Ever wonder where the Thanksgiving classic Green Bean Casserole came from? Turns out it was created in the Garden State.

The turkey day staple was invented in 1955 in Campbell’s test kitchen in Camden by recipe developer Dorcas Reilly, who Campbell’s refers to as the “Grandmother of Green Bean Casserole.”

According to Smithsonian.com, the Associated Press had asked Reilly to develop a Thanksgiving side dish  using ingredients that any home cook would have on hand. Reilly tried various ingredients, such as celery salt and ham, before she got it right, according to Today. She finally settled on canned or fresh green beans, cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper and French fried onions. 

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There have been several variations of this recipe developed by home cooks and professionals over the years, and you can find several on the Campbell’s Soups website. One version recommends using Campbell’s Condensed Golden Mushroom soup with chopped red pepper. Other variations include such ingredients as bacon, cheddar cheese or almonds.

Some facts according to Campbell’s:

  • It was originally called Green Bean Bake
  • The Green Bean Casserole appears on over 20 million Thanksgiving holiday tables each year
  • In 2002, Campbell’s submitted the original recipe card to the National Inventors Hall of Fame

A video by Campbell’s shows four ways to make Green Bean Casserole:

Read more on NJ Flavor:

Recipe from the Farm: Erin Headley’s Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

Harvest Time for Cranberries in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens

New Jersey Date Night: Get Lost in the Game at These Sports Bars

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Got a story you'd like to see on NJ Flavor? Email Jackie Lieberman at jlieberman@tapinto.net.