I remember the day my taste buds were changed forever: Thanksgiving 1985 and my host mother in Maryland USA, in whose family I was living as a student for the year, produced the iconic green bean casserole.
I have been making it ever since and slowly but surely turning Kiwis onto this vege dish that goes brilliantly with Tom Turkey. However, it’s so good that when I go back to America and we all get together for dinner, we’ve been known to make TWO casseroles just so we have a whole one left for the next day.
Update: sadly Carol, my American mom, passed away just before Thanksgiving 2019, so I now share this post in her honour. x
Here’s how to get your Thanksgiving on and make Carol’s Green Bean Casserole:
Prep time 15 minutes. Cooking time 30 minutes
- Frozen green beans (Americans use canned beans but I prefer the freshness of the snap frozen)
- 2-3 cans Campbells concentrate mushroom soup
- 10-12 mushrooms, sliced
- 1-2 cups grated cheese
- Fried dried onion rings. Can used fried shallots from the International aisle at the supermarket. Or if you’re in Auckland you can get the authentic onion rings from Martha’s Backyard in Mt Wellington.
Putting it all together
This dish is made in layers.
Start with green beans. Scatter half the bag into a casserole dish.
Next add fresh sliced mushrooms to the cans of Campbell’s Mushroom Soup. Note, the soup needs to be concentrate – which can be hard to find in New Zealand. These cans I bought at Martha’s Backyard, an American import store in Auckland.
Then add grated cheese.
And finally, the piéce de résistance is these incredible French’s fried dried onions! I bought these at Martha’s Backyard for $9.50 a pot, but if you know anyone travelling to America, they’re about $4 in the supermarkets there. I stock up when I visit. They’re great on salads, fish pie and so many things!
Repeat those layers and pop into the oven until the cheese is bubbling. Serve hot and keep some for tomorrow!
You’ll thank me later 🙂
Meanwhile, if you want to be fully immersed in Thanksgiving, check out my post on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon accidents in New York over the years! And if you’re in NYC you can go and see the balloons being inflated the night before the big parade.