Green bean casserole from scratch – Dairy free!

Dairy Free Green Beans Casserole

As I mentioned before Thanksgiving, this was my first holiday season being dairy free. It was actually much easier than expected, except when going to other people’s homes for meals. One of the easiest methods I found was to make sure I offer to make my favorite dishes…then I can make sure they are dairy free! And to be honest, none of the other guests even know the difference! My very favorite holiday dish is green bean casserole, and the thought of not being able to eat this creamy and crunchy, salty and bright dish actually made me sad. Drying green beans after blanching In years past, I’m not going to lie, I was a green bean casserole purest…canned soup, canned beans, etc. If you follow my recipes, you know that is odd since I don’t “do” canned goods often. But going dairy free meant taking a whole other approach, and that started with blanching fresh green beans. I cook fresh green beans at least weekly, but this was the first time I attempted blanching. While the process is a bit arduous, however the result was worth the extra effort. The beans were crunchy, earthy, delicious and colorful. The secret, I discovered from some research, is to make sure the boiling water is incredibly salty (I read somewhere you want to have the water be twice as salty as the ocean). The salt not only adds some flavor (don’t worry, just a tad of saltiness seeps in), but it also helps bring out the vibrant green color of the beans. Blanched Green Beans The sauce of this recipe was very easy. You can use mushrooms instead of leeks, they will both add that great umami flavor to the dish. I only used leeks because of some of the diners’ adversities to mushrooms. The onions, mushrooms, sherry and broth all simmer together to create an incredible flavor that will make your holiday, or any day, meal memorable…but don’t mess with the canned French’s Fried Onions…those are a flavor/texture not worth messing with!

Green Beans Casserole 2

Green bean casserole from scratch - Dairy free!
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Homemade green bean casserole from scratch with no dairy!
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12 servings
  • ½ cup salt
  • Large bowl of ice water
  • 2.5 lbs Fresh green beans
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Smart Balance (dairy free butter substitute)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • ½ Vidalia onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 large leek, 1 inch diameter + (chopped)
  • 5 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cooking sherry
  • 2.5 cups chicken stock (store bought or homemade), may use vegetable stock to make the recipe vegan
  • 2 cups French's crispy onions
  1. Place salt in a large pot of water (enough to cover your green beans) and bring to a boil
  2. When water is boiling rapidly, add green beans, making sure to keep an eye on them
  3. Cook beans for 1 -2 minutes, or until they are cooked, but still crunchy
  4. Drain bean immediately and submerge them in the ice water for 2 minutes
  5. Remove beans from ice water and dry them with paper towels
  6. Set blanched beans aside
  7. In a large, deep, heavy pan, place olive oil, butter substitute and garlic and turn heat on to medium-high
  8. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add onions and cover, cooking for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent
  9. Stir in paproka
  10. Add leeks, cover again, and cook for an additional 5 minutes
  11. Remove lid and continue to cook until mixture begins to brown, about 5 more minutes
  12. Add flour and stir until the flour is completely incorporated into the mixture
  13. Slowly add sherry while continuously stirring the mixture
  14. When the mixture is smooth, with no flour lumps, begin to add stock a ½ cup at a time, stirring each time until it is well incorporated
  15. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, or until the mixture reaches the desired thickness
  16. Add the green beans, coating them evenly with the mixture
  17. Cook for an additional 3 minutes
  18. Spread the mixture into a baking dish
  19. You may refrigerate the mixture now, or continue. If refrigerating, make sure to bring the pan back to room temperature before continuing with the instructions
  20. Preheat oven to 350
  21. Pour the French's Onions evenly over the top of the pan of green beans
  22. Bake for 30 minutes, or until beans are bubbly and the onions have begun to brown
  23. Enjoy with your beautiful holiday meal!


About Renee {Eat.Live.Blog}

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love food, cooking, creating recipes and finding the best hidden gems restaurants around. Follow my adventures in all these things and more!

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