Lightened-Up Green Bean Casserole
More Thanksgiving dishes?? Well duh.
I’ve told you before, this is one of my absolute favorite holidays. A time to spend with friends and family, sharing memories over delicious food and great wine. Do I care if I need to throw on drawstring pants and lay down in a food coma my jeans are a bit tight? Not one little bit. In fact, I welcome it. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and indulged in, and anyone that tells you otherwise clearly hasn’t sat around my family’s table!Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to deep-fry my turkey and call it a day. Even when indulging, it’s still a smart idea to cook healthy…especially during the holidays. This lightened-up green been casserole is a great substitute to the original recipe everyone knows and loves. This was surprisingly easy to make and leaves you with a homemade sauce that is simply swoon-worthy!
I threw in some dried cranberries for fun and to give the dish a bit of color, but you could even chop up tomatoes and add those in. Like I said above, this sauce is absolutely amazing and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever make my green bean casserole the old-fashioned way again. Combining non-fat buttermilk, fresh thyme, a little flour and some ranch dressing mix, this homemade sauce has everything you could want in a rich, decadent side dish. Oh and of course you can’t forget the fresh mushrooms.I topped everything with traditional crumbled french onions and also added whole wheat panko as well. The great thing is, you can make this the night before Thanksgiving and keep it in the fridge over night. Now the green beans won’t be as crisp as they would be if you made this the day of, but the sauce will have marinated and the flavors would be even more intense!! Plus it saves you time from making yet one more dish when you could be playing board games with your family!
Yeah we’re huge nerds.
So feel free to pair this with my sausage, sage and apple stuffing and my delicious old-fashioned cranberry sauce for a Thanksgiving that is guilt-free, delicious and, if you’re anything like me, filled with hours of competitive board games and puzzles!
Wine too, there is always wine.
- 1½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
- 2 Tbsp light butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups fat-free milk
- ½ cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. light butter
- 1 (8 oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup French onions, crushed
- ½ cup whole wheat panko
- Handful of dried cranberries, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil fresh green beans in salted water covered for about 5 minutes. Drain and blanch on ice to stop cooking process then pat dry. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk in flour until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly for about 3 to 4 minutes until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and whisk in buttermilk, ranch dressing, thyme and salt and pepper.
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt one teaspoon of butter and add mushrooms. Saute for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned, and remove from heat. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes then toss with green beans in the ranch-buttermilk sauce.
- Place mixture in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with spray. Sprinkle with crumbled French onions and panko over green beans and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Top should be golden brown and bubbly. Enjoy!