Casseroles — or as some of you may call them, hot dishes — are the heartbeat of the American weeknight meal, the powerhouse of the holiday potluck. If you’re like us, the very word conjures visions of grandma pulling out her red-and-white-checked cookbook and dumping meats, veggies, cheese and the ubiquitous can of soup into a single dish, popping it into the oven and serving it up piping hot in around half an hour.
Don’t get us wrong; there’s a certain nostalgic appeal to a meal made from canned ingredients, but these days, we’re a little more into not-so-semi-homemade cooking, and we’re on the hunt for a way to elevate the humble casserole into a modern culinary delight we can be proud to add to the potluck spread.
The common denominator in the old-fashioned, not-very-gourmet casseroles is canned soup. You know the kind we mean. They usually start with “cream of” and taste about as fun as we’d imagine binge-watching a season of The Apprentice would be. (Of course, there’s a time for a really good pre-made soup — and we’ve rounded up the best store-bought soups for stocking your pantry.)
From modern soup-free delights to revamped versions of your favorite canned soup standards, these contemporary casserole recipes will delight your family on any given weeknight — with no canned soup in sight.
A version of this story was originally published March 2019.