4 low-cost, simple casserole recipes for breakfast, dinner and dessert

From breakfast to dessert, the once-humble casserole is prepared for its close-up.The Globe and Mail

Consider casseroles as the brand new sheet pan dinners. From daytime TV cooking segments to viral recipes (a easy baked feta pasta has racked up hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok), the oven-baked one-dish meal is again. Traditionally, casseroles – which refers to each the ready dish and the vessel during which it’s cooked – have been used to stretch {dollars} whereas utilizing trendy comfort meals throughout instances of financial melancholy. In case you had a pan, a can and a plan, you seemingly had a casserole.

Lasagna, macaroni and cheese, tuna noodle or simple asparagus (three cans asparagus, two cans cream of celery soup, one container French fried onions): Casseroles have been made to be dumped, stirred, baked, served, saved and reheated. Helpful for toting comforting meals to all method of occasions – potlucks, shivas, church suppers, you identify it – they by no means actually went away, however they haven’t precisely advanced both.

That’s altering. Lately in case you’re making a casserole as a nutritious meal that’ll feed the household, it’s a few good steadiness of greens, carbohydrates and protein. In different phrases, say goodbye to canned inexperienced beans and condensed mushroom soup, and good day to a crop of recent casseroles that style higher whereas nonetheless hitting all of the nostalgic excessive notes. They usually stay handy – a bag of tater tots right here, a jar of refried beans there – and are inflation busters, too. (Is there something the casserole can’t do?)

Whereas the casseroles of yore have usually performed second fiddle to the centre of the plate, these are the principle occasion, stuffed with more energizing substances and heartwarming flavours. From breakfast to dessert, the once-humble casserole is prepared for its close-up.

Steakhouse casseroleLiam Mogan/The Globe and Mail

Steakhouse casserole

(Serves 4-6)

With high quality floor beef hit with steak spice then layered with mushrooms and caramelized onions, creamed spinach and a ending crown of crisp tater tots, this casserole is sort of a steakhouse expertise with all of the trimmings.

For Beef:

1lb floor sirloin

1 tsp steak spice

3 tsp Worcestershire

½ cup beef broth

1 tsp cornstarch blended with 2 tsp chilly water

Salt to style

For Mushrooms and Onions:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 medium candy white onion, chopped

454 g package deal white or cremini mushrooms, sliced

Sea salt and pepper to style

2 tbsp cognac or brandy

For Creamed Spinach:

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 small cooking onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp floor black pepper

1 tbsp flour

1 cup milk

½ cup whipping cream

½ cup grated mozzarella cheese

¼ cup cream cheese

¼ cup grated Parmesan

¼ tsp nutmeg

300 g package deal frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry of liquid

Frozen tater tots, sufficient to cowl high (about half an 800g bag), defrosted

Chives for garnish (non-compulsory)

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a big skillet, prepare dinner floor beef over medium warmth, breaking it up with a wood spoon. Season with steak spice and Worcestershire and prepare dinner till no pink stays, about 5-6 minutes. Drain fats, add broth and cornstarch slurry and stir into pan with drained beef. Cook dinner over medium warmth for 1-2 minutes extra or till combination is a bit saucy. Style for seasoning and add salt if wanted. Take away to a bowl, put aside and wipe out skillet.

Place skillet again over medium warmth, add olive oil and butter, let butter foam then add chopped onion. Sauté till gentle and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté till water evaporates, about 10 minutes, stirring at times. Season with salt and pepper and deglaze pan with cognac or brandy. Style for seasoning and take away to a bowl, put aside and wipe out skillet.

Place skillet again over medium-low warmth, soften butter and sauté onion and garlic for 6-8 minutes or till onion is gentle. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour overtop and stir with a wood spoon till flour is toasty, a few minute, then stir in milk and cream, stirring always. Add mozzarella, cream cheese, Parmesan and nutmeg, stir till thickened, about 5 minutes, then add squeeze-dried spinach and stir to mix.

It’s time to construct the casserole. Add the bottom beef combination to the underside of a greased 8×8-inch baking dish in a fair layer. Add mushroom combination in a pleasant even layer over the meat, then spoon the creamed spinach layer over the mushrooms, smoothing into a fair layer. Artfully place defrosted tater tots overtop, then pop casserole within the center rack of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 25-Half-hour or till tater tots are browned and casserole is sizzling. High with snipped chives and serve directly.

Tip: Substituting the bottom sirloin with extra reasonably priced common floor beef is completely acceptable and scrumptious.

Chilaquiles casseroleLiam Mogan/The Globe and Mail

Chilaquiles casserole

(Serves 4-6)

Can’t make it to Mexico this winter? Let the holiday come to breakfast. Begin with corn tortilla chips doused in inexperienced salsa. The refried beans and fried eggs present the protein whereas the avocado, queso and cilantro present magnificence and charm. Right here, you might have the choice of constructing your individual verde sauce or utilizing a jar from the grocery store. So, you may make breakfast superfast, or just quick.

1 350 g bag sturdy corn tortilla chips (corresponding to Que Pasa, or higher nonetheless out of your native tortilleria or Latin meals store – or selfmade)

1 455 mL jar inexperienced Mexican sauce (or selfmade verde sauce, recipe follows)

1 454 g can black refried beans

2 tsp vegetable oil

6 giant eggs

Salt and pepper to style

2 avocados, sliced

¼ cup cilantro leaves

1 giant jalapeno, thinly sliced

¼ cup chopped candy onion

3 oz crumbled queso or feta

1 lime, wedged, for garnish

Crema or bitter cream for serving (non-compulsory)

Preheat oven to 400F.

To a 9×13 baking dish, add the bag of tortilla chips and gently toss with sauce to evenly coat chips.

Take away refried beans from can, place in a bowl and microwave to heat, about 1 minute. Place dollops of beans round casserole then gently toss. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or simply till heat, whilst you fry the eggs.

To fry eggs, to a big non-stick skillet add vegetable oil and warmth over medium. Crack 3 eggs onto pan and prepare dinner till desired doneness, about 2 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to style. Repeat with remaining three eggs. Place eggs on high of baked tortilla chips and garnish artfully with avocado, cilantro, onion, queso and lime wedges, with crema or bitter cream on the facet. Serve directly.

Verde sauce: In a blender mix one 28 oz can of tomatillos with ½ cup chopped white onion, ½ cup cilantro, juice of a lime, a chopped jalapeno pepper and salt to style. Blitz till easy and use the entire batch in Chilaquiles recipe above. (Makes about 3 cups.)

Ottolenghi-inspired casseroleLiam Mogan/The Globe and Mail

Ottolenghi-inspired casserole

(Serves 6)

Chef and cookbook creator Yotam Ottolenghi taught us new and sudden methods of seeing greens, making them vibrant and crave-worthy. This casserole is an ode to him. Nice served heat or at room temperature, it’ll brighten up any gray winter day. And it simply occurs to be vegan.

2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

Salt and pepper to style

1 cup tricolour quinoa, rinsed

1 540 mL can chickpeas

For Pomegranate Dressing:

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1 lemon, juiced

1 tbsp honey (or agave)

3 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to style

For Tahini Sauce:

2 tbsp tahini

½ lemon, juiced

1 tbsp heat water

½ cup chopped parsley

½ cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

1 pomegranate, seeds (arils) eliminated and reserved

½ cup crispy shallots (obtainable at Asian grocers or use grocery store crispy onions)

Preheat oven to 400F.

To make butternut squash, place cubed squash in well-oiled 9×13 casserole dish and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and cumin seeds. Roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring a few instances, till squash is tender and browned. Put aside.

Whereas squash is roasting, in a medium pot over medium-high warmth convey 2 cups of water with quinoa to a boil. Cowl and scale back warmth to a simmer and prepare dinner for 15-20 minutes or till quinoa is tender. Take away lid, fluff quinoa with a fork and tip into casserole dish the roasted squash is resting in. Add chickpeas and toss to mix.

In a small bowl whisk collectively pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, honey, olive oil and salt and pepper to style. Drizzle over quinoa combination and toss to coat with dressing.

In small bowl stir collectively tahini with lemon juice and water. Stir till easy then drizzle over quinoa casserole combination.

Now comes the enjoyable half. Artfully high the casserole with parsley, chopped pistachios, pomegranate seeds and crispy shallots. Current to oohs and ahhs then gently toss earlier than serving.

Tip: You should purchase pomegranate molasses at well being meals or Center Japanese shops, connoisseur outlets or on-line.

Banana cut up casseroleLiam Mogan/The Globe and Mail

Banana cut up casserole

Serves 6

Let’s name this one a dessert casserole. A straightforward banana split-flavoured bread pudding is topped with a recent banana cut up so that you simply get each temperature and texture in a single chew. It’s obtained retro attraction so you possibly can go fundamental with canned whipped cream and neon maraschino cherries, or be happy to fancify it with amarena cherries and freshly whipped cream. Or, cut up the distinction.

1 loaf (5-7 oz) stale baguette, chopped or torn into bits to make 5-6 cups

2 cups milk

1 cup sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup milk chocolate chips

½ cup chopped pecans, toasted (plus a handful reserved for garnish)

¼ cup maraschino cherries, chopped (plus a complete one reserved for garnish)

2 giant bananas, one reduce into skinny slices, one sliced lengthways (for garnish)

A number of scoops of vanilla ice cream or favorite flavours of selection

Whipped cream (1/4 cup freshly whippedor from a can) for garnish

Milk Chocolate sauce (recipe follows)

Butter an 8-by-8 baking pan.

In a big bowl mix bread, milk, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, chocolate chips, pecans, cherries and thinly sliced banana. Combination will likely be virtually like a batter, or oatmeal. Add a contact extra milk if it’s not unfastened sufficient.

Pour combination into the greased baking pan and place in oven. Flip oven on to 350F and bake till it’s brown on high and smelling like heaven, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Let cool for 20 minutes or so earlier than putting a sliced banana on high and loading it with the scoops of ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, pecans and a cherry on high, a la a banana cut up. Alternatively, you possibly can slice the casserole into squares and high particular person servings with ice cream and toppings. Learn the group.

Milk chocolate sauce

(Makes 1 cup)

Warmth ½ cup whipping cream (35 per cent) to the purpose simply earlier than it boils, take away from warmth and stir in 6 oz good high quality milk chocolate that has been damaged into chunks. Stir till easy, let cool and revel in. (Notice: Sauce may be lined and refrigerated for as much as per week. It can agency up in fridge so to get it runny once more, pop within the microwave for 10 seconds and stir, or gently reheat on stovetop.)

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