Years ago, friends came to visit for the weekend. When they left, the husband commented, “I’ve learned how much your family loves cheese!” I realized (with a twinge of embarrassment) that indeed, cheese had been a part of every meal I had served.

Everybody loves green bean casserole, right? So naturally, when I tasted a version of it with cheese at a church potluck some years later, I had to have the recipe!

This is the original recipe with thanks to Shirley Havelka, with notes on how I’ve changed it up:

  • 3 cans string beans, drained (I use frozen, a big bag of regular or French-cut). Lay in the bottom of a 9” x 13” pan.
  • Sprinkle with garlic salt (umm…I liberally sprinkle! I reside in the “you can never have too much garlic” camp).
  • Mix 3/4 cup sour cream with a can of cream of mushroom soup and spread over (sour cream comes in 8-oz, so I just use that).
  • Slice 8 oz Velveeta and lay slices on top (not easy to slice—I’ve also used their cheese sauce and that works but I don’t believe that existed when I got the recipe).
  • One sleeve crushed crackers (Town House or Ritz), combined with 1/2 cup melted butter–sprinkle on top.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until top starts to brown.

 

This has turned into of my family’s favorite sides for any holiday meal. In my 2020 novella, A New Hope for Christmas, one of the main characters, Kerrie, enjoyed working alongside her grandma in the kitchen and added cheese to their green-bean casserole for Christmas day dinner. This recipe inspired that scene. 

Erin Stevenson

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