34 Comforting Casseroles to Make for Someone Who Needs a Hug
Whether it's been a long week at work or the weather is cold, these casserole recipes are the ultimate comfort food. Full of hearty grains, proteins and plenty of cheese, these casseroles are exactly what you need for dinner tonight. Recipes like Chicken Parmesan Casserole and Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole are filling, delicious and will quickly become your go-to when you need a comforting meal.
Two-Bean Enchilada Casserole
This classic and comforting Mexican dish is easy to make on a busy weeknight.
Chicken & Stuffing Casserole
Stuffing is not just for Thanksgiving with this easy chicken and stuffing casserole. And speaking of Thanksgiving, if you have leftover turkey, feel free to substitute it for the chicken in this comforting and healthy recipe. It's also a great use for extra carrots, celery, onions and day-old bread you might have on hand around the holidays. There's no boxed stuffing mix or canned soup in this lighter take on the comfort-food casserole, but it's still super-easy to make. Poultry seasoning helps humble bread to taste like stuffing, while thickened chicken broth takes the place of canned soup. There are plenty of veggies in this one, too, making this a healthy casserole you can feel good about serving year-round.
Tamari-Ginger Meatball & Eggplant Casserole
Eggplant soaks up the flavors of ginger, garlic and tamari in this Asian-inspired casserole recipe. A hot pepper in the topping adds a bit of heat, but opt for sweet if you prefer.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
All the delicious flavors of your favorite chicken Cordon Bleu--salty ham, melty cheese, tangy mustard--with no tricky assembly required. This healthy comfort food recipe would be perfect for a potluck.
Turkey & Bean Enchiladas
A lively salsa made from fresh or canned tomatillos tops this simple casserole. You can substitute tomatoes for tomatillos, but they don't have the same tangy bite.
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
We took the best parts of chicken Parmesan--ooey-gooey cheese, crispy breadcrumbs and plenty of tomato sauce--and spun them into an easy family-friendly casserole. We simplified it by skipping the breading on the chicken and, instead, loaded the top of the casserole with cheese and breadcrumbs. Serve with a crisp green salad to complete the meal.
Broccoli, Beef & Tater Tot Hotdish
Hotdish may be a Minnesota tradition but everyone, everywhere, should add this cheesy casserole to their fall dinner rotation.
Greek Tuna Casserole
Tuna casserole is a timeless comfort-food recipe; this one incorporates eggplant, artichoke hearts, oregano, olives and feta cheese for a Greek flair.
Chicken Tamale Casserole
In this Tex-Mex casserole inspired by chicken tamales, a saucy chicken filling with a soft polenta or grits topping is baked in a casserole dish. While it can't take the place of true tamales, it certainly makes for an easy and scrumptious weeknight dinner.
Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole
In this healthy casserole recipe--sometimes called tamale pie--the cornbread gets crusty at the edges, thanks to a cast-iron skillet. For the best texture, use yellow cornmeal with a medium grind. Serve with lime wedges for a little extra tang.
Spinach, Feta & Rice Casserole
This one-pan recipe is the casserole version of spanakopita! It's hearty enough to enjoy as a vegetarian lunch or dinner, yet versatile enough to serve alongside just about any protein. To make it extra creamy, top each serving with a dollop of sour cream.
Mac & Cheese
This healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is topped with plenty of golden breadcrumbs. If you want to add a little flair to this healthy macaroni and cheese, use aged Gruyere instead of Cheddar and add extra ingredients like peas, chopped cooked mushrooms or chopped ham. This recipe makes more Cream Sauce without the Cream than you'll need for the macaroni and cheese. Refrigerate or freeze the extra sauce and use it in place of heavy cream in any sauce or soup that calls for cream.
Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
Think of this vegetarian enchilada casserole as a veggie-packed Mexican lasagna with corn tortillas standing in for the noodles! If your peppers are mild and you like heat, opt for spicy pico de gallo. This easy vegetarian dinner recipe is sure to become a new family favorite.
Rigatoni & Spicy Sausage Casserole
Mushrooms have the perfect meaty texture to complement a modest amount of spicy Italian sausage in this baked rigatoni that has less than one-quarter the fat of the original. Whole-wheat pasta rather than white pasta makes our version a fiber powerhouse with 7 grams per serving. This delicious and cheesy pasta casserole freezes well so you might want to make an extra to have on hand for a ready-to-heat-and-eat meal.
Creamy Mushroom, Chicken & Asparagus Bake
This comforting weeknight casserole recipe features plenty of mushrooms and asparagus combined with chicken and brown rice and a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. Whip this up anytime you have leftover chicken or cooked brown rice to spare.
Creamy Turkey and Rice Bake
This family-pleasing casserole features lean turkey tenderloin pieces, brown rice, zucchini, and mushrooms, all baked in a creamy sauce and topped with crunchy crumbs and cheese.
Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Casseroles make perfect meal-prep dinners--this enchilada version is so easy to prep ahead. The whole casserole can be built and left to hang out in the refrigerator for up to three days. Then all you have to do is bake it off on a busy night and you have a healthy dinner on the table in a jiff. The quick homemade enchilada sauce in this recipe is great when you don't have any of the canned sauce on hand--just season crushed tomatoes with spices and salt for an instant enchilada sauce.
Baked Cavatelli Casserole
This easy to make, comforting dish will keep you warm on a cold day.
Chicken & Zucchini Casserole
This baked chicken and zucchini casserole is creamy, hearty and low-carb! The whole family will love this easy casserole, plus it's a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies (concealed in a delicious cheese sauce!).
Spinach & Tuna Noodle Casserole
Homemade mushroom sauce kicks the can of soup out of the picture in this veggie-centric, healthy riff on a classic tuna-noodle casserole recipe. Serve with steamed green beans.
Kielbasa-&-Swiss Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Zesty sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and rye bread add Reuben-esque flavor to this surprisingly addictive spaghetti squash skillet recipe. If you can't find seeded rye bread, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon caraway seeds to the mixture in Step 2. Serve with a green salad tossed with red-wine vinaigrette.
Cheesy Meatball Bake
Use leftover Italian meatball soup along with beans, reduced-fat cheese, tortillas and an easy tomato sauce to make a family-pleasing casserole that's great for weeknights.
Moroccan Bulgur & Pork Casserole
Fragrant with North African spices and made hearty with chunks of lean pork, this bulgur pilaf casserole recipe is ready to go in the oven in just 25 minutes. Vary the dish by substituting shrimp, Pacific cod fillets or chunks of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the pork.
Cheesy Meat and Potato Casserole
Plan ahead to make extra pork chops (see associated recipe, below) for this easy, cheesy casserole.
Chicken-Spaghetti Squash Bake
In this version of a chicken-and-broccoli casserole, spaghetti squash takes on a creamy texture when baked with cream of mushroom soup.
Ham & Potato Casserole
This easy casserole is a kid-friendly recipe that the whole family will love. The simple flavor profile will complement just about anything and thanks to convenience products like preshredded potatoes, you won't spend hours in the kitchen mixing it up.
Flavorful Chicken-Noodle Casserole comes to life with this diabetic-friendly recipe. Select light sour cream to lower fat and calorie content.
Sloppy Joe Casserole
Like sloppy Joes? Then you'll love this sloppy Joe casserole recipe. This kid-friendly dinner has the classic sloppy Joe flavors kids love, while parents will like all the veggies that are packed in to make it a healthy meal.
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
This one-pan chicken-and-broccoli recipe comes out of the oven all browned, cheesy and bubbling like a casserole, but is really prepared more like a skillet meal on the stovetop. Serve with a crunchy green salad.
Lasagna with Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce
Slow-roasting the tomatoes gives the tomato sauce for this lasagna recipe an intense depth of flavor--which is then enhanced by the umami in onions, Parmesan and spinach. The lasagna noodles are layered into the lasagna uncooked; the moisture from the fresh spinach cooks them perfectly as the lasagna bakes in the oven.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Strands of tender squash replace pasta for a more flavorful version of spaghetti pie casserole. Not to mention, spaghetti squash is a low-carb alternative to pasta and saves more than 150 calories per serving compared to a traditional recipe. A sprinkling of nutty fontina cheese melts into a gooey topping.
Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Casserole
Prepare this dish the night ahead of time so all you have to do is pop it in the oven for an easy and delicious dinner.
Chicken, Peppers & Pasta Casserole
You can assemble this healthy chicken casserole before you leave for a party and pop it in the oven at the host's house. Or bake it at home and bring it along--it's delicious at room temperature too.
Zucchini Rice Casserole
We pack extra vegetables into this cheesy baked rice casserole. Plus we substitute brown rice for white, reduce the cheese by half and swap turkey sausage for pork sausage. If you're bringing it to a potluck, plan to reheat it before serving.