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Do you really like that green bean casserole?

Confession--I've never eaten that casserole but the combination, even if made in a healthy way, sounds ghastly to me. The same for yams with marshmallows, which I tried and was appalled by. I love both green beans and yams but not in their traditional presentation. So, given the option, would you secretly go for those with cream of mushroom/marshmallow dishes or do you truly like a more CH version, regardless of whether it is a healthier one?

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  1. I really DO like the classic Betty Crocker multiple can version. I have made it entirely from scratch using sauteed Porcini and lightly steamed Haricot Verts in a nice bechamel, and it was darn good yet, yet,

    I'll do it again but only for those who would appreciate it. otherwise, yeah! pour those Durkee onions on!

    2 Replies
    1. re: hill food

      I REALLY like THAT green bean casserole too. I follow the classic Campbell's recipe. One year I shopped late and the store was out of the original flavored French's fried onions so I had to use the cheese flavor. We really liked it so now I use them every year.

      Had a fancy homemade version once at a Thanksgiving buffet and didn't care for it at all.

      1. re: Axalady

        LOVE IT - only the original classic Campbells version...no fancy stuff. Comfort food at it's finest.

    2. Yep. It's not haute cuisine, but I enjoy it. :) I'd certainly try a fancier version given the opportunity, but eh... I'm fine with the original in all its preservative-laden canned soup glory.

      I don't care for the yams/marshmallow dish at all, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Aria

        I'm with you.I now make the Cooks Illustrated version.

      2. I actually love it and can't get enough this time of the year. It's funny because the rest of the year I forget about it. I must be programmed well...LOL! I grew up with my "Nanny" making it on the holidays. I make it from the recipe on back of the can. As a matter of fact my mother called me up last night and asked me what I was making for Thanksgiving and the green bean casserole was one of the first things I said. If I don't make it no one else will.

        1. I'm not American and have never eaten green bean casserole, but it's one of those dishes I have heard a lot about online (especially around this time of year) and so I have looked up recipes for it before. It has always seemed to me that when cooked from scratch instead of from cans and packages, it would be quite tasty. Basically green beans with some mushrooms in a creamy sauce, with fried onions on top.

          1. I'm a fan of the green beans only if fresh ingredients are involved, and it's a bonus if the green beans are haricot verts sautéed with garlic prior to adding the homemade mushroom sauce.
            As for the yams, they are sweet enough and with enough butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and extra spices, the marshmallows seem unnecessary. If you miss the vanilla from the marshmallows, just add some vanilla bean or pure extract.

            1. In my family, neither of those dishes graced my table at any Holiday.

              It wasn't until a few years ago, we went to friends and they were both served.

              I tried a bite of the green bean one and didn't like it, but passed on the yam/marshmallow.

              We grew up with plain sides, like squash with just S & P, with butter. Having everything plain, allows you to stream the gravy all over everything for extra yumminess. :)

              1. I could take it or leave it. I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year, and I asked my guests which foods they would like to see included in the meal, and yes, I got a request for the green bean casserole. However no one asked for the candied yams. I'd rather have been asked to make the yams. I'm not going to just make them for myself because I'm trying to cut down on the time I spend in the kitchen this year.

                1. It’s a classic food industry recipe dish…….typical of the Kraft etc. back of the carton type dishes where 6 of 8 ingredients required are made by their company.

                  Since my mother learned to cook in the 1950’s and 60’s I imagine that is when it found its way to American tables.

                  We had it occasionally while growing up, my mother used frozen string beans which I’m guessing was probably part of the original recipe she saw somewhere.

                  If someone doubles the amount of the onions……and actually seasons it with fresh beans (or haricot verts for people who want to sound hip  ), it can be enjoyable. It is what it is.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: River19

                    I have never heard of "seasoning with fresh beans"............

                    1. re: Mayor of Melonville

                      Pretty sure that involves using two green beans for every can of fried onions ;)

                      1. re: mlou72

                        Haha! That's what I thought, love them Durkee French fried onions!

                  2. Never had either- was not something my grandmother or mother made, and now my mother and i host the family, and it is not on our list. Though, I would like to try both, as they are staples on lots of Thanksgiving feasts. I have found that, in my family at least, you can add dishes to the dinner, but cannot take away anything that has been on the table to 50+ years! We do make a creamed cauliflower dish that we only serve on Thanksgiving, so I guess that is as close as we get. Funny how things are traditional- we have a turkey platter with a turkey on it, and a few sets of turkey S/P shakers- they both have to be on the table! Used to be my brothers and I looked for them every year, now the kids look for them. And this year, we have the first grandchild, who will be asking for them soon, I am sure. My mother just loves it.

                    1. I don't care for green beans in that guise whether the casserole is made with cans or from scratch. As far as sweet potatoes go, I love them in any dish, and I will happily eat the casserole with marshmallows - however, I would rather have them in a preparation that allows their natural sweetness and flavor to shine.

                      1. There is a version of the 'classic' in the Sunset cookbook series that has frozen beans, bean sprouts, water chestnuts and cheddar cheese in addition to the soup and onion rings and my husband and I tried making it for Thanksgiving one year. It was not bad but did not go over well with our die hard family. (We had never served the original version but thought they would like this dish- bad idea.) The only time I ever had the original was as a side dish at a cookout and thought it was ok at the time.

                        Sweet potatoes with marshmallows will never grace my dining room table. I have eaten that as a guest and really disliked it. The sugar ruined the whole meal for me.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Berheenia

                          I never had it as a child, don't know why mom never made it or the marshmallow topped sweet potatoes either, which I was more interested in. I've had the sweet potatoes prepared that way a few times and it's not half bad.

                          Later in life, I had a college roommate who stayed with me over the summer and she made the green bean casserole for me. It's not a dish you want to eat on a hot summer day.

                          From the preponderance of ads for this dish at holiday time, seems like everyone in the US makes this dish and has been doing so since the 50's. I think it's time for Kraft to change up, being that it's a new century and all that.

                          I made a version a few years ago for Thanksgiving, per host request; from scratch, sauteed creminis, reduced garlic infused cream, fresh blanched green beans, crispy onion bits, etc. It was tasty, and got et all up.

                          To be honest, I'd rather green beans with crispy shallots, sauteed mushrooms, lemon and pine nuts, more my style these days.

                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                            The sweet potato casserole I had was made by a dear friend's mother who was notorious for being an awful cook so maybe that was why I hated it. I like the idea of green beans with crispy shallots etc.

                        2. As noted above, I suspect it's more nostalgia than flavor or nutrition. Thanksgiving is a day when all of those aromas combine to remind you of where you came from.

                          For better or worse, green bean casserole and candied yams, (and turkey and dressing and canned cranberry sauce and yeast rolls, and pumpkin pie and...) all combine to do that.

                          It may not taste "good", but it does taste like home.

                          And once a year, that's good enough.

                          1. I've never been served the green bean casserole so I'll refrain from commenting on it.

                            Love yams with marshmallows. It was the only way that I would eat them when I was younger. I love the browned/burnt marshmallow skin. Haven't had it in years, but I might this year.

                            1. I like it, and I think it tastes good. It's not about nostalgia for me, because I didn't grow up eating green bean casserole or other canned mushroom soup casseroles. It's something I didn't try until my mid-twenties. I use fresh string beans instead of canned or frozen.

                              Here's a fancy pants version, for anti-canned soup hounds.

                              1. I do not like the standard green bean casserole, and I've eaten it many times, though not in the last 20 years or so. I last made it with reduced fat soups (or was it reduced salt soups?--ah the mysteries of my long term memory) but I still didn't really like it.

                                I do remember having it for the first time at a potluck almost 50 years ago. The cook told me she used cream of asparagus soup, and cream of mushroom soup. I believe canned asparagus tips were mixed into the green beans. I was very young., I liked it then.

                                1. Can't stand green bean casserole, it's nasty. I tried it for the first time a couple of years ago, my mother in law made it for Thanksgiving. Blech!!!!

                                  We do have candied yams every year, I can only eat a couple of bites as it's too sweet for me. I prefer my moms over anyone else's though. My mother in law made her version one year & it was horribly lacking any flavor or texture. Reminded me of baby food.

                                  1. I prefer a plain baked sweet potato - plenty sweet on its own - to candied or marshmallow-topped.
                                    But I do like the green bean casserole if the beans are frozen or fresh rather than canned. For Thanksgiving, Trader Joe's stocks their own fried onions in a green-topped canister. They are a lot tastier than Durkee/French.

                                    1. I'd never had green bean casserole, but DH grew up on it in his extended family, so a few years ago he made it for us for Thanksgiving. My two sons were home from college, and had never had it either. We all love fresh or even frozen green beans. They are our 'go-to' vegetable when we don't want anything special.
                                      The three of us each tried a bite. Hubby got the rest. 'Nuff said.

                                      I've still never tried sweet potatoes with marshmallows. My mother always made sweet potatoes with apples - it may have been from Joy. Her recipe had the potatoes and apples sliced and layered with brown sugar and cinnamon, I think. I make one that is similar, but the sweet potatoes are mashed with the sugar, and the apples layered in the middle, and some pecans are on top. I love that recipe, so I know I won't make the marshmallow one. I wouldn't mind tasting it sometime, though.

                                      1. I like the green bean casserole; maybe because of the nostalgia. I never liked sweet potatoes and would rather eat the mashed potatoes with gravy.

                                        1. Love it. I don't really like the too sweet marshmallow sweet potatoes. Yams are really a misnomer.... they are really all sweet potatoes (here in America), even though the can or producers call them yams.

                                          1. From the first bite I had of The Green Bean Casserole in 1989, I thought it was horrible. I tried it a few more times thinking I would eventually like it, but that never happened.

                                            I prefer my sweet potatoes with no marshmallows.

                                            1. I never even *heard* of the green bean casserole until 1999, when I moved to Pittsburgh, where people apparently had been eating it at Thanksgiving since time immemorial. But in NJ, where I grew up, and DC, where I spent most of my adult life, I don't recall it having ever been served at any Thanksgiving dinner I ever went to.

                                              And I don't come from any kind of food snob background. I don't think I had real mashed potatoes until I was out of the house at 18. So I imagine if the green bean thing were that "traditional," my mother would've put them out for Thanksgiving.

                                              Oh, and I tasted it that first year. It was easy enough to eat a couple of spoonsful, but I never put it on my plate again.

                                              I don't like marshmallow on anything, and my plate is usually too full to put any yams or sweet potatoes on it.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                Even though I've known of this casserole for a very long time, I didn't realize until recently that people liked it for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinners. Same with macaroni and cheese. When did that become a Thanksgiving dish?

                                                When I was cooking for my family, I absolutely refused to top mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows for any dinner. I can't imagine eating marshmallows for dinner.

                                                1. re: sueatmo

                                                  Um, the green bean casserole specifically for the holidays has been around since the early 60's from what I remember. It seems to even pop up for Easter. Mac and cheese on the Thanksgiving table is sort of a Southern thing; black and Southern friends of mine always include it, and it's become a staple for me.

                                                  As far as the marshmallows go, you're not eating them straight, there's mashed sweet potato underneath. So you have a little bite of marshmallow with the sweet potato. It's a bit of an indulgence for the holidays.

                                                  To each their own. There are many other ways to prepare sweet potatoes.

                                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                    It wasn't a staple of our holiday table as I was growing up. I tasted it first away from home. What can I say? Finding out it was used at Thanksgiving was a surprise to me.

                                                    On the sweet potato thing, to each his own. I do get plenty of indulgence with pie at Thanksgiving. And stuffing.

                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                      Yes, definitely with bushwickgirl on mac n' cheese being a southern/soul food Thanksgiving staple. Had it all the time at various family members' holiday tables growing up. Loved it.

                                                2. Yup..and I prefer canned green beans in the recipe over fresh.

                                                  Love those French's fried onions as well.

                                                  1. My husband LOVES the original, but I can only swallow it if I "tweak" it. So I do, & here's my version. Even Green Bean Casserole haters have come back for 2nd servings. And - if you have leftovers, you can add in bite-size pieces of leftover turkey & end up with a lovely 2nd meal.

                                                    BREEZY GREEN BEAN MUSHROOM CASSEROLE

                                                    1 pound package frozen whole green beans, thawed
                                                    6-8 fresh Shitake mushrooms
                                                    1-2 clusters Oyster mushrooms (or 1 cluster oyster mushrooms & 1 cluster Maitake mushrooms)
                                                    6-8 Cremini mushrooms
                                                    2-3 tablespoons butter
                                                    1 can regular condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (NOT low or no fat!)
                                                    ¾ cup of half-and-half or heavy cream
                                                    1/3 cup dry sherry
                                                    Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
                                                    1 can French’s Original French Fried Onions

                                                    Preheat oven to 350.
                                                    Rinse & trim mushrooms (discard shitake stems or save for stock); slice. In a skillet large enough to hold all ingredients, melt butter & sauté mushrooms until they release their liquid & are “just” starting to brown a little. Stir in soup, half-&-half or cream, & sherry. Stir & simmer gently until mixture thickens a little, season to taste with salt & pepper, & gently fold in thawed green beans & approximately 1/3 can of fried onions. Transfer mixture to a baking dish (around 2-3 quart size) & bake for 20 minutes or until heated through, then top with remaining fried onions & continue baking for another 10 minutes or until onion topping is toasted a bit.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. As for those "candied/marshmallow yams" - definitely not for us. I make plain baked whole sweet potatoes & serve them halved with butter - just like you'd do for regular white baking potatoes. Never have any leftovers. You can almost hear an audible sigh of relief when folks realize I'm not serving the overly-sweet goop - lol!

                                                      1. Greenbean casserole and candied yams are HORRIBLE. They are repulsive. Worst of all, they are lazy food.

                                                        I will never serve it at thanksgiving and I always ask people NOT to bring it if I ask people to bring sides to my thanksgivings (though I cook everything myself).

                                                        I do a greenbean dish with tomatoes and bacon. For sweet potatoes, I do a sweet potato gratin.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. My mom never made GBC or yams with marshmallows. It's only been in recent years that I've realized that green bean casserole is something that is traditional for a lot of families. I hate the stuff - I hate anything that uses cream of X soup as an ingredient. I like candied yams with marshmallows, but have never made them and never would. It's one of those things I'm ashamed of liking, like Five Guys and The Millionaire Matchmaker. This year I'm going to make a sweet potato dish that has a pecan/brown sugar streusel on top. Streusel is my middle name!

                                                          1. No. I really do not like that Green Been "Cass" (as we call it in our home). However, my three kids have loved it since they were kids so it is a staple on our thanksgiving table. I would just rather have a bowl of turnips and that jellied canned cranberry sauce for dinner.

                                                            1. On second thought..........you know, anytime I hve had the GBC, it is all about the salty fried onions.........so really the rest just kinds goes with it. As a kid I used to steal the fried onion cans and eat them as a snack......sometimes I would put back a half full container only to have my mother freak out when she went to make GBC again.......I blamed it on my Grandmother who lived with us. I don't think they bought it.........

                                                              GBC is what it is.......

                                                              1. NO!

                                                                I love green beans and there are many interesting things you can do with them but dumping a sorry excuse for gloppy soup on them just doesn't make the grade.

                                                                1. Yes on the original versions of Green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and cheesy potatoes with the crushed potato chip topping. I'd use cream of chicken instead of cream of mushroom.

                                                                  Heck No on fancying up the dishes.

                                                                  Double Heck No on Jell-O molds, especially lime jello with floaty bits of peas and carrots.

                                                                  1. y'know I think my disappointment with my from-scratch-all-fresh version of GBC is that it's just never salty enough.

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                      There are certain foods that just shouldn't be fancied up or deconstructed........usually they are the comfort types of "food" or fast food.......ever had McDonald's hold something off a burger before? The whole thing goes to hell in a hand basket pretty quickly and becomes even more inedible than in its original state.

                                                                      I think GBC is just like that...........

                                                                      Does anyone know any person who has actually consumed a "cream" of anything soup as a soup......?

                                                                      1. re: River19

                                                                        I have! I love tomato. The other day I found a can of cream of celery that a friend left behind. I had it as soup. Not bad, but it would have been way better if I'd sauteed some celery in butter first, then added the soup and milk. I think those things are acceptable as soup. I just hate them as an ingredient in something else.

                                                                        1. re: River19

                                                                          I grew up eating cream of tomato soup, cream of mushroom soup, as well as pea soup and consomme, as soup.

                                                                          I never had used canned soups as an ingredient until I moved away from home, and started seeing all sorts of recipes for Tuna Casseroles, Chicken Divans, GBCs, etc. calling for soup.

                                                                          Amazed that it's such a foreign concept to so many Chowhounds, to eat Cream of Mushroom soup as soup!

                                                                          And even more amazed by how polarizing the topic of GBC is to some Chowhounds.

                                                                          1. re: prima

                                                                            I can't eat canned cream of mushroom on its own - it was Mom's go-to dish when I was puking with flu. that and 7-UP.

                                                                            the idea of that combo makes me clench. but that's for another (established) thread.

                                                                            the others I like fine (doctored) on a self-indulgent and lazy occasion.

                                                                          2. re: River19

                                                                            River19: "ever had McDonald's hold something off a burger before? The whole thing goes to hell in a hand basket pretty quickly and becomes even more inedible than in its original state."

                                                                            I always have them hold the onions. To my taste, it's much less inedible that way.

                                                                            1. re: River19

                                                                              When I was a kid, back in the 40's and 50's, my mother often served me campbell's cream soups for lunch. Cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of potato. She also served a lunch of onion soup from a Lipton's envelope

                                                                              1. re: River19

                                                                                My mother used to fix us Campbell's cream of mushroom soup for lunch. I think she made it with milk. I haven't had it for probably 40 years, but now I want some.
                                                                                It was one of those comfort foods back in the 60's.

                                                                            2. I think its really yummy, provided its with fresh haricots verts, homemade sauce, etc.! And frequently the only green veggie on the T-day table, so I guess it serves a purpose....

                                                                              1. Personally, I've hated every iteration of sweet potatoes that involves marshmallows that I've tried. I adore marshmallows, and mostly like sweet potatoes. Together though, ugh. Actually, I just not fond of sweet potatoes being sweetened in general.

                                                                                Maybe I would feel differently in I had a fancier version of it.

                                                                                1. I love the green bean casserole, but made with fresh green beans rather than canned. I'm ok with canned stuff for the sauce, but not for the beans themselves. I'm not a fan of yams/sweet potatoes in any form.

                                                                                  1. I didn't realize the recipe used canned green beans. Now I know I would hate it.

                                                                                    1. I'm sure it's mostly nostalgia, but I do like green bean casserole. It's the only time I will eat anything made with cream of mushroom soup. I haven't tried a from-scratch version, but think I need to do so.
                                                                                      I can do without the sweet potatoes and marshmallows, though, it's way too sweet. Baked and topped with a bit of butter and a dash of cinnamon is a much better way to eat sweet potatoes.

                                                                                      1. Wow, there are sure a lot of replies already. I never liked it until I had Coll's version, which has a bit of sherry stirred in. All the flavors came together.

                                                                                        1. I'd like to try Sue@MO's use of cream of asparagus soup in the GBC and WPH's use of a pecan/brown sugar streusel on the sweet potatoes instead of marshmallows.

                                                                                          sure it's still a little lazy, but at least it's considered.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                            The Texan that always brings sweet potato casserole to our Thanksgiving tops hers with BOTH brown sugar/pecan streusel and marshmallows. It is tooth-achingly sweet, and I would prefer a less sugared preparation, but hey, it's tradition for her so there you go. I look at it as pre-dessert, not part of dinner!

                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                              gotta admit I like sweet potatoes best in a pie. but I like the idea of it as a segue.

                                                                                            2. re: hill food

                                                                                              Try the green bean casserole that way, with asparagus tips as well as the soup, and let me know how it is. It has been many, many years since I did it.

                                                                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                maybe tomorrow! (I'm kinda itching to have at least one decent traditional comfort food this week before the family maelstrom of beige)

                                                                                            3. Growing up I always hated sweet potatoes because of the goopy marshmallow, sickeningly sweet version my mom made. It wasn't until I tried sweet potato fries with hot sauce at a Carribean restaurant that I discovered how good sweet potatoes can be. I love them pureed with chiles en adobo.

                                                                                              I can't stand green bean casserole, although I love fresh, just picked green beans. So, although I've had to make both in the past, never will again.

                                                                                              1. I've concocted a nice version from scratch for Thanksgiving a couple of times. No recipe, just a mushroom cream sauce with reconstituted porcini, fresh lobster mushrooms, shallot, bay, white pepper, and smashed cloves. It's nice of course to let all that goodness steep in the milk long before putting together the bechamel. Add a splash of good sherry and some fresh tarragon, and finish the whole shebang in the oven, topped topped with a mix of bread crumbs and caramelized onion.

                                                                                                1. I love green bean casserole. Just the traditional green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and french fried onions version is fine by me. No one in my husband's family eats it except for the two of us and his sister and her husband, so my sis in law usually makes a small batch just for the four of us. Love her for that!!!

                                                                                                  1. I'd prefer fresh cut and steamed green beans finished with a home made shallot cream sauce. However, my GF's mom insists on the 1955 Campbell's R&D abomination as it is "traditional."
                                                                                                    (Sigh) I'll get through it.

                                                                                                    1. Unlike green bean casserole, sweet potatoes or yams with marshmallows is an abomination that can't be saved, and this coming from someone who had them all the time growing up.

                                                                                                      I put mashed sweet potatoes on the table at almost every holiday, but as far as I'm concerned the only time they ever need extra sugar is if they're going into dessert for sweet potato pie (yessur) or ice cream.

                                                                                                      1. Haven't even seen that green bean casserole on a TG table in at least 25 years. The only person I know who made it was my aunt, and that was 30+ years ago.


                                                                                                        1. It's all hideous stuff, not much different than school cafeteria food.

                                                                                                          1. My family has a strange obsession with those fried onion things, they are so addictive and so incredibly unhealthy and usually my mom will have to buy multiples because everyone will keep eating the ones she bought for the casserole
                                                                                                            It really is a sickness
                                                                                                            As for the casserole, meh, I don't hate it but I don't crave it
                                                                                                            I've never had the sweet potatoes with marshmallows, we have it with chopped pecans on top

                                                                                                            1. Don't you just love negative threads when people are just looking to disparage something.

                                                                                                              I think there is also another negative thread about serving turkey at Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                                oh roch, no YOU suck! (smirk)

                                                                                                                actually a lot of these have been positive and nostalgic. I've learned some tips on how to work within the accepted paradigm. (no I am NOT going to spring something on my mom, she wouldn't want or like it, I'll do that in my own home)

                                                                                                                there are always a few who hiss and arch their backs like cats when the dog ambles into the room about the crashier stuff, but they are seldom and their opinions are still valid even if unhelpful.

                                                                                                                besides, just because we accept, respect and deal with what's expected doesn't mean we don't get to gripe about it. and where better than in the (quite relative) anonymity of the web?

                                                                                                                1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                                  You know, I posted a positive one last month about mistakes that turned out great and almost no one posted. This one had 30 or so overnight. Go figure.

                                                                                                                  1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                                    Love 'em. Makes the rebel in me want to make an entire meal with canned soups! I wonder how many cans it would take to cover the turkey in the big roasting pan....

                                                                                                                    But seriously, hats off to the smart cooks of yesteryear (and today) that buy cans and boxes of things weeks in advance (or have them leftover from last Tday), saving the real workout for cooking the turkey, and getting rave reviews on the whole spread. We'll include those lazy cheap bastards that will only bring mashed potatoes (from a box, a wealthy relative got away with this for years before being found out!). Pretty smart to bring a side dish that costs under $4 and drink up all the wine and gobble up the rest of the fare ;)

                                                                                                                    Green beans, I hate them any way they're cooked and only remember trying a bite or two of that strange casserole as a kid and thinking it tasted like wet greasy salt. No clue why people want to mess up perfectly good vegetables.

                                                                                                                    I did the sweet potatoes once, out of curiousity and because it was just a small gathering and I thought it saved me extra cooking. The marshmallows were fun, the canned yams were surprisingly yummy, so I totally get the dish and will eat it if someone brings it. But baked whole sweet potatoes are even easier, so I've never done the marshmallow thing again.

                                                                                                                  2. Hell yeah. I am so not above canned crap when it comes to tradition. Nothing says Thanksgiving like MSG and marshmallows.

                                                                                                                    Sometimes we shouldn't take ourselves so seriously.

                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: MrsCheese

                                                                                                                      and this much angst over something that shows up on the table, what, 2, maybe 3 times a year if you count Thanksgiving, Christmas AND Easter?

                                                                                                                      Let it go -- don't eat it if you don't like it -- but just walk past it and don't take any and don't pee all over it for those that DO like it!

                                                                                                                      (and yes, I'll eat it once or twice a year)

                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                        I guess the problem is that where 'Green Giant green beans/Campbell's canned-mushroom soup-/Durkee's fried onion casserole' shows up, can Jet-Puff marshmallow sweet potatoes be far behind?

                                                                                                                        And then canned Swanson's cranberry sauce, Wishbone Italian dressing, Doritos chips and salsa, and pretty soon you have one of those Thanksgiving meals that looks like grandma has gone in for product placement.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                          I was just having that conversation today -- sweet potatoes with marshmallows will never show up where I own the oven. At someone else's house? No biggie -- I just walk on past and swear I need more room for stuffing (even if it's Stovetop)

                                                                                                                          If you're cooking, it's your choice (or it's easy to avoid what someone else brings that you don't like) -- if you're not cooking, it's still just one day, and it won't kill you to just keep quiet, even if you don't eat it.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                            "it won't kill you to just keep quiet, even if you don't eat it."

                                                                                                                            I am unaware that I or anyone else on this thread suggested complaining at the Thanksgiving table.

                                                                                                                            My point was that whenever you are confronted with a GBC, it is not usually just one dish. The other awful dishes of Thanksgiving (like marshmallow sweet potatoes) are sure to follow.

                                                                                                                            I know because I lived it and decided long ago to take matters in my own hand. I've been deliriously happy with Thanksgiving ever since.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Steve

                                                                                                                            I also liked canned cranberry sauce. I even like it better than the homemade stuff. So sue me (or take away my Chowhound membership?). :-)

                                                                                                                            Look, I'm all for gourmet most days of the year, and I support my local farmers and belong to a meat CSA, buy locally caught seafood, etc, and my family eats very well (and very little processed stuff). But if I'm a guest for Thanksgiving, I'm going to appreciate whatever is on the table, and I even have a soft spot for some of it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: MrsCheese

                                                                                                                              sometimes, you want that glistening plate of primary color and geometric purity. if I'm going to serve it, and I DO like it, it has to be served unsullied out of the can in a single quivering tower. but that's just me

                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                hill food, my mom served the tower on its side (a log?) and sliced it into ¾" slices.
                                                                                                                                i have got to have cran with any turkey sandwich. in fact, i'd rather just have a dressing and cran sandwich.

                                                                                                                                i love all things cran -- jellied *and* artisanal. ;-)).

                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                  I didn't even touch the abomination of cranberry jelly, mayo and whipped crean one sibling brought. there is no excuse.

                                                                                                                                  just baby spew on a plate. I'll go without and have a Cape Cod. thanks.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                    oh yeah,…the cape cod! "takes the edge off of family gatherings…" LOL

                                                                                                                      2. Simply Recipes posted a fresh food alternative to the canned/frozen/canned triad. No crunchy onion curlicues, though.

                                                                                                                        Check out: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/crea...

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                                                                          Sounds very tasty. You could top that crispy shallots or onions, home made, of course.

                                                                                                                        2. My father, who never ate anything "creamed," and who thought that sour cream and cream cheese were the work of the devil (a typical Italian, though he was American born and raised), would have thought that my mother had lost her mind had she attempted to serve either of these Thanksgiving traditions. We had green beans, but they were simply done with an olive oil and garlic dressing. My mother, who had more eclectic tastes, would make creamed onions, but she was the only one who ate those. Now, we did start with lasagna, though!

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                            Lasagne for Thanksgiving: food of the gods. And you've just described the *only* way to eat green beans, AFAIC. (I've been known to add walnuts and a little walnut oil, maybe.)

                                                                                                                          2. never had green bean casserole at home growing up in the 60s and 70s, but then, we grew up overseas. the first time i had the casserole many-several years ago, i liked it. but i like green beans in any shape or for. i tried alton brown's recipe, it was fussy and it was just "ok" for me.
                                                                                                                            i make my mushroom sauce from scratch now, with garlic flavor.

                                                                                                                            1. The green bean casserole? Yes, I do like it. Granted, it's never been a holiday staple in our family, so I've only had it a couple of times. But I would welcome it if it were served this week. Pretty sure it won't be, and that's ok too, as I am VERY much looking forward to the roasted Brussels sprouts, which beat the crap out of any kind of green bean.
                                                                                                                              As for the sweet potatoes with marshmallows? what the hell? WHY would anyone add such a sickeningly sweet, oddly textured topping to a perfectly good food? I love sweet potatoes, baked, mashed, fries, whatever.. but marshmallows? That should be reserved for the movie "Elf", along with syrup on spaghetti.

                                                                                                                              1. No, I don't like it and think it's a mean thing to do to something as wonderful as green beans. I didn't grow up with green bean casserole- or canned cream of ______ soups for that matter so I have a hard time eating them. All I taste is the salt and some weird metallic aftertaste. Can't do it. (My folks are both great cooks who love fresh foods and my Mom has always had an amazing veggie garden so I grew up without canned and packaged food. As a result, it all tastes bad to me.) Because I'm such a fan of them simply cooked with a bit of crunch left in them I've never felt the need to try to recreate the casserole.

                                                                                                                                I also don't like marshmallows- ever- in anything.

                                                                                                                                1. I like GBC, but no one in my family does, so I never served it. After reading this thread, however, I'm going to try it w/cream of asparagus soup and some asparagus mixed w/green beans (I hate frozen green beans)

                                                                                                                                  I grew up with marshmallows on sweet potatoes, so I always thought I hated sweet potatoes, turns out I hate marshmallows and love sweet potatoes.

                                                                                                                                  1. My family loves the green bean casserole but I grew up with peas substituted for the green beans so that's how I usually make it (except for last year and this year because we have a guest who loathes peas). Peas go so much better with mushrooms and onions.And always frozen, never canned.

                                                                                                                                    Some years I make the sweet potatoes with marshmallows, some years I don't. But the sweetness depends more on the amount of sugar you throw in than the few marshmallows scattered on top.

                                                                                                                                    1. My French students were very interested in my lesson about Thanksgiving, as they've all heard of it, but don't really understand it.

                                                                                                                                      They were pretty much on board with green bean casserole (I described it with bechamel instead of cream of mushroom soup, as the soup isn't available here)...but the sweet potatoes with sugar and marshmallow (guimauve) got a lot of startled looks...and they were relieved to hear that we don't eat them that way.

                                                                                                                                      1. I never had the green bean casserole til when I was in college, and went to a friend's house for dinner. When I said I'd never had that dish, she looked at me like I had horns on my head. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've had it in my lifetime. I wouldn't have a problem eating it--at someone else's house.

                                                                                                                                        Now, sweet potato with marshmallows, that was always served on Thanksgiving. But, my mother made individual servings with a crushed corn flake coating, not a casserole. It had pineapple bits inside, and she alternated marshmallows with maraschino cherries on each serving--very sweet. I had not made T-giving for many years til last year, when I had a pre-Thanksgiving dinner as my son wasn't going to be around on Tday. I revived Mom's recipe, but added chopped walnuts. Nostalgia rules on Tday.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                                                                                                          ya lost me at the cherries, but brought me back with the walnuts.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                            Yeah, the cherries were an odd touch but who is to say that marshmallows are any better (according to some people)? At least you had a choice of either one. I have no idea where she got the recipe but she always, always made sweet potatoes that way.

                                                                                                                                            I might not add the walnuts next time. Nostalgia not only rules but trumps innovation (sometimes). And truth be told, it was a toss-up between liking the crunch of the walnuts and loving the sheer creaminess of the mashed taters.

                                                                                                                                        2. Canned soup, OK I can handle that, it's just a lazy salty bechamel. But canned green beans in my opinion should not even exist. The dish can be pretty good with fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms cooked with garlic before saucing.

                                                                                                                                          1. We never did the green bean casserole but its sounds ghastly. My mother sometime made pole beans cooked with a slice of bacon though- but she's Costa Rican and didn't grow up with Thanksgiving traditions.
                                                                                                                                            I don't like dishes made with canned soup. My father's family is Southern, so they did do the yams and marshmallows but it wasn't overly sweet. It is usually mixed with canned peaches or pineapple. I don't care for the marshmallows but like the idea of combining the yams with fruit. Someone mentioned apples before and that sounds good. I don't mind the spices- I only make yams like this once a year anyway. It's nostalgia, what can I say?

                                                                                                                                            1. I liked the original but can no longer eat it due to my stupid cholesterol. But I just had a vegan version that was fantastic. And ironically, created by an Aussie.

                                                                                                                                              1. Mom always make the sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar. I like that and make it every year. I had not tasted green bean casserole until several years ago. My first impression is it's very bland. I've made it a couple of times and always add some garlic for more flavor.