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13 Beginner Casserole Cooking Tips

By: Danielle Zimmerman, Editor,

Casserole recipes can seem daunting at times. After all, how is it possible to create delicious main dish casseroles by throwing ingredients together? These 13 Beginner Casserole Cooking Tips are here to help. The next time you're planning on whipping up a casserole, use this page as your guide. Whether you're cooking up some fancy holiday casserole recipes or just trying to put a simple meal on the table for your family, these simple casserole cooking tips will help you master the art of casserole-making.

Casserole Equipment Tips

Skinny Broccoli and Cheese Casseroles

  1. Small ramekins are ideal for individual servings and 8x8s are great for halved recipes. However, for most casserole recipes, you'll want to use a casserole dish that's at least 9x13 so that ingredients won't spill. That being said, if your casserole ingredients reach the top of the dish, find a bigger dish.
  2. If you're making a recipe for a lasagna casserole, use a lasagna pan. They're bigger than 9x13 to accommodate multiple layers.
  3. Microwave casserole recipes and skillet casserole recipes are great time-savers. However, casseroles that are cooked in a conventional oven or a crock pot are the most flavorful because they cook longer.
  4. Before you decide to buy any casserole equipment, do your research and find out which brand or size would best fit your cooking style.

Casserole Cooking Tips

  1. Use ingredients that you already have around your house. Raid your refrigerator, freezer, pantry, etc.

    Garlicky Gnocci and Bacon Gratin
  2. The longer that ingredients sit in the same dish together, the more flavorful your dish will be. Try to prepare your main dish casseroles or side dish casseroles ahead of time so that the flavors can mix before baking.
  3. Make ahead casserole recipes are perfect for holiday meals. They allow you to prepare the casserole the night before and then bake it the day of. That way, you'll have one less thing to worry about.
  4. To make your casseroles even more delicious, add another texture. Crumbled Ritz crackers or panko bread crumbs complement almost every casserole recipe. For instance, take a look at Garlicky Gnocci and Bacon Gratin.
  5. One of the best casserole cooking tips is to be creative. Don't be afraid to deviate from a recipe or create your own. Plus, casserole recipes come in all different shapes and forms. Casseroles are practically no-fail meal options.

Tips on Freezing or Reheating Casseroles

  1. There's a lot of discussion on how long casseroles can stay in a freezer. Use your own judgment and start with just a week or two for your first time.
  2. Line the dish with foil before assembling, making sure that 3 inches or so hang from the sides. Once the dish is frozen, lift the foil and the frozen meal out of the dish and wrap it once more. This way, you'll still be able to use your casserole dish. You can always put back in later once you're ready to bake it.
  3. Don't add too many seasonings in the preparation as they'll become bolder while frozen. Instead, add most of your seasonings right before serving.
  4. Thaw casseroles in the refrigerator the day before you plan to eat them. Some foods like pasta and rice get mushy if left to thaw so, if you have time, cook the dish when it's still frozen and add 40-60 minutes onto the unfrozen cook time.



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