Homemade Real Food-Style Green Bean Casserole (with Gluten-Free Recommendations)

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Earlier this week, we made mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot. Talk about a game-changer of a recipe. Once you make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot–which requires zero draining of a liquid and only one pot–you’ll never go back to the stove-top method. At least I won’t be going back.

A homemade, real food version of green bean casserole. Made with sour cream in place of condensed soup.

Today, we’re going to add to the Thanksgiving menu options with a “real foodified” version of a classic side dish: green bean casserole.

Chardea (who works with me behind-the-scenes on recipes and computer stuff) is the one to thank for the sudden surge in Thanksgiving and holiday-themed recipes.

Chardea has been working with me for 8 months, so she hasn’t been around for a holiday season yet. As the summer came to a close, she asked, “Will you share Thanksgiving recipes? Everything we make in my family is full of not-so-desirable (highly processed) ingredients. I would love to convert some of our favorite recipes to real food versions.”


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A homemade, real food version of green bean casserole. Made with sour cream in place of condensed soup.

I wasn’t planning on sharing any holiday themed recipes this year. The plan was to ignore the holidays. I promise, I’m not a Grinch. I just like to focus on bigger picture recipes and tips that will keep us going all year long. Plus, I don’t typically cook for holiday celebrations. My mom and Dustin’s grandmother still enjoy that responsibility–> #tradition.

After listening to Chardea’s request, I figured she can’t be the only person in need of such recipes.

There are a number of holiday inspired recipes on the blog right now–pumpkin pie, biscuits, stuffing, sweet potato biscuits, cranberry sauce, and a chocolate cream pie–but why not expand the collection?

A homemade, real food version of green bean casserole. Made with sour cream in place of condensed soup.

Helen took a couple of recipes to work on and I took the rest. As my six year-old says, “Team work is the dream work.” Between us, we’ve been testing recipes and now it’s time to share the recipes with you. This year, we’re adding Instant Pot mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, einkorn biscuits, and green bean casserole to the holiday recipe collection.

A homemade, real food version of green bean casserole. Made with sour cream in place of condensed soup.

Today, let’s talk about green casserole.

Traditionally, green bean casserole is made with condensed soup and fried onions, both of which are highly processed. Green bean casserole is meant to be decadent and creamy–it is holiday food. This real foodified recipe maintains the decadent flavor and texture of traditional green bean casserole, but skips the cans of condensed soup and fried onions.

A homemade, real food version of green bean casserole. Made with sour cream in place of condensed soup.

Instead of condensed soup, sour cream is the star ingredient in this casserole. Sour cream adds a slightly tangy flavor and incredibly rich texture. In place of fried onions, breadcrumbs are added to the top of the casserole. It’s much easier to find a real food option for breadcrumbs than it is for fried onions, at least for now.

A homemade, real food version of green bean casserole. Made with sour cream in place of condensed soup.g

The final result is an easy-to-make, real foodified green bean casserole that even the processed food-loving folks at your Thanksgiving table will love.

5 from 1 vote
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Real Food Green Bean Casserole

A homemade, real food version of green bean casserole. Made with sour cream in place of condensed soup. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword green bean casserole
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 234 kcal
Author Kristin Marr

Ingredients

Casserole:

  • 1 1/2 lbs green beans washed and trimmed
  • 1 lb baby bella mushrooms sliced
  • 3 TB unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion (about 1/2 of a small onion, or 1/4 of a large onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 TB all-purpose einkorn flour or all-purpose flour, white whole wheat, or see note about gluten-free option*
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Topping:

  • 1 TB unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs see note about gluten-free option**
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 TB dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Special Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot (such as: a Dutch oven or soup pot) with water. Place the pot on the stove-top and bring the water to a rolling boil. 

  2. Prepare an ice bath for the green beans by filling a large bowl with cold water and a handful of ice cubes. 

  3. Boil the green beans for about 5-7 minutes. The beans should be bright green and still have a bite to them. We don't want mushy beans. Immediately drain the beans from the hot water (or use tongs to remove the beans) and plunge the cooked beans into the ice bath. 

  4. Allow the beans to rest in the ice bath for 5 minutes and then drain the beans from the water. 

  5. Preheat the oven to 375F.

  6. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to a large pot or skillet (I use the same pot used to cook the beans). Add onions and mushrooms and saute for a few minutes (3-4 minutes) to begin to soften. Stir in the minced garlic. 

  7. Add the flour to the pot and stir to coat the veggies in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes to get the flour taste out.

  8. Add the sour cream, mustard, salt, and pepper to the veggies. Once combined, add the cooled green beans and stir until the beans and veggies are well coated. 

  9. To make the topping, in a small skillet or saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Turn off the heat. Stir in the remaining topping ingredients: panko, parmesan cheese, parsley, and salt. 

  10. Grease a small casserole dish (my baking dish is 10.5x 7--like this). Pour the prepared green beans into the dish, pressing them down to level.  

  11. Top the casserole with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until bubbling and topping begins to brown. Serve warm. 

Recipe Notes

*You'll need to use a substitute for the flour if you're wanting to make this gluten-free. My recommendation is to use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend or something that subs well for gluten-based flours, like cassava flour. 

**Ian's brand makes a gluten-free panko (looks like this) if you're looking to make a gluten-free casserole. This brand does use canola oil, which I typically avoid, but it's the best option I've found for a gluten-free panko. 

When it comes to buying panko breadcrumbs, read the ingredient list on each option. Stick to a breadcrumb with ingredients you can pronounce and would use in your own kitchen. You may need to visit a health food store (like Whole Foods) or look on Vitacost (like this brand) for such an option. I haven't found great options in the conventional stores in our area. 

A homemade, real food version of green bean casserole. Made with sour cream in place of condensed soup.

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12 Comments

  • I use Kikkoman panko. They also use canola but the list is short and includes whole wheat flour. They also make a gluten free option.

  • This looks delicious – we might finally be able to get our kids to eat green beans! The great thing about this recipe is we can buy all of the items on the list either in bulk or from farmers markets so it is a great waste free dish! Thanks

  • Excited to make this, this year for thanksgiving! I wasn’t able to find fresh green beans last week in my area do you think frozen would work?

  • Excited to make this, this year for Thanksgiving! I wasn’t able to find fresh green beans last week in my area do you think frozen world work?

    • Hey Ashley, I’m not 100% what the texture will be with the frozen green beans. But I think it’s worth a try. The green beans probably won’t be as crisp, but it should still taste good.

  • Hey Kristin! Do you think I could assemble this or make it the day before? Should I leave off the topping and add it the day of so that it doesn’t get soggy?

    • Hey Alex, I’m planning to do this. I’ve never actually tried making it in advance, so I can’t speak to the results. But I’m going to try it on Wednesday ;), and I think everything should be okay. I like your idea to leave the topping off–great idea. The topping is super easy to make, so if you make the casserole in advance, just make and add the topping just before cooking. Or maybe make the topping and store it in a separate container before sprinkling it on the casserole to bake.

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