The classic green bean casserole was a dish developed around processed convenience foods. A Campbell Soup employee created it in 1955 as a way to utilize Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup in an easy-to-make dish. Throw in the French fried onions that traditionally top this casserole and you’ve got a high-calorie, high-sodium dish that, despite the veggies, is really not all that healthy.

We’ve been sharing our versions of Thanksgiving staples with you, and next up on our list is a lighter green bean casserole. Inspired by recipes from fellow food bloggers, we replaced the cream of mushroom soup with fresh mushrooms in a thickened stock and milk mixture, and used caramelized onions mixed with Panko breadcrumbs for the topping. You can even make this dish dairy-free by using almond milk!

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Adapted from How Sweet It Is and Thrifty Veggie Mama
Makes 6 servings

1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. oregano
Pinch of salt and pepper

2 lbs. cut fresh or frozen green beans (defrost if frozen)
1 tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup *reduced-fat milk or plain almond milk
1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan. Add onions and a pinch of salt and stir. Cover and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, combine Panko with thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and set aside. Once onions are caramelized, remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add olive oil and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic, half of the cooked onions, and flour, stirring to combine. Pour in stock and half and half and stir constantly until mixture begins to bubble. Cook for 2-3 minutes until mixture thickens slightly, then add soy sauce, salt and pepper. Stir in green beans and transfer to a casserole dish.

Combine remaining onions with Panko mixture and top casserole. Bake for 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

*This recipe calls for reduced-fat (1 or 2%) milk and not fat free because a small amount of fat is needed to thicken the casserole sauce. If you would like to use fat free milk, melt a pat of butter into the mixture when you add the milk and stock.