R.I.P. Dorcas Reilly, Thanksgiving pioneer who created the green bean casserole

The original recipe card is in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Whether you make it or a relative does, there's a pretty good chance the green bean casserole will be making an appearance on your table next month at your Thanksgiving dinner. Who do we have to thank for this comforting twist on a healthy vegetable? That would be Dorcas Reilly, New Jersey native, former Campbell's Soup kitchen supervisor and Cream of Mushroom connoisseur.

AP Images

In 1955, Reilly put together this iconic dish for the first time for a feature with the Associated Press and Campbell's recipe cards. Due to the simple nature of the recipe and the fact that most people had Cream of Mushroom soup, frozen green beans and onions on hand, the quick casserole quickly became a holiday favorite. In 2005, she returned to AP for the recipe's 50th anniversary, stating that she didn't really remember how exactly she came up with it, noting that Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup was just a typical casserole filler in the Midwest. In fact, Campbell's estimates that approximately 40 percent of Cream of Mushroom soup is sold to make green bean casserole.

“Dorcas was an incredible woman, whose legacy will live on for years to come. She will be missed by her Campbell colleagues and all those who were impacted by her creativity and generous spirit,” Campbell's company said. She was a part of the Campbell's kitchen on and off from the late 1940s until 1988 when she retired.

The Washington Post reported today that Reilly died of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 92 on October 15. Other creations of hers include tuna noodle casserole and tomato soup meatloaf.

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djw1120 68 months ago
Why didn't MeTV put the recipe in the story?
For those of us who don't have it already.
Pacificsun djw1120 68 months ago
They did. See above.
Dicazi 68 months ago
The ONLY dish I will eat mushrooms in, and only if it's hot.
MrsPhilHarris 68 months ago
I have never eaten green bean casserole. I have never seen one in person and don't know of anyone that has made it.
lnieting MrsPhilHarris 68 months ago
Aww...you're missing out!
MrsPhilHarris lnieting 68 months ago
It's not a dish that shows up on Canadian Thanksgiving.
anthony MrsPhilHarris 68 months ago
I've seen it,been in it's presense,but never have and never will touch it.Same goes for that other discusting staple that shows up every thanksgiving cranberry sause.😋😋
djw1120 anthony 68 months ago
What is Thanksgiving turkey without cranberry sauce?
Absolutely un-American.
And OF COURSE you have to have the "infamous" green bean casserole.
If you don't like it, then just don't eat it.
But, like I'm sure your mother once told you, "Try it, you'll like it".
djw1120 MrsPhilHarris 68 months ago
That's because Thanksgiving is NOT a Canadian holiday.
It is and always has been an American holiday invented by President Lincoln.
MrsPhilHarris djw1120 68 months ago
The first Canadian Thanksgiving was in the 1500s so it's been around for a while in one form or another in what would become Canada.
SheriHeffner 68 months ago
Rest In Peace Dorcas. I love your Green Bean Casserole. ) : That's for your passing.
harlow1313 68 months ago
It would have been cool had her last name been Doofus.
Really?!?! Is that any way to speak of the dead?
lnieting harlow1313 68 months ago
That's not very nice.
Just playing with her interesting first name, nothing more...
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