Totally Cozy Casseroles

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Casseroles are wonderful one-pot meals, and an easy way to feed your family a healthy dinner when you are short on time.  Warm and comforting, they are a perfect dish for a chilly winter night.  The great thing about casseroles is they usually contain all the major food groups, so no need for fussing with sides and extras.  Casseroles are also a great way to use leftovers, especially large roasts of meats such as turkey, chicken, ham or beef.  Leftover cooked rice and vegetables can also be added. 

The best part is that casserole recipes are often pretty forgiving, so if you find a recipe you like, you can usually substitute ingredients for what you have as long as you stay within the same food group. 

Casseroles also freeze well.  So if you have some extra time make one or a few, freeze them and you’ll have them ready to go for those busy week nights down the road.  You can freeze them either cooked or raw, and remember to always thaw in the refrigerator.  Use this simple technique for freezing casseroles:

1. Line your baking dish with foil, leaving a good amount of excess hanging over the edges. 
2. Make and freeze your casserole in the dish.
3. When it is frozen lift it out of the dish using the excess foil on the edges, then wrap your casserole with plastic wrap, seal air tight in a freezer bag and put back in the freezer for use down the road. 
4. When you are ready to cook it, put it back in the original dish, thaw and cook. 

You can stack several casseroles in the freezer this way, and it frees up your dish for other uses.

So, next time you are up for making a no-fuss delicious dinner, try one of Paula’s wonderful casserole recipes.

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Shrimp and wild rice casserole:  Cheesy and creamy this casserole is sure to be a hit at your dinner table.  The wild rice gives it a wonderful nutty flavor that soaks in all that yumminess from the shrimp and mushroom soup.

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Chicken divan:  This dish is certainly a one-pot dinner that can stand alone on the table.  Packed with vegetables and meat this hearty casserole will fill everyone up.  Curry powder and lemon juice give it an extra burst of flavor.

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Baked spaghetti:  Who doesn’t love a nice bowl of spaghetti?  Change it up this time and try Paula’s baked spaghetti.  Warm delicious noodles and sauce with a crunchy cheesy topping.

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Farmers Pork chops:  This is truly meat and potatoes all in one.  Layers of potatoes and pork chops in a creamy white sauce.  Toss together a green salad to go with it and you have dinner.

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Chicken Florentine:  This dish turns an old classic into a casserole. Packed with nutrients from the spinach this is a rich and decadent dish that everyone will love.

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Shepherd’s pie:  A delicious and versatile dish, this one is perfect for subbing in the ingredients you have.  Add or change up the meats and vegetables in this casserole to fit what you have in your fridge.  If you do freeze this one, make it without the biscuit topping and freeze.  When it is thawed and ready to cook add the topping.

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Mexican Chicken:  Similar to enchiladas this casserole is so easy to make and full of flavor.

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Broccoli casserole:  A perfect dish to get your kids to eat their vegetables.  It is so delicious they won’t even know the broccoli is there.  Make this casserole as a side to go along with roast chicken or another meat dish.  Or serve it up alone for a vegetarian meal.

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Reader Comments:

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Paula, for years I have followed you. Unlike my two Georgia sisters I am not a very good cook, but I can hold my own if I follow your recipes to the letter. I have lived in Florida for fifteen years, but now I am moving back home to Thomaston , Georgia where I will be their dishwasher again. I love them and will surprise them with one or two of your wonderful dishes. Maybe I should have you up for dinner also. Last year my daughter was married at your little chapel and we had dinner at the restaurant.

By Maxine Cirino on February 25, 2014

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There is not one recipe that I have tried of yours that didn't come out perfect and delicious...last thing I made was the French toast casserole for a brunch I catered, along with your breakfast stuffed peppers....HUGE hit!!! Thanks for making my job a little easier my friend!!!

By Ronilyn on January 19, 2014

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I love all my magazines from you Paula. Thank you for all the good things you represent. When will you print your new cookbook. Just remember how much your public loves you and believe in you.

By corrinne stewart on January 18, 2014

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Every one of Paula Deans recipes are wonderful. I Have made made my own binder with all my favorites. Keep them coming.

By Sheila Donohue on January 17, 2014

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I am so happy to see this on facebook this morning. I love your recipes and your pots, theyre sturdy and cook without burning. The colors pop and make your kitchen bright while your recipes make your kitchen smell great. Cant wait to try another recipe. Some of my meals were already a variation of your specialties. Looking forward to reading your newsletter. Happy new year to you and your family. Bring some of that great cooking to new york via restaurant, sounds great hope it becomes a reality.

By cheryl barnes on January 07, 2014

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I love your cooking and hope you will continue to inspire busy working people like me. The present problem is just a glitz of your successful business. I will pray for you and your family in this rough time. I would like some casserole recipes because- back in the Philippines I have tried a chicken/vegetable casserole but I don't know the name. Maybe you can make up a recipe or I will just make up a combination of your caaserole ideas in your cookbook. I will continue to follow you no matter what.

By Aida on August 08, 2013

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Love you Paula. Im so sorry you are having to go thru this bad time in your career. Bad people hate it when good people are going good. You have helped me learn to cook better. I thank you for that and will continue to watch you and use your recipes. I ask God to help you be strong, with him we can do all things. He doesn't give us more than we can handle. He is with you and you remember that and ask him for what you need. If it is good, then except his will daily. Love ya and keep cookin! Angie from Texas

By Angie on July 26, 2013

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Thanks for all you are. A wonderful woman who has not felt sorry for herself. I greatly admire you. Will be thinking of you as go through such an unfair situation. Thank You!!!! Martha

By Martha Burke on July 05, 2013

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I just have to share this with you: I have twin granddaughters, they will be 3 this coming April. They were watching television with their mommy and your show was on, Hayden got all excited and said, Mommy, Nenaw is on TB and hers cookin! Then 'Lil Bit' came running in and decided that was me on TB also and started screaming that Nenaw is on TB Cookin! Hi NENAW... then ran up to the 'tb' and was kissing the screen! My goodness, what a compliment to me! I love your show also, have watched you for years now, my own parents think we resemble one and other! What a great compliment! Blessings to a wonderful lady!

By Anonymous on January 23, 2013

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Thanks for the receipes that are easy and fast. It makes for a nice dinner and kitchen clean up by 7:00pm. I enjoy you and your sons. You all have really make a diffidencein my kitchen and the lighter receipes are great.

By Judy Mayer on January 21, 2013

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Paula your receipts are wonderful.. I'm trying to adjust everything for my husbands problems with high blood sugar. It's hard to teach an old cook new tricks. Help

By Mary Shirley-Roller on January 19, 2013

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Dear Paula, I have all of your cookbooks and love to get them out and read in addition to using many of the delicious recipes. I rode the Sam Shortline Train to Plains with you and the boys back in 2003 ,I believe. I'm ashamed to say that I did not know you then. In a few months , I read in Southern Living magazine about the Lady and Sons Restaurant. I was really surprised. We enjoyed lunch there in June and supper at Uncle Bubba's . I am so proud of you. You've come a long way by your hard work and determination. God has been good to you. You look great. Keep up your good work and take care of yourself and your family. Keep the good recipes coming. I always look forward to hearing from you. Vicky

By Vicky W. Williamson on January 18, 2013

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I tried your Gooey Butter Cake, I found it at Walmart once I tried it it was delicious. I tried to buy more when I went back they didn't have anymore. So I went to the Internet and found your recipe so I made it at home. It was even more delicious than I ever thought it could be. It was so easy to make and so good to eat. Made me wish my mother was still alive to give her a piece

By Eileen arredondo on January 18, 2013

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Paula, I am a big fan of yours. I like all your recipes!!! I collect your cook books, magazines, etc. You look great, and you are such a beautiful lady!!! I enjoy your tv show.... Go girlfriend!!!!!!!!!!!! Pam

By Pam Hanks on January 16, 2013

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I just love Paula she makes me happy!!!

By Anonymous on January 16, 2013

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HEY THIS IS GREAT LOVE YA SUSIE

By Carolyn Sue Agee on January 16, 2013

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Great article! I am always looking for casseroles to freeze and use later. I love the idea of the pot pie recipe to freeze and use later!

By Ilana Williams on January 16, 2013

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm