Dairy Free Green Bean Casserole (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Today’s dairy free green bean casserole is guaranteed to become a star of your Thanksgiving table, vegan or not. It’s made with healthy-ish whole food ingredients, yet tastes totally decadent. Make this vegan, gluten free, soy free, and kosher plant-based holiday side dish for special occasions, or any time you crave comfort foods.

How to make dairy free green bean casserole: step by step instructions

I’ve searched for the perfect vegan green bean casserole recipe for years. It never sounded super appealing to me before I went vegan, but after I did, I wanted to make sure that our vegan Thanksgiving table was just as robust every year as it was before.

Since green bean casserole is such a big Thanksgiving dinner staple, I started searching for the best vegan recipe for this dish.

I tried at least four or five over the years. Most of them were pretty good, but I still felt like something was missing.

So this year, I decided to put my own spin on the classic green bean casserole recipe, making it with no milk, cream, or gluten.

I wanted my dairy free green bean casserole to retain a toothsome texture, making sure that the green beans retained some of their crunch (ain’t nobody got time for another mushy Thanksgiving side dish).

The result? Deliciously smooth, custard-like dairy free gravy envelopes chunky bits of mushrooms and slightly crunchy green beans, covered under a blanket of crispy fried onions. Give it a try, and you’ll never need another green bean casserole recipe!

For more vegan holiday inspiration, be sure to check my post with 75+ vegan Thanksgiving dinner recipes for all courses, from starters to desserts.

Note: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you make a purchase through affiliate links on my blog, I receive a very small commission that helps me run this blog, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Vegan Green Bean Casserole INGREDIENTS

Green beans. I’m using regular fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into two pieces of equal length. It’s OK if some pieces are a bit shorter than others: in my experience they all cook pretty evenly.

Onion or shallot. Regular yellow onions work well, but if you want to get an even deeper, fancier flavor, I recommend using shallots. Slice them thinly for sauteing.

Cremini mushrooms. White button mushrooms can be used too. Most recipes for this dish want the mushrooms to be sliced, but I decided to cut mine into coarse chunks (see step-by-step pictures below) for more texture.

Dried thyme and sage. The traditional herbs of Thanksgiving recipes (and a lot of comfort foods in general). Thyme and sage infuse this casserole with unmistakable, comforting flavor and aroma.

Sherry. This is optional, but nice to have for extra fanciness.

French fried onions*. Whichever way you slice it, green bean casserole just isn’t the same without them. To keep things a bit healthier (and gluten free), use an organic variety like this one. Or, if you want to go all out (and if you’re OK with gluten), get the regular fried onions in a red can at the grocery store.

*If fried onions aren’t your style, skip them and top the casserole with panko breadcrumbs. It won’t taste as rich but will still be quite good. Make sure to use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs if necessary.

Raw cashews**. The must-have component of the creamy gravy. A lot of vegan green bean casserole recipes recommend using non-dairy creamer, but I decided against it because not all stores carry 100% unsweetened, plain vegan creamers. You definitely don’t want to end up with vanilla-flavored green bean casserole 🙂

**For a nut-free version, try using sunflower seeds instead. They are plain enough in flavor to make a good substitution.

Cornstarch. The secret ingredient that gets the gravy to thicken beautifully. A lot of recipes call for regular flour, but cornstarch works just as well. Plus, it’s gluten free.

Granulated onion and garlic. These add a lovely flavor to the cashew cream gravy. Onion and garlic powder will probably work too, but I prefer the granules.

Nutritional yeast. Leave it to this classic vegan ingredient with cheese-like flavor to add a touch of umami to the gravy.

Other ingredients: water, salt, black pepper, and oil (or veggie broth/water for a lower-fat version).

How to Make Dairy Free Green Bean Casserole

STEP 1. Prep the vegetables. Trim green beans and cut each in half. Peel and quarter the onion (cut a shallot in half), slice thinly. Chop the mushrooms into coarse chunks.

Dairy free green bean casserole recipe: step 1

STEP 2. Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add cut green beans. Boil for 3 minutes until bright green but with some crunch left. Drain and put into a large bowl of iced water.

STEP 3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil (or water/veggie broth for lower fat) in a large skillet. Add sliced onions, cook 3-5 minutes until they start turning golden. Sprinkle with thyme and sage.

Add coarsely chopped mushrooms, mix well and cover with a lid to let them “sweat”, about 3 minutes. Pour in sherry (if using), stir until the liquid is mostly evaporated.

Dairy free green bean casserole recipe: step 3

STEP 4. While the vegetables are cooking, add raw cashews*, cornstarch, granulated onion and garlic, nutritional yeast, water, salt and black pepper into the bowl of a blender. Blend at high speed until creamy, scraping down the sides if necessary.

*Soak the cashews for at least 2 hours or overnight if using a standard blender. No need to soak if using a high-speed blender.

Dairy free green bean casserole recipe: step 2

STEP 5. Pour the cashew cream mixture into the skillet with mushrooms and onions. Stir to incorporate. It will look quite watery at first.

Dairy free green bean casserole recipe: step 4

Within a minute or two, the sauce will start thickening. Continue stirring it with a rubber spatula until it thickens up into a thick, custard-like gravy. This will take about 3 minutes.

Pictured below: this is what the thickened gravy is going to look like.

Dairy free green bean casserole recipe: step 5

STEP 6. Drain green beans and add them to the skillet with the mushroom gravy. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup fried onions (skip if using panko breadcrumbs instead of fried onions – see the note in the recipe card).

Dairy free green bean casserole recipe: step 6

Stir well to incorporate everything into the gravy. Let heat through gently, about 1 minute. No need to bring the mixture to a boil.

Dairy free green bean casserole recipe: step 7

STEP 7. Pour the veggie and gravy mixture into a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ casserole. Top evenly with the remaining fried onions.

Pictured below: the casserole just before going into the oven.

Dairy free green bean casserole recipe: step 8

STEP 8. Bake the casserole in the oven at 375°F (190°C) until bubbly around the edges, and the fried onions are golden brown, about 22-25 minutes.

Take out of the oven. Let cool slightly on a cooling rack before serving. Enjoy!

How to Store Vegan Green Bean Casserole

This vegan, gluten free green bean casserole keeps well refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Let the casserole cool completely before putting it into the fridge. Cover its top surface tightly with plastic wrap, or use a lid if your casserole dish has one.

To reheat this casserole, scoop the amount you’d like to eat onto a plate or in a bowl. Cover loosely with a paper towel, and microwave on high for 35-45 seconds.

MORE COMFORT FOOD SIDE DISH RECIPES FROM THE BLOG:

Easy 5-ingredient vegan mashed potatoes

Smoky roasted vegan Brussels sprouts

Southern-style slow cooker collard greens

Easy balsamic sautéed kale and onions

Easy Instant Pot black eyed peas for New Year’s

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Give it a star rating below, pin it to Pinterest, tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or leave a comment.

Yield: 10 servings

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole dairy free gluten free

Your search for the perfect vegan green bean casserole is over! This delicious, made-from-scratch plant-based green bean casserole features fresh green beans smothered in cashew cream-based mushroom gravy, and topped with decadent fried onions. For gluten free version, use gluten free French fried onions.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Casserole:

  • 1 lb (about 4 cups) fresh green beans, trimmed, cut in half
  • 1 medium onion or shallot, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups cremini or button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
  • 3 Tbsp sherry (optional)
  • 6-oz can of organic fried onions, divided (see note*)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil (or water/veggie broth for oil-free)

Mushroom Gravy:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (see note**)
  • 2 Tbsp non-GMO cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 3 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 1/2 cup water, room temperature
  • Salt, pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add green bean pieces. Boil for 3 minutes until bright green but with some crunch left. Drain and put into a large bowl of ice-cold water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch casserole.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil (or water/veggie broth for oil-free) in a large heavy-bottomed skillet. Add sliced onions, cook 3-5 minutes until golden. Sprinkle with thyme and sage. Add coarsely chopped mushrooms, mix well and cover with a lid to let them "sweat", about 3 minutes. Pour in sherry (if using), stir until the liquid is mostly evaporated.
  4. While the onions and mushrooms are cooking, blend all mushroom gravy ingredients in a blender until smooth. Scrape the sides if needed.
  5. Pour the blended mixture into the skillet with mushrooms. Stir to incorporate. It will look quite watery at first. Continue stirring with a rubber spatula until the gravy thickens up like custard, about 3 minutes.
  6. Drain green beans and add them to the skillet with the mushroom gravy. Mix in 1/2 cup fried onions (see note***). Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole. Top evenly with the remaining fried onions.
  7. Bake the casserole until it's bubbly around the edges, and the fried onions are golden brown, about 22-25 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

*Make sure to use gluten free fried onions if you need this casserole to be gluten free.

**Soak the cashews for at least 2 hours or overnight if using a standard blender. No need to soak if using a high-speed blender.

***For a lower fat/oil-free version, skip the fried onions and top the casserole with panko breadcrumbs. The casserole won't taste as rich but will still be quite good. Make sure to use gluten free panko breadcrumbs if necessary.

Recommended Products

This recipe contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you make a purchase through affiliate links on my blog, I receive a very small commission that helps me run this blog, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10 servings

Serving Size:

1/10th of the casserole

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g

Please note that the provided nutritional information data is approximate.

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I hope you enjoy my dairy free green bean casserole as much as my family does this holiday season!

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