10 Make Ahead Casserole Recipes

Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey casserole? Especially the kind that can be made ahead and either tossed in the fridge till dinner the next day, or frozen for weeks (or months)!

To me, casseroles are one of the best comfort foods out there, and make-ahead casserole recipes are the best. THE BEST!

10 Make-Ahead Casserole Recipes

My sister-in-law is 8-1/2 months pregnant and I blame her for having casseroles on my brain. She asked me if I’d help her prep a few freezer meals to tuck away until after the baby’s born, which is very smart! (For the record, I was not that smart. For either child.)

Those of you who’ve had babies must remember what it’s like those first 6-8 weeks after the baby’s born. Every single day is comprised of eating, sleeping, diapering and changing baby clothes. I mean, you barely have enough time to grab a shower, let alone pull together a home cooked dinner – right?

Having make-ahead casseroles frozen and at the ready is a terrific way to get dinner on the table without also losing your mind (which may happen anyway, but at least you won’t be able to blame the food!).

10 Make-Ahead Casserole Recipes

NOTE: Each of these casseroles can be covered tightly with aluminum foil and frozen just before the baking step.

  1. Simple Mexican Ground Beef Casserole
  2. Baked Ziti
  3. Baked Creamy Chicken Spaghetti (I’d leave the onion topping off until you’re ready to bake)
  4. Spinach, Mushroom & Italian Sausage Lasagna
  5. Simple Oyster Casserole
  6. Creamy Baked Chicken Pasta
  7. Walnut French Toast Bread Pudding Casserole
  8. Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls
  9. Spinach, Bacon & Cheese Egg Casserole
  10. Chicken Noodle Casserole

(Yes, there are some breakfast options too – enjoy!)

Walnut French Toast Bread Pudding Casserole

Here’s the thing: I’m not much of a meal planner.

When you’re not a meal planner, then you have to be quick on your feet when coming up with homemade meals. It means your pantry better be stocked with the basics, and you need to have some recipe ingenuity!

Kind of tired of the same ol’ weekend breakfast go-to’s, this past Saturday I perused a few recipes online to create something I could throw together and then bake in the oven. Here’s what I came up with – and unlike a lot of baked bread-based breakfast casseroles, you don’t need to let it soak for hours and hours beforehand. That means no planning; you can make it on a whim!

Walnut French Toast Bread Pudding Casserole


[Print this recipe]

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
6 slices sandwich bread, cut in 2″ pieces (or the equivalent in whatever kind of bread you have around)
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
zest of one lemon
1 cup walnuts or sliced almonds*
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
butter for greasing

 

 

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1-1/2 quart baking dish; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt and lemon zest. Add the bread, taking care that all the cubes have been coated. Pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish, and press down gently on the bread.

In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon cinnamon with 2 tablespoons sugar and then sprinkle it evenly over top of the bread. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the edges are bubbly and the middle springs backs when you push on it with your finger. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before plating.

Serve warm with fresh whipped cream or butter and maple syrup.

*I originally used walnuts in my recipe, but I found their flavor to be a bit overwhelming. And, while it was good, I would prefer the milder taste of sliced and toasted almonds – the nutty crunch would go really well with the cinnamon and sugar.
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