Green bean casserole
Green bean casserole covered with fried onions
CourseSide dish
Place of originUnited States
Created byDorcas Reilly for Campbell's Soup in 1955
Main ingredientsgreen beans, cream of mushroom soup, french fried onion

Green bean casserole is an American baked dish consisting primarily of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and french fried onions.

It is a popular side dish for Thanksgiving dinners in the United States and has been described as iconic. The recipe was created in 1955 by Dorcas Reilly at the Campbell Soup Company. As of 2020, Campbell's estimated it was served in 20 million Thanksgiving dinners in the US each year and that 40% of the company's cream of mushroom soup sales go into a version of the dish.[1]


Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom flavored soup variety was created in 1955 and was the first of the company's soups to be marketed as a sauce as well as a soup.[2][3] It became so widely used as casserole filler in recipes for the hotdish recipes popular in Minnesota that it was sometimes referred to as "Lutheran binder".[4] Like other food companies, Campbell's employed recipe developers to create recipes using their products as part of their marketing strategy.[5]

History of the recipe

Dorcas Reilly (1926–2018) created the recipe in 1955 while working in the home economics department at the Campbell's Soup Company in Camden, New Jersey.[6][7] The recipe was created for a feature article for the Associated Press; the requirement was for a quick and easy dish using ingredients most US households kept on hand.[8][7][9]

It was called "Green Bean Bake" when the recipe began being printed on soup cans.[8] Initially the dish did not test well within the company but, in part because of Reilly's persistence, eventually earned a reputation for being "the ultimate comfort food".[10] Culinary historian Laura Shapiro called the recipe's use of the crunchy fried onion topping a "touch of genius" that gave an otherwise ordinary convenience-food side dish a bit of "glamour".[5]

Food & Wine called it iconic, and Good Housekeeping said that "few dishes are as iconic" as the green bean casserole.[11][12]


It was originally marketed as an everyday side dish but became popular for Thanksgiving dinners in the 1960s after Campbell's placed the recipe on the can's label.[13][14] The recipe popularized the combination of the soup with green beans. Campbell's Soup now estimates that 40 percent of the Cream of Mushroom soup sold in the United States goes into making green bean casserole.[4][15] As of 2020 Campbell's estimated it was served in 20 million Thanksgiving dinners in the US each year.[16][13] Campbell's in 2020 reported their online version of the recipe is viewed 4 million times each Thanksgiving Day.[13] According to Campbell's as of 2018, the recipe is the most popular ever developed in their kitchens.[17]

Folklorist Lucy Long in 2007 noted that its inclusion on Thanksgiving dinner tables crosses ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious differences.[2] She also notes it is included in most popular American cookbooks, mentioned in the media regularly, and referred to a "classic", "traditional", and "a Thanksgiving standard".[2] She wrote that the popularity of the dish was related to its categorization as a casserole, which in the US is associated with "communal eating, sharing, and generosity" and that the green bean casserole in particular represents the familiar and also the festive.[2]


The recipe, which hasn't changed, calls for green beans, mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, ground black pepper, and french fried onions.[13][6] The beans, soup, milk, and seasonings are mixed together with a portion of the onions and baked, then topped with more onions and baked for another few minutes.[2]

Multiple similar recipes have been developed that "update" or "upgrade" the original recipe to use fresh beans, homemade cream sauce, and fresh mushrooms as the convenience-food based recipes of the 1950s and 1960s have become less fashionable, but according to culinary historian Shapiro, the green bean casserole remains popular for Thanksgiving for reasons of nostalgia.[8][5][11] Other recipes have been developed, by Campbell's and others, that incorporate a variety of methods and ingredients in addition to or in replacement of those in the original.[11][2][18][19]


In November of 2002, Reilly, representing Campbell's, donated the original recipe card to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.[6] The donation was followed by a meal featuring the dish.[19] Reilly died 15 October 2018, at the age of 92 in her hometown of Camden, New Jersey.[10]

See also


  1. ^ (2020-11-17). "10 things you didn't know about Green Bean Casserole". Campbell Soup Company. Retrieved 2023-04-04.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Long, Lucy (Spring 2007). "Green Bean Casserole: The Logic of a Midwestern Foodways Aesthetic". Midwestern Folklore. 33: 29–44 – via
  3. ^ "The Story Behind Campbell's Famous Green Bean Casserole". Delish. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  4. ^ a b Butler, Stephanie (13 December 2013). "The Origins of the Mysterious Green Bean Casserole". Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Zraick, Karen (24 October 2018). "Dorcas Reilly, Creator of the Classic American Green-Bean Casserole, Dies at 92". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Duhart, Bill (23 November 2017). "Eating green bean casserole? This N.J. woman invented it". Archived from the original on 25 November 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Dorcas Reilly: The Inventor of Green Bean Casserole". Campbell Kitchen. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Katz, Brigit. "The Woman Who Invented the Green Bean Casserole". Smithsonian. Archived from the original on 30 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  9. ^ Bella, Timothy (24 October 2018). "Dorcas Reilly, inventor of the green bean casserole, a Thanksgiving favorite, has died at 92". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  10. ^ a b Copeland, Shelby (24 October 2018). "The woman who created the green bean casserole has died". Archived from the original on 25 October 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Rujikarn, Sherry (24 November 2014). "The Evolution of the Green Bean Casserole". Good Housekeeping. Hearst Communications. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  12. ^ Petreycik, Caitlin (24 October 2018). "Woman Who Invented Famous Green Bean Casserole Dies at 92". Food & Wine. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  13. ^ a b c d "10 things you didn't know about Green Bean Casserole". Campbell Soup Company. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  14. ^ Overdeep, Meghan. "5 Things You Didn't Know About Campbell's Iconic Green Bean Casserole". Southern Living. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  15. ^ "Remembering Dorcas Reilly, Inventor Of The Classic Green-Bean Casserole". Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  16. ^ "In Memory of the American Inventor Dorcas Reilly". Campbell Soup Company. 19 October 2018. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  17. ^ Marsh, Shawn (24 April 2021). "Woman who created green bean casserole dies at 92". AP News. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  18. ^ Lowe, Peggy (24 November 2015). "Green Bean Casserole: The Thanksgiving Staple We Love — Or Loathe". Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  19. ^ a b Ball, Aimee Lee (3 September 2020). "The Reason We Eat Green Bean Casserole at Thanksgiving". Martha Stewart Living. Retrieved 2021-11-26.