Condensed Cream Of Mushroom Soup Makes The Best Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole, like Christmas, typically comes but once a year, although it generally makes its appearance on the Thanksgiving table instead where it's ... well, not exactly everyone's favorite. In fact, quite a few people feel that it's the worst Thanksgiving side. Still, there are many who do enjoy it, whether for tradition's sake or because they genuinely enjoy verdant legumes cooked in soup. It could also be that they only really like the crunchy fried onions on top — us too, though we typically just pick them off and eat them sans casserole.

Recipe developer Laura Sampson, who is a fan of green bean casserole, makes the stuff in a slow cooker because, as she says, "I always run out of oven room on Thanksgiving." Her casserole calls for condensed cream of mushroom soup, as many such recipes do. While her choice is Campbell's, she gives the okay to use a generic or another brand, although she does point out that the soup used needs to be condensed instead of a ready-to-eat variety. As she notes, "You're thinning it down with milk." So an un-condensed soup, she says, "would be a different consistency" and your casserole might wind up being a mushy mess. If all you have on hand is mushroom soup of the soupy variety, though, you can still use it as long as you reduce or omit the evaporated milk. All in all, you'll need just two cups of liquid for the casserole.

These are the best substitutes if you don't have (or don't want to use) canned soup

Okay, so we all understand the importance of maintaining the proper consistency when it comes to swapping out ingredients, but sometimes such substitutions are necessary or at least desirable. Not everyone is a fan of store-bought soup, after all, since it may contain a bunch of dubious ingredients — Campbell's brand of cream of mushroom soup, for example, is made with soy protein isolate, monosodium glutamate, and "modified milk ingredients," whatever those may be.

If you'd rather have a cream of mushroom soup substitute with recognizable ingredients, you can always DIY one by combining one part each of butter and flour and two parts each of broth and milk. White sauce is another alternative (in fact, that's pretty much what we've described above, with the addition of broth), as are sour cream and cream cheese. As an FYI, the contents of a 10.5-ounce can measure approximately 1 ⅓ cup.

While none of these substitutes are mushroom flavored, you can always stir in some mushrooms along with the beans if you feel they're an integral part of the casserole. Cream of mushroom soup itself isn't all that mushroom-heavy, though, so there's a chance you won't feel the fungi's absence too deeply. Instead, just throw on an extra handful of crunchy onions and call it good.