Reilly’s contribution to generations of Thanksgiving dinners makes her an honorary Southerner in our book.

Meghan Overdeep
October 24, 2018
Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

Beloved culinary pioneer Dorcas Reilly, the woman who invented the green bean casserole, has died at age 92.

Ken Tomlinson of the Hinski-Tomlinson Funeral Home in Haddonfield, New Jersey, told the Associated Press that Reilly died on Oct. 15 of Alzheimer’s disease. Though she lived out her life in New Jersey, Reilly’s contribution to millions of Southern Thanksgiving dinners makes her an honorary Southerner in our book.

Campbell Soup officials told the AP that Reilly was the driving force behind the iconic green bean casserole—the most popular recipe ever to come out of its corporate kitchen. Americans have been replicating the Thanksgiving staple made with green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and scattered with crunchy fried onions for generations.

Campbell Soup Company

Reilly first combined the ingredients when she was working as Campbell Soup kitchen supervisor in 1955. She also helped create hundreds of other dishes during her time there, including a tomato soup meatloaf, a tuna noodle casserole, and Sloppy Joe-like “souperburgers.”

“Dorcas was an incredible woman, whose legacy will live on for years to come. She will be missed by her Campbell colleagues and all those who were impacted by her creativity and generous spirit,” the company said in a statement.

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Reilly is survived by her husband of 59 years, Thomas, and a son and daughter. Rest in peace, Dorcas and thank you for your lasting impact on our kitchens.