Casseroles may very well be the perfect food. You get tons of delicious ingredients all cooked together with some type of sauce in one pot. Casseroles can be easy or elaborate, health-conscious or indulgent, but they are all incredible and satisfying.
The word “casserole” describes the dish and the actual dish it is cooked in. What can be considered a casserole is not rigid by any means. A casserole can have some protein, potatoes, rice or noodles, and vegetables that get cooked in some type of liquid or sauce and then baked. Often, casseroles are topped with cheese or breadcrumbs for texture and crunch. Based on this loose definition, mac and cheese, gratins, pot pies and shepherd’s pies can all be considered casseroles. See these 10 Gratin Recipes that Make a Hearty Dinner and 12 Prize-Worthy Mac and Cheese Dishes. Global dishes like lasagna, Chilaquiles, moussakas, and bakes are also casseroles. Just look at these 10 Amazing Vegan Lasagna Recipes and try not to drool.
What all these types of casseroles have in common are that they are easy one-pot dishes that can feed a crowd and can be frozen in advance. Check out Our Guide to Freezer-Friendly Meals to Make Life Easier to see how to best freeze a casserole. Since you serve a casserole straight from the dish it cooked in; there’s also easy clean-up.
Casseroles are hearty and satisfying. With nights getting chillier, autumn is the perfect time to dig into the warm comfort that is a casserole. Here are 15 flavorful casseroles you’ll want to make this fall.
1. Creamy Baked Skillet Spinach Pasta
This Creamy Baked Skillet Pasta dish has a creamy, cauliflower-based vegan spinach pasta topped with toasted breadcrumbs. It is baked to perfection in a cast iron skillet for a different take on the usual casserole. It’s easy and healthy dairy-free comfort food!
2. ‘Fish’ Pie With Tofu and Oyster Mushrooms
The traditional version of this classic British dish is creamy with a thick sauce and lots of fishy flavors. This ‘Fish’ Pie with Tofu has different textures and flavors in it thanks to chewy oyster mushrooms, soft tofu, and al dente vegetables. The cheesy mash on top is easily recreated with vegan cheese.
3. Tempeh and Pasta Casserole
For non-vegans, making a delicious casserole usually involves bacon and cheese. This vegan Tempeh and Pasta Casserole has healthy, clean eating ingredients that everyone will love. The combination of tempeh and pasta make this a nutty, protein filled family dinner.
4. Polenta Bake With Caramelized Onions and Portobello Bacon
Change up your usual casserole with polenta. This Polenta Bake with Caramelized Onions elevates polenta in a way you’ve never seen before with savory, homemade Portobello bacon. The fresh herbs add brightness to this comforting dish.
5. Spicy Potato Casserole With Tofu ‘Chorizo’
If you like baked potatoes topped with chili, you’ll love this Spicy Potato Casserole with Tofu ‘Chorizo.’ This casserole has layers of thinly sliced potatoes doused in a spicy tomato-based sauce with black beans and tofu “chorizo.” The flavor and texture combinations are absolute perfection!
6. Easy Cheesy Broccoli and Brown Rice Bake
If you want something easy and nourishing, this Easy Cheesy Broccoli and Brown Rice Bake is exactly that. It’s easy as can be, especially if you cook the brown rice in advance. The cheese sauce is a simple non-dairy milk/nutritional yeast combo. Easy-peasy.
7. Tofu Pot Pie Casserole
When you cross a pot pie and a casserole with delicious vegan flavors, you get this Tofu Pot Pie Casserole dish. Hearty and healthy, this casserole is packed with veggies and tofu wrapped in phyllo dough. It looks impressive, but it’s still easy enough for a weekday dinner.
8. Butternut Squash, Portobello, and Spinach Casserole with Vegan Sausage
This Butternut Squash, Portobello and Spinach Casserole is hearty, but not heavy, indulgent, but healthy. The earthy, woodsy combination of vegan sausage, barley, mushrooms, sage and rosemary is countered by the mellow sweetness of butternut squash and fresh spinach. It is special enough to be the meal’s centerpiece, and be complimented – not overshadowed – by everything else on the table.
9. Sweet Potato ‘Rice’ Casserole
This Sweet Potato ‘Rice’ Casserole is a filling and surprising meal. The surprise is that it’s not made with real rice but with sweet potatoes! The savory flavors from the vegan mozzarella and pesto pair well with the sweetness that comes from the roasted potatoes.
10. Vegan Tuna Casserole
Tuna casserole is a favorite among many, but it is so non-vegan with all the unnecessary cream, milk, cheese, and tuna fish. This Vegan Tuna Casserole not only has fishless tuna but it has lots of veggies and two kinds of vegan cheese. Vegetable chips are used as a pretty topping that matches all the different colors of autumn.
11. The Best Fall Casserole
This Best Fall Casserole has hearty potatoes and thickly sliced vegan sausage running through it. It’s perfect for these crisp autumn evenings when there’s just the slightest chill in the air. Whether you spent the afternoon hiking, enjoying the changing leaves or camped out on the couch watching football, once the divine smell of this casserole starts wafting through your house you’ll want to dig in like you haven’t eaten in a week!
12. Green Bean Casserole
This remake of the classic 1960s casserole is a perfect addition to any holiday table, but you don’t have to wait for the holidays to enjoy it. This vegan Green Bean Casserole has all of the delicious flavors of the original without any of the ingredients you don’t want. That’s a reason to celebrate!
13. Spring Veg Hot Pot
A traditional hot pot recipe includes red meat cooked in a dark meaty sauce and topped with thinly sliced potatoes. Vegetarian varieties are mostly root veggie based, and often include some alcohol to add depth to the traditionally rich sauce. This Spring Veg Hot Pot has carrots, leeks, peas, asparagus and potato cooked in flavorful broth with white beans. Yum!
14. Vegan Broccoli Mushroom Rotini Casserole
Rotini pasta is perfect for casseroles because the spirals hold onto the sauce and really grab it, plus it has a nice texture. Combined with broccoli, mushrooms and a savory cashew-based cheesy sauce, this Broccoli Mushroom Rotini Casserole is everything you want in a one-pot dish.
15. Low Carb Vegan ‘Sweet Potato’ Casserole
Here’s a twist on the traditional sweet potato and marshmallow casserole. This Low Carb ‘Sweet Potato’ Casserole uses butternut squash. Cooked with the perfect blend of spices and served with a generous helping of toasted marshmallows, this casserole is creamy and flavorful but with less calories and carbs. Sounds like a win-win!
Could autumn get any better with the cool breezes, the colorful leaves floating down from the trees, and the anticipation of the approaching holidays? The only thing that could make it better would be one of these warm, comforting casseroles waiting on the table.
Lead image source: Creamy Baked Skillet Spinach Pasta