Discover family favorite Midwest-inspired Casserole Recipes that use simple ingredients and perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.
As any seasoned home cook knows, casseroles are the way to go for easy weeknight dining. Most recipes use ingredients found in your pantry and fridge plus the recipes come together lickety-split.
But you probably have also seen casseroles made for other meals of the day, too. They’re so versatile, that’s why.
Casseroles are usually cooked slowly in the oven, in a glass, ceramic or metal pan or dish that may/may not be covered with a lid or aluminum foil. But that’s not always the case. Casseroles can also be cooked firstly on the stove, followed by some bake time in the oven.
Many times this same dish becomes a “one pan/dish” recipe, where all the ingredients are combined or layered to form the basis of the recipe. Or in some recipe variations, the ingredients are combined together in a large bowl then poured into a prepared (greased or sprayed) baking dish or pan then baked.
Here in the Midwest, folks love casseroles. It’s been the mainstay in my family since I can remember. When querying past recipes, it’s really interesting to see how many casserole recipes have been enjoyed not only by my family but those too of past generations of home cooks.
Well it’s no wonder. These recipes are not only family favorites but also budget friendly. You just can’t go wrong with making a batch (or two to eat later) for ease of dining.
DID YOU KNOW? Casserole differs from the French “cassoulet” which you’d think means “casserole” but actually it refers to a baked or lengthy cooked stew.
But what exactly makes up a casserole? For starters, you’ll usually find a protein in casseroles, which could either be chicken, beef, tuna or pork–or even shellfish. I find that it’s best overall to use cooked meats, since the cooking time is dropped in half. Plus, you don’t have to worry about a meat’s internal temperature or overcooking the casserole and risking the starch to become overly soft or glutinous in order to safely cook the meat.
Cooking Tip: Rotisserie chicken makes an excellent, quick and easy casserole protein because the meat’s already cooked–sweet!
Casseroles also include a starch like pasta/noodles potatoes or rice, along with a plethora (or not) of vegetables. Then there’s the sauce or creamed canned soup along with a topping of buttered bread crumbs, crushed crackers or my favorite: French’s Original Crispy Fried Onions.
You’ll also find the requisite cheese layer as a must-have ingredient in many of the recipes but it’s not always a given.
But what is a given is a hearty meal that definitely fills a family with plenty of deliciousness.
DID YOU KNOW? Casseroles are also a potluck favorite because you can easily feed a crowd by doubling or even tripling the recipe with no fuss or muss.
Must-Try Midwest-Inspired Casserole Recipes List
Never made a casserole or want a new take on some old fashioned (or newer) Midwest favorites? Check out some of my favorite casserole recipes found only here on Wisconsin Homemaker:
This no-bake recipe for Campbell’s Chicken Tetrazzini is made with cooked pasta, chicken cubes in a creamy cheese and mushroom sauce.
Baked Italian Penne Pasta with Meat and Cheese Sauce Recipe uses artichoke hearts, mushrooms baked in a rich ground beef and cheese sauce.
Baked Penne with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe is a definite Midwest-inspired casserole recipe that’s made with fresh spinach, sundried tomates in a rich, creamy cheese sauce.
Swiss-inspired Sweet Potato and Apple Gratin is a rich casserole that can be used as a side dish or meatless meal that’s super cheesy thanks to Gruyere, Fontina and Wisconsin White Cheddar.
This simple veggie lasagna recipe, Fresh Spinach Lasagna, uses rich layers of fresh spinach, ricotta cheese, tomato and meat sauce and lots of mozzarella.
This dreamy, Creamy Macaroni and Cheese recipe is made with pasta in a rich velvety smooth cheese sauce that’s ready in 15 minutes or less.
This gluten-free Spicy Mexican Corn Casserole is baked with three Mexican cheeses, corn (fresh or grilled), black beans and jalapeños in a rich creamy sauce.
This quick and easy casserole, Southwest Cheesy Layered Taco Bake recipe, is made with a spicy beef-pork mix, layered vegetables and beans.
Wake up to this rich and Cheesy Farmhouse Hash Brown Casserole recipe that will definitely satisfy your hungry crowd in the morning.
This quick and easy Irish Shepherd’s Pie recipe is based off the traditional, classic one that uses real lamb meat, potatoes, vegetables, along with a mashed potato top crust. Just think of it as a casserole with a touch of the Emerald Isle.
For more delicious quick and easy family dining, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe Section.