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Fast fix dinner: Casseroles

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Classic to creative meals

Updated with fresh ingredients and creative ideas, casseroles can be a simple and filling meal for the family. Making them ahead keeps prep time to a minimum, and leftovers can be retooled for lunch or dinner the next day.

Spaghetti Casserole

Spaghetti and sausage casserole recipe

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage, crumbled
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 ounces marinara sauce
  • 4 tablespoons low-fat milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook spaghetti until al dente; drain and set aside.
  3. Saute sausage with onion, garlic and red pepper in olive oil until sausage is browned and vegetables are softened. Add spaghetti, marinara sauce and milk to mixture and cook until heated through.
  4. Pour mixture into a 13- by 9-inch casserole dish and top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until fully heated through and cheese is bubbly, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool before serving.

french toast casserole

French toast casserole recipe

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 12 slices day-old French bread
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed

Directions:

  1. Coat a 13- by 9-inch casserole dish with cooking spray and arrange bread slices in it.
  2. Whisk eggs with milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour mixture over bread and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dot bread with butter cubes and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and egg is fully cooked.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
chicken pot pie

Chicken and biscuits casserole recipe

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pounds chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups mixed vegetables
  • 12 ounces chicken gravy
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 refrigerated biscuits, quartered

Directions:

  1. Saute chicken with onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms until chicken is cooked through. Stir in mixed vegetables, gravy, wine and rosemary, and cook until sauce begins to thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F and coat a 13- by 9-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. Pour chicken mixture into prepared casserole dish and top with biscuits. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until mixture is heated through and biscuits are golden. Let cool before serving.

pineapple cake

Pineapple bread pudding casserole recipe

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 15 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
  • 9 slices white bread
  • 6 canned pineapple rings

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Beat butter with sugar until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time until well combined. Fold in crushed pineapple and bread, and pour into a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish.
  3. Top mixture with pineapple rings and bake 60 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. If pineapple rings begin to get too brown, cover them with aluminum foil. Let cool before serving.

More casserole recipes

Comfort food: Potato casserole
Fall casserole recipes
5 Delicious comfort casseroles

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