When it comes to dinner, I’m not always motivated to whip up a fancy meal that requires lots of brain power. I am usually good at planning ahead when it comes to dinner, but sometimes, casseroles are a great way to get the family fed and not have to spend hours doing it.
We’ve put together a quick list of 6 yummy casseroles the whole family will love to get dinner on the table in no time. (You know, so you can hit that wine time sooner!)
1. Easy Peasy Pizza Casserole
Um, who doesn’t love pizza? That was a trick question, but still, this is the best of both worlds by combining common pizza ingredients with satisfying spiral noodles. Check out the easy recipe below:
- 16 oz bag of spiral noodles, cooked
- 1 1/2 pounds of beef, browned and crumbled
- 24 oz spaghetti sauce
- 7 oz bag of pepperoni slices
- 3 cups of mozzarella cheese
1. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked noodles, browned and crumbled ground beef, spaghetti sauce, pepperoni slices, and half the mozzarella cheese.
2. Once mixed, place in a 9 x 13 in dish.
3. Cover with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
(Easy pizza casserole recipes courtesy of MidwesternMom.com.)
2. King Ranch Chicken Casserole
I live in Texas, and this casserole is a staple in many homes here. (Heck, you can even find “King Ranch Sauce” at most local grocery stores in the state!) The King Ranch is actually the largest privately owned ranch in Texas, and this casserole with Tex-Mex flair is sure to please the whole family. (Although you might want to leave the bell peppers to one side should your littles not be a fan of them.)
It’s an easy casserole recipe that requires very little guesswork and combines some tasty ingredients you may not have considered to put together before testing it out. See the recipe below (set for 5 servings).
- 1 tablespoons Butter
- 0.25 cup Bell Peppers any color, chopped
- 0.25 cup Onion chopped
- 5.38 ounces Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
- 5.38 ounces Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 7.25 ounces Diced Tomatoes and Chilies undrained (traditionally Rotel is what is used – nut you can stick with plain diced tomatoes if you feel your kids wouldn’t be a fan of those chilies.)
- 1 cups Chicken Breast cooked, and chopped
- 3 12-inch Flour Tortillas cut into bite-size pieces
- 1.5 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add peppers and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to soften.
4. Add Cream of Mushroom soup, Cream of Chicken soup, diced tomatoes & chilies, and chicken to the peppers and onions and mix together.
5. Spray 13 x 9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
6. Add 1/3 of tortilla strips to bottom of the dish, followed by 1/3 of the chicken and soup mixture, and 1 cup of cheese. Repeat this two more times, ending in cheese.
7. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Allow 15 minutes to cool before serving.
(King Ranch chicken casserole courtesy of HomeMadeInterest.com.)
3. Shepherd’s Pie
When I was a kid, my mother used to make this for me and I still love it to this day. Most recipes call for beef, but you can also go for ground lamb should you prefer it.
Fun fact: In England (and Australia and New Zealand) they would call the beef dish a “cottage pie” and the lamb dish “shepherd’s pie”.
I won’t lie, sometimes I skip on making real mashed potatoes and spring for the instant ones. My family doesn’t even know the difference! I mean, really, it’s the thought that counts, right? Now shhh and eat your pie!
Easy Shepherd’s Pie for a Family of Four:
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and quartered
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1-2 cups vegetables—diced carrots, corn, peas
- 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice
1. Peel and quarter your potatoes, add them into a pot and bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and then cook until tender. (This should take approximately 20 minutes.)
2. While cooking your potatoes, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until tender, about 6 to 10 minutes. For vegetables, add them in towards the last 2 minutes of cooking the onion.
3. Brown the ground beef/lamb with the onions and vegetables. Season as desired. Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Bring the broth to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth if necessary to keep the meat from drying out.
4. When the potatoes are done cooking (a fork can easily pierce), remove them from the pot and place them in a bowl with the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter. Mash with a fork or potato masher, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the beef, onions, and vegetables (if using) in an even layer in a large baking dish (8×13 casserole). Then spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the meat about an inch thick. Rough up the surface of the mashed potatoes with a fork so there are peaks that will get well browned. You can even use a fork to make creative designs in the mashed potatoes.
6. Place in a 400°F oven and cook until browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. If necessary, broil for the last few minutes to help the surface of the mashed potatoes brown.
(Easy shepherd’s pie recipe courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com)
4. Chicken Noodle Casserole
Pretty much every kid on earth is crazy for chicken noodle soup, so a casserole of basically the same ingredients should be a hit in your home! And better yet, adults should like this one, too!
- 1 (12 oz.) package egg noodles, cooked & drained
- 2 (10 oz.) cans chunk chicken breast, drained* (store-bought rotisserie chicken also works great.)
- 2 (10 oz.) cans Cream of Chicken soup, undiluted
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup milk (or water depending on personal preference)
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 stick butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine chicken, Cream of Chicken soup, mayonnaise, milk (or water), diced onion, shredded cheese and frozen peas and carrots. Stir until combined. Then gently stir in cooked egg noodles.
4. Pour in baking dish.
5. Sprinkle top with Panko bread crumbs.
6. Pour melted butter evenly over top of bread crumbs.
7. Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes until bubbly and top is golden brown.
(Recipe courtesy of TheCountryCook.net.)
5. Tater Tot Chili Dog Casserole
Well, we know that kids love hotdogs. That’s a given. But what goes right along with hotdogs? Tater tots! This recipe dresses up those two complementary foods with some yummy chili for a dish that will warm your belly on a cold night. See this recipe for 8 below!
- 10 Hot Dogs Sliced
- 1 25 Ounce Can Chili
- 1 15 Ounce Can Chili
- 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Package Frozen Tater Tots
(Tater Tot Chili Dog Casserole courtesy of TheSaltyMarshmallow.com.)
6. Kid-Friendly Tuna Casserole
Tuna casserole is a classic favorite that many kids love once introduced to it. Not all kids are crazy about eating food from the sea, aside from the occasional fish stick, so this is a great way to get some seafood in their diet. After all, tuna is the chicken of the sea!
- 16 ounces pasta (large shells are great for this)
- 1 1⁄2 cups chunked Velveeta cheese (you can go the Velveeta route, I personally prefer Tillamook shreds)
- 1(10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
- 12 -18ounces canned tuna (drained, 2-3 cans)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Boil and drain pasta.
3. Combine all ingredients in 13×9 in pan.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove and stir. Continue to bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is entirely melted.
5. Stir and serve.
(Recipe courtesy from GeniusKitchen.com)
Got any good casserole recipes to share with us? Leave us one in the comments section. Happy casserole cooking!
And if you’re hungry for more, check out this collection of budget-friendly casseroles to feed the family.