Green Bean Casserole
This fresh and flavorful lightened-up Green Bean Casserole is a great side dish for your Thanksgiving table or your any-night dinner table. Who says we should only eat green beans this way once a year? That seems silly, especially when a recipe is this delicious. Unlike canned green beans, these beans stay fresh and maintain a slightly firm and snappy texture. No mushy green beans here! Plus, these beans are coated in a simple, creamy homemade sauce that gives this dish an indulgent feel but allows the fresh green beans to remain the star of the show. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the crispy fried onion topping! My lighter Green Bean Casserole is a perfect comfort food side dish and only 121 calories or 3 WW Points per ¾ cup serving. To view your current WW Points for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here!
Fresh Green Beans
Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables, but I didn’t grow up eating green bean casserole. My family usually had green beans with almonds at Thanksgiving, so I don’t recall trying the casserole version until I was an adult. While I love fresh green beans I’m usually not a huge fan of the canned variety, so making this casserole using fresh beans was a no-brainer for me. I love the lightly crisp texture of the beans in this dish! Obviously making it this way does take a bit more time than using canned, as you’ll have to blanch the beans before baking. I think you’ll find it’s worth it!
Can I prepare this in advance?
Sure! If you want to make the beans and sauce a day in advance and stir them together in the casserole dish, you can definitely do that. Just refrigerate covered overnight and the next day you’ll just have to sprinkle the fried onions on top and bake!
I figure most people will probably prefer to measure a serving using measuring cups, so 1/8th of this Green Bean Casserole is about ¾ cup. However, if you prefer to weigh your food, a serving for me was around 4.5 ounces by weight. You can of course also just eyeball about 1/8th of the casserole and you’ll probably be good to go. Especially if you are eating this dish as part of your Thanksgiving meal and aren’t taking the time to measure out serving of everything.
Want more lightened-up recipes for your Thanksgiving meal? I have you covered with my Lightened-Up Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup!
Looking for more tasty comfort food side dishes to warm up to this winter? Check out my Stovetop Cinnamon Apples, Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes, Stovetop Green Beans with Almonds, Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cauliflower, Creamy Corn with Bacon and Jalapenos, Vegetable Fried Rice, Garlic Herb Mushrooms, Classic Mashed Potatoes, Easy Salsa Rice, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Broccoli Salad, Easy Garlic Knots, and so many more in the Side Dishes category of my recipe index!
Green Bean Casserole
- 2 lbs (32 oz) fresh green beans, ends trimmed and beans cut in half to be shorter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons light butter, (I use Land O’Lakes light butter spread with canola oil)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth, (or vegetable broth if making vegetarian)
- 1 cup fat free half-and-half
- 1 cup French fried onions, (I used French's)
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside a 9x13 baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the beans are cooking, fill a large bowl or container with ice water. When the beans are done cooking, pour them into a colander to drain and then transfer them directly into the ice bath. Let them sit in the ice bath for a couple minutes so that they stop cooking and then pour them back into the colander to drain again. Set the beans aside to dry (I spread mine out a bit on paper towels and pat them dry).
- In a small dish, stir together the flour, salt, and black pepper until well combined. Place the butter in a medium saucepan and bring over medium heat until melted. Add the minced garlic and stir, cooking for about a minute. Whisk the flour mixture into the butter and garlic until thoroughly combined. It will be thick like a paste. Cook for another minute.
- Add the broth to the flour mixture a little at a time, whisking it together until smoothly combined. Add the half-and-half and whisk together. Allow the mixture to start bubbling and then reduce the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes until thickened.
- Combine the green beans and the sauce, either in a separate mixing bowl or right in your casserole dish and stir to coat the beans with sauce. Spread the beans evenly across your 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the French fried onions evenly across the top of the beans and bake for 20 minutes. You may want to check halfway through to see if you need to cover the dish in aluminum foil so that the onions don’t get too toasty.
121 calories, 16 g carbs, 5 g sugars, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 3 g protein, 3 g fiber, 193 mg sodium (from myfitnesspal.com) Weight Watchers Points Plus:
3 per (3/4 cup) serving (PP calculated using a Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator and the nutrition info below) adapted from House of Nash Eats and Life in the Lofthouse
I canned beans from our garden this summer – can I use a couple pints in place of the fresh beans
Emily, thank you for this fantastic recipe! I made it as a side dish, there were 4 of us and no leftovers. So much better than the canned stuff. Happy Holidays to you and your family!