Sixty four years ago, an unsuspecting Campbell employee changed the face of the Thanksgiving meals for decades to come.
Dorcas Reilly worked for Campbell as a home economist back in 1955, and was tasked with creating new recipes using Campbell’s products. She led the team that created the Thanksgiving dish that lands on nearly 20 million dining room tables each year:Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole.
Now, celebrating the recipe’s 64th anniversary, it’s doubtful that Reilly could’ve imagined the impact the five-ingredient side dish would have on the American holiday. As simple as this recipe may be, there is so much more to the long-time icon that makes Thanksgiving, well, Thanksgiving. While a beautiful roasted turkey tends to get all the attention at Thanksgiving, traditional green bean casserole made with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup plays a pivotal supporting role.
The recipe has undergone minor changes over its 60 years (for one, the canned green beans are now often replaced with frozen or fresh beans), but there’s still nothing like the classic casserole to complete the holiday meal.
Beyond its creamy, silky-smooth sauce and unmatchable flavor, its simplicity makes Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole so appealing. Just six ingredients and 10 minutes to put together (Hooray! More time to spend with your family.), Campbell’s recipe is kid-friendly. After all, Thanksgiving is all about family. Let the budding young chefs help out—nothing boosts self-esteem more than having a tableful of family “ooh” and “ahh” as the steamy casserole lands on the table. And let’s not forget: when the kids “own” their vegetables, they will happily eat them! All. Of. Them.
We all know that tampering with Thanksgiving tradition rarely ends well, but it’s easy (and totally acceptable) to tweak the classic Green Bean Casserole recipe to create a new signature side dish, such as adding some bacon and cheddar cheese to the casserole.
Craving a little more crunch? Sprinkle sliced almonds on top along with the classic French’s fried onions. Or bring on the bacon by crumbling crispy cooked strips into the green bean mixture. Cheese lovers will totally get behind our mini green bean casseroles with cheddar cheese or Swiss stirred in or sprinkled on top. And that’s just the beginning!
Find more inspiration for green beans and the rest of your Thanksgiving menu on Campbell’s Kitchen. We are honored to have shared the table with you and your family for the past 64 years.