They’ve been a weeknight suburban dinner staple for decades and they’re a notoriously “love-them-or-hate-them” menu item. Casseroles have recently gone out of style because they can be an unhealthy option that’s lacking in flavor and texture. However, there are plenty of reasons to love a good casserole, especially when it’s made well. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why casseroles could (and should) be a key part of your routine menu.
The Benefits of Cooking Casseroles
Casseroles were very popular for a long time for good reason. There are plenty of benefits to be had from taking this type of approach to preparing a meal.
Let’s face it: Groceries are expensive, especially meat-based proteins. Casseroles are an excellent way to stretch those costly ingredients so you don’t have to buy quite as much to satisfy your family. Adding other ingredients to a dish to help bulk it up means you won’t even miss the meat. You can even search through online resources like The Kitchen Community for healthy vegetarian options.
Feed a Crowd
If you have to feed a lot of hungry mouths, casseroles are a fast and easy way to cook for a crowd. There’s no need to worry about having enough oven or stovetop space to accommodate multiple dishes. Instead, everything is grouped together into one dish or pot, making it easy to prepare plenty of food in your home kitchen.
Spend Less Time in the Kitchen
Even if you enjoy cooking, it can be daunting to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals day after day. Casseroles allow you to cut out multiple steps and they can save you a lot of time. Freezer-friendly options are a big time-saver because you can prep them ahead, store them in the freezer, and pop them in the oven when you’re ready to eat them.
Enjoy a Hearty and Comforting Meal
Casseroles have a certain persona that many other meal options just can’t match. Whether it’s the nostalgia or the satisfying combination of tasty ingredients, casseroles are the best kind of comfort food to help you unwind at the end of a long day.
Tips for Casserole Cooking
It doesn’t take a lot of effort or technical skill to make a delicious casserole. A few simple tips can help you give this genre a much-needed makeover to suit your tastes.
Incorporate Multiple Food Groups
For a casserole to be convenient, it should be treated like a one-pot wonder. Add protein, starch, and vegetables to the mix so you have all of your basics covered for a complete meal.
Keep Texture in Mind
Casseroles have a reputation for being soggy, but you can fix that by adding a crispy topping to help provide some much-needed texture to the dish. Bread crumbs, crispy potatoes, crackers, and even potato chips can add the perfect crunch.
For an easy meal solution that’s tasty, comforting, and crowd-pleasing, give casseroles a try. Search for recipes made with nutritious ingredients your family already loves to give you the most success.