If you've ever attended a Thanksgiving dinner anytime in the past 50 years, chances are you had a green bean casserole topped with Crispy Fried Onions. But have you eaten a version that's keto-friendly? The answer is - you probably have if it didn't include Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup (sorry, Campbell's). Does that surprise you? It did me.
First, a little history...
Dorcas Reilly created this classic holiday dish in 1955 when she was working in the Home Economics Department of Campbell's Soup Company. Tasked with creating recipes using Campbell's products, she created a dish she called the Green Bean Bake. And she hit the jackpot -- Campbell's estimates today that 40% of their Cream of Mushroom Soup ends up in this casserole. In 2002, to commemorate Ms. Reilly's creation, Campbell's donated the original recipe card written by Dorcas to the National Inventors Hall of Fame—securing the iconic dish and Dorcas’ place in food history.
But is it keto friendly?
That depends. Ketogenic diets are all the rage right now, so I'm suddenly more aware of how keto-friendly my vegetarian dishes are (or not...). So get ready for more vegetarian keto meals here 🙂
Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup uses wheat, among other things, to thicken their soups. In checking the ingredient list, corn oil is another no-no, and I'm not sure what "modified food starch" is. So, if you're going to make this dish, nix the soup.
The other primary ingredients of my not-so-classic green bean casserole are on most keto-friendly lists:
- green beans (keto guidelines I checked said to only eat these in moderation)
- tomatoes (for my recipe)
- mushrooms (for a more traditional dish)
- vegetable broth
- half and half
- full-fat cheese
- French's Crispy Fried Onions. This one was a shock to me. They are incredibly low in carbs at 3 grams for the entire recipe.
Note: I included 1 tablespoon flour to thicken the sauce (which amounts to 6 gram of carbs), but this casserole serves 6 - 8 people. I figure that's 1 carb per serving, which sounds pretty good to me. Right?
Vegetarian Keto Meal ...
Here's the good news. When I added the carbs using tools I found online, the entire dish came to around 110 carbs. That means, at 6 servings, this casserole delivers about 18 carbs per serving. Round that up to 20, and I'm still a happy camper. For a main dish, if you were to divide the casserole into 4 hearty servings - which is more than I can eat - it's still only 27 carbs per serving. Add a big salad, and you've got a great vegetarian keto meal. I feel like I hit the jackpot too.
As a note: don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients. Not including salt, pepper, oil and butter, there are only 8 ingredients!
Green Bean Casserole - Keto Friendly
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Green Bean Casserole
- 1 pound fresh green beans sliced into 1" - 2" lengths
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup half and half
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese I used Pepper Jack for extra kick
- 1 cup 2.8 oz container French's Crispy Fried Onions
First roast the tomatoes...
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a small baking sheet (such as a ¼ baking sheet) with foil. Toss the halved tomatoes in the olive oil, and spread on the sheet. Lightly salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, or until they're soft, and starting to crisp around the edges. Leave the oven on for baking the casserole.
While they're roasting, make the Green Bean Casserole...
- Bring a shallow pan of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans, and cook for 5 - 7 minutes to blanch. Drain and run cold water over the beans. Wipe out the pan, and return it to the stove.
- Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat, and add the shallots. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are fragrant and starting to brown. Sprinkle the flour over the tops of the shallots. Toss the shallots to completely coat them, and cook for 5 - 10 minutes, moving the shallots around the pan occasionally. The flour should begin to lightly brown.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and gradually add the broth, constantly stirring with a whisk. Once the broth is completely absorbed into the flour and shallots, gradually add the half and half, and continue to whisk until a sauce forms. Add the salt and pepper, and cook for 5 - 10 minutes on a very low simmer to thicken the sauce. Reduce the heat if necessary, and stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese using a large wooden spoon. Once it's completely melted, add the roasted tomatoes and beans. Gently toss to completely coat the vegetables with the sauce. Pour into a well-buttered baking dish and top with the Crispy Fried Onions.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and the topping is browned.