Clean Green Bean Casserole (Paleo, Vegan)
For many years now, I’ve been in charge of the Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving. I grew up eating what I’m pretty sure if a very common version, with canned cream of mushroom soup and crispy fried onions, also from a can.
So when I shifted to eating whole, real food, I was more than happy to take on some of the cooking to bring healthier versions to our holiday dinner table. And everyone whas surprised that it wasn’t just healthier, but so much more delicious! My go-to recipe for years has been this Whole Foods Green Bean Casserole. Gone were the days of fried onion rings from a can….hello homemade crunchy onion rings! If you’re not Gluten-free and looking for a great, healthy alternative, I highly recommend this one!
Sure it takes more time…but once you try it, you’ll be hooked. Yum!
But when we made the shift to a Gluten-Free, Casein-Free (GFCF) lifestyle at the beginning of this year, I had to rethink all my healthy but gluten-filled favorites. When Thanskgiving rolled around, I realized not only did I need to find a new way to prepare the onion rings, but I needed a dairy-free version of both buttermilk and cream of mushroom soup. So I had my work cut out for me! Additionally, I’m the dessert chef for family meals as well now, so I spent quite a bit more time in the kitchen this year. But knowing that I’m nourishing my children and my family makes it absolutely worth it. And of course, the fact that it turned out delicious! 😉
While our family just makes a green bean casserole for Thanksgiving, I know many people make one at Easter or Christmas. I’ve had 2 people ask for my GFCF recipe for this Christmas, so I decided to post it for anyone looking for a delcious, Paleo, Vegan version of a Green Bean Casserole.
Of course, if you don’t need the dairy-free versions, you can go ahead and use regular buttermilk and cream of mushroom soup. I made my own buttermilk with cashews (recipe included below), and found a beautiful Vegan, Grain-free Cream of Mushroom Soup on the blog Healthful Pursuits. Don’t forget to go to her site and print out the recipe if you’ll be using it.
Alternatively, I did find a Dairy-free Creamy Portabello Mushroom Soup at my natural food store from the brand Imagine. I might keep some on hand for next year if I’m pressed for time, but I really did fall in love with Healthful Pursuits version! She used cauliflower as her secret ingredient to avoid flours and starches!
- For the Buttermilk:
- 2 C. Filtered Water
- 1 C. Raw Cashews
- 2 tsp. Lemons or Lemon Juice
- Everything else:
- ¼ C. Almond Meal
- ¼ C. all-purpose Gluten-Free flour
- 1 T. arrowroot flour
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of cayenne (optional)
- 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- ½ C. dairy-free buttermilk
- 1 C. Gluten-Free whole wheat bread crumbs (you could make your own, or buy them at a natural food store. I use a brand called Four Sisters and a Brother)
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 pound green beans
- 2 C. dairy-free cream of mushroom soup (Imagine makes a delcious, dairy-free Creamy Portabella Mushroom soup. Or you can make your own. I used this wonderful vegan, grain-free cream of mushroom soup recipe by Healthful Pursuits, which uses cauliflower as the secret ingredient to avoid using flours or starches!)
- First Make the Dairy-Free Buttermilk (steps 2-8):
- Soak 1 C. raw cashews in flitered water overnight, or at lesat 6-8 hours
- Drain the cashews
- Add 1 C. fresh, filtered water to your high-speed blender (I love my Vitamix)
- Add the soaked cashews
- Add 2 tsp. lemon juice
- Blend until smooth.
- Set aside ½ C. to add to recipe below. (You will have leftover buttermilk, which will last in the refridgerator for 4-5 days.)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spray a large baking sheet and a 9X13 in. casserole dish with cooking spray and set both aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flours, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne.
- Add onions and toss to coat.
- Pour dairy-free buttermilk (made using recipe above) over onions and toss again to coat.
- In a second large bowl, combine GF breadcrumbs and oil.
- Add onions and toss gentlly to coat.
- Transfer to prepared baking sheet and spread out in a single layer.
- Bake for about 30 min. until golden brown and crispy, gently tossing half way.
- Meanwhile, if you're making your own Dairy-free Cream of Mushroom Soup using the recipe I link to above, prepare this while the onions are baking.
- Also while the onions are baking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Add green beans and cook until just tender, 2-3 minutes.
- Drain well and transfer to large bowl.
- Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Add Cream of Mushroom Soup, half the onion rings, salt and pepper to bowl with green beans and toss gently.
- Transfer to prepared casserole dish, top with remaining onion rings and bake until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
I was so happy with the final product, and am happy to say we have a new go-to holiday recipe! I hope you and your family find the same.