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Thanksgiving Recipe: American green bean casserole!

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.

Sadly Carol, my American mom, passed away just before Thanksgiving 2019, so I now share this post in her honour. x

The famous green bean casserole!
The famous green bean casserole! (Mine looks a little different…)

Here’s how to get your Thanksgiving on and make Carol’s Green Bean Casserole:

Prep time 15 minutes. Cooking time 30 minutes


  • Frozen or fresh green beans (my American family uses 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.

Thanksgiving green bean casserole
Spread half the beans into a casserole dish (this one was barely big enough)

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.

Green bean casserole recipe
I used 3 cans for this big family size

Then add grated cheese.

Be liberal with the cheese!

Repeat those previous 3 layers…

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!

Green bean casserole
The magic!

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.

For more recipes from my travels, check out my new Recipe category

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!