15 Casseroles You Can Make With Stuff That’s Already in Your Kitchen

There are a lot of trends taking over the food world right now: Oat milk, CBD, mushrooms, chayote — we predicted most of them, but the one trend we didn’t see coming was the casserole. That’s right, your grandma’s go-to dish is back and trendier than ever. Whether they’re updated versions of vintage canned-soup casseroles or riffs on classic non-casserole meals, having a great casserole recipe (or 30) in your back pocket can make weeknight meals a breeze.

But with all the modern spins out there come casseroles with trendy ingredients most of us just don’t keep on hand (lookin’ at you, truffle oil). And when you just got home from work and know you have only three hours before it’s time to ask your kiddos to brush their teeth 10 times, the choice between a boring and basic casserole or going to the store for the one ingredient you don’t have usually results in the decision to order pizza online. That’s why we went on the hunt for a trove of tasty, inspired casserole recipes using staples we (and probably you) almost always have around so you don’t have to make that dreaded last0minute run to the grocery store. You can thank us by figuring out how to convince a 6-year-old it’s faster to actually brush their teeth than just make it look like they did.

Easy Lemon Chicken Potato Casserole

Lemon chicken potato casserole is what we in the South would call a good welcome-the-neighbors casserole — ’cause it will absolutely make a good impression. And it couldn’t be simpler. Just mix cubed chicken breast, thinly sliced potatoes and aromatics like garlic and onion with prepared cream of chicken or mushroom soup and pour it into a casserole dish. Distribute thinly sliced lemons around the top, which, in addition to being bright and welcoming, will roast into sweet-tart medallions as it bakes. 

Potato-Topped Turkey Potpie Casserole

Creamy mashed potatoes replace piecrust as the topper for tender green peas and juicy turkey floating in a flavorful broth-based cream sauce in this turkey potpie. Substitute chicken for the turkey or whatever frozen veggies you have on hand for the peas. You can even use up last night’s leftover mashers to cut the prep time in half.

Super-Easy Ravioli Lasagna

If you don’t keep a bag or two of frozen ravioli around, it’s time to start. There’s no end to the number of quick and easy meals you can whip up with it, like this kid-friendly ravioli lasagna. Combine the ravioli with spicy Italian ground sausage, zesty marinara sauce and roasted red peppers and melt a bit of creamy mozzarella cheese on top along with a smattering of nutty Parmesan.

If you don’t have Italian sausage on hand, season up your own with ground pork or even ground beef à la Rachael Ray or omit it altogether. You can also substitute sautéed fresh bell peppers (or really any veggie you have on hand) in place of the jarred peppers. And we won’t tell if the only cheese you had in the fridge was provolone slices from last week’s brown bags. 

Frito Pie Casserole

Your oven does the heavy lifting for this classic Texas casserole featuring a spicy slow-cooked chili topped with corn chips and baked until the cheese is melty and bubbly. Don’t sweat it if you’re out of kidney beans — just call it traditional Texas Frito pie. And if you’re out of ground beef, double the beans and make it vegetarian.

Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet Casserole

To make tater tot breakfast casserole, you’ll cook piquant garlic, onions and peppers in the fat rendered from bacon crisped in the skillet (can you smell it yet?), then top the whole shebang with egg-drenched tater tots and cheese and bake it until the eggs are set and the tots are golden-brown and crisp. You could easily sub frozen fries or hash browns for the tots, use sausage instead of bacon (or omit the meat altogether) and use any veggies you happen to have around.

Albanian Baked Leeks (Tave me Presh)

Tave me presh (which literally translates to “casserole with leeks”) features the ever-adaptable leek sautéd until tender with onions, garlic, ground meat and a heavy helping of red peppers for color and bite in a rich and beefy pan gravy.

The traditional version of this Albanian comfort food calls for minced lamb, but you can substitute ground beef or even turkey (unless you’re fancy and actually keep minced lamb around the house on any rando Tuesday). No leeks? No problem. Sweet onion will do in a pinch, and the red peppers can be any color or type of pepper (including jarred or canned) you’ve got.

Easy Tamale Bake

Meaty and Mexican-spiced ground beef is combined with golden frozen corn and beans and baked up under a layer of soft and lightly sweet “masa” (made from boxed cornbread, no less) to create a super-easy tamale casserole with an appealing contrast of flavor and texture.

Use ground turkey or pork or even leftover brisket in place of the beef or make your own boxed cornbread mix from baking staples you probably have in your pantry now.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Meaty and Mexican-spiced ground beef is combined with golden frozen corn and beans and baked up under a layer of soft and lightly sweet “masa” (made from boxed cornbread, no less) to create a super-easy tamale casserole with an appealing contrast of flavor and texture.

Use ground turkey or pork or even leftover brisket in place of the beef or make your own boxed cornbread mix from baking staples you probably have in your pantry now.

Croque Madame Croissant Casserole

We’re in love with this croque madame croissant breakfast casserole because you can use up those leftover croissants from the discount rack, bake them up from a can or even just use slices of whatever bread you have in the pantry. Lather them up with Dijon mustard, dunk them into a baking dish filled with creamy béchamel, add eggs and bake it until they yolks are golden and runny. Gruyère is traditional for a béchamel, but any melty cheese you have will do.

Million Dollar Spaghetti

Million dollar spaghetti is adult-friendly kids food done right — and no fork-twirling required of humans of any age. Salty-nutty Parmesan and fresh parsley are fused to the spaghetti noodles then tossed with a combo of cottage and cream cheese before being topped with a spicy Italian sausage marinara sauce (which you can sub with seasoned ground beef or mushroom marinara) and loads of gooey mozzarella cheese.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

All the spice and texture of enchiladas, none of the rolling work. Plus, the only thing you have to have on hand for enchilada casserole is enchilada sauce (canned or from a packet is fine). Sauté up some aromatics of your choice, add whatever beans you have on hand and sweeten the pot with a little frozen or canned corn. Add some shredded or diced leftover chicken (or an equivalent amount of ground beef/turkey) and layer it all between corn tortillas (or tortilla chips if that’s what you’ve got) and some cheese and cook it up until the top layer of cheese is melted.

Baked French Toast Casserole

A sweet and spicy egg and milk mixture is drizzled over slices of bread and topped with a homemade praline topping before being baked until puffy and golden-brown. Drizzle on some syrup or top your French toast casserole with fresh fruit and sprinkle it with powdered sugar to create a showstopping breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner). You can use any kind of bread you have, including plain white or wheat, in place of the French bread (challah or brioche is always nice, but don’t count nut and grain breads out until you’ve tried them #trust) and use whatever nuts you tend to keep around for baking.

Shepherd’s Pie With Roasted Garlic Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Fresh or frozen veggies sautéd with onions and seasoned ground beef are topped with garlicky cream cheese mashed potatoes (which you can make ahead or substitute with any mashers you have laying around) to create an easy shepherd’s pie.

Caramelized Onion & Sriracha Potato Kugel Casserole

This traditional Jewish potato casserole gets a modern makeover with the addition of unctuous caramelized onions and the kick of ketchup 2.Oh! — aka sriracha — to create a casserole fit to serve alongside the meatiest of meats.

Broccoli Cobbler

Cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, cream cheese (or mascarpone if you’re so inclined) mixed with fresh or frozen broccoli florets and cheddar cheese are topped with a baker’s delight of drop biscuits to make this creative broccoli cobbler. Use any canned cream-of soups, sub your fave frozen or fresh veggies and swap the cheddar for whatever cheese you have for a mix-and-match casserole fit for family meals or potluck Sunday.

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