This recipe is not your typical green bean casserole. Nope, not this one! We are changing things up by adding some cheesiness, more creaminess, and a few extra-tasty surprises. You’ll have happy feasters around your table this Thanksgiving or any time the urge for cheesy, creamy green beans strikes.
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Was there green bean casserole served on the first Thanksgiving?
I used to think, as a child, we were eating the same dishes the Pilgrims and Indians had eaten along with their roasted turkey and corn. The assumption of them having canned cream of mushroom soup must have done it.
It turns out the well-known green bean casserole that goes hand in hand with Thanksgiving today was created in 1955 by the Campbell’s Soup Company. Well, that makes sense! This information is according to an article from this post at Martha Stewart. It has other fascinating facts FYI.
Ever since Campbell’s creation, cooks have been making their own tasty adjustments to the original six-ingredient recipe. Can you guess what these six are? Yes, green beans for sure! And, cream of mushroom soup, soy sauce, pepper, milk, and those canned crispy fried onion rings.
Refurbishing The Classic
At our southern Louisiana Thanksgivings, we always gathered at my Mawmaw’s with the rest of the Trahan family. There was ham, and a roasted turkey with Rice Dressing served at her table. No such thing as Cornbread Dressing in my life at that time. I had my first taste of such a thing, with gravy, on Thanksgiving with Mississippi Man forty years ago. You can find recipes for these traditional southern dishes by clicking their highlighted names.
Like most family gatherings, side dishes were brought in with guests to compliment the meats served. My Aunt Loretta faithfully delivered one of those side dishes. Her contribution was a dressed-up version of that same classic green bean casserole we were discussing earlier. She made small but notable changes, which were cheese for added taste and creaminess and a surprisingly crunchy bite from sliced water chestnuts. They were minor tweaks that added more flavor and texture to that already favored traditional dish.
Today’s Cheesy Creamy Green Bean Casserole is a spin-off from my aunt’s recipe. Somewhat like hers, I did my own tweaking. I’m always doing that in the kitchen, aren’t you? (That’s not to be confused with a particular dance move, either.)
The first adjustment is all in the process of cooking the frozen cut green beans.
The taste of garlic is one of my favorite ways to enhance foods, and it goes exceptionally well with green beans. Pressing the garlic cloves into the beans as they cook in salted water is the first step to this cheesy creamy goodness.
The next steps follow what my aunt used in her recipe. They are the crispy water chestnuts and the addition of a can of cream of asparagus soup with the cream of mushroom soup. The asparagus soup is a gamechanger!
And as you know, if I can, I always add a small dose of cayenne pepper, which blends well with this medley!
The last step to success before baking is the layering of the green bean mixture with Mexican Style Four Cheese and crispy fried onions. This cheese blend is one of my favorites. It melts well together with a great cheesy taste. The layers ensure the uniting of all these fine flavors.