This delicious vegan green bean casserole features fresh green beans cooked in a creamy, savoury, rustic mushroom sauce, and topped with a crispy, golden, crumbly, nutty, herby and cheesy topping.
This casserole is perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner side but is also good enough to be the star of the show. One bite has all the flavours of a traditional vegan Christmas dinner.
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Quick Origin Of Green Bean Casserole
Green bean bake which is what this casserole was original termed, was created in 1955 by the Campbell’s soup company.
The Campbell company developed the recipe as a way to combine the popular cream of mushroom soup and the ever abundant green beans into an inexpensive meal that was convenient for busy families.
The recipe featured green beans cooked in canned cream of mushroom soup and topped with crispy fried onions, and was a huge hit.
Fast forward to present day times, green bean casserole is one of the most popular side-dishes to frequent US Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It is also a frequent visitor to pot luck and buffet spreads.
Green bean casserole is less common in the UK but this vegan recipe is so tasty I hope that many will be inspired to give it a go. It is so worth it.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
This casserole is almost like a British gratin with its crispy hat topping, and can be served as a side-dish or raised up to be the star of the Thanksgiving, Christmas or any celebratory festive table.
I have chosen not to include the traditional crispy fried onions as I wanted a lighter dish that did not require too much oil or fat.
However, this casserole does feature the most amazing crispy top that can be satisfyingly cracked open to reveal a crumbly under layer of yumminess. My kids love picking up the crispy layer and hearing that tasty satisfying crunch.
Underneath the crumbly layer the fresh green beans retain a pleasant bite while being encased in a savoury, creamy, thick mushroom sauce.
To create the mushroom sauce I fine dice the mushrooms which does give the sauce a dark colour. My son hates the texture of mushrooms but with this casserole he did not even know the mushrooms were there but he did enjoy the flavours!
Alternatively to achieve a lighter creamier coloured sauce simply slice or chop the mushrooms, and forego the fine dice.
The thick mushroom sauce is covered with a deep layer of wholegrain breadcrumbs, mixed herbs, chopped cashews, and a little grated vegan cheese. Extra vegan cheese is scattered over the top. The flavours resemble tasty Christmas stuffing mix.
Serve with lashings of vegan gravy, roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts and maple glazed parsnips and carrots, for the best Christmas dinner ever.
How To Prepare Green Bean Casserole
Recipe Notes And FAQS
This casserole is at its best when eaten after its baked.
However, leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3 days within a covered container, or within the casserole dish well wrapped.
I haven’t had enough leftovers to freeze yet so have not tested to see how the casserole copes with being frozen after baked. I would imagine that the baked crispy topping would go soft if frozen.
However, the casserole could be frozen unbaked within the casserole dish, well covered for 3-6 months. Defrost completely before baking, and allow to sit on your work surface so that it can come to room temperature before cooking.
Perfect if your wanting to save time preparing for a festive meal.
Reheat leftovers at the cooking temperature until piping hot.
Add a cover to the casserole dish either a lid or piece of kitchen foil to prevent the casserole going too dark and over cooking. And place on a lower down shelf in the oven.
Check after 20 minutes to see how the reheating is progressing.
Yes. This recipe can be easily prepared as gluten-free.
Simply ensure that you use gluten-free bread to create the breadcrumbs, gluten-free vegan stock, and gluten-free flour for the sauce.
(A link to a gluten-free rice crumbs product is included within the recipe card ingredient list)
I use the Doves Farm brand of gluten-free plain flour blend and its perfect for sauces.
Anything you enjoy for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is perfect to accompany this green bean casserole. This creamy casserole is the perfect side-dish but it is good enough to be a main with its own sides!
A few ideas:
* roast potatoes, these can be roasted with or without oil. I omit oil and roast until crispy and golden, delicious. Using an air-fryer is also a good idea. Sometimes I use aqua Faber (chickpea can water) and brush this over to cover the potatoes and this helps crisp the potatoes up.
* homemade potato chips/fries/wedges
* baked sweet or white potato
*steamed, lightly boiled, pan-fried, or roasted Brussel sprouts
* mashed neeps (turnip/swede/rutabaga)
* mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes
* mashed celeriac or cauliflower
* champ (mashed potatoes, turnip and cabbage)
* roast asparagus or broccoli
* steamed green veggie leaves
* green salad
* vegan sausages
* vegan Yorkshire puddings
* vegan gravy
* apple sauce
* cranberry sauce
* Don’t like mushrooms? Simply leave these out of the white creamy sauce, and add one tablespoon of white miso paste and/or 1-3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes to enrich the sauce flavours. However, my kids don’t like mushrooms which is why I fine dice the mushrooms. That way they benefit from the mushroom goodness but don’t have to deal with the texture!
* Not keen on green beans? Switch these for broccoli, cauliflower, courgette/zucchini, runner beans, sugar snap peas, or your favourite veggie frozen or fresh.
* omit the vegan cheese and replace with nutritional yeast flakes
* use vegan stock to cook the mushrooms instead of the vegan butter/margarine
* switch out the dried onion and/or garlic for fine diced fresh onion and garlic
* use fresh chopped herbs instead of dried mixed herbs
If your family enjoy mushrooms then simply slice or chop into more chunkier pieces. The colour of your sauce will be more appealing if your mushrooms are not fine diced.
I made this casserole several times while testing my recipe out and as what I create and cook is my family’s actual dinner I make modifications so that we don’t waste any food. And all the casseroles got devoured.
The beauty of recipes is that you can tailor them to your own needs. If your short of time or just not a fan of casseroles then simply steam the green beans and prepare the mushroom sauce.
Any veggies can be prepared and enjoyed with this mushroom sauce poured over.
Some mashed potatoes to accompany the veggies and mushroom sauce would be delicious. If you would like a thinner sauce just add more plant milk until its the consistency you like.
Any mushroom you can purchase in your local store is perfect for mushroom sauce. I just buy the ordinary white mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms as they are the least expensive.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole (Creamy Mushroom sauce)
- Casserole dish (I used 8-9 inch diameter and 3 inch deep)
- Skillet, deep frying pan or similar.
- grater, to grate vegan cheese, optional as can purchase pre-shredded cheese
- Food processer, optional (to fine dice mushrooms, but can do this by hand or simply slice and use larger pieces of mushroom)
- 400 grams green beans trim the tops and bottoms, and remove any blemishes. I started with 440g green beans and ended up with nearly 400 g after trimming.
- 2 tablespoons vegan margarine or 125ml/ ½ cup veggie stock
- 300 grams mushrooms fine diced or sliced. I use a small food processer to fine dice the mushrooms.
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour or regular plain flour either white or wholemeal
- ½ vegan stock cube or a teaspoon of vegan stock powder or paste
- 450 ml soya milk
- 100 grams whole wheat breadcrumbs use a food processer to whizz up dry bread into crumbs, or freeze the bread slices and then grate into crumbs. Use gluten-free crumbs if necessary.
- 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
- 45 grams cashews rough chopped, alternatively use walnuts/chopped mixed nuts or sunflower/pumpkin seeds
- 40 grams vegan cheese grated/shredded, or replace with 25 grams (about 6 tablespoons) nutritional yeast flakes
- Preheat the oven to 180 Fan / 200 Celsius/ 392 Fahrenheit / Gas 6.
Par-boil the green beans:
- Blanch the green beans in simmering water for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Place in a greased casserole dish.
Prepare the mushroom sauce:
- Melt two tablespoons of vegan margarine or butter in a pan. Add the fine diced mushrooms, garlic and onion powder and cook for 8 minutes.
- Mix through two tablespoons of gluten-free flour plus the crumbled stock cube. Slowly pour in the plant milk, mixing well to avoid lumps.
- Bring to a simmer and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the thick mushroom sauce over the green beans, spread it out to cover.
Prepare the topping:
- Mix the breadcrumbs, half of the vegan cheese, cashews, and dried herbs together. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the topping over the creamy beans.
- Add the rest of the grated vegan cheese.
- Bake on the middle shelf for 25 minutes until golden and crisp.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary. Data is calculated using computerized nutrition apps.
- This casserole is at its best when eaten after its baked. However, leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3 days within a covered container, or within the casserole dish well wrapped.
- If wanting to freeze then the casserole is best frozen unbaked within the casserole dish, well covered for 3-6 months. Defrost completely before baking, and allow to sit on your work surface so that it can come to room temperature before cooking.
- For a gluten-free green bean casserole ensure that you use gluten-free bread to create the breadcrumbs or ready-made gluten-free crumbs (link above in the ingredient list to a gf rice crumbs product), gluten-free vegan stock, and gluten-free flour for the sauce. I use the Doves Farm brand of gluten-free plain flour blend.
- For a lower-sodium dish use a reduced salt veggie stock.
- For a lower-fat casserole use veggie stock to sauté the mushrooms or use a lighter in calories and fat vegan margarine.
- To create a less rustic coloured mushroom sauce simply slice the mushrooms or chop into larger pieces.
- Fine dicing the mushrooms in a food processor or by hand is a great way to encourage less enthusiastic mushroom eaters to enjoy mushrooms! It worked with my kids.
- Feeding a crowd? Simply double or triple the ingredients or prepare several smaller casseroles.
Looking for more vegan delicious, tasty side-dishes?
Vegan British Traditional Champ (Adapted from a World War 2 Era Vintage Recipe)
Rice-A-Roni with kidney Beans And Bell Peppers (guaranteed kids favourite!)
Traditional Scottish Skirlie (aka poor mans haggis)