The classic Thanksgiving side dish gets a milk free makeover in this dairy free green bean casserole, mushrooms are optional. Makes 8 servings.

overhead shot, close up of cast iron skillet with dairy free green bean casserole with a serving spoon with wooden handle

What I love about vegan green bean casserole

I know it feels like Thanksgiving is a million months away still, but before you know it, it the trees will have lost their leaves and we’ll all be scrambling to figure out what we’re contributing to our Thanksgiving dinners.

It can be even harder if you’re living dairy free, but this green bean skillet casserole is the dish you should make. It’s the best way to make sure you aren’t going to leave hungry – or sick – and,  you won’t have to miss out on a classic Thanksgiving dish. Plus, it has vegetables, so that makes it healthy, right?

Personally, I have never been a big fan of mushrooms, so I choose to leave them out, but if you wanted to add mushrooms to this dish, you could sauté some chopped mushrooms with the onion.

This would not only give you more volume for your dish, it would add even more flavor (flavor that I don’t really care for, but flavor all the same). So mushrooms or no mushrooms. It’s your decision.

More classic holiday side dishes: healthy sweet potato casserole / homemade stuffing / pineapple stuffing / vegan scalloped potatoes

cast iron skillet with dairy free green bean casserole with a serving spoon with wooden handle
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Here’s what you’ll need to make this green bean casserole:

woman at a kitchen counter trimming fresh green beans with a pair of scissors, trimmed green beans on a cutting board

Using a skillet for this dairy free green bean casserole is also a totally optional thing. If you want to transfer the green beans and sauce to a casserole dish before baking, go for it. I think this would be especially helpful if you’re bring the casserole somewhere, because cast iron skillets can get quite heavy. If you’re making it at home though, this is the cast iron is way to go. You only dirty one pan, and that can be a game changer if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Nobody likes dishes, right?

How do you make green bean casserole with fresh green beans?

Mise en place. Get everything ready first so you aren’t scrambling later. Chop one onion and minced some garlic. Trim the ends from your green beans and cut them into 2- or 3-inch pieces. Measure your liquids, your flour and your crispy onions.

woman at a kitchen counter chopping an onion, with a bowl of fresh green beans next to the cutting board

Stovetop prep. Heat a large oven-proof skillet to medium high. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic with a pinch of coarse salt. If you want to put chopped mushrooms in your green bean casserole, add them now (about 1 cup). Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and translucent.

Make the sauce. Add the flour and stir until it absorbs all the excess oil. Then, slowly whisk in the liquids, one at a time, until everything is nice and smooth.

Add the green beans and stir to coat them evenly in the creamy sauce. Top it all with crispy, french-fried onions, and transfer to the oven. Bake, uncovered for 15 – 20 minutes. Give your casserole time to cool before serving, about 10 minutes.

a serving spoon holding dairy free green bean casserole above a skillet

Make ahead tips for dairy free green bean casserole

If you want to make your green bean casserole ahead of time, prepare everything except the crispy onions. Cover the casserole and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. Let it come to it’s almost room temperature, top with onions and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations

  • Gluten free: Use 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch instead of the all-purpose flour, gluten free broth and gluten free french fried onions.
  • Vegan: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Nut free: Use coconut or hemp milk instead of the almond milk.

10 EASY DAIRY FREE SUBSTITUTIONS

Not sure where to get started with dairy free swaps? I’m here to help! Subscribe now to receive my free guide to dairy free substitutes.

    More dairy free Thanksgiving basics: vegan scalloped potatoes / dairy free pumpkin pie / homemade stuffing

    overhead shot of a cast iron skillet with dairy free green bean casserole with a serving spoon with wooden handle, blue and white striped towel around the handle
    Print

    Green Bean Casserole

    This is the easiest, dairy free green bean casserole and you’ll only dirty one pan making it. Make it vegan with vegetable broth.

    • Author: Melissa Belanger
    • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    • Cook Time: 25 minutes
    • Total Time: 40 minutes
    • Yield: 8 servings 1x
    • Category: Sides
    • Method: Stovetop
    • Cuisine: American

    Ingredients

    Scale
    • 1 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and halved
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
    • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 cups fried onions

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch green beans for about 4 minutes, or until bright green and slightly tender. Drain.
    3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    4. Whisk in flour until a roux has formed. Slowly add broth, whisking into the roux until smooth. Add almond milk and continue to whisk. Add onion powder, salt and pepper.  Bring sauce to a simmer and allow it to thicken, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired.
    5. Stir in green beans and 1/2 cup onions until evenly coated in sauce. Top casserole with remaining onions and bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and onions have browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size:
    • Calories: 84
    • Sugar: 3.7 g
    • Sodium: 267.1 mg
    • Fat: 4.2 g
    • Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
    • Carbohydrates: 10.6 g
    • Fiber: 2.7 g
    • Protein: 2.5 g
    • Cholesterol: 0.5 mg

    Keywords: dairy free, vegan, easy, from scratch, fresh

    Last Updated on October 11, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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    Recipe rating

    41 Comments

    1. I made this for dinner last night and my husband told me it was the best green bean casserole I had ever made. This one’s a keeper! So glad I stumbled across your blog. My daughter has a dairy/soy allergy and I breastfeed so that means I pretty much do to.

      1. That’s awesome! I’m so glad to hear it, and I’m glad you found my blog, too. Let me know if there are any recipes you’d like to see in the future!

    2. In the past I had not been a big green bean casserole fan but I am now because this is amazing! Whether you want dairy in your casserole or not I would highly recommend serving this recipe.

      1. I am about to make this right now, and I’m choosing this recipe because friends of ours can’t have any yeast or gluten, so this wil be a hit! I’m also trying to find recipes for mushroom meatloaf, vegan style of course! These are wonderful comfort foods for the winter months and I know my husband is just going to love them! Thank you for the recipe!

    3. There’s nothing better than a green bean casserole that uses real ingredients! This is perfect for Thanksgiving or any time at all!

    4. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m so glad I found your blog. This is my first holiday season going through completely dairy free, and I knew I was going to agonize over not having my grandmas green bean cassarole. I’m sending this to her right away!

      1. Yes! That’s perfect! I’m so glad you found me too 🙂 Feel free to send me an email if you need help with anything or what to request a recipe!

    5. Will it make a big difference if it is not cooked in a skillet? I don’t have one and am concerned that it won’t cone out the same. Thank you!

      1. No not really. It’s just one less pan to clean. You can use any oven-proof skillet or even use the pan you blanched the green beans in and transfer everything to a baking dish before topping it with the fried onions.

      1. I think so! I’m not that familiar with rice milk since we don’t use it, but I think it might be a little thinner than almond milk. If that’s the case you may want to add an additional tablespoon of flour to make up for it being a bit thinner. If you try it, I’d love to know how it turns out!

    6. You forgot to add onions to the ingredients and instructions ? thankfully we are doing our thanksgiving 2 days late so I’m able to make a last minute trip to the grocery store. I suggest updating this so no one else goes through this.

    7. Hello, Is it OK to use 2 cans of cut green beans?? And is 2 cans enough for your recipe?? Thanks for responding! Dr. Sue

    8. A must-try recipe! This is delicious and truly better than traditional green bean casserole. It tastes indulgent and doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing out. This is the only green bean casserole you should serve for Thanksgiving, not simply a DF/GF alternative. Also, you can make it ahead in the skillet, stick it in the fridge, then throw it in the oven when you need to. The ingredient list is mainly items you already have, too! So little fuss!

    9. Can I use frozen green beans? And if so would I just put them in the recipe without doing anything to them first? Thank you

      1. Absolutely! Just skip the blanching step. If you aren’t going to thaw them, I would maybe add an additional tablespoon of flour for thickening.

    10. Hi – I made your green bean casserole before it is great.! Do you think it would be ok to use unsweetened Oat milk instead of almond milk?

      Thanks

    11. I haven’t made this yet but I’m very excited to try it for our Thanksgiving meal. We have chicken egg and dairy allergies in our home. Would goat milk(fresh) substitute well?

    12. My only comment would be to please put the list of ingredients closer to the top of the page. Pet-peeve having to scroll all the way to the bottom for the ingredients & recipe

      1. There is a jump to recipe button at the top so that you don’t have to scroll, but I’m glad you like the recipe. Thank you for the review!

    13. Hi! I can’t wait to try this, my daughter is dairy free due to her baby breastfeeding and she was most sad about missing the green bean casserole! Can you prep it all the night before and then bake it the next day? Thanks!

    14. I have frozen trader joe string beans and I enjoy the idea of cooking in cast iiron pan. Please advice what is best way of cooking . I also have to bring to thanksgiving dinner and want it to last with crispyness. Appreciate your advice!

    15. It calls for chopped onion but doesn’t say where to add it. And says to add onion powder but that’s not listed on the ingredients!

      Thanks.

    16. Firstly, the recipe is delicious. However there are three errors in this recipe. The onions are completely omitted from the directions, there is an ingredient in the directions that aren’t in the ingredient list (onion powder), and the directions don’t say anything about the fried onions. It just says “onions”. I’m not sure how any recipe developer or food blogger can allow this to happen.

      Also, this website is infested with advertisements it’s nearly impossible to read any part of the recipe or directions.

    17. I don’t ever take the time to review recipes but I had to with this one. This was the best green bean casserole I’ve ever had! And you couldn’t even tell a difference that it was dairy free. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    18. I made this dairy-free green bean casserole recipe for Christmas dinner. It was absolutely delicious! I will never use a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup again—-this recipe is SO much better. I doubled the recipe for a 9x 13 glass baking dish. Used 4 cans of green beans (drained) and definitely use unsweetened almond milk. Don’t use vanilla flavored almond milk!