Thanksgiving recipes: These are the best green bean casseroles

There's more than one way to make a green bean casserole.
Image: Siri Pinter and Carson Daly's family recipes for green bean casserole and mashed potatoes with bacon and vodka
Green bean casserole is a classic side at millions of Thanksgiving dinner tables. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

The green bean casserole turns 64 years old on Nov. 25 and though its creator Dorcas Reilly passed away last year, the crunchy yet verdant dish lives on in many families' hearts and homes.

Reilly originally called the classic American side dish the "Green Bean Bake" when she worked in the Campbell's Soup Co. test kitchen in 1955. The original recipe called for pantry staples like canned cream of mushroom soup, Worcestershire sauce, fried onions and, of course, green beans.

Today, while many folks may covet the crinkled, stained recipe page from their grandmother's cookbook, there are plenty of versions to try. Green Giant even made a 637-pound version in 2017 and set a world record.

These are some of TODAY Food's favorite green bean casseroles, lighter green bean recipes and creamy veggie sides.

West Virginia native Katie Lee whips up a classic casserole, blanching the green beans first to ensure they keep their bright hue under all those crispy onions.

Siri Daly has been making green bean casserole long before she married her husband, Carson. This 45-minute recipe uses shiitake mushrooms, cream and chicken stock for a homemade mushroom soup base that's full of umami flavor.

Add Brussels sprouts — America's other formerly notorious, now trendy vegetable side — to your veggie casserole and mix it with salty bacon and a dash of cayenne pepper for a different take with a little kick.

The liquid in Kentucky Wonder pole green beans is called pot liquor and contains essential vitamins, says Savannah Guthrie's mom Nancy. If you can't find Kentucky Wonder pole green beans, use string beans instead. This dish isn't creamy like a casserole but stars some of the same flavors.

For those looking for a lighter green bean side, or one that needs to be on the table a bit faster, this four-ingredient recipe is a winner.

Skip the bacon and add sun-dried tomatoes and chopped almonds for a slightly nuttier, yet refreshing green bean side.

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Who doesn't love Tater Tots? This casserole uses cream cheese, shredded cheese and cream of chicken soup to take these crispy little potatoes to the next level.

This veggie casserole may say it's for summer, but the hot, creamy mix of green beans, squash, tomatoes and corn make it worthy of any season, especially during the holidays.