Three Days of Thanksgiving: Green Bean Casserole with Crunchy Onions

A bit of mushroom soup (homemade, of course).  Some green beans (home canned, if you have ’em).  And some hand-cut French fried onions.  (My kids call them onions from heaven.)  And Thanksgiving can proceed.  Right?  No cans needed!

If someone in your family needs to eliminate gluten, dairy, or preservatives, and they are very sad about giving up traditional Thanksgiving foods, then this recipe is for them.  It’s a little extra work, but love always is.  That’s what makes it special.

Take a look…


Does it look like you remember?

Traditional-Style Green Bean Casserole


  • 3 smallish onions, sliced very thinly
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt, divided use
  • 1 ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
  • Pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 cup of fresh, finely chopped Portabella mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups cooked and drained green beans

French fried onion topping:

  1. For the topping, mix together in a medium-sized bowl the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt.  Soak the onions in the mixture for an hour.  Stir occasionally.
  2.  Mix together Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large baggie.
  3.  Drain the onions well in a strainer and place in the baggie and shake to coat well.  Try very hard to break up clumps so all the rings are mostly coated.
  4.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized saucepan until an onion dropped in sizzles and spatters.  If your oil isn’t hot enough, you’ll have goopy mess.  If it’s too hot, you’ll burn the delectable rings.  Use enough olive oil to come up to 1-2 inches high in the pan.  You may need to periodically add more, always waiting for the oil to return to the proper temperature.
  5. When the oil is hot enough, fry the onions in single-layer batches until they are light golden- brown.  
  6. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions to a paper-towel lined plate.  Set aside.

For the casserole:

  1. Saute the onion and mushrooms in olive oil over low heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with tapioca starch (or arrowroot) and stir.
  3. Add the chicken stock and stir until it just reaches a boil.  Remove from heat.
  4. Add in the coconut milk, salt, and pepper.  The mixture should be thick like soup.
  5. Place green beans in a large bowl, pour mushroom mixture over, and mix well.
  6. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
  7. Cover with French fried onions and bake an additional 10 more minutes.  If using stored French fried onions (see below), you may need to bake longer, until the rings are just crisped up again.

Variations and information:

  • Canned green beans work well here.  No worries!
  • To save time: make the French fried onions ahead of time, storing them in a single-layer in the refrigerator on a paper-towel lined plate until needed for the casserole.
  • Use more green beans if you like your green bean casserole less soupy and less moist.  Eyeball it.  Maybe 5 cups.
  • I haven’t tried, but I’ll bet this will work with other gluten-free flours.  Mix up your own for 100% homemade!
  • Add a little garlic and/or onion powder into the soup mixture if you’d like.
  • Add a little cashew cream to the green bean mixture to make it richer.  (A recipe is in the Molly Green e-cookbook I worked on.)
  • I haven’t tried it, but you could try using the GF flour to thicken the soup rather than arrowroot or tapioca–but no guarantees since I haven’t tried it!

Family “gustar” report:  It scores a 6 out of 6.  Even the baby gets in on the action!  My husband says the fresh mushrooms make it the best.  My kids love the onion rings.  But there’s NEVER green bean casserole left.

There’s more recipes like this in the Molly Green Bite-Sized guide (e-cookbook) I helped put together for Molly Green Magazine.  I’ll be bringing you two more recipes in this little Three Days of Thanksgiving!  Then, I won’t bother your in-box for a while.  I hope you have a great day!


11 thoughts on “Three Days of Thanksgiving: Green Bean Casserole with Crunchy Onions

  1. Lesq

    You are NEVER a bother!!!! You are an intelligent, kind, loving, and sweet-hearted individual and your loveliness is enhanced by your warm and caring maner. This is all soooo very obvious from the way you speak about your family and you write to and respond to your blog readers. Have a wonderful holiday season with your family and many, many more wonderful ones ahead.

  2. andthreetogo

    EEEEE!!!! I love when you post your recipes! We are actually having a Thanksgiving BBQ this year and I am definitely going to make this for it! Green bean casserole is my favorite!!!
    ON a completely different note, have realized that we pretty much clean eat already..,. I just had to stop buying the organic processed snacks. 🙂 Now eating out is a whole other issue haha… that will have to wait. Though we do eat in most of the time, so it is a great start I think. 🙂 Thank you for all your help and encouragement!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      A Thanksgiving BBQ! Now that’s a thought! (It’s freezing here!). I hope you like this a lot! We LOVE the onion rings. I had so much missed onion rings…

      I thought all Californians ate clean. :-). I’m joking, but really, that is the stereotype in my head! Seriously! Such a verdant place!

      Happy to hear you’re stereotypical Californians. :-). Keep up the work! But I’ll still write that post (s) because sometimes being clean isn’t enough for some people to take back their health and they have to do more. Then, once they get there, they have wiggle room.

      AND I still need my title fonts changed and link colors changed, etc. But I need to figure out exactly what I need and get it
      listed and set. I’m slowly getting there.

      Watch for drops in energy after meals and really pay attention then to see if a pattern emerges of what you ate, whether it is actually a specific food (example, eggs) or more of a high carb load or maybe something else. It’s like a mystery book.

      Have a great, great BBQ! I hope it is a day with warm fuzzy happiness inside.


  3. Jhanis

    I thought it was calamari! I searched the ingredients for squid or calamari but nope, that’s onion rings, alright. I’m here at work (shhh) and I’m trying to imagine how this would taste like. LOL

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Ahaha! My husband is making calamari now, as I type!! LOL! Honestly! Weird! That could be a fabulous idea for green bean casserole. Fry up the calamari like the onions. Good idea! We like calamari but have started broiling it plain rather than frying it. But maybe…

      Green bean casserole is a very, very traditional American Thanksgiving side dish. But it is almost always made from all processed foods—premade canned mushroom soup, premade French-fried onion rings, canned green beans. I missed it, and I know others like me do too. So I feel good making and serving this version. Maybe your boss would like it?

  4. Anonymous

    oh thank you so much..perfect timing on this recipe! I actually have been dreaming about green bean casserole for the holiday, I even convinced myself I would make it special for us, but then at the store I just couldn’t make myself buy those canned fried onions…and drove home sadly! now my boys and I will be VERY grateful this thanksgiving!!!! you saved the day……

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Anonymous, Thank you for taking time to leave a comment! I hope this recipe turns out for you like it does for us. The onions make the dish! If you use the small onions, then you even get rings the same size as French’s brand! But big onions taste the same. Just make sure and keep that oil hot enough to crisp them up but not too hot to burn. For the casserole, I usually make it the same day or else the tapioca or arrowroot doesn’t hold in the fridge and thins out. I haven’t yet tried it, but I’d like to try the gluten-free flour in place of that, to see if it gives better holding power so the dish can be made ahead of time and then be reheated. I think that’s all my little caveats. Have a happy week! –Terri

  5. Pingback: Three Days of Thanksgiving: Turkey Take Two | The HSD

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