Have you ever had a lightened up version of green bean casserole that looks and tastes as indulgent as the traditional kind? My Lean Bean Casserole fits the bill with a skinnier, but oh-so-creamy, white mushroom sauce under a crispy, Panko topping.
Lean Bean Casserole
I make this recipe every year and it’s always a hit on the holiday table. There are so many things to love about it. And, if you’re worried about making a holiday casserole from scratch, fear not. This recipe will walk you through the process (including the white sauce) and make it seem easy. In fact, you can make it a day or two ahead of your holiday meal, refrigerate it, and bake when ready.
What makes this a Lean Bean Casserole?
By making things from scratch, you’re always in control of your ingredients. That said…
For this casserole, instead of using the usual, canned, cream of anything soup, and all the salt and fat that comes with it, you’re making the white sauce with 1% milk instead of heavy cream and a reduced-sodium vegetable stock. Believe me, this one doesn’t look or taste like it’s been compromised in any way.
We’re also kicking the typical french fried onions right to the curb. Nothing against ’em…except the fat! So, I substitute them with Panko bread crumbs tossed in a little olive oil. You won’t even miss the fried onions when you bite into this casserole with its crispy, browned, Panko topping. It’s crazy good!
If you want to have smooth sailing when you make Lean Bean Casserole, be sure to set up your ingredients before you begin to cook. And by set up, I mean measure, chop, wash, etc. Trust me, your cooking experience will be just that, an experience instead of a nightmare.
Here is the overview of steps for this recipe (see recipe for full details):
- prep all ingredients
- boil green beans
- sauté veggies together
- add white sauce ingredients
- put green beans and sauce in casserole dish
- top with Panko, bake, and serve
You will need these ingredients for Lean Bean Casserole
- green beans
- olive oil
- yellow onion
- dry sherry
- 1% milk
- reduced-sodium vegetable stock
- nutmeg, thyme, salt and pepper
- Panko bread crumbs tossed in olive oil
Kitchen tools you’ll find helpful
- 3.5 qt saucepan with lid
- stainless colander
- 12-inch non-stick skillet
- stainless whisk
- silicone spatula
- 2 qt casserole dish 10.5 x 7
My mom and I made it last month so we could shoot photos for this post. We ate it for three days in a row, and it seriously tasted better each day! It didn’t look shabby either!
Want more holiday recipes that are not only light, but vegan?
Check out my I Can’t Believe Its’ Vegan! Green Bean Casserole for the vegan version of this casserole. My Brussels Sprout Slaw is a twist on a Waldorf salad, made with shredded [raw] Brussels sprouts, apples, and almonds, tossed in a light, apple cider vinaigrette. My No Cook Cranberry Pomegranate Relish (aka Cranberry Crack) holiday condiment is a great spread over warm, brie cheese. Skip the candied sweet potatoes with my Autumn Quinoa Sweet Potato Arugula Salad. All of these recipes are virtually stress-free!…and all are vegan. Cool!
This recipe was originally published on Amanda’s Cookin’ in October, 2016.
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