American Thanksgiving : Don't You Dare Change That Traditional Recipe!

American Thanksgiving : Don't You Dare Change That Traditional Recipe!
In America, you're supposed to have green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. It's tradition!

NOT! Not in the family that I grew up in. My mom never made any vegetables with creamy stuff! Neither did I make it a tradition with my own husband and kids. I could easily get away with not doing it because my husband is not from the USA, so he was ignorant; and because … well … your kids come into this world with a blank slate. They only know what you tell them or don't tell them. I never told them about green bean casserole.

One Thanksgiving holiday, several years back, I decided to go along with the tradition. I made a green bean casserole. It was my first time and my last time. Why? Because they didn't eat it! It spoiled!!

The thought never occurred to me to change or modify the traditional recipe to appeal to my family's taste. It's tradition! How does one carry on a tradition? They don't change it!!! Right?

But you know what? I found a green bean casserole recipe that is not made according to the traditional recipe on the back of the Campbell's soup can. Bet if I had put smoked cheddar cheese in that green bean casserole dish they would have eaten it!!

What about you? Ever dare to change a traditional recipe for a holiday meal?


  • Yes I do change traditional recipes. I'm the one doing the cooking! Don't like it! Don't eat it!

  • I would never change a traditional holiday recipe. How could I possibly pass it down to the next generation if I've broken with timeless customs and practices? Dishonor on me. Dishonor on my ancestors! Dishonor on us all! LOL.

Classic Green Bean Casserole Recipe. Campbell's Kitchen, CSC Brand LP, 15 Feb. 2017, https://www.campbells....sic-green-bean-casserole/ .

Wilder, Andrew. Green Bean Casserole with Smoked Cheddar and Fennel. Eating Rules, 8 Nov. 2017, . Proud Member of Mediavine Publisher Network Food Innovation Group: Bon Appetit and Epicurious.

(Note: I don't mind adding the smoked cheddar cheese to the traditional recipe. But there is no way I'm swapping out the french fried onion rings for fennel!)




I beleive in changing a recipe so that family members will enjoy it. I always tweak it to my likings. I do not think you should stick with tradition if food is going to go to waste. Why make food the nobody likes just becausr it is a tradition. Make it the way you know that it will get eaten up and enjoyed by everyone.
Posted by Sue on 11-10-2017
gata montes

Agree - wouldn't think twice about it

Change a traditional recipe - wouldn't think twice about it - as although I don't use recipes all that often as I mostly create my own - whenever I do I rarely ever follow them exactly.

Simply because - I would much rather everyone enjoyed what they were eating than stick to a standard recipe for the sake of tradition - especially as - with many traditional recipes not being suited to everyone's taste as they stand - they generally need some ingredient switching in order to make them enjoyable and palatable for everyone

Apart from that - if anyone was ever to look through the history of any handed down recipes - whether traditional or not - they'd see that its all those little tweaks made here and there throughout the centuries - that have made many of these old recipes - even more delicious than they were originally.

Posted by gata montes on 11-10-2017

Stay Traditional On This One

This particular recipe is such a tradition that I would never want to change it! I get that people are always wanting to change recipes to somehow "better them", but, honestly, this is the only time of the year, Thanksgiving, when I eat green bean casserole, and I want it to be THE SAME as I remember all of the other times I have traditionally had it before! It is a part of coming home and being with loved ones, and we have it every year, along with other traditional dishes.
Posted by JoeMilford on 11-13-2017


I agree with you it's okey to change some recipes if you don't like them, after all you are the one that's going to eat them and it is you house and your family AND YOU ARE THE ONE COOKING THEM lol so change them if you want! If someone else wants it in a different way or in the traditional way let them do it themselves!
Posted by Pink_Turtle on 11-17-2017

I accept the challenge!

Traditional recipe's are awesome and delicious. But sometimes changing it or putting some twist to the dish will make it more promising and delicious. You don't change the tradition itself. You just make an innovation or upgrade to the recipe's. It is okay to tell to the next generation the tradirional receipe's and also on how you upgrade those recipe's. Maybe they would try another dish for thanksgiving.
Posted by blank629 on 11-11-2017

why not

I think it just depends on what you like. If the traditional recipe is already something you consider perfect then I would agree that it might be a shame to change it even just slightly, but if you don't like it all that much then it wouldn't make sense to keep it just to keep up with tradition. I'm not sentimental at all about traditions so I would agree that if one needs changing then it should be done.
Posted by Wubwub on 12-06-2017


No one has disagreed yet, be the first!


If the recipe can be afforded by the poor then there is no need changing it but if it is too expensive for the poor then it can be changed to a cheaper choice.
Posted by babyright on 11-10-2017
Change is the only constant thing in nature,sometimes we just need to change a tradition to suit the times or what we want. I have been changing a lot of recipe during event just to suit his I want.So yes I change recipe.
Posted by lovely on 11-10-2017
I have been changing recipes most of the times. I like to give a personal touch to the dishes that I make. Unfortunately, there are many traditional dishes which my family don't like and so I have to modify them. I don't think it's bad to alter recipes. I want to cook something that will be appreciated by my family.
Posted by Pixie on 11-11-2017
I agree that some recipes are so traditional that sometimes they deserve not to be modified. But at the same time, I'm not against any updating of them (if it's something interesting, obviously) at certain times that aren't tied to specific celebrations.
Posted by wiseagent on 11-11-2017
You need to be careful with children and vegetables. Normally they don't like them. You need to use some mummy tricks. I hide my vegetables in other 'nice' foods. My children would never eat green beans.

The tradition I encourage my children to follow is being creative.So yes I agree. I change up recipes like you wouldn't believe. I try out all sorts of new things. I change the color, texture, and taste. I hate eating the same thing, even if it's once a year. Let's face it, in the old days all food was bland. Our Grandparents had not discovered Cumin, Beef cubes or Garam masala, which are some of my favorite spices. If I have my parents over for dinner, I make two sets of dishes. The traditional one and the modified one.
Posted by jaymish on 11-15-2017
I don't make the green bean casserole, but my sister does. I would rather just have veggies at Thanksgiving. There is enough fattening stuff, without having a fattening casserole to go with it, at least in my opinion.
Posted by kgord on 11-16-2017
I think it may be fine to alter traditional recipes during other occasions, but on the day of the celebration itself, I would choose to prepare and present the traditional recipe. If we don't make an effort to do so, you can only expect the tradition to die eventually which may not be a good thing as observing traditions like this perpetuate one's culture and rich heritage. I may prepare more interesting dishes and simply serve it up as a side dish, but I won't touch the recipe on Thanksgiving day itself.
Posted by chatbox on 11-18-2017
A tradition is tradition but you can change it to be created and appealing according to the taste of your family. A food cooked in a traditional way but not eaten by your family is a waste of energy, time and money.
Posted by Scarlet on 12-06-2017
Just like the traditional Christmas season food, we retain the original recipe of my mother-in-law for the menudo. It is a pork dish that is actually common but for us, it is special and we only cook that during the yuletide season. It is important to maintain the traditional dishes for occasions but in this digital age where recipes come and go since they are shared in the social media, I guess the recipe of the original dishes cannot be maintained anymore.
Posted by Corzhens on 04-09-2018