Call it a casserole and its relegated to the 50s but call it a “strata” or a “bake” or a “pie” and suddenly its new again. Everyone has one of their mom’s recipes in their head, whether they hated it or loved it.
Casseroles rock because they can be assembled and baked unmonitored. The traditional formula is simple: throw ingredients in a glass dish and bake in the oven. The outcome is especially good for sharing at parties or for making on the weekend and enjoying all week.
What could use a little healthy push is the choice of items that go into the dish. Your mom used cans of soup, high carb pasta and maybe some corn flakes on top. We can do better. Switch it up with these healthier, more updated substitutions to any casserole recipe:
Instead of Use
Ground beef Canned lentils or cooked chicken
Ground lamb with fat Cook and rinse all meat before adding
Heavy cream sauce Low fat evaporated milk
Pasta Spaghetti Squash/Quinoa/Brown Rice
Grated cheese White sauce made with milk or yogurt
Canned soup Pureed vegetables
Corn Flake Topping Whole wheat bread crumbs
Crispy Onions Crushed whole wheat crackers
Pastry or Puff pastry Phyllo layers
Every casserole has the same formula: Body of protein, heart of creamy and moist, and topping of crisp. With a little imagination, you can update old favorites without making a dent in the flavour. Mix and match as you please and serve with a great big salad and everyone is happy.