Like a ‘50s diner or old records, the mighty casserole is a timeless dish that’s stuffed with nostalgia. To get technical for a minute, the term casserole refers to food cooked slowly in an oven, generally in a casserole dish (you know the ones, those oblong oval or rectangle glass or ceramic pans.) While there are literally endless ways to make casserole, they’re generally made up of the following components: some sort of meat or protein, vegetables, starch (pasta, rice, etc.) and a sauce to hold it all together. A lot of folks would argue that cheese is on that list as well, but I leave it up to personal preference. As we sink comfortably into fall weather, here are five cozy casserole recipes that match sweater weather’s official season.
This flavorful dish popular in South Africa is reminiscent of a shepherd’s pie, but instead of a mashed potato layer, it has an egg-based custard-like topping, filled with spiced beef curry and a sweet chutney.
This is a Dominican and Puerto Rican dish that you’ve got to try! Nicknamed “plantain lasagna,” it has a lot of the elements of lasagna; layers of ground meat and cheese in a tomato-based sauce. But instead of pasta, pastelón uses sliced plantains. I might be a little biased because plantains are easily one of my favorite foods to cook with and enjoy, but the sweet-meets-savory combo is incredible!
Mushroom Pot Pie
With a flaky top and hearty filling, this dish has everything you want out of a really good pot pie. It has deep, mushroom-y flavor and a rich sauce to hold all the vegetables together, and it’s great for a day when you’re hiding from the rain.
Classic Chicken and Rice
You can’t have a casserole roundup without the official casserole spokesmodel: chicken and rice. And don’t worry, it’s got broccoli and cheddar, too, as tradition (deliciously) demands.
Budín de Tamal
If you also correctly believe that one tamal is never enough, this dish is for you. It uses cut-up tamales, shredded chicken, green enchilada sauce, and cheese, all layered and baked together to make a seriously memorable dinner.