Green Bean Casserole… lightened up!

If you come from an Indian household, you know that Thanksgiving is anything, but traditional.  green bean casserole 033

I mean, where's the turkey?  Where's the cranberry sauce?  And more importantly, why do we have Indian food on the menu?green bean casserole 016

Each Thanksgiving, my sister, Deepa, hosts my entire family and extended family since she's my only sibling who actually cooks "meat" despite being a vegetarian, and for that, I commend her.  She doesn’t take on the whole turkey challenge, but chicken will bean casserole 025

And as much as I complained (and still do) about the highly Indianized menu (and yet no one listens to me), I look forward to my sister’s Chicken Biryani every single year.  It's freakin' amazing, so much so that I don't really miss turkey, perhaps I am more Indian at heart?green bean casserole 038

Growing up in the United States, it took me a while to come to terms with our “non-traditional American-Indian” Thanksgiving, but my US born & bred teenage nieces who range between the ages of 13 to 18, uhmm, not quite the bean casserole 012

This year they've demanded Deepa buy "turkey" from Boston Market along with some "traditional sides" so they can enjoy a more traditional Thanksgiving, if you will.  She bean casserole 055

And now I'm left wondering, how come no one listened to me all those years when I insisted on having a more traditional Thanksgiving?  Well, I guess I'm just a siblinggreen bean casserole 027

To me Thanksgiving is all about family, eating, the biggest sale event of the year, and saying THANKS!  I may not have turkey, but I sure am surrounded by a lot of love, and for that I'm willing to sacrifice any bean casserole 059

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  I hope you all can find joy in your heart this time of year and something in your lives to be thankful for, for me that's always my health, my family & friends and their wellbeing, my job, my blog, and FOOD!green bean casserole 062

And now I leave you with a lighter "almost made from scratch" Green Bean Casserole where I used a little less butter, and opted for regular milk instead of cream.  My casserole turned out a little more liquidy than I had hoped for, but an extra tablespoon of flour will fix that.  Enjoy!green bean casserole 068

NUTRITION: Green Beans are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, and K.  They are also a very good source of Fiber, Folic Acid, Vitamin B2 and B6, and a good source of Iron, Calcium, Protein, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  Mushrooms are a very good source of Vitamin B6 and Protein.  Cheese is an excellent source of Protein and Calcium.  

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 servings, recipe very slightly modified & adapted from Smitten Kitchen):
  • Pot of Water – boiling
  • Fresh Green Beans – 1 pound  (trimmed, halved, steamed)
  • Unsalted Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Baby Bella Cremini Mushrooms – 1 (12 ounce) box  (sliced)
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp
  • Black Pepper – 1/4 tsp
  • Nutmeg – just a pinch
  • Cayenne Pepper – 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic – 2 cloves  (chopped)
  • All Purpose Flour – 2 tbsp  (add 1 more tbsp for a thicker sauce)
  • Low Sodium Chicken Broth – 1 1/2 cups  (you can use Vegetable Broth too)
  • Full Fat Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Medium Cheddar Cheese – 1/2 cup
  • Trader Joe’s Gourmet Fried Onion Pieces – 1/2 cup  (you can use more)

1. Start by bringing water to a boil.
2. In the meantime, trim and cut the beans in half.
3. Once the water comes to a boil, set to medium heat, add the green beans.  Let it steam for 3 to 5 minutes. 
4. Once done, transfer the beans to a ice cold water bath, this will shock the beans and stop the cooking process. 

5. Set aside.
6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.preheat
7. Chop the garlic and slice the mushrooms. 
8. On medium heat, heat bean casserole 082
9. Once melted, add the mushrooms.  Season with salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.  Sauté for 5 minutes until liquid is bean casserole 085
10. In the meantime, grate 1/2 a cup of cheese. 
11. Add the garlic to the mushrooms and cook for about a minute.  green bean casserole 088
12. Add the flour.  I added 2 tbsp of flour, but for a thicker sauce I recommend using 3 bean casserole 090
13. Cook for a minute so the raw flour taste goes away.  green bean casserole 091
14. Slowly add the chicken broth, a little bit at a time.
green bean casserole 093green bean casserole 095

15. Simmer for a minute.  green bean casserole 096
16. Add the milk.  Simmer for about 6 minutes on low-heat, you may need more bean casserole 098
17. As you can tell, my gravy isn’t very thick, I should have let the sauce heat thru for some more time until I reached a desired consistency.  At this point, add the green beans.  Make sure they are well bean casserole 101
18. Top with cheddar bean casserole 102
19. Top with fried bean casserole 103
20. Into the oven for 20 minutes until bubbly.  green bean casserole 104
21. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then serve.  The sauce thickens up slightly. bean casserole 070

TELL ME: How do you make your Green Bean Casserole?  What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side?


  1. Love the new blog layout! I think a combination of Turkey Plus biryani would be a great Thank giving meal :-)

    1. Thanks Amelia.. glad you like it. Turkey Biryani would be awesome... it's a really cool idea actually. :-)

  2. I've been saying the same thing too! I want some real Thanksgiving food on Thanksgiving! This year my family asked me to head up the charge in the kitchen so we are going to be eating some REAL Turkey Day food (minuts the turket of course!).

    I hope you have a wonderful time with your family!

    1. Lol.. I think all desis go thru this. Oooh.. can't wait to read your post to see what you cooked up this year. I couldn't ever be the host, it's too many people to host. Thanks, I did Parita, hope you did too!

  3. new design looks beautiful :) i dont really celebrate thanksgiving but i like roasted veggies (Brussels sprouts) and cranberry sauce. Have a wonderful time.

    1. Thanks Dixya.. love it too. :-) I love Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce, need to find a way to incorporate the cranberry sauce without the meat. :-)

  4. So funny...I always wanted a traditional turkey dinner growing up. But my parents didn't bother to observe the holiday at all. "We should be thankful every day" was their motto. True but still...

    Looks delicious Nisha. Happy Thanksgiving! I love your new blog layout, by the way. Really nice.

    1. Lol.. I know. As a kid we didn't even observe the holiday, it's not until my nieces were born that all of a sudden Thanksgiving and Christmas became holidays. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Thanks.. I really like the new layout. :-)

  5. Really nice version of green bean casserole. I don't like the one with the canned soup, but this looks great - exactly like something I'd make. Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Thanks.. glad you approve.. coming from you it means a lot. I like the Campbell's version a lot, but I don't have the heart to use canned soup. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

  6. Don't feel too bad, I am not eating turkey this year either! It's only going to be the two of us, so why even bother.

    I wouldn't mind a huge batch of Indian food though. :) The grass is always greener.

    1. You know, despite the fact that we had turkey from Boston Market, I had a bite and it was so flavorless, the other dishes were way better. Haha... Indian food, I guess there is always a time and place. :)

  7. I would happily eat a whole Thanksgiving full of Indian food!! But probably not year after year. Maybe every other year. Love this lightened up green bean casserole! i never eat the non-lightened up version because...eww. But your version looks awesome!

    1. Haha.. Joanne, I know you would happily do that... I don't know a single non-Indian who loves Indian food as much as you do. :-) It's nice to have a blend of both. Thanks for the compliment.

  8. My sister and I love the new look of your blog! Looks so sleek and chic!

    1. Awww.. thanks Mari, so glad you guys like it. Means a lot. I am chic. :-)

  9. I never celebrated Thanksgiving before moving to the US, but I do like both the traditional and nontraditional cuisines. This green bean casserole is something I would like and most probably want a second serving, too!

    1. Yeah, I think it is important to have traditional and non-traditional dishes, bringing some of your "own" culture on the table. It really is about getting together and being grateful, and based on origin, it's always nice to strike a balance between something American and your roots.

  10. I have never made green casserole before. I have heard of it in many occasions, I think I haven't even tried one :-) Yours looks fav though. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. PS: We didn't have turkey or cranberry sauce either :-)

    1. I loveeeee Green Bean Casserole, it really is the mushrooms and fried onions that make the dish. Thanks Miryam, hope your holiday was great. Haha.. no cranberry here either, turkey came from Boston Market. :-)

  11. Green bean casserole is one of my holiday favorites, but I think I like your version better than my family's! It's normally SO heavy.

    1. Thanks Kiersten - it's one of my faves too. Yeah, I skipped the cream, but I think adding the additional flour will help thicken the sauce. :-)


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