give me your best casserole recipes!
December 28, 2017 9:11 AM   Subscribe

It's freezing cold in NYC and I yearn to make some kind of rich, hearty casserole. Do you have some recipes you like?

There are a lot of recipes online, but mostly when I search for casserole recipes I get a lot of ones that call for:

-cream cheese
-sour cream
-cream of chicken/mushroom soup

I don't have a problem with any of these ingredients in general but the idea of baking them into a casserole grosses me out. I also don't want to do any kind of tortilla/enchilada style casserole because we eat/cook a ton of Mexican food in general. I'm a pretty adept cook but not very intuitive about "winging it" with recipes and making up my own casserole, which I realize is what most people would do. Bonus points if it has meat in it!
posted by cakelite to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
This garlic chicken spanakopita is astounding.
posted by General Malaise at 9:14 AM on December 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

This recipe is kind of involved, but it’s awesome:
posted by juliapangolin at 9:21 AM on December 28, 2017

My favorite is scalloped potatoes and ham, very similar to this one. I omit the cheese and it's still wonderful. Requires a good -tasting ham for best results. Comfort food !
posted by evilmomlady at 9:29 AM on December 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

My favorite casserole is pumpkin baked ziti (vegan, so none of your verboten ingredients, just cashews and tofu). Super delicious!
posted by snaw at 9:39 AM on December 28, 2017

Bread pudding for dinner: sautéed onions, mushrooms, peas, don’t skimp on the oil. Add some sausage if you like. Toss this with a whole bunch of bread chunks (I save and freeze a mix of heels for this, but you can start with a fresh loaf). Add a bit of parsley, sage, or other savory herbs if desired. Can also toss in scraps of cheese.

Put this in a casserole and pour over several beaten eggs with a bit of milk or cream, bake at 350 until eggs are set and top is golden brown.

(Yes this is winging it a bit on quantities but this is how you learn to wing t ;)
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:42 AM on December 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

I would go for the kind of duck-confit-heavy cassoulet that would make a provencal olive farmer weep with gratitude
posted by poffin boffin at 9:45 AM on December 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

I make a roasted chicken / butternut squash / sage lasagna several times each winter. Super simple even if it sounds like it isn't. I think I cobbled it together from several recipes otherwise I'd post just a link!

- Ready-made roasted chicken from the grocery store
- 1 butternut squash
- 6-8 cups bechamel (butter+flour+warm milk, scale up this recipe, add a liberal dash of nutmeg and a pinch of hot chili powder - both are important!)
- Packet of fresh sage
- 1.5 boxes of no-cook lasagna noodles
- Bag of pre-shredded mixed italian white cheeses
- Good parmesan or romano for topping
- Salt/pepper
- Extra cup of milk

- Cool and then remove the meat from entire chicken; chop roughly.
- Peel and chop butternut squash. Roast on high, stirring every so often, until slightly caramelized.
- Chop sage.
- Prepare bechamel.
- Mash a small handful of the butternut squash pieces and mix well into bechamel.

- Put a small amount of bechamel on bottom of pan.
- Layer noodles, chicken, butternut squash, and sage until you reach the top layer. It really doesn't matter how you layer it.
- Pour the remaining milk all around the edges of the pan (I found that this helps the noodles cook without absorbing too much of the bechamel).
- Sprinkle bag of cheeses on top and cover with a healthy amount of ground black pepper.
- Grate the good cheese on the very top .
- Bake at 350 for about an hour under foil; remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is browned on top (about 20 minutes).

(Bonus: it's also great cold for breakfast. When I make this it's all I eat until it's finished, otherwise I'd make it more often.)
posted by mireille at 9:50 AM on December 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

Hard to go wrong with Shepherd's Pie.
posted by saladin at 9:50 AM on December 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

I made this the other day, thought it came out pretty well:


2 medium delicata squash
8oz chopped frozen spinach
4 chicken cutlets
8 oz (1 small blue container) baby portabella mushrooms
3 clove garlic, chopped
Couple sprigs thyme
6c chicken stock
1c wild rice
1c plain rice
~1/2 c grated pecorino Romano, or to taste
Olive oil
Flour for dusting
Salt, pepper

1. Set the oven at 425. Cut up the squash, toss w olive oil, salt and pepper and bung it in on a baking tray to roast while you're doing the other stuff
2. Dredge the cutlets in seasoned flour. Put some oil in a big pot, and brown on both sides over medium heat, set aside
3. Sauté the mushrooms in the same pan, using a splash of stock to help deglaze. When the mushroom are golden brown, add the garlic and thyme and sautée just until you start to smell it. Then add the chicken stock and turn up the heat.
4. When the stock comes to a boil, add the rice and stir through. Pour into a casserole dish. Add the spinach. Pull the squash out of the oven and add that, too. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, then lay the chicken on top and cover with the grated cheese.
5. Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 40 min or so. Remove the foil and give it another 10-15m until the cheese is browned.

Options: you can also use chicken sausage instead of chicken. If you have a mix of wild mushroom that's also good for flavor, or if you have some dried mushrooms you can soak them in the stock and that's a nice boost too. Basically everything in this is to taste --- feel free to add more of what you like, less of what you don't.
posted by Diablevert at 10:14 AM on December 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is delicious:

I like to make it with wild rice.
posted by hrj at 10:27 AM on December 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

In respect to Metafilter's history, there is no more insane carb load with meat than Greasy Honky Pie from the much missed elizardbits:


You will need the following:
- ground beef, maybe half a kilo? ish?
- family size box of mac & cheese
- a packet of taco seasonings, maybe two
- tater tots
- mashed potato, preferably left over from like 3 days ago
- delicious shredded cheese product of your choice
- casserole dish at least an inch or so deep
- an oven (you'd think this was obvious, right? guess again.)

01. bake tater tots on a baking sheet until crunchy as all hell
02. make entire box of mac & cheese
03. stir-fry the ground beef in the greasy frying substance of your choice
04. mix in the taco seasoning
05. lightly butter casserole dish, and line it with tater tots. LIKE A DELICIOUS PIE CRUST OF TATERY AWESOMENESS
06. mix the mac & cheese up with the taco-y beef. feel free to do this in a giant bowl, using your hands. hungrily devour enormous handfuls when no one is looking. share it with the doggy and then feel guilty for not washing your hands after. >_>
07. dump it in your tater pie crust
07a. if you're using a really deep casserole dish, you can put in a second layer of tots before adding the rest of the beefyroni.
08. smear mashed potatos on top in a shepherd's pie-esque manner
09. put it in the oven at like, 350 or something, til the mash on top gets crusty
10. dump a fuckton of grated cheese on top and put it back in the oven til the cheese is bubbly
11. NOM NOM NOM. try not to burn your mouth on eebil molten cheese, the napalm of the food world. enjoy with a sixer of xibeca or san miguel, or the incredibly cheap local beer of your choice.

Scared about molten cheese and posdible heart attack? Here is the metatalk on making greasy honky pie.
posted by jadepearl at 11:11 AM on December 28, 2017 [5 favorites]

I love, love, LOVE this harissa, broccoli, spinach, wild rice casserole with crispy prosciutto from Half Baked Harvest. It’s super easy, too, if you use frozen veggies. I’ve used sriracha when I didn’t have harissa, and it was still really good.
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:35 AM on December 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I usually use a rice blend (that cooks faster than wild rice) instead of the wild rice. It’s a pretty adaptable recipe...
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:36 AM on December 28, 2017

Au gratin potatoes with smoked sausage. Smoked sausage is so delicious with au gratin potatoes, and it makes a great one-dish meal.

Use your favorite au gratin potatoes recipe, or start with a package. Make the cheese sauce; put the potatoes into a baking dish. Add about a half cup of onion cut into largish pieces, 1/2 to a whole red bell pepper, and your favorite smoked sausage (I love smoked kielbasa, myself). Next, open your cheese drawer, grab everything you've got and strew assorted li'l chunks of cheeses across the potatoes/sausage mixture. Pour the cheese sauce over and bake.

Another cold-weather favorite is chicken with noodles and vegetables. I often make this with leftover rotisserie chicken and stock made from the carcass.

2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups homemade egg noodles or your favorite store-bought noodles
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (or substitute whatever you prefer)
salt and pepper to taste

3 cups good chicken stock
1 cup flour
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk, cream, or half-and-half

Melt butter in a pan, stir in flour and cook the roux a couple of minutes. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring to dissolve the flour. Cook till it has reduced and thickened to a thick gravy consistency. Add milk or cream or half-and-half, stir well. Fold this sauce into the chicken, noodles and vegetables. Bake at 350 in a covered casserole for 45 minutes.

You can also use the above chicken gravy/sauce recipe and leftover chicken to make chicken and stuffing hot dish: 2 cups diced cooked chicken in the bottom of a nine-inch baking dish, cover with chicken gravy/sauce. Optional: add diced mushrooms and/or peas to the chicken chunks. Then make about 4 cups of your favorite stuffing recipe (or if you must, cheat with a couple boxes of Stove Top). Spread on top of chicken and gravy mixture; bake, covered, at 350 F. 30 minutes; uncover and bake another fifteen minutes. This freezes very well; I cut it into single-serving portions, wrap and freeze them for a quick meal to reheat in the microwave.
posted by Lunaloon at 12:36 PM on December 28, 2017

The thing about casseroles is that you do not generally use raw meat or fish in them. At worst you may undercook some of the ingredients slightly and assemble and rely on the oven baking to finish the cooking process. That makes them so forgiving. By the time the centre is piping hot whatever residual cooking was needed should have been accomplished.
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:47 PM on December 28, 2017

nothing says 'rich' like 'brandy apple cream sauce' in my humble opinion

Chicken Normande
posted by halation at 2:49 PM on December 28, 2017

Gordon Ramsay's recipe for Beef Bourgignon.

Hearty? check.
Rich? check.

Also delicious.
posted by pines at 6:21 AM on December 29, 2017

1 box stuffing
1 package mashed potatoes
1 can green beans
1 can chicken breast
1 jar chicken gravy
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c dried cranberries

Make the mashed potatoes per package instructions. Butter a casserole dish, layer the potatoes, green beans, dried stuffing, chicken, gravy, cranberries. Pour chicken broth over it and bake at 350 for around 45 minutes.

The ingredients are shelf stable, and if I'm careful about the potatoes and stuffing I use, gluten and dairy free. I keep this stuff around for when I need comfort food. If I add truffle salt and herbs, it takes the flavor up a notch and makes it less of a TV dinner and more of a real dinner.
posted by annathea at 9:14 AM on December 29, 2017

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