Casseroles are wonderful one-pot meals and an easy way to feed your family a healthy dinner when you’re short on time. Warm and comforting, they are a perfect dish for a chilly winter night. The great thing about casseroles is they usually contain all the major food groups, so no need for fussing with sides and extras. Casseroles are also a great way to use leftovers, especially large roasts of meats such as turkey, chicken, ham, or beef. Leftover cooked rice and vegetables can also be added. The best part of all? Casserole recipes are often pretty forgiving, so if you find a recipe you like, you can usually substitute ingredients for what you have as long as you stay within the same food group. Casseroles also freeze well, so if you have some extra time, make one or a few, freeze them, and you’ll have them ready to go for those busy weeknights down the road. You can freeze them cooked or raw, and remember to always thaw in the refrigerator.
Use this simple technique for freezing casseroles:
- Line your baking dish with foil, leaving a good amount of excess hanging over the edges.
- Make and freeze your casserole in the dish.
- When it is frozen lift it out of the dish using the excess foil on the edges, then wrap your casserole with plastic wrap, seal air tight in a freezer bag, and put it back in the freezer for use down the road.
- When you are ready to cook it, put it back in the original dish, thaw, and cook. You can stack several casseroles in the freezer this way, and it frees up your dish for other uses. So, next time you are up for making a no-fuss, delicious dinner, try one of Paula’s wonderful casserole recipes.