Wow – can you believe that this is the last Foodie Friday before Thanksgiving?!? Where does time go? Today, I’ll share a healthy and delicious version of a classic Thanksgiving staple … Green Bean Casserole. Then, I’ll do a round-up of some Lyons’ Share Recipes that might make a great addition to your Thanksgiving Dinner table!
Before I get to the recipe, let me tell you a little story about green bean casserole. Kevin and I started dating at the beginning of our freshman year in college, but we didn’t spend Thanksgiving together until 4 or so years into our relationship. The very first time he came to my family’s Thanksgiving in Dallas, I was in charge of making the green bean casserole (probably because it was easy and I wasn’t a great cook!). If there is one thing in this world that Kevin hates, it is mushrooms, but I knew he wouldn’t be able to taste them if I used the “regular” recipe (with cream of mushroom soup), so I told him there were no mushrooms in the dish. Once everyone had finished eating, and he had commented several times on how good the green beans were, I told him that I did actually use mushrooms … and his face went WHITE. He was embarrassed in front of my family, disgusted by the mushrooms, and mad that I lied … in over 10 years, we’ve honestly gotten in very few fights, and that is probably the maddest I’ve ever seen him! I still thought it was a little funny (oops) but I learned my lesson and will never serve him mushrooms again without telling him! I couldn’t find a picture of that Thanksgiving, but here’s one from my second visit to Tampa, in 2006… it seems so long ago!
OK, back to the recipe. A serving of “regular” green bean casserole surely isn’t going to kill you, and I’m all about enjoying what you love on special occasions. Plus, I really can’t complain if you’re including something green in your meal! So if green bean casserole is your favorite dish and you need the real thing … by all means, go for it!
However, if you love the flavor but want to make it healthier, keep reading! Most green bean casseroles are made with canned green beans (which are very high in sodium, and far lower in fiber than fresh green beans). Then you add in cream of mushroom soup, which adds fat and more sodium to the dish (the average can of cream of mushroom soup contains 81% of your recommended daily intake of sodium!). And you top it all off with fried onions, which Huffington Post says “is akin to crumbling a bulging handful of potato chips and dumping them on your veggies” (OK, that sounds kind of good, but pretend I didn’t say that!).
Anyway, in an effort to preserve all the flavor of the “regular” dish but make it a whole lot healthier, I came up with this recipe last year at Thanksgiving, and no one even knew it was the healthy version! It’s really delicious – you still get the creamy flavor, a bit of crunch, and the warm and hearty feeling that’s perfect for Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy this recipe with your loved ones on Thanksgiving, or any other day of the year!
Healthier Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole
Adapted from this recipe
Serves 6, but can be easily multiplied for a big group!
- 3-4 cups green beans, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1/2 cup baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped (optional!)
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp water
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray baking dish with nonstick spray. Chop your green beans, mushrooms, onion, and zucchini.
- Boil the green beans in the chicken broth + 2 cups of water for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet (sprayed with cooking spray) over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the mushrooms and zucchini, and continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes longer.
- Drain the green beans, but reserve 1 cup of the chicken broth and water mixture. Add the green beans to the skillet with the other vegetables. Pour the reserved chicken broth back into the pot that the green beans boiled in, and bring to a boil.
- While broth is coming to a boil, combine the cornstarch and 2 Tbsp water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the boiling broth, whisking constantly as it thickens, about 2 minutes. (I tried to get a picture of the pouring … photography classes are on my New Year to-do list!)
- Pour the thickened mixture over the green beans, mushrooms, and onions. Add the sour cream and seasonings. Stir well.
- Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with the panko-and-cheese mixture. Bake until the casserole is hot, about 10 minutes, and then broil until the breadcrumb topping is slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Dig in and enjoy!
If made according to these instructions, each serving will have 96 calories, 4g fat, 11g carbs, and 6g protein.
Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up!
All of these recipes have Fall flavors and might fit in well to your Thanksgiving Dinner! Let me know if you enjoy any of them! (Click on each picture for a link to the recipe)
For the Thanksgiving Dinner table…
So tell me in the comments … What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, what is your favorite “Fall-ish” dish? What’s the best way to incorporate fresh vegetables into a holiday meal?