Simple, economical and time saving are just a few things that make casseroles so popular with cooks. They are easy to prepare, and usually contain readily available items in the kitchen.
The Southern staple makes putting a meal on the table easy, as it can be made ahead of time and popped in the oven when needed. Most casseroles include a meat such as chicken or ground beef, usually rice, noodles or vegetables, making them very versatile. There is also the opportunity to make a dessert casserole, using an assortment of ingredients, such as pineapple and pecan, peaches and cream or apples and cheese, with no limits on using your imagination.
Southern Standard editor James Clark brought his unique rendition of a casserole dessert featuring angel food cake, whipped topping, vanilla pudding and fresh strawberries, all blended together for a tasty dessert.
“I've never made this before, but have eaten something similar,” said Clark. “Yum, it is going to be delicious and will probably go down in history as the best dessert ever.”
Casserole Tuesday was celebrated at the Southern Standard office, with employees preparing their favorite dish to share in a buffet-style meal. A few of their recipes follow:
Brinda Buckner's Meatball Casserole
1 package, 16 ounce, uncooked pasta
1 jar 25-ounce marinara sauce
3 cups water
1 package, 14 ounce fully cooked miniature meatballs (if using frozen, make sure they are thawed.)
2 cups shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix pasta, sauce, water and meatballs. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and stir. Sprinkle cheese over top and bake uncovered 10 more minutes.
Margaret Hobbs' Hamburger Noodle Casserole
1 ½ cup cooked elbow macaroni
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 pound hamburger meat
1 onion, chopped
Makes 1, 9x13-inch casserole. Cook hamburger meat, onion, salt and pepper. Drain, add macaroni, soup, milk and Velveeta cheese sliced all over casserole. Salt and pepper again all over. Add bread crumbs sparingly on top. Bake at 350 degrees approximately 30 minutes or until brown on top.
Note: this recipe has been used in our family for many years, and was first made by the late Tennie Clendenon.
Holly Cantrell's Chicken Dorito Casserole
1 bag Doritos
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 whole chicken, cooked, skinned, deboned and chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
Salt and pepper
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Nonstick cooking spray
In a large mixing bowl, add chicken, soup, Rotel tomatoes, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper; stir to mix ingredients.
Mix in cheddar cheese and half of the sharp cheese, crumble half of the Doritos and mix crumbs into mixture. Pour mixture into baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking sprary. Put in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until hot. Sprinkle remainder of sharp cheese on top and take remaining Doritos and place on top of cheese.
Place back in oven about 5 minutes. Make sure to watch as oven temperatures vary and you don’t want to scorch your chips, bake until cheese slightly melts.
Lisa Hobbs' Loaded Cheesy Potato Casserole
28 ounces O’Brien Potatoes, thawed
1 can cream of chicken or cheddar soup
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar
3 ounces Real Bacon Bitts
½ - ¼ cup French fried onions
Stir all ingredients together, except French fried onions. Put into greased casserole dish or slow cooker. Top with onions.
Cover and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Remove cover during last few minutes of baking to brown. Or cook on low in slow cooker 5-6 hours.