Homey Hearty Casseroles

Braised brisket tater tot casserole
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Casserole recipes make for an easy, satisfying dinner. They are versatile, creative, and cost-efficient. A variety of savory cheeses like Gruyère, Swiss, and white cheddar, as well as vegetables like potatoes and broccoli bring more earthy and nutty flavors to any casserole. Luckily, we have a stellar collection you can try. From Braised Brisket Potato Tot Casserole to Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio, these dishes are perfect when looking for simple yet comforting weeknight dinner ideas.

01 of 13

Mirliton and Gulf Shrimp Casserole

Mirliton and Gulf Shrimp Casserole
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

"Mirliton, or chayote squash, tastes like a blend of cucumber and crisp zucchini. Paired with warming Creole seasoning and savory andouille sausage, the tender squash and sweet shrimp bring balancing freshness to this hearty casserole. "I love this dish for two reasons," says 2009 Food & Wine Best New Chef Kelly English, who shared this recipe. "First, the mirliton—or chayote, for those who don't speak Louisiana—is such a specific squash. You can't recreate it with anything else, and it just sings with seafood. Second, it is exactly where both of my parents' families come together in a casserole, at every table for almost every occasion." Chef English's original family recipe included more melted butter; drizzle with a little extra before baking, if desired."

02 of 13

Braised Brisket Potato Tot Casserole

Braised brisket tater tot casserole
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This homey dish from The Stray Dog in Minneapolis takes classic Minnesota hot dish to new levels. The tender brisket is braised in stout beer, while brown sugar helps caramelize the brussels sprouts. A creamy mushroom bechamel brings everything together, while the truffle-laced potato tots cap things off. You can braise the brisket, caramelize the brussels sprouts and cook the bechamel a day in advance if you like, then assemble the components, top them with potato tots and bake off the casserole when you are ready to eat this warming, hearty meal.

03 of 13

Butternut Squash Casserole with Leeks, Prosciutto and Thyme

Butternut Squash Casserole with Leeks, Prosciutto and Thyme
© Alexandra Rowley

This luscious squash-studded bread pudding is the ideal accompaniment to roasted meats and birds, or cut into large squares and serve as a main course with a green salad on the side.

04 of 13

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Radicchio Recipe
Greg DuPree

A splash of red wine vinegar balances the richness of this cheesy pasta and magnifies the pink color of the onions and radicchio. Omit the prosciutto to make this a vegetarian main dish.

05 of 13

Grilled Summer Squash Casserole

Grilled Summer Squash Casserole
Victor Protasio

Traditionally called malaiwala, "the one with cream," this casserole is a Punjabi twist on a ratatouille-style summer side. Garland chef-owner Cheetie Kumar suggests making this a main dish by adding firm, cubed paneer.

06 of 13

Oyster Casserole with Cracker Crumbs

Oyster Casserole with Cracker Crumbs
Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer

In this quick, simple recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham, tender and juicy oysters are drizzled with a bit of cream and hot sauce, then baked in a sumptuous, buttery crumb mixture for a bit of crunch. Serve as an appetizer for a dinner party, or as a side dish with ham or turkey. For individual servings, the mixture can be divided among 4 ramekins instead of one baking dish.

07 of 13

Kentucky Hot Brown Macaroni and Cheese

KY Hot Brown Mac and Cheese
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The Kentucky Hot Brown is a classic open-faced sandwich beloved in Kentucky. It was created by Fred Schmidt in 1926 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville and features thick Texas toast topped with slices of roast turkey, tomato and bacon and doused with Mornay sauce. Here, we took the essential components of a Hot Brown and combined them for an untraditional macaroni and cheese with the soul of the original. The halved cherry tomatoes add pops of brightness to each bite of pasta coated in the rich, creamy sauce, while a crunchy bacon and bread topping nod to the dish's origins. Be careful while cooking the Mornay sauce; keep the whisk in contact with the bottom of the pot while whisking to ensure that the sauce doesn't get lumpy or scorched.

08 of 13

Creamy Tuna Noodle Cazuela

Creamy Tuna Noodle Cazuela

Jarred piquillo peppers and imported canned tuna from Spain add an Iberian twist to the classic American tuna casserole.

09 of 13

Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole

The secret to this casserole is the layer of creamed spinach in the middle. This creamy mixture adds a nice contrast to the crispy, crunchy Tater Tot top. Pork sausage brings savoriness to the casserole as well.

10 of 13

Chicken Pot Pie with Leeks and Thyme

Chicken Pot Pie with Leeks and Thyme Recipe
Greg DuPree

This classic chicken pot pie comes together in just about an hour and uses only one skillet. Come for the patchwork of crispy, golden-brown puff pastry, stay for the comforting, classic flavors of the filling. Leeks and thyme lend a cozy, traditional flavor to this dish, while Dijon mustard adds a subtle, unexpected punch.

11 of 13

Cornbread Casserole

Corn Bread Casserole
© Abby Hocking

Cornbread casseroles are a too-busy cook's dream. A handful of pantry staples—frozen and canned corn, corn muffin mix, butter, sour cream and an egg—are baked into something delicious and comforting. We jazz ours up with shredded cheddar and sliced scallions. You can keep it classic and skip the mix-ins, or you can add whatever you have on hand. Try diced ham and chopped bell pepper along with the cheese and scallions. Or make a spicier casserole with two seeded and diced jalapeños and 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro.

12 of 13

Mushroom Pot Pie

Mushroom Pot Pie
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

The deep woodsy flavor of fresh mushrooms is reinforced with dried porcini mushrooms in this gorgeous meatless pot pie worthy of a celebration. The recipe calls for purchased puff pastry, which is not only a relief to those who get nervous by the prospect of having to make their own pastry, but it also cuts out a lot of prep time. Use whatever fresh mushrooms you can find, keeping in mind that a nice mixture will add more flavor and texture to the pie.

13 of 13

Mashed-Potato Casserole with Sage and Fontina

Mashed-Potato Casserole with Sage and Fontina
© John Kernick

To take mashed potatoes up a few notches, cookbook author Melissa Clark mashes them with a creamy, tangy mix of creme fraiche, butter, parsley and sage, then tops them with cheesy breadcrumbs and bakes until crisp.

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