Preparing a dish for Thanksgiving can be tricky for multiple reasons. Not only do you have to think about how much time it’ll take you to get all of the ingredients prepped and ready to go, but if you’re trying to be mindful of carbs, you have to get a little creative with your dinner spread. So, how do you whip up something comforting and crowd-pleasing without compromising your carb intake or barricading yourself in the kitchen all day? Look no further than our green bean casserole with cashew gravy.
Surely you’ve had a green bean casserole or two at past Thanksgiving gatherings. You probably know the dish for its savory flavors, the creamy base of veggies and gravy, and the deliciously crunchy onions on top.
Our take on the dish includes these staples and much more: Instead of a traditional gravy or cream of mushroom soup, our recipe calls for a homemade cashew-based gravy. In addition to cashews (which are rich in heart-healthy fats), our gravy features fresh garlic, thyme, white mushrooms (which contain B vitamins that can also help promote heart health), tamari or soy sauce, and vegetable broth. Not only does the cashew gravy add some extra nutrients into the mix, but it also helps keep the recipe’s overall carb count low at just 15 grams total.
While this casserole won’t take you all day to cook, you do need to plan out a couple of steps in advance. For instance, to prepare the cashew gravy, you’ll need to soak your cashews overnight so they can blend easily the next day with the rest of the ingredients in your gravy. However, if you’re short on time, you can also soak the cashews in hot water for at least a half hour before you start cooking, says One Drop coach, Danica Crouse, a registered dietitian/nutritionist (RDN) and certified nutrition support clinician (CNSC).
Alternatively, you can also choose to go with a traditional gravy instead of our cashew-based version. For a traditional gravy, follow the same steps outlined below, but after cooking the mushroom mixture in your skillet, transfer the mixture to a bowl, then add two tablespoons each of olive oil and flour to the same skillet. Stir until a paste forms, add your vegetable broth, whisk away any lumps, and cook for about five minutes, until the liquid thickens into a gravy, adding in more water or broth if the gravy is too thick, and more flour if it’s too thin. Then, add the mushroom mixture back into the skillet with your gravy, and stir to combine.
For an extra crunch, try coating your onions with panko breadcrumbs instead of whole wheat crumbs before they go in the oven. Just keep in mind that this swap would cut down some of the recipe’s fiber content and increase its carb count. If you have diabetes, you may want to consider checking your blood sugar before and after trying the dish to make sure you understand its effects on your health.
If you’re looking for a richer, cheesier flavor, you can also add parmesan cheese or, to keep the recipe plant-based, nutritional yeast (which is often used in vegan recipes to yield a nutty, savory, or cheesy flavor).
No matter which version you choose to make, this green bean casserole is sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving dinner. (And did we mention how tasty the leftovers will be on Black Friday?)
Green Bean Casserole
Serving size: ~¾ cup
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Estimated Nutrition Analysis (per serving)
Saturated Fat: 1g
- 1.5 lbs green beans, trimmed
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 12 oz white mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 medium sized onions
- 1 small shallot
- 2 tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp low sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
- ½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh)
- Black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight
- ½ cup water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you wash and prepare all the produce. Thinly slice the onions. Trim the green beans, slice the mushrooms, and dice the shallot.
- Add the sliced onions to a large bowl. Coat with 1 tbsp olive oil, whole wheat flour, breadcrumbs, and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Then, spread onions out on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the onions for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and begin to crisp. Toss halfway through to avoid excess browning. Remove from the oven and turn down the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While the onions are baking, prepare a large bowl of ice water and blanch the green beans. Add the green beans to boiling water. Cook for 3-5 minutes and drain in a colander before placing in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, drain again and place on a kitchen towel to dry.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining olive oil and diced shallot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Then, add garlic, mushrooms, salt, thyme, and tamari or soy sauce. Cook for about 7-8 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and brown. Add the broth and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the liquid starts to evaporate.
- Add the soaked cashews and water to a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and smooth. Then, add the cream to the skillet with mushrooms.
- Spray a 9x13 baking pan with a nonstick cooking spray. Add the green beans, ¼ of the crispy onions, and the mushroom gravy. Toss gently to combine. Then, top with the remaining onions. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.