Is there anything more comforting than a casserole? With their nostalgic, creamy and hearty flavors and textures, they’re a dinnertime stalwart. And we can’t help but love how easy they are! Just one dish to pop into the oven, emerging steamy and aromatic just a short time later.
Casseroles come in many different forms. From simple casseroles where you just dump and bake to slightly more complex ones that require some layering, there are versions of this standby for every skill set, taste, and budget. While many casseroles feature pasta, others call for potatoes or even tortillas. Many include a breadcrumb or cheesy topping that becomes crispy and golden brown in the oven. Some recipes take you traveling to foreign lands with spices and herbs; others just remind you of the nostalgic feelings of home.
Whatever you’re looking for with your casserole hunt, this list is sure to help you find the casserole of your dreams.
Nostalgic tuna noodle casserole is a classic dinner go-to
Tuna noodle casserole is a classic for a reason. This potluck fave combines egg noodles, peas, packed tuna, cheese, and condensed soup for a creamy casserole that demands almost no effort. It’s rich, filling, and simple to make. And best of all, it’s delicious! In this recipe, a crunchy panko topping adds texture to this old standby. Shredded mozzarella makes a for a hearty grattinéed layer that’s bubbly and golden brown. The result is the perfect nostalgic meal to feed a crowd!
A quick Mexican casserole for a weeknight dinner
Enchiladas are a delicious Mexican food classic, but they can be a bit time-consuming for the home cook, as you need to roll each tortilla around the filling. Not so with this quick enchilada casserole, which sees ground beef layered with tortillas — kind of like a lasagna — for minimum effort and maximum flavor.
This casserole relies on store-bought enchilada sauce, which is spiked with cumin and a bit of chili powder for heat. Not one but two cheeses make the finished casserole gooey and delicious.
Three cheers for a baked ziti dinner
What is baked pasta if not an Italian casserole? This baked ziti will revitalize your image of that old cafeteria stalwart with zesty marinara sauce and three kinds of cheese. Parmesan cheese lends its famous nutty aroma to this casserole, while ricotta gives the dish a rich creaminess you’ll love. Mozzarella is the perfect third formaggio for adding its on-brand cheese pull. The result is sure to enter the regular dinner rotation.
Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, take two
You’re probably used to seeing your meatballs atop your spaghetti, but this new spin on an Italian-American classic will have your family demanding seconds for sure. This spaghetti and meatballs casserole nestles beef-and-pork polpette in nests of spaghetti with marinara sauce. Topped with mozzarella cheese, this casserole emerges from the oven bubbly, gooey, and golden. Garnish it with a fresh basil chiffonade, and gild the lily with a sprinkling of extra parmesan for a hearty finish.
Baked mac and cheese will take you to comfort food dinner heaven
Baked mac and cheese is an all-time comfort food fave, and this recipe does not disappoint. A nutmeg-spiked béchamel sauce unites parmesan, gruyère, and cheddar for a slightly more grown-up take that kids will love too. Cubed bread drizzled with butter stands in for breadcrumbs for an even crunchier topping. It’s rich. It’s decadent. It’s basically the baked mac and cheese of your dreams.
Sweet potato casserole is always delicious for dinner
Sweet potato casserole may seem like a Thanksgiving-only sort of dish, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself why? We did. And we found ourselves coming up empty. Enter this delightful recipe containing mashed yams topped with a brown sugar pecan topping (no marshmallows here). It’s just sweet enough to quash your cravings, and the beta carotene in the sweet potatoes means it’s actually good for you (especially if you look away from all that delicious butter…).
A homey English casserole you’ll want for dinner every week
A pub food par excellence, shepherd’s pie is a homey casserole straight from England. This layered dish sees seasoned ground lamb and veggies topped with creamy mashed potatoes. Cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs help the top of this casserole turn golden brown and crisp in the oven for a hearty finish that can’t be beat. If lamb isn’t your thing, a similar casserole, known as cottage pie, is made with ground beef. Simply swap the lamb for ground beef to make this shepherd’s pie cousin at home.
An easy weeknight chicken dinner casserole
For nights when getting dinner on the table seems a Herculean task, this chicken casserole will come to the rescue. You can easily pull this one-pot family meal together in under 45 minutes. The casserole features tender chicken breasts, sautéed mushrooms, and a creamy sauce made from condensed cream of mushroom soup and cheddar cheese that caresses every noodle. Topped with crunchy breadcrumbs, it’s a delightful dish the whole family will love.
This make-ahead barbecue chicken casserole is the perfect dinner for picky kids
If your kids love the sweet flavor of barbecue sauce but hate eating their veggies, you’re in luck! This barbecue chicken casserole combines slow-cooked chicken with a creamy sauce made by combining barbecue sauce and whipped cream cheese. And what’s more, this casserole is hiding a secret: a full serving of veggies. Roasted sweet potatoes bake up soft and tender before being folded into the mix, so kids will never know they got one of their five-a-day.
A gluten-free, low-carb, 5-ingredient casserole for a healthier dinner
There’s no pasta or rice in this delicious cabbage casserole: just a combo of Italian sausage and tender green cabbage. Simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter (hey, it’s low-carb!) and baked until golden. This casserole is yummy as-is or served with bread and mustard — okay, that bit isn’t exactly gluten-free, but it is delicious!
And be sure to choose a good-quality Italian sausage for this casserole; it’s going to be the source of most of its flavor. A sweet Italian sausage with fennel is a great choice for bringing out the natural nutty sweetness of the green cabbage.