When our pediatric and family dietitians at Balanced Nutrition think of Thanksgiving, they think of all the rich comfort foods that decorate the table when the family comes together for dinner. During the month of November in Connecticut, the weather becomes brisk and we seek warm foods for comfort. Most Thanksgiving dishes are heavy and energy dense. The typical green bean casserole consists of canned cream of mushroom soup and processed crispy onions.
Our healthier green bean casserole preserves the cozy flavors of your traditional green bean side dish, but is made more nutritious with whole wheat flour and low-fat dairy, not to mention it is completely homemade. Bonus: you get a serving of vegetables! This dish is sure to be the winner in your family's cozy Thanksgiving dinner this year.
For the Green Beans:
2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
For the Crispy Onion Topping:
1 tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp sea salt
For the Mushroom Sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 8-ounce packages of cremini (baby bella) mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1.5 cup 1% milk (or dairy alternative)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and grease a 9x13 casserole dish with olive oil. Set aside.
Add the green beans to the boiling water and boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl filled with ice water.
Next heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and starting to brown. Then place into a bowl. Stir in the parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs and sea salt. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring frequently.
Sprinkle the whole wheat flour over the mushrooms and garlic, and stir to combine.
Slowly add the low sodium chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth. Whisk in the milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook until thickened.
Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, sea salt, and pepper until the cheese is melted.
Transfer the cooked, chilled green beans into the pan with the mushroom sauce and toss until combined. Pour the green bean mixture into the baking dish and top with the crispy shallot topping.
Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 25-30 minutes.