Easy Casserole Tips & An Easy Recipe, Too!
On school nights, the last thing I want to be doing is spending hours in the kitchen prepping an elaborate supper for the family. Not only would I miss out on time with my daughter, but who has that kind of energy every day? If you do, I’d love to know your secret. For mere-mortal me, though, casseroles are awesome. Most of the time they’re put together in 15 or 20 minutes tops, and rarely involve anything more advanced than cooking some noodles or opening a can. However, there are only so many nights in a row my husband will consent to tuna noodle casserole, so we have gotten quite creative with our casseroles. Later I’ll share my super easy recipe for Pizza Casserole with Country Crock ® in a bit, but first here are some casserole dish tips I’ve learned over the years…
Tips & Tricks for Easy Casseroles
- Don’t be limited by pasta or rice! You can use bread in casseroles, both dough and pre-baked sliced bread, and it turns out quite well. Bread within the casserole dish is more of a noodle texture, while dough on the top is almost like a pie crust: golden brown and delicious.
- Limit after-dinner dishes by sticking with pre-cooking only one thing: the pasta, rice, or a meat. That way, you just have the casserole dish and one extra pot/pan to clean.
- Talking about meat, anything goes! Chicken, tuna, ground beef, ground turkey, pepperoni, sausage, even venison. I always pre-cook my meat if it’s raw, though, to make sure it is completely cooked.
- Casseroles don’t have to be cooked in a casserole dish. Break out that crock-pot and put it to work! Put everything in the crock pot in the morning, turn on low, and when you come home you will have a delicious smelling house and dinner will be ready!
- Try to include a protein, veggie, and carbohydrate in the casserole dish, but don’t get too carried away. Adding too many ingredients can get overwhelming, and the taste gets muddled. If you want some extra flavor, experiment with spices: garlic is always good, ginger gives an interesting taste, and for you spicy food lovers, there’s red pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Don’t be limited by pre-made mixes or soups. Marinara sauce works just as well, so does chicken or beef stock.
If you’re wondering how to put some of those easy casserole tips and tricks into action, here’s an easy recipe to help. We call it Pizza Casserole because it tastes just like pizza, but healthier, cheaper, and quicker to make!
Easy Pizza Casserole Recipe
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 12 ounces marinara or pizza sauce
- 1 tomato, cut into chunks (or get the super-chunky sauce)
- Two tubes of crescent roll dough (seamless is best, if you can find it)
- 1lb ground beef
- Country Crock® spread
- Garlic powder (garlic salt will work just as well)
- Italian seasoning
1. Brown the beef and drain away the fat. Add in the marinara sauce and tomatoes and stir.
2. Open the first tube of crescent roll dough and line the bottom of a casserole dish with it. If yours has seams, pinch them together.
3. Pour on the beef/tomato/marinara sauce mixture and spread evenly.
4. Spread the cheese evenly over the top.
5. Put the pepperoni on top of the cheese (just like a pizza!).
6. Open the second tube of crescent roll dough and put it on top of everything (again, pinching seams if necessary).
7. Using about a teaspoon-size amount, evenly coat the top with the Country Crock ® spread.
8. Add garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste.
9. Bake at 350, 15-20 minutes, or until the top dough is golden brown (cook times may vary with oven).
Why use Country Crock ® spread for your casseroles? Because it has NO Cholesterol and 70% less fat than butter! Need some more ideas for simple school night dinners? Check out Country Crock® on Pinterest, Facebook, and @CountryCrock on Twitter for more easy recipes for casseroles, school night dinners, and even holiday desserts!
This post was contributed by Laura of In Which I Record Memories. Laura is a mom, a wife, a student, and a lab rat. She has a wonderful little girl, Sophia, who teaches her something new every day. When she’s not doing research, she enjoys documenting her growth, spending time with her husband, and participating in mud runs. You can find the story of her crazy life at In Which I Record Memories.
Last week was our first week back to school, and I’ve learned already that we can use some easy recipes for our busy school nights. This Pizza Casserole looks perfect! Thanks, Laura!
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.