Casseroles are a simple and easy way to bring a delicious home-cooked meal to the table! They are so versatile and I have picked out some of my favorite options. I am sure that you will find one that you and your family will love!!
The options of casseroles are endless and the hardest part is picking and choosing which one to make! They are all so incredible and I love that my favorite tastes are made up into something hot that sizzles right as it comes out of the oven! A few that I think will get you to love casseroles are Incredible Parmesan Zucchini Gratin, Overnight French Toast, and Best Ever Baked Rigatoni.
Why Casseroles are the BEST!
Have you ever been sick or had a bad week and a neighbor or friend brings you a delicious home-cooked meal? I have and guess what? It is usually a piping hot casserole! Casseroles are one of the fastest and smartest ways to make a meal that is healthy and filling to your dinner table! They remind me of my childhood dinners and also those days when someone was thinking of me! I love how you can always find a casserole for just the occasion that you are looking for!
Casseroles have basically every option from tacos to eggs to noodles and everything in between. They can be cooked for breakfast, lunch, and dinner which makes it an easy YES for any meal! And, if you store it right, then you will have a solution for dinner for the next few days! It doesn’t get much better than that! The best part is, I usually have a lot of the ingredients in my kitchen waiting to be made into something delicious! There are so many tried and true options that are so yummy!!
Casserole Cooking Tips
Casseroles are an absolutely perfect option for so many meals! In order for them to turn out the best that they can, I have come up with a few important tips! There are helpful to read through before cooking and they will help you achieve that perfect, bubbly, and hot casserole!
- Use fresh vegetables: I know its tempting to pop in a bag of frozen vegetables instead of cutting up some fresh ones. But this is a mistake that often results in a soggy casserole. If you have the option (and the recipe doesn’t call for frozen) then go for fresh ingredients!
- Dried herbs: Fresh herbs don’t last very long so most of us are using dried herbs from our spice drawer! This is a great option, especially in casseroles that have a cooking time of 1-2 hours. The dried herbs can better withstand the prolonged heat!
- Cut uniformly: Make sure that the ingredients you are cutting up are all about the same size. This will ensure that everything cooks through evenly!
- Brown the meat: If you brown the meat first, you will lock in all of its delicious juices! Your casserole will have more depth to its flavor.
- Don’t fully cook the pasta: When using pasta in a casserole dish, you should undercook the pasta. Follow the “Al Dente” instructions on your pasta packaging. Cooking it this way lets your noodles still cook while the casserole is baking. This helps so your pasta isn’t too soggy by the time its done!
- Go for the crisp: To make the top layer crispy, you can cook your casserole uncovered. Or, after the casserole is fully cooked, you can remove the cover and broil it for a few minutes. Be careful to watch closely while broiling– it goes fast!
How to Store Casseroles or Make them Ahead
One of the best parts about casseroles is how delicious they are as leftovers! Here is how you should store them so that you can have a meal ready to heat up and go for the next couple of days! Or, You can also make a casserole ahead and freeze it! This is a great way to have some extra meals on hand for those extra busy days.
- Refrigerate: Before placing it in the fridge, you will need to wait until your casserole is fully cooled. Then, you can cover it with foil or put it in an airtight container. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days!
- Freeze: Bake your casserole in a container that can be taken straight from freezer to oven. (I love to use those disposable tin pans.) Once your casserole is baked, let it cool. Cover it with foil until it is airtight and write the date on it. Your meal can last in the freezer for up to 4 months!
- Thaw: If you froze your meal, take it out and thaw overnight in your fridge.
- Reheat: Cook your casserole at the baking temperature listed on the recipe for about 20-30 minutes or until heated through.