Posted by: Erica Retrochef | August 12, 2013

Frankfurter Crown Casserole

Make a crown roast is one of those super-fancy things that really gives a dish some additional visual appeal. It’s so fancy that I’ve never even had one, let alone attempted to make one. And it isn’t the sort of thing that just comes out of the animal (more or less), it takes a hell of a lot of work to assemble, which is part of what makes it so impressive.

Fanciness! And somebody at Campbell’s wanted to figure out how to give that same gourmet flair to a one dollar soup casserole.


(I guess they forgot that it’s impossible to give visual appeal to frankfurters?)



2 slices of bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
3 cups sliced cooked potatoes
1 cup cooked green beans
1/2 pound frankfurters, split and cut in half

1. In skillet, cook bacon. Remove and crumble. 2. Cook onion in drippings. 3. Stir in soup, water, salt, pepper. 4. Add potatoes, beans. 5. Pour into 1 1/2-qt. casserole. 6. Stand up franks around edge. Bake at 350˚F. 30 min. 7. Top with bacon. 4 servings. For German-style seasoning: just add 1 to 2 tbsp. vinegar with soup.

If this was really German style, we’d need cabbage instead of green beans… we might get around to making our own sauerkraut one of these days, but it’s not today.


A little bit (a lot?) of prep work went on before this photo — the bacon was crisped and crumbled, the onion was chopped, and the potato was sliced and cooked.


So it’s a little bit deceptive how easy this is going to look. It takes a few minutes to chop that onion before frying it for a little bit.


And it takes some work to neatly slice all the hot dogs in half.


And it takes a bit of time of open the soup can to pour it in. (Well, OK, that’s really not a challenge.)


Oooh, look at all the lovely striations of pork grease in the mushroom soup. “Yum,” right, Campbell’s?


Time for the potatoes and beans to join the party!


Look at those gorgeous goop-covered vegetables, sitting in the casserole dish.


Now, trying to stick a bunch of hot dogs into a glass dish while it’s full of strange goopy potatoes is a surreal experience that takes a lot longer than all the frying and chopping.


I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the verticality and symmetry of the frankfurters here, but I was refusing to listen anymore to the schlorping noises that are produced when trying to shove meat tubes under soup-covered potatoes.

Besides, my fingers were getting burnt by all the hot, soupy potatoes.


Turns out it didn’t really matter, because the hot dogs got all curled over the edges when they were baked. So the super-fancy presentation suffered somewhat — it’s still kinda neat, I guess, but doesn’t look like the impressive fence they were promising.


This tasted reasonably alright, much like any cream-of-something-soup-based casserole. And the wonky frankfurter presentation sort of works, as long as your family is the type that likes to laugh with you at strange and unpredictable recipes. (If I was an uptight housewife who cared deeply about cooking beautiful dinners, then I’d probably freak out and break into the cooking wine.) Realistically, any casserole with hot dogs works better when the wieners are cut into bite-size chunks and mixed in, so just skip the fancy frank crown and put the meat bits directly in the goop.

Brought to you by Hey, my mom used to make that! and Shelf Life Taste Test.


  1. Well played.
    I don’t know why Campbell’s had you slice them length-wise. Slicing them in half works much better.
    Also, why do we keep subjecting ourselves to this sort of thing?

    • They were delightfully wobbly when sliced long — maybe that was their logic.

      I was really delighted when you posted your version last month, because we’d actually already made and eaten this but I had an entire (almost) summer of posts lined up and couldn’t really move it up in line!

      • I wish that I had posts lined up. Well, I have made things. And there are photographs. But sadly, no accompanying text. Summer has made me VERY lazy. At least fall (and football season) is right around the corner!

  2. The hope for something elegant and the certainty it will elude you is exactly why I consider Campbell’s recipes a tragicomedy:

  3. That is beautiful. Don’t ever stop doing this. Any of you.

  4. I used to make this when my kids were young. We liked it made with cheddar cheese soup. Also, you are supposed to split the hot dogs lengthwise and then cut them in half. They stand up nicely that way. And there are enough pieces to go all the way around the dish.

  5. Which kinda dish you make it in matters a LOT to the presentation, as does the variety of franks. I get best results with regular length franks (not bun-length or ballpark), and an honest-to-Ghu soufflé dish.

  6. […] Climate of the Hunter playfully creates a kitschy vision of the world in the 1970s. All meals are highlighted by voice-over descriptions and accompanying photographs of weird dishes taken from ads in Women’s magazines such as Crown of Frankfurters with Baked Potato Soup. […]

  7. You forgot to cut the hot dogs the 2nd time, that’s why they were wonky.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: