We all grew up eating tuna noodle casserole or macaroni and cheese or even baked rigatoni (which yes is considered a casserole) but as much as the classics are great, they sometimes need an update. Tuna noodle casserole for instance can be made with crab or salmon instead of tuna or cream of broccoli soup instead of cream of chicken. Macaroni and cheese can be updated by using a variety of cheeses like blue cheese or Brie or you can add steamed vegetables and herbs for an added flair. Being creative and adding unusual vegetables, meats, or cheeses to your casserole can instantly update your favorite casserole but still keep that down home feeling.
In order to get that perfect golden crust on the top of your casserole, all you need to do is bake it without covering it with foil. Or if you are cooking the casserole for more than one hour, cover it for the first half of cooking and uncover for the second. Alternatively you can simply combine bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle it over the casserole which will also give you the crusty top.
Using precut frozen or canned vegetables are huge time savers, especially for a casserole. Not only do you save on cutting but cooking time will be reduced because fresh takes longer than frozen or canned to cook. Also using canned soups is quicker than making your own creamed based sauce. If you are adding meat or fish to your casserole then buying a precooked rotisserie chicken for example or precooked salmon will drastically reduce cooking times and taste just as good. Because the flavors are combined and baked, using the freshest homemade ingredients is not always essential if you are short on time.
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