This Vegan Green Bean Casserole is creamy, crunchy & savory! It’s so close to the traditional version, that you’ll have to keep saying, “yep, it’s vegan!” to your holiday guests.
Oh my, the big day is literally around the corner – Are you guys ready? If not, don’t worry, because you still have a week to prepare (Ok, it’s a little less, but no pressure). You still have time to get your list ready and you can get most of your shopping done this weekend. Oh, and remember to pick up the green beans for this “almost traditional”, Vegan Green Bean Casserole.
This dish is so easy to veganize that it’s almost criminal not to. Your guests wont even know the difference. They will be astonished that you don’t need dairy to make such a creamy & flavorful holiday dish – Or, that you don’t need dead turkey to celebrate thankfulness. My Meatless-Meatloaf w/ Ketchup Glaze is always a big hit for everyone and noBody had to die for it. Sounds like a win-win to me!
You can show them how to enjoy the traditions of Thanksgiving, but in a kinder way. I love inviting omni friends to dinner and watch their faces go from skeptical to amazement. Who can resist tender & crisp veggies nestled in a mushroom cream sauce, and topped with homemade crispy fried onions? I sure can’t!
So, what’s in this Vegan Green Bean Casserole that makes it so rich & creamy? Well…
You won’t be needing condensed mushroom soup on your list (a.k.a heart attack in a can), because you’ll be creating your own rich, creamy & savory mushroom sauce. The magic ingredient is cashews and they will turn this dish into a dreamy delight. It’s so darn quick to make and hella delicious, too!
This vegan green bean casserole is warm, comforting, creamy, satisfying, holiday-y, traditional, bubbly & golden brown.
Those crispy fried onions – they sound fancy and all, but they are really easy to prepare. I know, it’s easier to top this casserole with store-bought fried onions, but why not try to make them yourself this year? It’s really not that much more work and they are quite tasty. You just soak the sliced onions in a vegan buttermilk for 20 minutes, dip them in seasoned flour and fry until golden & crispy. Not too hard, right?
Now frying onions isn’t the healthiest thing to do, but I think it’s fine on occasion. I use quality cooking oil with a high smoke point, and just lightly fry them. If you feel more comfortable, you can always bake them in the oven, too. If you do buy the store-bought variety, just make sure to check the label for vegan ingredients.
Ya ever have a green bean casserole with limp beans? Ugh, it’s the worst! For this recipe, I use fresh green beans and quickly blanch them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Then I dunk them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking. The results: a green bean that’s vibrant, slightly tender and crispy. Your vegan green bean casserole will have lots of texture and will be far from mush.
I added thyme, sage and a pinch of nutmeg and together, they enhance this dish with their warm aromatic flavors. I also add a bit of soy sauce for depth and some nooch for a hint of cheesiness. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Oh yeah, don’t forget to add wine to that shopping list. Yes, for drinking and for cooking! Now you’ll have an excuse to have that open bottle on the counter 😉 . I added white wine, which really balances out the flavor of this dish. It gives it that extra bite, too.
What about prepping for the big day?
Most holiday dishes can be prepped ahead of time to make life easier. This is what I do:
- I make my Apple Cranberry Sauce 1-2 days before and store it in the fridge. It will be chilled, fresh and ready for the table, so forget about that can-shaped jelly blob.
- My Meatless-Meatloaf w/ Ketchup Glaze can be prepped 1-2 days before, too. You can either fully cook it and reheat, or just prepare the mixture and put into your loaf pan and cook the next day.
- I make my Sourdough Bread Stuffing (up until the baking step) the night before and store it in the fridge. The next day I cover it in foil, add more veggie broth if needed, and bake. It never comes out soggy or dry and I feel like the flavors have infused better.
- For my Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/ Pecan Crunch, I will roast the potatoes the day before, let them cool a bit and store them in the fridge. Then I make the crumble and store it in a container on the counter. The next day, I just pop the potatoes in the oven with vegan butter, fresh cranberries and top it off with the crumble. Easy-peasy!
- My Gluten-Free Corn Bread Muffins are made the day before and stored in a container on the counter. They don’t need to be heated up, but you can warm them a bit in the oven, if preferred.
- For the Green Bean Casserole, the day before, I’ll clean & cut the beans & store them in the fridge. I’ll slice the onions & place them in the vegan buttermilk over night (in fridge). Then I will put the flour mixture in a big zip lock & casserole spices in a small container on the counter. I make the onions the day of, so they are fresh & crispy. I make the sauce the same day, too.
I want to wish you all a wonderful, warm & safe holiday!
- 1 large onion , sliced (*See note)
- 1 cup soy milk (or any plant-based milk)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (sub apple cider vinegar)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free if preferred)
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Oil for frying (I started with a 1/4 cup of coconut oil and added as needed)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews , soaked in filtered water for 2-4 hours (or overnight)
- 1 1/2 pounds green beans
- 2 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil (or a blend of both)
- 1 medium onion diced , diced
- 3 cloves of garlic , minced
- 10 ounces of mushrooms , chopped or sliced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt , more to taste
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (GF if preferred)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (low sodium) *See note
- 1 tablespoon tamari sauce or soy sauce (GF if preferred)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 1/4 cups soy milk , unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Combine the milk & lemon juice in a bowl (this makes a vegan buttermilk). Add the onions and let them sit for 20-30 minutes (or in fridge overnight).
In a large zip lock, combine the flour, salt and garlic powder. Close bag and shake well.
Remove the onions from the milk and drain off excess liquid. Place the onions in the bag and gently shake around until all onions are coated.
Place oil in a large pan over medium heat, until hot. You can test if it's ready, by placing the edge of a prepared onion in the oil. If it sizzles, you are ready to start frying
Fill the pan with the onions, but don't overcrowd them, because this will cause steam between them (you might need to fry them in a few batches). Fry evenly on both sides, until light golden brown (about 1-2 minutes each side). Add more oil as needed. These cook quick so keep a close eye, so they don't burn. When done, place on a large plate with a paper towel, to absorb excess oil.
Preheat oven to 350 F
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and add green beans. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and add into an ice bath (this will stop them from overcooking).
Blend the soy milk & cashews (discard soaking water) together until very smooth. Set aside.
In a large pan, heat oil or butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
Add mushrooms & sauté until their liquid releases & cooks down. Brown them a bit, about 5-6 minutes.
Add minced garlic, salt, pepper & spices. Cook 1-2 minutes.
Turn heat up to med-high & add the white wine. Once it simmers, lower back to medium heat. Cook down liquid, about 5-6 minutes.
Add flour to the pan & stir constantly for 1-2 minutes. Now slowly add the vegetable broth while constantly stirring. Now stir in nutritional yeast and soy sauce. Let it simmer & thicken for 6-8 minutes. Stir often.
Turn heat to low and add the soy milk & cashew mixture & lemon juice. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Taste for salt & add as needed.
Add prepared green beans into the pan & fold to combine. Add a 1/4 portion of fried onions (or more) into the green beans. Add green bean mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish. Cover with fried onions and place in the oven. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned & bubbly. Enjoy!
* Prep time doesn't include soaking time for onions or cashews.
*I like to have extra onions for the table, so I use two large onions. I double the recipe above. They are a big hit every year.
*Vegetable Broth: I like to use low sodium broth, so I can control the salt taste. Some broths are too salty and can ruin a good recipe. If you would like to use a regular broth, make sure to cut down the added salt in the recipe. Taste as you go along. Another option, is to blend low sodium and regular broth together.
*Wine: not all wine is vegan and may contain egg whites. However, there are many that are vegan. Here is a vegan wine directory.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me, Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs.
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