Lighter Green Bean Casserole

It’s the end of Holiday Side Dish week for me! I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes I’ve shared with you this week and that you’ve checked out what the other bloggers have made and that we’ve helped you add some great dishes to your Thanksgiving menu.

I saw an article recently that the creator of green bean casserole had passed away. Dorcas Reilly worked for Campbell’s in the 1950’s and combined green beans with cream of mushroom soup, calling the dish Green Bean Bake. Eventually the dish was turned into green bean casserole, a side dish served on Thanksgiving by the masses.

Or not, actually. I thought everyone had green bean casserole on Thanksgiving, but apparently that isn’t the case. A lot of people completely despise the dish and have no interest in eating it at all. To be honest, I’m not really a fan of the original version using the canned soup and french fried green beans, but I do like the combination of green beans and mushrooms so I made this lighter version of the dish.



Lighter Green Bean Casserole

A lighter version of the classic green bean casserole dish.

  • Author: NicholeL
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 37 mins
  • Total Time: 47 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven


  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz. mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk, half-and-half or cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add in the green beans.
  3. Fill a bowl with ice cubes and water, set aside.
  4. Cook the green beans for 2-3 minutes and then transfer immediately to the bowl of ice water.
  5. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a colander, draining excess water.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook for 3-4 minutes or until just softened.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Transfer the green beans and mushroom mixture into the bowl and stir until everything is coated.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle a layer of the shaved Parmesan on top, followed by the Panko bread crumbs.
  9. Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until bread crumbs are toasted and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.


Parmesan can be replaced with Gruyere or Asiago. For a cheesier casserole, use Provolone, Swiss or white cheddar.

Keywords: lighter green bean casserole, green bean casserole, side dish, thanksgiving, christmas, holiday, green beans, mushrooms, onion, cheese

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Considering this has milk, cheese and bread crumbs, I wouldn’t exactly call it healthy but it definitely is lighter than the original version. I prefer the panko on top to french fried onions because they still provide the crunchy aspect. I had planned on making this again for Thanksgiving, but I tried out another variety of green bean casserole that Tom absolutely loved so I’ll be making that instead. I hope to get it blogged and shared with you soon.


More delicious holiday side dish recipes:



  1. I think the reason I’m not crazy about green bean casserole is because you can’t taste the beans. Your version sounds like it takes care of that problem.

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