7 Ways to Dig Into Casseroles and Enjoy a Classic Comfort Food

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There is a comforting element about the casserole. In the fall and winter, the large baked dish is a warming meal; in the spring and summer, you can fill them up with fresh vegetables and ingredients from the farmer’s market. Casseroles have the added benefit of being easy to make and are suitable at breakfast, can show up at the dinner table as a main or side, and can even become dessert. From updated and modern, to just a bit healthier, we’ve got seven casseroles waiting for you, all you have to do is keep reading.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

1. Four-Cheese Zucchini Strata

Starting us off is this breakfast casserole from Better Homes and Gardens. It will put your zucchinis and summer squash to good use, as cheesy layers melt into the seasonal vegetables and Italian flatbread for a brunch that will serve eight people.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch slices (about 5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups garlic-flavor Italian flatbread (focaccia) cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 7 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Snipped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions: Lightly grease a 3-quart rectangular or oval baking dish; set aside. In an extra-large skillet cook squash in hot oil over medium-high heat until light brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Place half of the bread pieces in the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the squash and half of each of the cheeses. Repeat layers.

In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pour evenly over layers in baking dish. Using the back of a large spoon, gently press down on layers. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove plastic wrap. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until set and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional parsley if desired.

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