions add a delicious crunch! The french fried onions are usually available seasonally at grocers like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, and I've found them year-round at Target and bigger chain local grocery stores.

If you need more ideas for your holiday table, I have plenty of vegan recipes perfect for Thanksgiving! For your main course, try my vegan meatloaf made with lentils, oats and vegetables. Instead of putting your stuffing in a turkey, try this cranberry-apple stuffing in acorn squash bowls. And for more delicious sides, I have recipes for vegan sour cream mashed potatoes, butternut squash casserole, and mashed butternut squash. I have even more ideas on my Thanksgiving recipes page, including appetizers, desserts, and hot chocolate.

Now, let's get those green beans and baking dishes out and prepare to make the best green bean casserole ever!

Warning: also prepare to be asked for the recipe repeatedly.

Green bean casserole on a kitchen towel
My green bean casserole is a favorite, and you'll never know there's no dairy in it!

Classic Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Yield10 servings

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Time58 minutes

Total Time78 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans, ends trimmed, chopped into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 1 large onion, sliced and quartered
  • 8 oz. baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 tsp. coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup french fried crispy onions (3.5-oz package)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9x13 or 10x15 casserole dish.

  2. (Optional) Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add green beans and boil for 5 minutes. Drain the green beans and use a slotted spoon to place them in an ice bath with cold water. This will stop them from cooking further.

  3. While green beans are boiling, melt coconut oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to brown (about 8-10 minutes).

    Onions cooking in a pan with wooden spoon
    Cook until the onions are just starting to brown.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan, and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the juices have reduced, about another 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.

    Onions and mushrooms in a pan with wooden spoon, with reduced juices
    Remove the onions and mushrooms from heat after the juices have been reduced.
  5. Blend soaked cashews (no need to soak them if using a high-powered blender), vegetable broth, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in the blender until a smooth and creamy sauce is formed, 2-4 minutes.

  6. Add your sautéed onions and mushrooms, green beans, and cashew cream to the baking dish, and mix so everything is evenly distributed and the vegetables are coated.

    Four images showing steps of assembling green bean casserole
    Assembling the green bean casserole.
  7. Bake the casserole at 350°F (180°C) for 35 minutes, then add your crispy fried onions on top and continue baking for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes & Hints

If you're using a high-powered blender, you won't need to pre-soak your cashews. For everyone else, soak your cashews in water for 2 hours, or boil them for 10 minutes.

Boiling your green beans before baking them is optional. If you don't boil them, your beans will be slightly more crisp. However, boiling them then icing them helps the beans to retain a bright green color after cooking.

Make Ahead: Follow all the instructions, except the last step (baking). Refrigerate the casserole (don't add the crispy onions ahead of time), then remove it an hour before you're ready to cook it. Then cook and add onions as normal!

Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.

Reheat: I reheat this in a small pan on the stove and add almond milk to keep it from drying out. You could also reheat in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 12-15 minutes.

Nutrition Data

Serving Size: 1/10 of recipe; Calories: 171Fat: 10 g.; Saturated Fat: 1 g.; Cholesterol: 0 mg.; Sodium: 263 mg.; Carbohydrates: 16 g.; Fiber: 4 g.; Sugar: 4 g.; Protein: 5 g.; Vitamin A: 120 mcg. RAE; Vitamin B12: 2 mcg.; Vitamin C: 15 mg.; Vitamin D: 0 mcg.; Calcium: 37 mg.; Iron: 2 mg.; Potassium: 410 mg.; Zinc: 1 mg.

Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.

Four vegan dishes: Creme Brulee, Detroit-style pizza, General Tso's Tofu, and Lemon Tart

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Green bean casserole on plate with casserole dish in background
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Steph Sunshine

Hi! I'm Steph, and I love to explore vegan food, health, and of course, the world. I'm sharing my best vegan recipes, and things I've learned and loved from my travels and health journeys.

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