Home » Food & Drink » Food » Dorcas Reilly, an Employee of the Campbell Soup Company, Created the Green Bean Casserole in 1955. She was Added to the Inventor’s Hall of Fame for Her Creation.
Dorcas Reilly

Dorcas Reilly, an Employee of the Campbell Soup Company, Created the Green Bean Casserole in 1955. She was Added to the Inventor’s Hall of Fame for Her Creation.

Everyone looks forward to the iconic Green Bean Casserole during the holidays. It is so simple to prepare that you can serve it any day. Green Bean Casserole is appealing due to its creamy, smooth sauce, unrivaled flavor, and simplicity. This family-friendly side dish has been a favorite for over 60 years, with only five ingredients and 10 minutes to prepare. But did you ever wonder who created the Green Bean Casserole? 

Dorcas Reilly, a Campbell Test Kitchen Manager who invented the green bean casserole in 1955, was added to the Inventors Hall of Fame.

Dorcas Reilly, The Mother of Green Bean Casserole

Dorcas Bates Reilly, the green bean casserole’s creator, died at the age of 92. Hundreds of recipes were created by the former Campbell’s test kitchen supervisor during her career, but none were as well-loved as this Thanksgiving staple.

When Reilly and her colleagues made their green bean casserole in 1955 at Campbell’s test kitchen in Camden, New Jersey, they had no idea it would become an overnight sensation. When reporters later asked her about inventing The Green Bean Bake, as it was originally called, she couldn’t recall anything. 

After all, her team creates thousands of recipes using Campbell’s products each year, only 10% of which were deemed fit for soup can labels. Her previous recipes included tuna noodle casserole, tomato soup meatloaf, and Souperburger sandwiches, a Sloppy Joe variation made with condensed tomato soup.

Aside from the specifics, she has stated in previous interviews that the main idea behind the green bean casserole was to be quick and easy. Although many cooks personalize the dish, the classic Campbell’s recipe takes only 10 minutes to prepare and calls for six ingredients: Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom soup, green beans, milk, a dash of soy sauce, black pepper, and French’s French Fried onions.

When we created Green Bean Casserole, our goal was to develop an easy recipe featuring a few simple ingredients,  And most home cooks typically had green beans and cream of mushroom soup on hand at all times.

Dorcas Reilly, Test Kitchen Manager, Campbell Soup Company

The following year, she donated her recipe to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, which also houses Thomas Edison’s light bulb. She had been retired for 14 years, but her recipe had lived on, and continues to live on, in homes across America.

Reilly, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey, where she had grown up. 

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dorcas Reilly, the creator of one of America’s most beloved recipes like the 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 as well as all those who were influenced by her creativity and generous spirit.

The Campbell Soup Company

Source: Delish

The Green Bean Casserole in Museum

Dorcas Reilly’s original recipe for Green Bean Bake, written on a recipe card, now resides at the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio. The same building houses Thomas Edison’s light bulb. (Source: Delish

Image from McCormick

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