Sour Cream Green Bean Casserole – A Mid-Century Thanksgiving Recipe Test

Posted on Nov 27 2013 - 4:27pm by RetroRuth

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a nice big, traditional meal planned this year! Because I don’t. Well, I guess we are having turkey, Vincent Price’s Pumpkin Pie and Mystery Pecan Pie, but in my family we don’t normally make bread stuffing or sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. (Mostly because my dad is diabetic). And we are NOT making the traditional green bean casserole.

Instead we are making Sour Cream Green Bean Casserole!


5.0 from 5 reviews
Sour Cream Green Bean Casserole
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 1 t sugar
  • ½ t grated onion (I subbed onion powder)
  • 1 cup dairy sour cream
  • 2 (12 oz) pkgs French-style frozen green beans (I subbed fresh)
  • ½ lb grated sharp cheese
  • ½ cup corn flakes
  1. Combine flour, butter and cook gently. Remove from heat, stir in seasonings and cream.
  2. Cook beans until tender; drain. Fold in cream mixture, place in shallow 1 qt casserole and cover with cheese and then cornflake crumbs mixed with 1 T butter.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6


This recipe is from The Queen’s Book, a community cookbook from 1967. I picked this one because I get so flippin’ sick of green bean casserole, even if we make it from scratch with fresh green beans and a homemade mushroom cream sauce. This year I wanted to try out something different!


Do you have a dish on your Thanksgiving table that you make every year but secretly can’t stand it?


Green bean casserole with canned beans and canned cream of mushroom soup is like that for me.  Also, I hate turkey.

You heard me.

Hate. It.


Every year I try to convince them to let me make something else, but they always insist on turkey.

But I think I can make some headway this year with the bean casserole substitution.

Tom TastesIMG_3392

“How is it?”

“Good. You know I love casseroles with cornflake topping.”

The Verdict: Good!

From The Tasting Notes –

Very good casserole with a creamy sauce and a crunchy topping. The sauce was very easy to make, just as easy as opening a can of cream of mushroom soup. Would be a great substitution for the ever-present traditional green bean casserole at Thanksgiving dinner!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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21 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sara In AZ November 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Maybe I am just really, really hungry right now, but that looks insanely good! Totally want to try this ASAP…..really, how can you go wrong with a cornflake topped casserole!? 😉

  2. Eartha Kitsch November 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Would you say that it’s better than the usual one? I’m always so “meh” about the traditional green bean casserole.

    • RetroRuth December 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm - Reply

      Yes. A thousand times, yes. 🙂

  3. Ae November 27, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    You should have told me before I bought the turkey and canned green beans and mushroom soup! Christmas is ruined.

  4. Laura November 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I thought I was alone. I think the cream o’ mushroom soup/frozen green bean casserole is one the nastiest concoctions on the planet, and my entire family thinks I’m crazy. I’m a green bean black sheep. This recipe looks like a vast improvement. I mean, how can you go wrong with sour cream? I could take or leave the turkey. I show up for Thanksgiving for the carbohydrates: mashed potatoes, stuffing, dinner rolls, and pie!

    • dkzody December 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      We had a vegan Thanksgiving with daughter and family so yesterday I roasted a turkey breast and we had dressing, potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce. That’s all. Like you, we love our carbs and fat.

  5. Tipsykit November 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    That looks good, but I would have still put the French fried onions in it, maybe mixed with the cornflakes? I LOVE those canned French fried onions so much, I put them on lots of things. They are great on a sandwich.

  6. Juti November 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    That casserole looks great!

    When I became the main cook in the house, if anybody wanted to have ambrosia salad they were going to have to make it themselves.

  7. Susan November 27, 2013 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    Hmmm….the canned green bean/cream of mushroom soup combo (which sounds completely appalling) must be an American thing, because I’ve never come across it here in Canada. Here at home, we generally torture people by serving turkey with mashed turnips. Yuck. Blech. I have never TOUCHED a turnip since I left home.

  8. Mary L November 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Since I hate green beans, this is a no-go for me. I’m from Maryland (parents were Baltimoreans) and our Thanksgiving dinner featured two main dishes. Turkey, of course, paired with sauerkraut and pork (short ribs or a roast). We “start” kraut on the stove, adding pepper and water as needed since it simmers for 2-3 hours. Or longer. (Stirring and adding some water so it doesn’t burn.) When the roast or ribs are almost done (about 30-40 minutes to finish) add the kraut to the baking dish and return to the oven. The sauerkraut will be dark with a strong flavor. When very young, my brother and I would combine mashed potatoes and kraut on our forks. By our teens, we ate it straight, but I’ll admit, it’s an acquired taste.

  9. Lassie November 29, 2013 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Looks wonderfully good. But I like even the regular green bean casseole, love the FF onion rings.

    I hate turkey. No, I LOATHE turkey. For a multitude of reasons. To me it tastes of bitter loss and sadness, of failure. Plus, I can’t stand the gamey taste and texture.

    I think MOST people secretly hate turkey. The best Thanksgiving I ever had, we grilled steaks in a light flurry of snow.

  10. celia November 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    I make mashed potatoes every year and they are totally stupid. What a waste of calories. I have hypoglycemia and they annoy me on principle. I don’t really care for turkey but I have made it palatable by buying an insanely expensive one and then getting it small so there are minimal leftovers. I get an organic one and we shove herb butter under the skin and then roast it upside down. No basting necessary, always juicy. We flip it the last half hour so it crisps up the breast.

    I love green bean casserole from scratch. I did not make it this year. I made everything from scratch, including the rolls. They are so delish and you can make them ahead and freeze them. I make a the rolls a week ahead, the cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, carrot cake, and stuffing the day before . The morning of is pumpkin pie. Then the turkey goes in and the only thing on the stove top at the end is the gravy and potatoes and corn. While the turkey rests and is carved, the stuffing, sprouts, and rolls go in the oven to heat up. No last minute crazyness. We even had time to play candyland a half hour before dinner. I am ALL ABOUT obsessive planning. Mostly because I have wild children and if I had to leave stuff til the morning of we would never eat ever.

  11. Loki December 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Just got around to checking out things on the web again after getting a Thanksgiving Day injury. (I’m getting better, now.)

    I hadn’t yet had green beans for either holiday when I saw this post, and thought I’d try these, instead.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  12. chrisanthemama December 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    How about some crisp crumbled bacon up in there? And maybe substitute crushed potato chips for the cornflakes. Yes, it makes it so much healthier!

  13. Lisanne November 27, 2015 at 7:18 am - Reply

    We made this and it was delicious! I managed to convince the fam to do it without soup, but apparently the fried onions had to stay. Everyone loved it! Thanks for posting this.

  14. Sandra K Harmon December 4, 2016 at 7:06 am - Reply

    I had this for 2016 Thanksgiving and was soooo good! Googled the receive and making it for Christmas! Yum,

    • Beverly Valente January 17, 2017 at 3:34 pm - Reply

      What kind of sharp cheese did you use? I was thinking of trying it for a family dinner this weekend.

      Thank you!

      • Lisa November 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm - Reply

        Cheddar 🙂

  15. Beverly Valente January 17, 2017 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    I forgot to ask. Was it good with the corn flake topping?


  16. Leeann Morgan June 11, 2017 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Very yummy yummy… didn’t have the corn flakes so I substituted honey kix.. the sweet with the salty worked well.

  17. Lisa November 23, 2017 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I’ve been making a similar recipe for years. It was from an old cookbook of my mom’s, so also mid-century. I lost the original recipe but I wanted to point out a couple differences in case others are interested. My recipe used a small diced onion sauteed in the butter before adding flour. No sugar, and no corn flakes on top (the corn flakes do seem very retro, though!). Also, I think it called for canned French cut beans. I think it tastes nicer with thinner beans because the sauce coats all the beans better. Anyway, I totally agree that it is much yummier than the typical Thanksgiving green beans! Thanks for posting!

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