Green Bean Casserole

July 26, 2015

It’s green and yellow bean season. The only way we generally eat fresh beans, other as an ingredient in soups and stews,  is steamed with a bit of salt. However, I understand that the Green Bean in Mushroom Soup Casserole has been a staple for ever. I just have never eaten it. Faced with a bowl full of leftover steamed green beans, I went in search of a vegan Green Bean Casserole. Oh She Glows had a variation of one from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, and both had rave reviews on the casserole. Being a fan of both of these blogs I decided to try it out, with some modifications.

Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole
Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole

Both Oh She Glows and Fat Free Vegan Kitchen used a vegetable broth thickened with flour and either almond milk or soy creamer for their mushroom sauce. Since I wanted this to be gluten-free as well, I decided to go the cashew cream route for a super rich creamy mushroom sauce base. I used unsweetened cashew milk and soaked cashews for a sauce that thickened up like crazy. If you don’t have cashew milk (its new on the market and not always in stock) you can always substitute a bit more soaked cashews and water for your own homemade cashew milk.

Also, both blogs recommended topping with canned French fried onions. Instead, I fried thinly sliced onions until crispy, seasoned them and used them as the topping. And both baked the casserole but I just did it on the stove top. However, you could make this ahead of time and pop it in the oven to heat it up.

I have to say this recipe lived up to all the rave reviews. It is delicious. Rich, creamy and bursting with flavor, without the addition of butter or cream.

Ingredients for green bean casserole (missing the soaked cashews)
Ingredients for green bean casserole (missing the soaked cashews)

Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole

  • 3 cups steamed green or yellow beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used cremini)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cashew milk
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for about 2 hours
  • 1/2 cup water, or more
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • green onions
  • 1/2 large Spanish onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Steam your beans until tender crisp. You can do this step ahead of time. I used leftover steamed beans from yesterday’s dinner.

Saute the Spanish onion in olive oil (add a bit of garlic if desired) until crispy but not burned. This is best done slowly on a low heat. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a blender, blend cashew milk and soaked cashews until creamy.

In a small saucepan, sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms in 1 tbsp olive oil until onions are translucent and mushrooms have released their liquid. Add cashew milk mixture and about 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne. Cook until thickened. If the sauce thickens too much, add a bit more water. Add green beans and green onions and simmer until beans are very tender. Top with the crispy fried onions and serve hot.  (Alternatively, you can add the green beans to the sauce, top with the onions and put in a 350F oven to bake until heated through.)

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