(Family Features) - Creamy, crunchy Green Bean Casserole has been a "must have" on America's holiday menus since its introduction in 1955. This classic side dish is a combination of three popular items: green beans, Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup and French's French Fried Onions. Today, over 30 million households will enjoy Green Bean Casserole as part of their holiday feasts.
Created by Dorcas Reilly, former manager of Campbell's Kitchen, 2005 marks the 50th anniversary of this iconic recipe. Reilly said her inspiration for Green Bean Casserole (deemed the mother of all comfort foods) was to "create a quick and easy recipe around things most Americans always had on hand in the 1950s: green beans and Cream of Mushroom Soup." Like so many great recipes, Reilly's creation requires a minimal number of ingredients (just five), doesn't take much time to prepare (only 10 "hands on" minutes) and can be customized to deliver a wide range of variations.
One reason that the Green Bean Casserole has stood the test of time is its versatility. With just a few simple modifications, the recipe can easily be transformed to reflect the changing tastes and trends of the times. Swiss Vegetable Medley is a sophisticated and saucy spin on the classic recipe that features the zesty combination of sour cream and Swiss cheese. In the Holiday Vegetable Bake, a variety of vegetables are mixed with Cream of Broccoli Soup for a creamy and colorful twist on the original dish. The casserole, as we know it today, is a uniquely American dish that first became popular in the 1940s when men were fighting abroad and women were left to take over their jobs while still preparing meals at home. The one-dish casserole was a quick and easy way to get a wholesome, balanced meal on the table. In addition, many early sources of casserole recipes featured condensed soups, like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom, as the sauce that bound all the ingredients together. All of these factors conspired to establish the casserole as an integral element of the American table.
New Spins on an Old Favorite
The classic Green Bean Casserole recipe mixes family-pleasing green beans with a savory combination of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, a little milk and a dash of soy sauce, topped with French's French Fried Onions for the perfect finishing touch.
For a fresh twist on the original dish, try one of these variations created by today's Campbell's Kitchen:
- Please the cheese lovers in your family by stirring in 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese with the soup. Omit soy sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup additional Cheddar cheese and use French's Cheddar French Fried Onions.
- For a roasted garlic twist, substitute Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup with Roasted Garlic for Cream of Mushroom Soup.
- For a change of pace, substitute 4 cups cooked broccoli florets for the green beans.
- For a festive touch, stir in 1/4 cup chopped red pepper with soup.
- For a heartier mushroom flavor, substitute Campbell's Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup for Cream of Mushroom Soup. Omit soy sauce. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped red pepper with green beans.
For more recipes, visit www.campbellsoup.com.