Make-Ahead Casseroles for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Photo: © Ian Knauer

Casseroles may be the most all-around satisfying dishes. Not only are they superhearty, they are extremely easy to pull off, which makes casseroles the most accomodating meal out there. The only thing that can make a casserole more convenient is making it ahead of time. These simple make-ahead dishes can be whipped up on a Sunday, stored in the freezer, and ready to bake throughout the week for an easy, satisfying dinner.

01 of 19

Mashed Potato Casserole with Pulled Chicken and Crispy Bacon

Mashed Potato Casserole with Pulled Chicken and Crispy Bacon
© Kristen Stevens

This recipe featuring mashed potatoes, pulled chicken and crispy bacon yields comfort food at its best.

02 of 19

Tuscan Chicken Casserole

Tuscan Chicken Casserole
© Ian Knauer

The flavors of Italy are tied together neatly here with garlic and rosemary inflected stock, making this weeknight meal extra-special.

03 of 19

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 it into large squares and serve as a main course with a green salad on the side.

04 of 19

Swiss Chard Casserole with Shiitake Mushrooms

Swiss Chard Casserole with Shiitake Mushrooms

Delicious and easy to make and serve, this frittata-like casserole is just the kind of dish that F&W's Justin Chapple likes to serve as a first course at dinner parties. He slices the baked casserole into bite-size squares and tops them with a dollop of creme fraiche to serve with cocktails.

05 of 19

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potatoes grow in abundance in Alabama, where sculptor Sandi Stevens' family eats them year-round. This casserole is a Stevens favorite: silky pureed sweet potatoes topped with a sweet and crunchy pecan-cornflake topping. If you don't have pecans or cornflakes on hand, Stevens says the topping can be made with whatever nut or cereal is in the cupboard.

06 of 19

Turnip Casserole with Porcini Crumb Topping

Turnip Casserole with Porcini Crumb Topping
© ALEXANDRA ROWLEY

We love the earthy porcini topping on this rich and creamy turnip gratin, but it would also be fantastic on mac and cheese or other root vegetable gratin.

07 of 19

Cheesy Mixed Pasta Casserole with Mushrooms

Cheesy Mixed Pasta Casserole with Mushrooms

F&W's Melissa Rubel Jacobson created this recipe to use up extra dried mushrooms and odds and ends of pasta. While the different pasta shapes cook at different rates in the water, they all become tender once baked.

08 of 19

Broccoli and Wild Mushroom Casserole

Broccoli and Wild Mushroom Casserole

Photographer and Alabamian Robert Rausch grew up eating vegetable casseroles--he and his mother are both vegetarians. The broccoli casserole his family ate is a step up from the standard church cookbook recipe, which calls for using canned mushroom soup: In place of that, he uses wild mushrooms. He still relies on Ritz crackers, though, for the crispy, buttery topping.

09 of 19

Southwest Chicken Casserole

Southwest Chicken Casserole
© Ian Knauer

The chicken filling can be made a day a head and reheated before continuing with the recipe.

10 of 19

Winter Veggie Casserole with Tofu Crumble

Winter Veggie Casserole with Tofu Crumble

Tofu adds a subtle heft to this vegetarian casserole that is perfect for both weeknight meals and holiday tables.

11 of 19

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Rice Casserole

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Rice Casserole
© Ian Knauer

The rice in this casserole filling is cooked until it starts to fall apart, thickening the liquid.

12 of 19

Chicken Chili Casserole

Chicken Chili Casserole
© Ian Knauer

The chili for this casserole can be made three days ahead of time.

13 of 19

Green Bean Casserole with Goat Cheese, Almonds and Smoked Paprika

Green Bean Casserole with Goat Cheese, Almonds and Smoked Paprika
© ALEXANDRA ROWLEY

Inspired by classic green bean casseroles from his childhood, F&W's Justin Chapple put a Spanish spin on this timeless favorite by topping the creamy beans with smoky pimenton de la Vera and toasted almonds.

14 of 19

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
© Eliesa Johnson

Chef Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis updates this classic Minnesota flavor combo with fresh herbs, tender Swiss chard and an aromatic mushroom gravy. The dish is perfect for potlucks since it can be baked a day ahead.

15 of 19

Creamy Shrimp Casserole with Buttery Crumbs

Creamy Shrimp Casserole with Buttery Crumbs
© Lucy Schaeffer

Hot sauce and dashes of paprika make this delicious casserole a complex-flavored dish everyone at the table will love.

16 of 19

Cuban Beef Casserole with Corn-Scallion Biscuit Topping

Cuban Beef Casserole with Corn-Scallion Biscuit Topping

Inspired by a Cuban picadillo, this recipe perfectly balances savory and sweet with warm aromatic spices, sweet raisins and tangy green olives.

17 of 19

Broccoli and Cheddar Casserole with Leeks

Broccoli and Cheddar Casserole with Leeks
© Alexandra Rowley

This classic is updated with deep-flavored cheddar and a crunchy topping of crumbled crackers and toasted almonds.

18 of 19

Chicken Mole Casserole

Chicken Mole Casserole
© Ian Knauer

This faux mole is made from ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

19 of 19

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
© Ian Knauer

Simmering the reserved chicken bones in the milk increases the chicken flavor of this casserole.

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