Green bean casserole is a winter holiday favorite, especially if you’re planning a vegan Thanksgiving. Here’s an updated, veganized, and healthy version of this comfort food favorite. The original, vintage version uses canned cream of mushroom and (gasp!) canned fried onions; this one gets its creaminess from pureed white beans or silken tofu. Sautéed onions, crisped up with a lightly floured coating, make a yummy topping along with breadcrumbs.
I do provide one nod to convenience in this recipe. Fresh green beans are really not in season at this time of year. And even if they were, it’s not fun to trim the ends off of two pounds of them in one go. So I suggest using whole baby green beans or cut green beans — organic, please! Thanks to Tofurky for the lovely “prop” —their iconic Vegetarian Roast, which you can read more about in this post. Photos by Rachael Braun.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cup cooked or canned cannellini or Great Northern beans (large white), drained and rinsed, or ½ of one 12.3 ounce container firm or extra-firm silken tofu
- 2 tablespoons garbanzo flour, spelt flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or
- any flour you have on hand
- 8 ounces white or brown mushrooms, sliced (cut large caps in half)
- 1 pound organic cut or whole baby green beans, thawed completely
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup breadcrumbs, fresh or prepared
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until golden and just starting to brown, stirring often.
- Transfer half of the onions to a food processor along with the beans or silken tofu. Process until completely smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 375º F.
- Sprinkle the flour of choice slowly in with the remaining onions in the pan until they’re fairly evenly coated. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until they’re nicely browned (but not burned!) and crisp, stirring often. Remove the onions to a plate and set aside.
- Wipe out the pan and add the mushrooms with a little water. Cover and cook over medium heat until they’re wilted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off excess liquid.
- Combine the bean or tofu puree, mushrooms, and green beans in a large mixing bowl and stir together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled 2-quart casserole dish (or divide between two smaller casserole dishes). Top with the reserved onions, followed by the bread crumbs.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the green beans are tender and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned and crisp.
- Let the casserole stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.