14 great casseroles to throw together, just because

14 great casseroles to throw together, just because

Illustration for article titled 14 great casseroles to throw together, just because
Photo: Stacey Ballis

A casserole is more than the sum of its parts. A casserole is peak comfort, a tried-and-true, feel-good dish that contains all of the world’s best things. Creamy bases, crunchy toppings, and generally reheatable accoutrements make a casserole an object of convenience, but also worthy of deep affection and, yeah, love. Tons of it.

And casseroles aren’t only for big dinner gatherings—they can also become the centerpiece of a mouthwatering brunch, or serve as a quick weeknight meal if you have midweek cooking fatigue. A casserole is whatever you need it to be, which is why we’ve rounded up our favorite mains, sides, and crowd-pleasers. All you need is a Pyrex dish and a craving for sweet, sweet coziness.

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Zucchini Casserole

Zucchini Casserole

Illustration for article titled 14 great casseroles to throw together, just because
Photo: Allison Robicelli

Lancaster County in Pennsylvania—colloquially known as Amish Country—features several all-you-can-eat smorgasbords. This Zucchini Casserole recipe is a recreation of one of the best dishes in the region, found at the Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant. It’s cheesy and buttery and unbelievably rich, yet it’s somehow still vegetables beneath it all. Get the recipe here.

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Ritz-and-Gravy Squash Casserole

Ritz-and-Gravy Squash Casserole

Illustration of casserole
Illustration: Libby McGuire

This Ritz-and Gravy Squash Casserole is packed with warm gravy and crunchy crackers, making it the perfect savory counterpart to sweeter side dishes. It’s the culinary equivalent of lying on a sofa under a blanket. Get the recipe here.

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Cheesy Hash Elegante

Cheesy Hash Elegante

Graphic of casserole ingredients in a dish
Graphic: Natalie Peeples

Ultra-rich, ultra-creamy, and ultra-cheesy, this nontraditional Cheesy Hash Elegante is the perfect textural mash-up. The cheese offers a smooth, tangy binder, while sautéed and baked corn flake crumbles give the dish a brown buttery finish. Get the recipe here.

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Gamer Breakfast Casserole

Gamer Breakfast Casserole

Illustration for article titled 14 great casseroles to throw together, just because
Photo: Lillian Stone

This Gamer Breakfast Casserole is a riff on traditional cornflake casserole, which Midwesterners tote to church brunches, funerals, holiday dinners, outdoor potlucks, you name it. We wanted to see how it would taste if we added classic gamer fuel to the mix—and it turned out to be excellent. Mountain Dew, Doritos, and Takis Hot Nuts all make an appearance in this unlikely dish, and the result is a hearty, cheesy, and surprisingly satisfying casserole that’ll keep you full for an entire day of Cyberpunk 2077. Get the recipe here.

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Wake and Bake French Toast Casserole

Wake and Bake French Toast Casserole

Illustration of breakfast casserole
Illustration: Emma Mckhann

Drag holiday guests out of bed with this special-occasion French Toast Casserole. A caramel sauce and cinnamon- and vanilla-laced custard soak into soft slices of French bread overnight, making for an easy morning bake. The whole things takes about 10 minutes to prep, and the dish packs a major wow factor—holiday or no holiday. Get the recipe here.

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Italian Rice Ball Casserole

Italian Rice Ball Casserole

Illustration for article titled 14 great casseroles to throw together, just because
Graphic: Allison Corr

This Italian Rice Ball Casserole, inspired by the legendary fried rice balls at Joe’s of Avenue U in Gravesend, Brooklyn, has a whole lot of heart and a whole lot of rice. It’s stuffed with carbs and Pecorino and topped with fresh ricotta, delivering all of the flavor of the borough with way less prep time than you might expect. Mangia bene! Get the recipe here.

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Elotes Casserole

Elotes Casserole

Illustration for article titled 14 great casseroles to throw together, just because
Photo: Stacey Ballis

Think corn pudding plus classic elotes toppings. This Elotes Casserole recipe uses canned corn to make it both easy and quick to pull together while being totally unhampered by the short sweet corn season. A perfect side dish for holiday dinners and chill weeknights alike, it can be served warm or at room temperature. Plus, you can make the base up to three days ahead, reheat, and garnish right before serving. Get the recipe here.

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Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Illustration for article titled 14 great casseroles to throw together, just because
Graphic: Libby McGuire

Green Bean Casserole is a highly divisive classic. Still, in most states it’s pretty much a legal requirement when it comes to setting your Thanksgiving table, and it’s the pride and joy of culinary grannies everywhere. In this version—which owes all due credit to both Grandma Phyllis and the instructions on a can of French’s crispy fried onions—you’ll note that the recipe calls for a can of water chestnuts, which add the perfect amount of crunch to the overall dish. Trust us, it works. Get the recipe here.

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Burrito Bisquick Bake

Burrito Bisquick Bake

Casserole next to Bisquick box
Photo: Jimmy Hasse

Picture this: a deconstructed burrito, a refried-beans-and-Bisquick crust, and tons of ground beef, salsa, and cheese. Bake it all up in a cast-iron skillet for the easiest weeknight casserole you’ll ever eat. Burrito Bisquick Bake takes all of 10 minutes to pull together and costs less than $10 total. Get the recipe here.

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Sweet Squash-Pecan Casserole

Sweet Squash-Pecan Casserole

Plated casserole
Photo: Karl Gustafson

Start with the gourd of your choosing (opt for canned pumpkin if you’re short on time), then throw it in with heaps of vanilla, pecans, brown sugar, and butter. Put it all together and you’ve got Sweet Squash-Pecan Casserole, a deceptively simple, undeniably show-stopping Thanksgiving side that’ll tempt even the most gourd-averse dinner guests. Get the recipe here.

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SPAM Tater Tot Casserole

SPAM Tater Tot Casserole

Can of SPAM
Image: rubberball (Getty Images)

Allow us to present the perfect Sunday morning brunch casserole using two American classics: SPAM and Tater Tots. It’s easy, filling, satisfying, and positively oozing with cheese. Cook at 350 degrees for an hour, and you’ve got a crowd-pleasing casserole to feed your screaming holiday masses. Or just yourself. Get the recipe here.

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Cheeseburger Grits Casserole

Cheeseburger Grits Casserole

Cheeseburger grits casserole
Photo: Stacey Ballis

Meet your new favorite brunch dish. By placing pre-cooked burgers and classic burger toppings between two layers of cheese grits, you get the best of all worlds in this Cheeseburger Grits Casserole. All the fun and flavor of a cheeseburger in an easy make-ahead entree. The grits mean you can serve it for any meal of the day. Get the recipe here.

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Flying Jacob Swedish Casserole

Flying Jacob Swedish Casserole

Illustration for article titled 14 great casseroles to throw together, just because
Photo: Jerard Fagerberg

The Flying Jacob is creamy and inviting, with the sweetness of the bananas pairing unexpectedly well with Italian-spiced chicken and smoky bacon fat. It comes out of the oven an incandescent orange, not unlike a skillet of Kraft Mac & Cheese—and likewise, a bellyful could sustain you through a long winter. The flavors might sound like an unusual combination, but go ahead and follow our lead on this one. Get the recipe here.

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Amy Klobuchar’s Taconite Tater Tot Hot Dish

Amy Klobuchar’s Taconite Tater Tot Hot Dish

Illustration for article titled 14 great casseroles to throw together, just because
Photo: Aimee Levitt

Like any good Minnesotan, Senator Amy Klobuchar has several hotdish recipes—but this is the one that won the Minnesota Congressional Hotdish Competition back in 2011. The tater tots give it a bit of a crunch, and the pepperjack cheese gives it a bit of a kick. There’s no pretense that this is anything other than a giant carb bomb, and that is totally okay. Get the recipe here.

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