Vegan Green Bean Casserole is the quintessential Thanksgiving dish! Make sure you save plenty of room on your plate! Traditionally, green bean casserole is a side dish, but it's so delicious it could be a main. It's made with onions, mushrooms, fresh green beans, and a lush, dairy-free cashew cream. This easy holiday recipe is vegan with a gluten-free option.
What is Green Bean Casserole?
Green Bean Casserole is a Thanksgiving favorite, and it's a dish that doesn't take very long to prepare. If you Google it, recipe that appears most often is made with frozen vegetables, milk, canned cream soup, and packaged crispy onions.
It was originally created in 1955 by a staff member in the Campbell's Soup home economics department after given the instruction "to create a quick and easy recipe around two things most Americans always had on hand in the 1950s: green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup." The original recipe card is actually in the Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole wasn't usually found on our Thanksgiving when I was growing up. I did have it at some point, but it wasn't a traditional dish in my family. It has become a holiday mainstay, now that I've created a vegan version. I can't imagine Thanksgiving without it!
This dish was fun and easy to veganize. I've used a I used cashew cream to mimic the cream of the soup and added sautéed fresh mushrooms to the casserole. Instead of using crispy onions on top of the dish, when I created this recipe I added onions to the vegetable mixture and topped the dish with panko bread crumbs to give it a crunch. I frequently make it with gluten-free panko, as one of my Thanksgiving dinner companions is on a gluten-free diet. I've been able to find gluten-free crispy onions in the past few years, so I sometimes top it with them.
How to Make Vegan Green Bean Casserole
This recipe is really easy to make!
- First you mix together the cashew cream sauce ingredients in a blender until it's smooth and creamy. It may seem like it's too thin, but it will thicken in the oven as the casserole bakes.
- Then you cook the onions in the oil in a large pan.
- Once they've begun to caramelize, you add the garlic, mushrooms and green beans and cook them for 10 to 15 minutes, until they're tender.
- Next you mix together the vegetables and cashew cream and pour the mixture into a casserole dish.
- You cover the dish with foil and bake it for 20 minutes.
- Finally, you remove the foil, top the dish with the panko or crispy onions, and bake for another 10 minutes.
Working with Raw Cashews
It's best to soak your cashews in water for about 2 hours before using them in this recipe to help soften them and make them easier to blend. Some say that they don't need to be soaked if you're using a high-speed blender. I have a Blendtec, and I still like to soak for a bit, so there are no little cashews pieces floating around in the dish.
Raw Cashews vs Roasted Cashews
I frequently get asked about using roasted cashews rather than raw in a recipe like this. Raw cashews are softer and have a more neutral flavor, so they work best in cashew cream. Roasted cashews won't blend as easily, and they'll lend a bit of a roasted flavor to the cream. Creams made with roasted cashews have a little bit of a burnt taste in my opinion.
This vegan version is healthier and tastier (if I do say so myself) than the "traditional" green bean casserole. I know it's supposed to be a side, but I could plop a giant scoop of it on my plate, call it a meal, and be one happy camper.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon sea salt divided
- 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 10 ounces white button or crimini mushrooms sliced
- 1 pound green beans
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs or store-bought crispy onions
- Preheat oven to 350° and lightly oil a casserole dish.
- Mix together the cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until it begins to caramelize.
- Add the garlic, mushrooms, and green beans to the pan with the onions. Add the other ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover and let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove the vegetables from the heat and mix in the cashew cream. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and spread the panko or crispy onions in an even layer over the casserole. Bake for 10 more minutes or until the top is golden and the casserole is bubbly.
More Thanksgiving recipes you might enjoy include:
- Spinach Mushroom Stuffing
- Creamed Kale
- Maple Miso Glazed Squash
- Super Easy Cranberry Sauce
- Mushroom Gravy