Recipe Review

The Extra-Comforting Green Bean Casserole I’ve Been Eating Since I Was a Kid

updated Nov 12, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk | Design: The Kitchn

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For many people, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without French’s green bean casserole on the table. The classic recipe is made all across the country on Thanksgiving Day, and I, too, grew up eating (and loving!) it as a child. The simple combination of condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, pepper, canned green beans, and store-bought crispy fried onions is so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s rich, comforting, and nostalgic. Chances are if you grew up eating green bean casserole during the holidays, it was French’s recipe.

But with so many “homemade” versions of the casserole online, I was curious to know how it would compare. Is using a can of cream of mushroom soup superior to making a homemade mushroom sauce? And does the saying “don’t mess with a classic” ring true when it comes to green bean casserole? I was eager to find out.

Get the recipe: French’s Green Bean Casserole

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk | Design: The Kitchn

How To Make French’s Green Bean Casserole

French’s green bean casserole recipe is as easy as it gets. You’ll start by mixing one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup with milk and black pepper directly in a casserole dish. Drain two cans of green beans, add them to the dish along with some crispy fried onions, and mix one more time. Bake until the casserole is hot, then top it with additional crispy fried onions and bake once more just until the onions are golden-brown. That’s it! It’s a classic recipe that uses a lot of shortcuts, making it ideal for anyone looking for an easy side dish that comes together fast.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of French’s Green Bean Casserole

This recipe was just as delicious as I remembered. It’s hearty, rich, and comforting. The mushroom soup gave the casserole a luscious texture and bold savory flavor that helped tie the whole thing together. The fried onions were also nice, and provided a crunchy texture that was a welcomed contrast against the creamy base. The only thing I didn’t like was the green beans themselves. I wanted to mimic what I ate growing up, so I used canned green beans, which resulted in a casserole that was a bit soggy and lacking the crunchy snap that fresh green beans would have provided. If I were to make this recipe again, I would definitely use fresh (a substitute that’s suggested in the recipe itself).

I grew up eating this recipe and loved it, and as an adult I still love it. It comes together quickly, is perfectly seasoned, and is a serious crowd-pleaser. If you’re looking for a classic side dish to make, this is it. You just can’t beat the classic.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making French’s Green Bean Casserole, a Few Tips

  1. Feel free to add additional spices or increase the amount of black pepper used. The recipe calls for using only 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, so feel free to increase it or add additional spices (like cayenne, paprika, or garlic powder) for an added kick.
  2. Use fresh green beans, not canned. The latter are too soft, making this casserole a bit mushy.
  3. Double the amount of crispy fried onions. The onions are the best part of this recipe, so feel free to use double the amount the recipe calls for. I love to load a generous amount on top (and love the way it looks, too).

Rating: 8/10

Have you ever made French’s Green Bean Casserole? Tell us what you thought!