If you're looking for a dairy-free version of your favorite casserole, this Vegan Green Bean Casserole recipe is it! It's filled with green beans and mushrooms, then coated in a creamy, garlic cauliflower sauce and topped with crispy onions.
Ohhhh boy oh boy, this vegan green bean casserole is out of this world! No seriously, it's going to rock your Thanksgiving because it's made with the most delicious cauliflower sauce. After all, Thanksgiving is a time to be with family, and just as importantly, a time to stuff our faces with mass amounts of food.
Thanksgiving means spending time with family and friends, and typically taking time off of work. Oh, and enjoying some of my favorite recipes that I usually only eat once per year, like my vegan mushroom gravy and vegan sweet potato pie.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Healthy green bean casserole that's made with a creamy cauliflower sauce, which is the BEST way to squeeze in more veggies
- It's topped with homemade crispy onions
- This recipe is vegan and can easily be made gluten free, so everyone can enjoy it!
A full ingredient list is in the recipe card below; this is simply to provide further clarification and substitution options should you need them.
- Green beans - save yourself the agony and buy pre-trimmed green beans (trust me!), and always use fresh green beans, not frozen or canned
- Cauliflower - fresh or frozen; cook it ahead of time so it's ready to go
- Garlic - fresh garlic cloves are what give the sauce its flavor; I don't recommend using garlic powder
- Mushrooms - baby bella, white or cremini work well
- Breadcrumbs - can use gluten free breadcrumbs to keep this entire recipe gluten free
- Cornstarch - or sub arrowroot or all purpose flour
- Almond milk - any dairy free milk will work; I tend to opt for unsweetened almond milk or oat milk
Step 1: Bring green beans to a boil in a large pot over the stovetop. Once they're cooked, drain and set them aside, but while they're cooking you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Sauté the onions. While the beans are cooking, you'll cook the onions in a large skillet with vegan butter for 6 minutes or so, then add the breadcrumbs and sauté for an additional 3-5 minutes. Use a large spoon to remove the onions and set aside; we're going to continue using that same skillet.
Step 3: Cook the mushrooms. Add olive oil and mushrooms to that same skillet. Cook the mushrooms for approximately 8 minutes or until they're soft.
Step 4: Make the sauce. While the mushrooms are cooking, make the cauliflower sauce. Add cooked cauliflower, garlic, milk, and salt to a blender and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Add black pepper to taste.
Step 5: Combine. Pour the cauliflower sauce into the skillet with the mushrooms, then add the vegetable broth, additional milk, and cornstarch and stir over medium-low heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Then, add the cooked green beans and stir until they're coated in the sauce.
Last, pour the entire green bean mixture into a baking dish, then top it off with the onions and bake it for 25-30 minutes. If you want the onions to be super crispy, you can broil the casserole for 5 minutes, which should do the trick!
Tips + FAQs
- This is a smaller-sized casserole recipe; the whole dish serves approximately 6 people. If you want to double the recipe, simply adjust the serving size in the recipe card, and use a larger (9x13) casserole dish.
- Want the onions to be extra crispy? After the casserole is done baking, switch the oven to BROIL and broil everything for 5 minutes.
- Make sure to taste test the cauliflower sauce before pouring it into the skillet. Does it need more salt? Black pepper? Garlic? Add them in before incorporating the sauce.
- You could add a handful of vegan parmesan cheese to the cauliflower sauce once it's poured into the skillet if you'd like!
How does this recipe differ from traditional green bean casserole?
Traditional: canned green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup (super salty!), fried onions (typically store-bought), and some recipes use cheese as well
Vegan: fresh green beans, a homemade creamy mushroom sauce made with cauliflower and homemade cooked onions
Can I use store-bought onions instead?
Sure can! If you prefer super crunchy onions, you'll want to use store-bought crispy fried onions -- just make sure they're vegan-friendly first!
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Prepare the casserole and wait for it to cool to room temperature. Then, wrap it in plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 weeks. To reheat, remove the foil/plastic wrap and heat at 350° in the oven until warmed through.
Make-ahead: Assemble the casserole, but leave the onions off. Wrap the dish in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in advance, then add the onions on top before baking.
More Thanksgiving recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
for the crispy onions:
- 2 yellow onions sliced
- ¼ cup dairy free butter
- ½ cup plain breadcrumbs can use gluten free
for the cauliflower sauce:
- 2 cups cooked cauliflower
- ½ cup almond milk or any kind of milk
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
for the casserole:
- 24 oz. green beans fresh or frozen
- 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or more
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup almond milk or any kind of milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
- Preheat oven 375°.
- Cook green beans in a pot over stovetop; once cooked, set aside.
- While beans are cooking, make the crispy onions: heat butter over medium heat in a large, deep skillet and add the onions. Sauté onions for 6 minutes or until they start to soften, then add the breadcrumbs, reduce heat to medium-low and cook onions for an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions and set aside. Use a paper towel to wipe out skillet (it does't have to be perfectly clean). Then, in that same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook mushrooms for 2 minutes, then add ¼ cup of the vegetable broth and continue simmering until the mushrooms soften.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, make the cauliflower sauce.
- To make the sauce: place cooked cauliflower, milk, garlic, and salt in a blender and pulse until smooth; add pepper to taste, along with additional salt if needed.
- Pour cauliflower sauce into skillet with mushrooms; stir in the remaining broth, ¼ cup almond milk and cornstarch and stir on medium-low heat until the sauce thickens. At this point, pour cooked green beans into skillet and mix everything together so that beans are coated with the sauce and mushrooms.
- Grease a casserole dish (I used a 2.5 quart dish) with nonstick spray then pour the beans into the dish. Sprinkle onions overtop and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- If you want the onions extra crispy, turn broiler on high and broil for 3-5 minutes before removing dish from the oven. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in November 2015. It was updated with new text in November 2022.
This looks really delicious! I'm soooo tired of cooking green beans the same way, so I'm definitely going to give this a try!
Im very excited to try this recipe out!! Thank you. Do you chicken would work instead of mushrooms? A couple ppl in my family don't like mushrooms. Also did you make the bread crumbs? (Silly question, new to cooking fun dishes)
I imagine chicken would work, yes, as long as it's cooked beforehand in a skillet and THEN placed in the casserole dish (similar to the mushrooms). And I didn't make the bread crumbs--I just used store-bought plain bread crumbs.
I used to adore green bean casserole, but gave it up long ago because it contains things I can no longer eat. This is such a great alternative! And those crispy onions on top just bring it all together.
Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says
that cauliflower sauce instead of cream of mushroom soup is genius!
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health says
We must be channeling each other during recipe development because I made a green bean casserole that's almost identical to this...except mine is made with vegan "cream" of mushroom soup. Yours is so much prettier though! I fried shallots without any breading and they look like burnt crap in the pictures, lol.
Anyways, I love what you wrote about Miguel and his family...I think it is awesome that you are open minded enough to appreciate a different culture and to love it as much as your own. They are going to love this casserole!! 🙂
giiiiiirrrrrrrl! this has my name all over it. That sauce. so genius. Save me a plate, ok?
Emilie @ Emilie Eats says
This is genius!! Cauliflower is the best because it's just so dang versatile. I haven't planned my part of the Thanksgiving menu, but this looks like it could please everyone!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Erin I simply love this gluten/dairy free green bean casserole with a hefty dose of cauliflower! Hey it would be perfect with rice, chicken and crab legs, if Miguel's family goes that route again!
You know I love my green bean casserole. Totes making this for my fam's thanksgiving.
Arman @ thebigmansworld says
omg she actually made it! I concur that we both inspired this recipe. :p
Dani @ Dani California Cooks says
Yum!! Love that this uses cauliflower - honestly my favorite veggie swap for anything. Nate and I will be on the East Coast for thanksgiving as well with his family. I'm flying into DC next week before Thanksgiving and I'm looking forward to catching up with some of my best friends while I lived there.
Bre @bumpandrunchat says
Looks yummy! I'm from DC, a great place to spend the holiday! I hope you have fun and enjoy all that non-traditional food=)
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
I love the cauli-sauce! Yum! I've never even had green bean casserole 😛