Low-Maintenance, Big Flavor: 6 Holiday Casseroles

 Thanksgiving, Christmas, Dinner, Entertaining, Holidays, How-To, Recipes
on November 19, 2012
Butternut Squash and Cheese Panade
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Faced with hosting a dinner during the holiday season, casseroles can be nothing short of a lifesaver. Whether accounting for an entire meal or a hearty, filling side, a casserole is a warm, stick-to-your ribs dish that will fit right in with your cozy at-home holiday atmosphere. You’ll find six delicious recipes below, but first, here are three tips for making the most of all your holiday casseroles:

  • Don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients for something fresher or more flavorful. Instead of crispy fried onions from a canister (that many traditional casseroles suggest) try frying up your own fresh onions or shallots, with or without a little breading. Try crisping up some smoky bacon or prosciutto to sprinkle on top of your finished product. And of course, lest we forget the cheese, you can always consider choosing a cheese to melt atop your one-dish-wonder if your recipe doesn’t already call for one.
  • Practice time management. Casserole bake-time affords the perfect opportunity for multi-tasking, particularly if your guests are of the last-minute variety. While your dish is in the oven, you’ll have plenty of time to whip up a quick salad or tidy up and set the table.
  • Make it a theme night! Breakfast casseroles or casseroles with international ingredients provide an excellent excuse for a theme night, perfect when you’re in need of distraction from holiday stress. For example, pair the Mexican Casserole with Cornbread Topping (recipe below) with guacamole, tortilla chips, and a pitcher of margaritas for a holiday fiesta.