Delicious Casseroles That Are Actually Healthy
The casseroles of your childhood might have involved such ingredients as potato chips, tater tots, and a mountain of cheese. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want to lighten up some one-dish favorites and pack in some vitamins and minerals, that’s possible, too. Here are casserole recipes that fold in veggies, lean proteins, and tasty toppers that make them satisfying but also good for you.
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
Forget the marshmallow and brown sugar version and consider a savory sweet potato casserole instead. Sweet potatoes pack potassium, fiber, and day’s worth of vitamin A. To make it delicious, this recipe adds garlic, maple syrup, and walnuts. Add some microgreens, green onions, or chives on top.
Skinny Chicken Broccoli Casserole
How do you get the whole family to eat broccoli? Cover it in cheese, of course. This casserole combines broccoli for a healthy dose of fiber, iron, and vitamins C and K. Add lean protein in the form of diced chicken. It’s ready in under 30 minutes. Make a little extra and have it for lunch again the next day.
Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole
An easy way to eat a plant-based diet is with fresh, Mexican flavors. This casserole combines cauliflower, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, and black beans for a flavor explosion. Top with cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro, guacamole, or anything that will please your family.
Recipe: Cookie + Kate
Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake
This is one dish that bakes while you do other things. Lentils are great for heart health because they reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and add blood-pressure-friendly potassium and calcium, and magnesium. Add vitamin-rich tomatoes, chiles, and veggie broth and top with cheese and cilantro if desired.
4 Ingredient Chicken Rice Casserole
In five minutes, you can assemble this casserole then pop it in the oven while you do anything other than cook for an hour. Chicken breasts add lean protein and B vitamins. Rice adds a serving of whole grains. Look for low-sodium mushroom soup or consider making your own for B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, and potassium.
Southwestern Chicken Casserole
This casserole delivers whole grains, veggies, and protein. Combine white or brown rice, onion, corn, black beans and chicken. Then top with cheese, salsa, green onions, or anything else your stomach desires.
Healthy Breakfast Casserole
Assemble baby spinach, bell pepper, hash browns, sausage, and protein-packed eggs for a healthy meal any time of day. Spinach is a plant-based source of iron and calcium. Eating it with the vitamin C in bell pepper increases absorption.
Green Bean Casserole
Green beans are available year-round, so why limit yourself to this tasty casserole only at Thanksgiving dinner? This recipe combines fresh green beans, baked onions, and a creamy mushroom sauce for a nutrient-rich casserole. Did you know mushrooms are the only plant food that naturally packs the elusive vitamin D?
Tuna Noodle Casserole
The classic, affordable casserole isn’t so light and healthy, but this twist takes care of that. Pasta, peas, and tuna (which delivers heart-healthy, omega-3 fatty acids) combine to satisfy your comfort food craving.
Yellow squash is rich in vitamins A and C, B vitamins, fiber, and manganese, which helps with bone strength. Combine onion, eggs, and crackers for a healthy dose of vegetables that makes a satisfying side dish.
Tater Tot Casserole With Veggies
When tater tots are baked with mushrooms, onion, carrots, peas, and corn, it’s a comfort meal to feel good about. Even discerning Minnesotans would be happy to serve this one.
Farmers Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole
Mushrooms, green peppers, and tomatoes combine to deliver a pack of vitamins. Eggs contain all nine essential amino acids. Whether you start your day with this casserole or have it for dinner, it is a healthy and satisfying meal.
Egg rolls are full of veggies and this new take is no different. Start with a coleslaw mix, add pea pods, grated carrots, and onion. Adding some Chinese noodles gives it a satisfying crunch. Plus, it’s ready in half an hour.
Recipe: 12 Tomatoes
Harissa Chickpea Hotdish
This vegan casserole is so satisfying and healthy! It combines chickpeas, celery, tomatoes, and onion, then tops it with everyone’s favorite casserole ingredient: tater tots. Add a sprinkle of feta, if you like.
Recipe: My Name Is Yeh
Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole
Garlic, onion, eggs, and mozzarella complement, but the real star of the show is freshly grated zucchini. Fun fact: Cooking zucchini and having it with a little bit of fat helps increase vitamin A absorption over eating it raw.
Crock-Pot Mexican Casserole
The only thing easier than a casserole is one made in a slow cooker. Set it with black beans, quinoa, and ground turkey or chicken and forget it. When it’s time to eat, add your toppings and enjoy. Quinoa is a high-protein plant food with filling fiber and all nine essential amino acids.
You can make this recipe your own with your favorite pizza toppings like sliced bell peppers, fresh mushrooms, and olives. Mix in pasta, cheese, and diced tomatoes and bake. Olives are high in antioxidant vitamin E and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
We’d never ask you to skip the pasta, but with a cheese sauce this good, you might not even miss it. Cauliflower gets smothered in cheddar and Monterey Jack, and a couple ounces of cream cheese for good measure.
Teriyaki Chicken Casserole
This one includes brown sugar, but with the potential to add a ton of veggies, we’ll let that go. Combine your favorite stir-fry veggies (broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and bean sprouts) with brown rice, lean chicken, and some aromatics (ginger and garlic) for a crave-worthy casserole.
More of a grass than a rice, wild rice has a nutty, chewy texture that adds something special to your casserole. It’s low in fat, but high in fiber, protein, and the amino acid lysine. It’s great in a casserole with mushroom, celery, onion, and slivered almonds, then topped with a bit of cheddar.
Baked Oatmeal Casserole
If you don’t like mushy oatmeal, baked oatmeal is the solution. Oats keep their shape and still pack fiber, protein, and a slew of vitamins and minerals. The soluble fiber in oats acts like a little sponge, sucking up “bad” cholesterol and getting rid of it. Make it even healthier by stirring in nut butter and chopped fruit.
Ground Beef Casserole
Flavor extra lean ground beef with Italian seasoning, onion powder, and garlic. Then add diced tomatoes and top with a sprinkle of cheese. Make it even healthier with a side of steamed broccoli. Cooked tomatoes deliver a more powerful nutrition punch than raw. Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red and antioxidants increase with heat.
This dish combines everything that makes lasagna delicious: ricotta, mozzarella, and marinara. Then, it adds a twist: zucchini “noodles.” The recipe leaves room for plenty of variations. Choose ground turkey for a leaner alternative to beef or sausage. Use sliced eggplant or summer squash instead of zucchini. And then add in cooked mushrooms, spinach, or artichoke hearts. Yum!
Brussels Sprouts Casserole with Bacon
You didn’t think we’d go a whole slideshow and deprive you of bacon, did you? When combined with the star power of Brussels sprouts, (Potassium! Vitamin A! Fiber! Protein! Vitamin C!) we’re not the slightest bit concerned about adding some crowd-pleasing bacon to the dish.