Casserole is French for "stew pan." The culinary term for casserole means “served in the vessel used for cooking”. Casseroles are usually prepared in large, deep covered dishes. A typical casserole consists of meat, vegetables, pasta or rice, sauce or liquid. It may be served as a main dish or side dish. Casseroles originated from ancient practice of stewing meats in earth wear containers. One of the most popular casseroles in the US is the green bean casserole, which is familiar to many, and consists of green beans, mushroom soup and French fried onions. Most often serves at church potlucks or family gatherings.