Casseroles: One Dish Meals for your Family

Casseroles were a staple in my family growing up. Raised by my mom & grandmother, casseroles enable them to stretch the food budget while providing the three of us with a filling and nutritious meal. Some of their casseroles were made with first time ingredients. Others used up leftovers, stretching a roast or chicken to make another meal.

Like soup, a casserole offers a lot of nutrition without a lot of work or expense. Casseroles can be prepared ahead of time, stored in the fridge for a day until it is baked. Casseroles are great the next day when taken for lunch when a small salad is added. I have taken many casseroles to potlucks or when there is a death in a family.

Casseroles use any of the same ingredients as soup so they are easy to put together. It’s often as easy to make two casseroles at once, freezing the second one for a later date.

Experiment with your casseroles until you discover the mixture your family most enjoys. Remember, simplest is always best. Casseroles are just another way to make a low stress meal that satisfies everyone in your family.

Casserole Recipes

Hamburger Casserole

• 1 medium onion, chopped fine

• 1/2 cup butter

• 1 1/2 pounds lean ground meat

• 1 cup water

• 1 can (10.5 ounces) tomato soup, undiluted

• 2 cans (8 ounces) tomato sauce

• 1 can (4 ounces) mushrooms, sliced

• 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans

• 2 teaspoons salt

• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter for five minutes. Remove from pan. Cook beef in 2 tablespoons butter for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion, celery, water, soup & tomato sauce. Cover & cook slowly for 20 minutes. Add mushrooms & beans and heat through. Cook macaroni, unsalted, according to directions. Drain. Stir into meat mixture, cover & let stand 10 minutes.

Serve with salad & corn bread.

Pork & Apple Casserole

• 6 medium-sized tart apples

• 1/3 cup water

• 1 pound cubed pork stew meat

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

• 3/4 cup moist bread crumbs

• Pinch nutmeg, optional

Brown pork & drain. Peel, core & slice apples. Place in saucepan. Add water, brown sugar & nutmeg. Cook, covered until soft. Preheat oven to 350. Place half of the pork in the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with a layer of applesauce. Add layer of pork, top with applesauce & repeat using reaming pork & applesauce. Top with bread crumbs. Bake 30 minutes.

You may also use left over sliced pork roast instead of stew meat.

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