Healthy Green Bean Casserole
Typical green bean casseroles bathe ingredients in a heavy cream sauce. Our healthy version has fewer calories and fat, thanks to a homemade roux.
Why Is This Green Bean Casserole Healthier than Others?
Typical green bean casseroles call for canned green beans, which can be high in sodium. Fresh green beans are a better option to reduce the sodium content, and they hold their texture better than canned. We skip the canned soup too, which is can be high in sodium, fat and calories. Instead, we thicken the casserole with a roux made from extra-virgin olive oil and flour, with low-fat milk added to make the creamy base.
What Should You Serve with This Casserole?
This simple side dish can be prepared for a holiday meal or a weeknight dinner. It pairs well with many main dishes, including Beef Tenderloin with Cabernet-Mushroom Sauce, Roast Turkey with White Wine Gravy, Roasted Leg of Lamb with Red Wine-Shallot Sauce, Fish Amandine and Crispy Roast Chicken.
Healthy green bean casserole can also be the main course when paired with Wild Rice Salad with Arugula Pesto, Herbed Lemon Orzo or Winter Kale & Quinoa Salad with Avocado.
Additional reporting by Jan Valdez
Large rimmed baking sheets, 2-quart broiler-safe baking dish
To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs.
Variation: to add extra flavor to the cream sauce, at the end of Step 3 stir in 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage or parsley. Or make it cheesy by stirring in 1/2 cup shredded or crumbled cheese, such as Gruyère, Swiss, Cheddar or blue cheese.
To make ahead
Roast green beans (Step 2) up to 30 minutes ahead. Prepare the sauce (Step 3), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; gently reheat until steaming before combining with the green beans.
1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 fat