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