Spring is a very busy time in most households, with gardening season starting in Southern states, spring cleaning beckoning, and outdoor activities gearing up for children, many households are searching for ways to maximize their leisure time while still taking care of business. Enter the casserole, those wonderful time savers!
Nothing says “home” as well as the fragrance of something baking in the oven. We list some delicious entree casseroles among some of our favorite dishes, not only because they can free up some precious time with their make-ahead features, but because they also deliver on flavor and versatility through make-ahead bake-later, or bake-ahead reheat later.
Lea’s Lasagna Casserole recipe dates back to our days on Plum Street in Danville, Illinois 1964-1974. Using layered lasagna noodles, browned ground beef, ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses with a fragrant homemade tomato sauce, it bakes in an hour and is ready to eat after cooling for 15 minutes.
Chicken Enchilada Grande Casserole is a recipe Lea developed while preparing a dinner for 50. It takes the chicken enchilada casserole to the next level with a creamy and spicy sour cream and chili sauce that delivers a pallet pleasing lusciousness. Lea notes that this sauce doesn’t freeze very well, so if you’re making this ahead of time, just make and freeze the Enchiladas. Make the sauce the day of service.
This is the long time favorite Chicken Casserole recipe that you can take in any flavor direction that pleases you. Add vegetables, pasta, or where ever your whim takes you at the time. I always have homemade Emeril’s Essence on hand, and use a pinch or two of that sometimes to take the flavor Cajun. This recipe uses canned soup, so be aware of the saltiness.
The King Ranch Chicken Casserole has been a long-time favorite for folks who want to “kick it up a notch.” Served with Pico de Gallo and a sprinkle of flavorings on top add up to a wonderful layer of additional flavor!
Another Tex-Mex dish that has gained a lot of popularity is the Baked Beef Taco Casserole. This favorite uses a package of taco seasoning in the browned ground beef, ripe and canned tomatoes, and biscuit mix to make an easy to assemble, and a quick bake of only 35 minutes to bring wonderful aromas and flavors to the table.
We made this Egg & Sausage Casserole a number of times for our family brunches. It’s easy to assemble ahead of time, then just pop it in the oven and soon sit down to a great meal. We always served it with Good Potato Casserole, and of course, the Christmas Morning Coffee Cake. We like breakfast for lunch and dinner, too! Larry created a Egg and Sausage Casserole w/Biscuit Mix recipe during our days of operating a Bed & Breakfast in Indiana. It has always been a hit! The comforting fragrance of the Italian seasoning would fill the downstairs, and waft up the staircases to greet the guests with the warmth of home cooking.
No matter the occasion or the time crunch, these main dish casseroles can save you lots of time and stress, and give you the luxury of catching your breath during hectic days of shuttling children to events while keeping the family on schedule and well fed.