Recipes & Meal Swaps | Traditional to Healthy: Green Bean Casserole 3-Ways

Green beans, a powerhouse of nutrition, naturally low in sodium and filled with fiber, protein, antioxidants and vitamins, sound like a nutritional win for the holidays, right?!

While we still enjoy these benefits in a delicious green bean casserole made in holiday traditional style with creamy sauces and crispy fried onions, we also get a hefty dose of some not-so-healthy ingredients. But, hey, it’s the holidays, maybe you’re going to eat whatever you want and feel good about it…so for you we’ve got the traditional recipe you love!

We are all about a healthy lifestyle at SportPort, and we’ve got a variety of strategies for eating our way through the holidays, so for those of you who want to make the dish healthier or try a dairy-free, vegan, plant-based substitution option, we’ve got some green bean casserole recipe ideas for you. Any recipe you choose, enjoy, with servings for 12!

Traditional: Classic-Style Green Bean Casserole

Based on the Campbell’s Soup classically rich recipe, this taste-bud delight is the familiar savory comfort dish that gives us the flavor we crave! But, of the 3 recipes, it may be worth noting that this one is the highest in calories, fats and sodium, as well as lowest in protein.

4 (14.5 ounce) cans cut green beans
2 (10.5 ounce) cans Campbell’s® condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 ¾ cups crispy French’s® French fried onions, divided

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Drain green beans and place in large mixing bowl.
  2. In separate medium mixing bowl, combine cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce and black pepper, stir or whisk until well mixed into a creamy sauce. Add sauce and 1 ½ cups crispy fried onions to the large mixing bowl with green beans. Mix well.
  3. Empty green bean mix into a 3-quart casserole dish, spreading evenly. Bake in oven at 350˚ for 30-35 minutes or until sauce is starting to bubble.
  4. Remove casserole from oven, stir contents completely. Sprinkle remaining crispy fried onions on top of the mixture. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes or until onions are heated through and golden.
  5. Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information (1 Serving): Calories 227; Fat 15.4g; Saturated Fat 6g; Carbohydrates 19.5g; Protein 2.3g; Fiber 2.6g; Sodium 624mg

Healthier: Less Fat & Lower Sodium Green Bean Casserole

For those of you who have health concerns on the mind, whether your own or a loved one’s, we’ve got a recipe that cuts down on red-flag ingredients, with less salt and fat overall in our healthier recipe.

2 (16-20 ounce) bags frozen cut green beans, thawed
2 (10.5 ounce) cans low-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup skim milk
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 ¾ cups crispy fried onions (store-bought), divided

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Place thawed and drained green beans in large mixing bowl.
  2. In separate medium mixing bowl, combine reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup, skim milk, reduced sodium soy sauce and black pepper, stir or whisk until well-mixed. Add mixture along with 1 cup of the crispy fried onions to the large mixing bowl with green beans. Stir until just mixed.
  3. In a 3-quart casserole dish, spread the green bean mixture evenly. Bake in oven at 350˚ for 30-35 minutes or until sauce is starting to bubble.
  4. Remove casserole and stir green beans thoroughly. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup of crispy fried onions on top evenly. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes or until onions are golden.
  5. Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information (1 Serving): Calories 132; Fat 6g; Saturated Fat 3g; Carbohydrates 15g; Protein 4g; Fiber 3g; Sodium 411mg

Healthiest: Plant-Based, Vegan Green Bean Casserole

If you want a transformation that keeps those green gems soaring strong in their nutritional glory with a casserole that offers mostly just healthy ingredients, try this version for a delicious plant-based, vegan recipe!

1 ½ – 2 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed if desired
4 cups cauliflower, rinsed and chopped
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, very thinly sliced
1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
2 cups fresh baby Bella mushrooms, rinsed and drained, thinly sliced
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. Add green beans to a large pot of water. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside in large mixing bowl.
  3. Fill a medium pot with ¼ water and heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Add cauliflower and reduce heat to medium. Cover. Steam 5 minutes or until cauliflower is tender to a fork prick. Remove from heat, drain and set aside to cool.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add onions, stirring to coat with olive oil. Cook until golden. Remove half of onions and place in a large mixing bowl with green beans. Add panko bread crumbs to the remaining onions in the skillet, stirring to coat, for 2-3 minutes. Remove onions from pan and set aside.
  5. Using the same skillet as the onions, over medium-low heat, cook the mushrooms, stirring frequently and adding a little bit of water if they stick to the pan, sautéing until cooked through and fragrant.
  6. While mushrooms cook, make cauliflower sauce by combining cooked cauliflower, almond milk, vegetable broth, garlic and ground pepper in a blender, pulsing until reaching a creamy texture, (this may need to be done in two batches).
  7. Pour sauce into the skillet over medium heat with cooked mushrooms. Heat through until starting to bubble, stirring constantly. Whisk in flour to thicken. When desired thickness is reached, pour sauce into large mixing bowl with green beans. Mix thoroughly and spread evenly into large casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumb-covered onions.
  8. Cook in oven for 35 minutes or until heated through and bubbling. If onion topping is not crispy, place dish under medium-high broiler for 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

*Make it Gluten-Free: Substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free flour for the whole wheat ingredients.

*Make it Nut-Free: Substitute soy or rice milk for the almond milk.

Nutrition Information (1 Serving): Calories 75; Fat 1g; Saturated Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 13g; Protein 4g; Fiber 3g; Sodium 226mg

Green bean casseroles are a home-style comfort food that we love to share with friends and family. Whether you err on the lighter side or the traditional side this holiday season, we hope you and yours gather for the enjoyment a shared meal can bring. Bon Appetit!