Family Favorites: Green Bean Casserole with a Homemade Crispy Onion Variation

I love “Green Bean Casserole.” With a creamy sauce and topped with crunchy French’s® Crispy Fried Onions, it is hard to resist. Although it wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving holiday meal without this dish, the casserole is really great any time of the year. Recently I noticed a recipe for this dish which included homemade fried onions rings for a topping and I recalled how much I liked the dish. This recipe author also took the extra effort to use fresh green beans and make a sauce from scratch. That’s alot of work as the original recipe uses just three main ingredients. I liked the idea of the homemade crispy fried onion rings and decided to add it to my variation. Although the verdict is still out on the homemade onions rings, my husband and I sure ate alot of “test runs” of “Green Been Casserole.” So, here is my casserole using French’s® Crispy Fried Onions.


Recipe Origins

The recipe for “Green Bean Casserole” originated in 1955 in the Campbell Test Kitchen. It was “invented” by Home Economist, Dorcas Reilly. The dish wasn’t necessarily a hit with the internal testers at Campbell’s, but Reilly insisted that the casserole would be a popular item using one of their soups for Thanksgiving dinner. The recipe made it onto the cans of Cream of Mushroom soup and into magazines sold across the country. And Reilly’s instincts were correct. Her “Green Bean Casserole” has become a standard dish at Thanksgivings everywhere. The Campbells Soup Company estimated that 20 million Americans made the recipe at Thanksgiving in 2018, which happened to be the year that recipe originator, Dorcas Reilly, passed away.

The recipe for “Green Bean Casserole” is extremely easy to make using only a few ingredients. Over the years — since 1955 — it has been adapted and there are as many variations to this recipe as there are cooks. Recipes use canned green beans (French-style, whole or cut), frozen beans and industrious cooks even use fresh green beans. Recipe variations also use include different types of “condensed cream of…..soups”– from mushroom, to potato or cream of celery and even cream of chicken soup. French’s® Crispy Fried Onions is a standard part of this recipe and is both mixed in with the green beans and used as a topping..

I really liked the idea of making homemade onion rings. However, it is more difficult that it seems. To make these yourself, slice the onions very thinly, separate into rings. I used a mandoline slicer. Make a breading of flour, seasoned bread crumbs and a little freshly ground pepper. Fry the onions in hot oil. Getting the onion rings to brown and not burn is the trick. Good luck! And here’s another suggestion. I did not bake the casserole in the oven with these fried onions — they got soggy. Add them just prior to serving.

I made lots of “trials” of this recipe varying different types of beans and condensed soups. My favorite version uses French-style green beans. Here are several keys to making this recipe.

  1. Drain the canned green beans to avoid having too much liquid in the casserole and a watery casserole. However, reserve some of the liquid from the beans separately.
  2. Heat the beans and condensed soup on the stove first. This cuts down on the baking time and allows you to add the right amount of liquid to thin the casserole using part of the reserved liquid.
  3. Bake the dish in the oven long enough to cook the beans. Canned green beans have a distinctive flavor. Baking this dish seems to tenderize the beans and meld the flavors so you don’t recognize that they were originally from a can.
  4. Cover the casserole as it bakes. Then remove the cover or casserole lid and stir up the beans. Top the casserole with top with French’s Crispy Fried Onions or your own homemade fried onions and bake, uncovered, five additional minutes.

Like thousands of other Americans, I associate this casserole with Thanksgiving. But it is such a simple and great tasting dish, we really like it any time of the year. Enjoy!

Green Bean Casserole

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for Homemade Onion Rings (optional):

  • 1 medium sweet, white onion (such as Vidalia onion)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • dash fresh ground cracked peppercorns
  • oil

Ingredients for green beans:

  • 3( 14.5 oz) cans French-style green beans
  • 2 (10.5 oz) cans Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cup French’s Crispy Fried Onions or 1 recipe homemade onion rings

Method and Steps:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 2-quart casserole.
  2. For optional homemade onion rings: Peel and slice onions very thinly. In a small bowl. combine flour, Italian bread crumbs and black peppercorns. Heat 1/2″ depth of oil in heavy cast iron skillet. Heat to 350 degrees (just below smoking.) Add 1/2 onions. Fry. Drain on paper towels and repeat with remaining onions.
  3. Drain green beans, reserve liquid. Transfer green beans to medium-size pot.
  4. Add the cans of cream of mushroom soup to pot. Add 1/2 cup reserved liquid from beans to pot. Stir to combine.
  5. Place pot on stove, stir and heat. Add 1/4 cup additional liquid if needed.
  6. Add black pepper (optional).
  7. Stir in 1/2 cup of French’s French fried onions.
  8. Transfer beans to prepared casserole dish.
  9. Top with remaining 1 cup of French’s French fried onion rings.
  10. Bake in oven for 30 minutes until bubbly.

*NOTE: If using homemade onion rings, do not add in oven, but add after removing from onion.


5 thoughts on “Family Favorites: Green Bean Casserole with a Homemade Crispy Onion Variation

      • I know someone who sliced her thumb pretty good using one and although I don’t have one, that’s why I’m hesitant. I love New Orleans and I love good food so you’re welcome!


      • Yes, as I learned the hard way by cutting a finger or two, mandolin slicers have to be used carefully. It is fairly to slice your own finger in addition to the food piece. Two tips that I have learned: first is to purchase a mandolin slicer that comes with a plastic shield. You hold the shield on top of the piece of food as you slice, which protects your fingers from getting nicked. Also, I’ve learned to stop slicing before getting to the very last end of the food piece. I used the small remaining piece, such as an onion, for something else. Or, I’ll put the last piece of carrot in a salad — or just snack on it. Better to be practical than prefect. Good luck with the recipe.


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