To me, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without a Green Bean Casserole.  Growing up, green bean casserole was my favorite part of the meal – you know, the old fashioned Campbell’s Casserole made with Cream of Mushroom Soup and French’s Fried Onions.

The problem is that Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup has MSG and all kinds of unsavory additives, stabilizers, and fake junk inside. It was a sad day for me when I found this out.  How was I supposed to have Thanksgiving without my beloved, savory Green Bean Casserole?  Over the years, I’ve  tried to come up with solutions and have finally mastered a perfect all-natural version.   Well, a perfect Vegan version because although I do eat limited dairy products, I try to avoid them and substitute whenever possible.

The mushrooms and sweet onion combine with the Portobello mushroom soup to create a delicious, creamy sauce with just the right kick.  The natural French Fried Onions are a must, there is just enough to give the casserole the right crunch and texture but not overwhelm the taste.  An added plus is that this is vegan and pretty low on points without sacrificing any of the comfort-food-holiday-flavor we have all come to love and crave!

NOTES:

  •  This recipe isn’t really difficult, the only element that is time-consuming is the preparation of the string beans.  DO NOT SKIP THIS or try a shortcut.  Cutting the beans in this way allows them to get just the right texture and makes this a casserole, not a dish of green beans with sauce around it.  Trust me, as much as this is a pain in the arse, it is worth it!
  • A must have is Imagine’s Natural Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup.  I purchased it at Whole Foods but have also seen it at Fred Meyer, Safeway, Wegman’s and in other grocery store’s natural food sections.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it at Trader Joe’s.   This Vegan Portobello Mushroom Soup is used as the base for the sauce.
  • French Fried Onions – I don’t have a brand preference but if you live near a Trader Joe’s, buy theirs.  They are relatively inexpensive and the jar is 8 ounces.  Otherwise, just buy them in the natural section of your grocer to avoid the crazy additives. Whole Foods sells Lars Crispy Fried Onions in a 4 ounce container and I have also seen another brand or two there.
  • TIP: To save time, prep your onion, garlic, mushrooms, and green beans the night before or early in the morning.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole
 
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4 Points Plus per serving — Recipe Makes 8 Servings (Alternately, 5 Points Plus per serving based on 6 Servings)
By:
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, stems removed, quartered, and finely chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pound green beans, cleaned, trimmed, cut into 2″ pieces and cut lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons tarmari (or fermented soy sauce)
  • 1 cup Imagine Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup plain soy or coconut creamer (or half and half if not vegan)
  • 4 ounces French Fried Onions (such as Trader Joe’s Brand), divided into half
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions
  1. PREP: Clean mushrooms, remove stems, and quarter. Peel garlic and onion, and quarter onion. Place onion and garlic in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not watery. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  2. Place mushrooms in processor. Process until finely chopped.
  3. Clean string beans and trim ends. Cut into 2″ pieces and then slice lengthwise along the seam.
  4. Measure out salt and pepper into a small dish.
  5. Now, measure Portobello soup and soy sauce.
  6. Next, measure whole wheat flour and soy creamer.
  7. Finally, divide the Fried Onions in half, reserving 2 ounces for the topping.
  8. COOKING: Preheat oven to 400F. Heat large 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and then onion, garlic, crimini mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and liquid is released from onions and mushrooms.
  9. Add string beans, tamari, and mushroom soup. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes.
  10. Slowly whisk flour and soy creamer together in a small bowl. Pour into green bean mixture, lower light to medium-low and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes to thicken.
  11. Coat 3-Quart casserole (think lasagna pan) with non-stick cooking spray and transfer green bean mixture to dish. Add in 2 ounces of the French Fried Onions. Mix well and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  12. After 30 minutes, stir and top with remaining 2 ounces of French Fried Onions. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes and serve. Enjoy!