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How a Casserole Recipe Makes People Smile

Aaaaah, comfort food. As mundane, basic, or un-gourmet it sounds, comfort food should be a staple in everyone's dinner rotation. There's no better comfort food than a good casserole recipe.

It may take one back to childhood days, when mom threw together a warm, gooey, tasty blend of foods you could easily spoon into your mouth. It truly tasted like home.

So why shy away from making a casserole today? It's not necessarily glamorous, but it certainly makes people smile. Besides, in most people's busy lives, what's better than putting together an all-in-one dish that can be baked ahead of time?

chicken-bean-casserole-blog-3-300x198.jpgAdd it to the list

So be it convenience, nostalgia, or the desire for something different, casserole recipes should be a part of your dinner-time planning. You may want to start with some tried and true basics. See this list from tasteofhome.com for the 10 best casserole recipes.

Tips for better casserole cooking

Preparing a tasty casserole recipe is more than just tossing in the ingredients and baking. We found some great tips from Eating Well about preparing the perfect casserole.

  • Remove excess moisture from vegetables before you cook. No one wants a sopping wet mess on their plate. Thaw frozen veggies in a strainer, and squeeze moisture from washed greens. Beware: mushrooms are mostly water and should be pre-cooked and drained prior to adding.
  • Par-cook long-cooking veggies. If they require a longer cooking time than other ingredients, you may want to partially cook them before adding to the casserole. This is especially true of root vegetables like potatoes or carrots.
  • Don't cook pasta all the way before putting in the casserole dish. Again, par-boil and then let it finish cooking with other ingredients to avoid those over-cooked, mushy noodles.
  • Have casserole at proper temp before cooking. If you've prepared the casserole ahead of time, defrost it fully and allow it to come to room temperature before popping it in the oven.
casserole-in-pot-blog-3-199x300.jpgGet creative
 
Once you've mastered the standards, try getting creative with your casserole recipes. Chicken and tuna are fine, but other meats can work well too. Think about using fresh salmon, crab, tofu, or ground turkey breast.

Lentils, corn, lima beans, or spinach also add a bit of healthy flavor. Go beyond the basic cheddar and try melting gruyere, or topping with feta cheese to provide creaminess.

Firm fruits are also good – like apples and pears.

Treat your family to a delicious casserole one night, and see how they smile. Create those memories for them of a warm, gooey, tasty treat that reminds them of home.