A new, healthy twist on this classic holiday side dish, this Green Bean Quinoa Casserole is packed with flavor and will be a huge crowd pleaser!
I really wanted to lighten up the typical Green Bean Casserole that everyone makes on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I figured I'd use fresh green beans (a MUST!) and definitely take out the cream of mushroom soup.
Once I started to prepare it I realized I could add one thing that's packed with plant-based protein, fiber and minerals and is also naturally gluten-free! Yes, QUINOA!
Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to trash talk all of the Green Bean Casserole lovers who love it with the creamed soup and canned beans. There's still some of those fried onions in there.
I just used less and added some panko breadcrumbs for some extra crunch. You can try this dish and let me know which one you like better. I will not be offended if you like the other way better, I will just be shocked!
Why You Should Make This Green Bean Casserole
Well, as I stated above, this version of green bean casserole is way healthier than what your mom made years ago. This recipe contains all whole ingredients that are easy to find in the grocery store.
Many people think holidays are the time to splurge and I agree, but why not lighten up some of your favorites and have them still taste delicious? I promise you aren't sacrificing flavor at all.
And because the holiday are hectic enough, this green bean casserole can easily be prepared ahead of time and placed in the refrigerator until you re ready to cook. I love finding ways to save time when I entertain because I am usually act like a crazy person when I am hosting a holiday.
- Quinoa - One of my favorite plant-based protein sources ever. Quinoa is so incredibly versatile and is packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants.
- Vegetable Broth - You can use whatever broth you have in the house; bone broth, chicken broth or beef broth. I used a low sodium vegetable broth to keep this vegetarian and to lighten up on the sodium. Typical green bean casseroles are loaded with sodium from the canned soups.
- Green beans
- Whole wheat flour - This is a little more healthy than your typical white all purpose flour. Whole wheat flour contains protein, fiber and some vitamins and minerals unlike white flour.
- Milk - I've made this green bean casserole with regular whole milk and unsweetened almond milk and it tasted great either way. Use what you have I your house or whatever your dietary preferences are.
- Fried Onions - Ok, so before you message me telling me how unhealthy these fried onions are, I only use ¼ cup in the entire casserole. You can use the regular kind or these that are gluten free, GMO free, low carb and sodium free and make a healthy substitute.
- Panko bread crumbs - These have a drier consistency than regular bread crumbs which allows for a lighter, crunchier taste. I like to use these whole wheat panko bread crumbs for a little extra fiber.
- Parmesan cheese - Personally I think grating your own cheese really makes a different in taste, but that's just me. It takes minimal effort and takes a couple of minutes to grate.
Recipe FAQ's and Expert Tips
Yes, I would place the leftovers in an airtight container and leave in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you Ould like to reheat, I would suggest heating in the oven to make sure the topping stays crunchy. Microwaving might make it mushy. I would place in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
It's super helpful to prep this the day before to save time. Follow all of the instructions up until you place it in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to cook. So easy!
Yes, I have used both broccoli and cauliflower instead of green beans in this casserole and it was delicious. I would love to hear any other vegetables that you guys have used in here so I can try that too.
Green Bean Quinoa Casserole
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 1 ½ pounds fresh green beans ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup fried onions
- 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place quinoa and 1 ½ cup broth into large sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until all broth is absorbed.
- While quinoa is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
- Add green beans and cook for about 3 minutes so they are crisp and not fully cooked. Drain in colander and set aside.
- In a large skillet, add oil. onion and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes.
- Add flour to mushroom mixture and mix well.
- Add broth and milk and continue to stir to prevent lumps. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add cheese, quinoa and green beans and remove from heat.
- Top with Parmesan cheese, fried onions and panko crumbs.
- Place in a baking dish and cook for 30 minutes uncovered.