Green Bean Casserole: The History Behind this Classic Comfort Food and Thanksgiving Staple

 @julia_greenberg
on November 15 2011 6:47 PM
Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is one of the enduring dishes that just always fits in at a holiday spread. Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or just a day off work, this simple food will please even the pickiest eaters in your brood. Flickr

The green bean casserole is an American classic comfort food and a Thanksgiving staple. The dish is made from a unique combination of ingredients: green beans, cream of mushroom soup, French fried onions, milk, soy sauce and ground black pepper.

The strange casserole was invented in 1955 by Dorcas Reilly at the Campbell Soup Company.

Reilly grew up in Camden, N.J. and studied home economics at Drexel University. She began working in a small team at Campbell in 1949, according to Campbell.

In the mid-1950s, Reilly set out to make a quick and easy dish that could be made from ingredients that most Americans have in their pantry. Reilly determined most households have leftover cans of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup and a stash of green beans. With these two staples, the Green Bean Casserole was born.

The recipe requires only five or six ingredients, it's surprisingly easy to make, and can be adjusted to fit a range of tastes.

In 2002, Reilly donated the original copy of her green bean casserole recipe to the National Inventor's Hall of Fame. The yellowed 8 X 11 recipe card can now be found among Enrico Fermi's invention of the first controlled nuclear reactor and Thomas Alva Edison's light bulb and phonograph.

The Classic Green Bean Casserole Recipe from Campbell's Kitchen

Prep: 10 minutes Bake: 30 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp. soy sauce Dash ground black pepper 4 cups cooked cut green beans 1 1/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions

Directions:

Mix the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, green beans and 2/3 cups of onions in a 1 ½ quart casserole. Bake the casserole at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir the casserole and sprinkle it with the remaining onions. Bake the casserole for 5 minutes.

Tip: You can use 1 bag (16 to 20 oz.) frozen green beans, 2 pkg. (9 oz. each) frozen green beans, 2 cans (about 16 oz. each) green beans or about 1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans for this recipe.Variations of the recipe use broccoli instead of green beads, add Cheddar cheese with the soup or add red pepper with the soup.

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