Serving Green Bean Casserole at Thanksgiving? Dorcas Reilly's Original Recipe Is Still the Best

bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images
bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images

Many of the foods that make up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner have long and complex origin stories. That's not the case with green bean casserole. We know exactly who created the dish and when it first appeared—and the original six-ingredient recipe can still be found on the backs of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup cans today.

Campbell's test kitchen supervisor Dorcas Reilly, who passed away in October 2018 at age 92, made Thanksgiving history when she whipped up the recipe for green bean casserole—originally called The Green Bean Bake—in 1955. Her job involved developing dishes that featured the company's ready-made soup products as star ingredients. Hundreds of her creations were printed on the backs of soup cans, but none had the same level of impact as her vehicle for green beans and condensed mushroom soup.

Reilly's green bean casserole recipe doesn't call for any fancy techniques or hard-to-source ingredients. It consists of one can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, half a cup of milk, four cups of green beans, a teaspoon of soy sauce, and a dash of black pepper. The components get mixed together in a casserole dish and baked for 25 minutes in a 350°F oven, with half of the fried onions set aside as a topping. Once the remaining onions are sprinkled on top, the casserole goes back in the oven for five minutes until the inside is hot and bubbly and the top is brown and crisp.

The dish was originally conceived as a way to sell Campbell's products, but the fact that it uses prepared, shelf-stable ingredients helped make it a hit. The Associated Press featured it in a 1955 story on Thanksgiving, and home cooks were happy to incorporate the easy recipe into their frantic holiday cooking routines.

Reilly's original casserole is still a cherished part of Thanksgiving dinners today. According to Campbell's, about a third of all Cream of Mushroom Soup cans sold are used to make her "Green Bean Bake." If you don't already have a soup can at home, you can find the recipe on Campbell's website.

Each State’s Favorite Christmas Candy

Halloween might be the unrivaled champion of candy-related holidays, but that doesn’t mean Christmas hasn’t carved out a large, chocolate Santa-shaped niche for itself in the sweets marketplace. And, of course, we can’t forget about candy canes, peppermint bark, and the red-and-green version of virtually every other kind of candy.

To find out which candies merrymakers are filling their bowls and stomachs with this holiday season, analyzed survey responses from more than 32,000 consumers across the nation and compiled their top responses into one mouthwatering map.

As it turns out, 13 states—from California all the way to New Jersey—are reaching for mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups over any other holiday candy. Something about that shimmery tinfoil really does make you feel like you’re unwrapping a tiny, tasty gift. Top Christmas Candy by State


And, if you hoped everyone would kiss candy corn goodbye until next October, we have some bad news: “reindeer” corn, with red, white, and green stripes, is the top choice in a staggering eight states, all of which are in the eastern half of the country. Tied with reindeer corn was peppermint bark, which, given how much white chocolate it contains, is also a pretty polarizing choice.

Candy canes and Hershey’s Kisses clinched third place with a respectable six states apiece, but other Christmas classics didn’t perform nearly as well—chocolate Santas and M&M’s came out on top in only two states each.

After that, there were some rather unconventional competitors, including Starburst, Arkansas’s favorite holiday candy; and Pez, which somehow won the hearts of residents of both Louisiana and New Mexico. 

And, unless you’re time-traveling from the 18th century, you’re probably not surprised that sugarplums didn’t make the map at all—find out what they actually are (hint: not plums!) here. You can also search the full list of state favorite candies below.


Relax: Fears of a French Fry Shortage Are Probably Overblown

magann/iStock via Getty Images
magann/iStock via Getty Images

Americans love their French fries. According to The New York Times, Americans eat an average of an average of 115.6 pounds of white potatoes annually, "of which two-thirds are in the form of French fries, potato chips and other frozen or processed potato products."

If you’re someone who annually devours the weight of a small child in fries at McDonald's or elsewhere, you’ll be distressed that potato farmers are facing a shortage—one that could create a fry crisis. But these concerns are likely overblown.

According to Bloomberg, a cold snap in October led to crop-threatening frosts at potato farms in Manitoba in Canada, as well as in North Dakota and Minnesota. In Manitoba, 12,000 acres went unharvested, the equivalent to what was left behind in all of Canada last season. Fields in Idaho and Alberta, Canada, were also hit, but some crops were able to be salvaged. Combined with increased demand in Canada for spuds, North America is looking at a potential tuber deficit.

Why are fries facing shortages, but not mashed potatoes? Fry vendors prefer bigger potatoes for slicing, which tend to be harvested later in the year and were subject to ground freezing and other damage.

This all sounds like cause for national alarm, but the spud industry has taken measures to keep the market fed. Potato experts told Bloomberg that while potato shipments will likely have to be rerouted from more fertile farms and into new distribution channels, the consumer may not notice any difference. A plea for rational thought was echoed by Frank Muir, president of Idaho Potato Commission. Muir told The New York Times that while Idaho is down 1 billion spuds, the state still managed 13 billion. His message to consumers is “Don’t panic … You can still go out and order them as you normally do.”

According to Muir, the major fast food chains—McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, among others—have temperature-controlled storage for their potatoes and probably have an inventory to fall back on. Rationing won't be needed—unless, of course, you’re watching your weight.

[h/t Bloomberg]