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This low carb Green Bean Casserole will help you maintain your holiday traditions without sacrificing any flavor! The topping is reminiscent of French fried onions. Yum! THM S
Our family’s Christmas traditions
Growing up, we didn’t have any hard and fast Christmas dinner traditions. Christmas dinner varied by the year depending on which side of the family we celebrated with. With my dad’s family we usually had subs for Christmas lunch, and Christmas Eve was the time to bring out all our favorites:
- frozen eggnog,
- all the Christmas candy and decorated cut out cookies,
- Muenster cheese,
- Chicken in a Biscuit crackers,
- and maybe some grilled shrimp.
With my mom’s side of the family we often had a more traditional turkey or ham dinner on Christmas Day, complete with mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, dinner rolls, and pie, but even then there’s not one dish in particular that always appears on the Christmas table.
I’ve heard that some families are very attached to certain dishes at Christmas, and green bean casserole is one such dish that I’ve heard mentioned over and over again so I thought I should offer a healthy alternative. If you’re headed to a Christmas feast and need a side dish that everyone (including you) can enjoy, take this green bean casserole! Its creamy mushroom soup sauce and “French fried onion” topping will be a hit!
How to navigate holiday dinners
I wrote a whole post about this RIGHT HERE, but I’ll share a few of my tips in this post too:
- If you don’t think you’ll have many healthy options, eat something before you go so you’re not ravenous at the party. I recommend something protein-based with some satiating fats to curb cravings.
- Take something “safe” along that you know you can eat. Salad, a veggie tray, a healthy side dish like this green bean casserole – something to accompany the meat that will probably be served.
- When fixing your plate, start with protein. Turkey, ham, or if you’re at a finger food party, summer sausage, cold cuts, or chip dips that look safe. Cheese slices can work too.
- Add veggies (and veggie dip is often fairly safe as well). Feel free to load up on plain cooked veggies and salad as well (no croutons!).
- Stay away from breads, crackers, sweet sauces, carb-y casseroles (i.e. green bean casseroles with Ritz cracker or French onion toppings), and of course cookies, pies, cakes, and any other sweets made with sugar.
- If you want to splurge, don’t throw everything you know out the window and eat everything in sight! Keep your splurge controlled and hop right back into your healthy eating lifestyle as soon as you get home.
For example, if we were having subs on Christmas Day, I would bring a Joseph’s pita or lavash bread and stuff it with mayo, meat, cheese, lettuce, and mustard.
For Christmas Eve, I would have grilled shrimp, cheese, and some of my healthy buckeyes, truffles, or peanut butter fudge (or all of the above). If I felt like it, I would make some healthy frozen eggnog, but in real life, I’ll probably have a small glass of the sugary stuff as a once-a-year treat (see point #6 above).
For a more traditional Christmas dinner, enjoy the turkey or ham, eat plenty of salad and cooked veggies (stay away from vegetable casseroles with carb-y toppings), and bring a healthy dessert to share!
Frozen vs canned green beans
I have not tried canned green beans in this recipe, but I imagine that they would work and you would not have to bake the casserole as long. I would drain the beans well, mix them with the mushroom soup, and spread them into the pan. Skip the first bake with the foil and just add the topping right away, then bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until the casserole is heated through. If you try this, comment below and let me know how it goes!
Be sure to check the Notes section of the recipe for a gluten free suggestion!
As always, check out the Notes section of the recipe for helpful info and answers to frequently asked questions!
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New and improved
This is an update of the Green Bean Casserole recipe on page 124 of Necessary Food. This recipe is a double batch made in a larger pan so you can feed a crowd. I added mushrooms to the soup for a mushroom soup flavor, added an onion topping reminiscent of French fried onions, and bumped up the spice and flavor.
This recipe was originally published to the blog on December 22, 2015. It was updated November 2021.