Warm, cheesy, meaty, casseroles are some of my favorite meals especially in the winter. Nothing beats the cold like a warm dish of comfort of food!
And Rachael Ray hits the bullseye with these (9) casserole recipes. I hope your family gobbles them up like I know mine will! 🙂
#1) Curtis Stone’s Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli and Pasta Bake with White Cheddar:
1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and cut into large bite-size florets
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking dish, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
18 ounces (about 8 cups) broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups (about 5 ounces) penne
4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup (5 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup very coarse, fresh multigrain breadcrumbs (made in a food processor or blender from 2 slices of bread)
Position racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a quart baking dish or three individual crocks.
On a large baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on the baking sheet. On a second baking sheet, repeat with the broccoli florets and 2 more tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake veggies for 10 minutes. Stir each sheet of vegetables and switch the positions of the baking sheets from top to bottom. Bake for about 10 minutes more, or until the vegetables are tinged with brown. Set aside. (Leave the oven on.)
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and cook, stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking together, for about 7 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the penne.
Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the pancetta, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until the pancetta is browned and crisp. Add the onions and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, or until the onions are tender and slightly browned. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture, then stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, or until it is very pale golden brown.
Gradually stir in the milk and cream. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often for about 4 minutes, or until the sauce is lightly thickened and has no raw flour taste. Remove from the heat, add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the vegetables and penne to the cheese sauce and fold together. Spread evenly in the oiled baking dish. In a small bowl, toss the breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat, then sprinkle over the vegetable mixture.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
#2) Clodagh McKenna’s Shepherd’s Pie with Colcannon Topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/4 cups lamb or beef stock, heated
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Colcannon Topping:
2 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
3 1/2 tablespoons butter, plus more, melted, for brushing
1 leek, finely chopped
1/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place a casserole dish over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and carrots then cover. Reduce the heat and let sweat for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and increase the heat to high. Add the ground lamb and cook until browned then stir in the tomato paste, hot stock and frozen peas. Season with salt and black pepper, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the colcannon topping: Place the potatoes, whole and unpeeled, in a saucepan with the largest ones at the bottom and fill the pan halfway with water. Cover the pan and place over high heat. When the water begins to boil, drain off about half of it, leaving just enough for the potatoes to steam. When the potatoes are cooked, about 30-40 minutes depending on their size, drain and peel (hold them in a kitchen towel if they are too hot to handle). Place in a warm bowl.
In a saucepan, heat the butter over low to medium heat until melted then stir in the leeks. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the milk and nutmeg. Heat until the milk has warmed through.
Mash the potatoes, gradually adding the warm milk and leek mixture. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Transfer the lamb mixture to a medium-size pie dish and spoon the colcannon topping over it. Brush the top with melted butter to get a crispy golden finish. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and serve.
#3) Chipotle Chicken Nacho Casserole:
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons (2/3 palmful) ground cumin
2 teaspoons (2/3 palmful) ground coriander
2 teaspoons (2/3 palmful) smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Meat from 1 rotisserie or poached chicken, skin and bones removed, meat pulled in bite-sized pieces
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons puréed or finely chopped chipotle in adobo
1 bag yellow corn tortilla chips
4 ounces yellow sharp cheddar, shredded (about 1 cup)
8 ounces pepper jack or blue pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Homemade pico de gallo (chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, red onion and cilantro)
- or store-bought
- Pickled jalapeño peppers
- Sour cream
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions and garlic, and stir 2-3 minutes. Add spices, salt and pepper, and stir 1 minute; add chicken, stock and chipotle, and simmer to combine flavors.
Layer tortillas and chicken in casserole dish, and top with cheese. Bake until brown and bubbly, 12-15 minutes. Top casserole with salsa and pickled jalapeños, and serve with passed sour cream at the table.
#4) Cookie Monster’s Sausage and Zucchini Strata:
1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
8 ounces turkey sausage, casings removed
6 slices whole-grain bread
1 small zucchini, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 cups shredded, reduced-fat Jarlsberg or cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups low-fat milk
Lightly oil an 11x 7” baking dish.
Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Line the baking dish with overlapping slices of bread. Sprinkle the zucchini evenly over the bread. Spoon the sausage over the zucchini and sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
In a large bowl, stir the eggs with a fork until broken up. Add the mustard then the milk and stir until well-blended. Pour the liquid over the bread mixture in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Uncover the strata and bake about 45 minutes or until the top is puffy and browned, and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking dish to a rack to cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
#5) Zucchini, Tomato, Potato Pie:
4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for liberal drizzling
4 to 5 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandoline or the slicing side of box grater
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups coarsely grated stale white bread or peasant bread
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
5 to 6 small, firm zucchini, thinly sliced or mandoline-sliced lengthwise
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 small vine tomatoes
2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour about 2 tablespoons olive oil into casserole dish and add about 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add potatoes in overlapping concentric circles to cover the bottom of the pan, moving the oil and butter around the potatoes as you place them. Pat into place when an even layer is formed and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and roast potatoes until lightly golden at edges, about 20 minutes. Remove and cool.
Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Arrange 1/3 of the zucchini in shingled layer and top with 1/3 of the onions and garlic then drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Arrange the next layer of zucchini in opposite direction then onions and garlic. Repeat again for three layers of zucchini total.
Cut an x in skin of tomatoes and drop into boiling water for a minute. Add to ice bath to stop the cooking and cool, then peel and slice. Arrange tomatoes over the top of the zucchini then top everything with the breadcrumb mixture and pat down. Cover with parchment cut to fit the casserole dish.
Bake casserole 90 minutes, let stand one hour. Cut and serve as side dish or a light main with green salad.
**My mom made this dish (sometimes just with vegetables, hold breadcrumbs) as a favorite side dish when I was little. Over the years she caught on that I loved it more than anything she made to go with it. After years of ignoring the chicken or pork on the plate she finally started preparing for me as a main dish, center plate. I love this as a meat-free main course.
#6) Carbonara Mac ‘n Cheese Soufflé and Spring Salad:
1 pound Italian macaroni tubes or ziti
2 tablespoons butter, plus some to butter casserole dish
1/3 pound sharp white cheddar, crumbled, about 1 cup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 pound chunk pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 rounded tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
For the salad:
- 1/2 pound sugar snap peas
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Acacia honey or light agave syrup or 2 teaspoons fine sugar
- 1 shallot, grated
- 1 clove garlic, grated or pasted
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons white Balsamic or sherry vinegar
- About 1/3 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
- 1 heart Romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 2 baby or 1 small bulb fennel trimmed and thinly sliced
- A handful fennel fronds
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley tops, coarsely chopped
- 2 thin slices brioche bread
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Boil water and salt it liberally. Cook pasta 5 minutes, cold shock and drain. Place in a buttered casserole dish and add cheddar crumbles.
Heat oil, 1 turn of the pan, in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta, brown and render to lightly crisp; remove from pan and scatter around pasta. Add butter to pan and melt. When it foams, add garlic and stir 1 minute then add flour and stir until it bubbles. Whisk in milk, let it bubble then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. When sauce thickens to coat spoon, stir in half of the grated Parm and Gruyère. Remove sauce from heat, temper egg yolks with a ladle of sauce and whisk into sauce. Whisk the Dijon into sauce. Whisk egg whites until peaks form then fold in a quarter of them to the sauce. Fold in reminder and pour over pasta. Top with remaining cheese and parsley. Bake 20 minutes or until golden and puffed.
For the salad, bring a few inches of water to boil. Add salt then blanch snap peas for 2 minutes. Cold shock then split them lengthwise.
Whisk up Dijon with honey, grated shallot, garlic, lemon juice and vinegar. Whisk EVOO in a slow stream down the side of the bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Add the lettuces and fennel to a bowl along with the peas. Toast brioche to deep golden then pulse in a food processor to make large breadcrumbs. Toss breadcrumbs with salad and dressing to combine and serve.
#7) Tuna Casserole:
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons thyme
1 large bay leaf
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry sherry, dry vermouth or white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
Salt and white pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 6-ounce cans sustainable/line-caught tuna such as Whole Foods yellow fin canned tuna or Lobster Place’s American line-caught)
1/2 pound good quality extra wide egg noodles
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 to 1 1/2 cups Gruyère or white sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Melt butter in a large, deep skillet over moderate heat. Add mushrooms and lightly brown; add onions, celery, garlic, thyme, bay, salt and pepper. Partially cover pan and soften veggies 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and cook 1-2 minutes; add sherry, vermouth or wine and stir. Add stock and milk, and bring to a bubble. Thicken sauce to coat a spoon then reduce heat.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and undercook pasta by a minute or two.
Add lemon juice and flaked tuna to veggies then add drained noodles and toss to coat. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish. Toss breadcrumbs with a drizzle of olive oil, cheeses and parsley. Top the casserole with breadcrumbs.
Bake the casserole until golden brown and hot throughout.
#8) David Venable’s Cheesy Cheeseburger Casserole:
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 16-ounce package elbow macaroni
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) ricotta cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) sour cream
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt to the macaroni and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and onion and cook, stirring, until the beef is well browned. Carefully drain the fat from the skillet and stir in the tomato sauce, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over a low heat while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Combine the ricotta, sour cream, bell pepper, and scallions in a medium bowl. Spread half of the pasta into the bottom of a 913-inch baking dish. Top with the ricotta mixture, then the remaining pasta. Pour the meat mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the Cheddar and mozzarella. Bake the casserole until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley before serving.*
**Dishin with David Let them be for ten minutes
Recipes often tell us to let meat or casserole rest for ten minutes before carving or serving them. If you cut into the cheeseburger — or any — casserole when it comes right out of the oven, the pieces will be runny and wont hold together. By allowing casseroles to sit for a bit and reabsorb some of the melted cheeses and liquid ingredients, the food will hold together for easier serving.
And those casseroles are hot. Too hot to eat when they come right out of the oven. So let them be for ten minutes before digging in.
#9) Buffalo Chicken Potato Casserole:
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 cup hot sauce
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
4 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded, approx 4 cups
Preheat oven to 400F.
For the bechamel, heat a small saucepot over medium heat with butter. Whisk in flour and milk then add in dry mustard. Add in hot sauce and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and let thicken a few minutes until the sauce coats a spoon.
In a casserole dish, spoon a thin layer of bechamel and layer with sliced potatoes. Cover with a third of the shredded chicken, a third of the cheese and top with a third of the bechamel. Repeat layers twice and top with remaining bchamel and cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour then remove foil and let brown for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
Thank you, Rachael Ray, for these amazing 9 casserole meals. Our fall/winter is going to be far more comfy and cozy thanks to YOU!
For a great dessert, click here!