Recipe: Holiday Green Bean Casserole

Nov 22, 2021 | Tara Schmidt, Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist | @taraschmidt | Comments (3)

Written by Carly Herr, a Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences dietetic intern. 

This green bean casserole puts a nutritious twist on a classic, holiday favorite. The recipe uses a homemade white sauce to help keep both the sodium content and calories low. Add it to any holiday dinner menu as a healthy and wholesome side dish!

Number of servings: 10

Serving Size: About 2/3 cup


  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup fresh whole-grain breadcrumbs


Heat oven to 350 F.

Heat a large skillet over low heat and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add sliced onion and sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are golden. Remove onions from skillet and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil, chopped onion and garlic to skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add water and mushrooms, cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour and thyme over mixture and stir. Gradually stir in the milk. Increase heat to medium and stir constantly until the sauce thickens.

To cook the green beans, boil for 8 to 10 minutes in water. (Or, to save time, cook the beans with 2 tablespoons of water, covered in the microwave on high for 5 minutes.)

Drain beans and set aside. Spray a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray and place the green beans in the casserole. Pour the mushroom sauce over the green beans. Top with the sautéed onion slices and fresh breadcrumbs. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Nutritional analysis per serving:

  • Calories – 78
  • Total Fat – 2 g
  • Saturated fat – Trace
  • Trans fat – Trace
  • Monounsaturated fat – 1 g
  • Cholesterol – 1 mg
  • Sodium – 34 mg
  • Total carbohydrate – 12 g
  • Dietary fiber – 2 g
  • Added Sugars – 0 g
  • Protein – 3 g

Do you have a favorite holiday dish you've altered to meet your health goals?

For this recipe and more, visit Mayo Clinic Healthy Recipes



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Thank you for this version of Green bean casserole. I will use almond milk for milk intolerance family Members. HANK YOU1


Thank you for this version of Green bean casserole. I will use almond milk for milk intolerance family Members. HANK YOU1

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You are most welcome! If your family members are lactose intolerant (as opposed to a milk allergy) I may suggest using a lactose-free milk like Fairlife or Lactaid. This would not impact the flavor profile of the recipe. Let me know how it turns out! What are some of your other favorite Thanksgiving dishes?


Thank you for your suggestion of lactose-free milk – It has been tried and caused much stomach distress; Almond milk seems to be the only way in moderation – strange!

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