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10 Incredible Casseroles with Unexpected Ingredients

creamy cheesy chicken almond casserole topped with potato chips in baking dish with spoon on white concrete table, american recipe, horizontal view, close-up

10 Incredible Casseroles with Unexpected Ingredients

Casseroles are the way to go when it comes to cooking a hearty, flavorful meal. Back in the 1870s, casseroles were typically cooked in earthenware vessels, and by the 20th century, these one-pot meals had become quite popular in the United States. Simple casseroles are usually filled with vegetables and a savory mixture of meats, such as pork, beef, and chicken. However, today, many varieties also include sweet ingredients. Today, I am excited to share 10 incredible casseroles with unexpected ingredients. In the comments section below, we would love to hear if you have tried any of them. Let’s dive into it.

casserole with cheese and zucchini in baking dish
Zucchini cheese bake is a fun way to eat zucchini!

©Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock.com

1. Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

This is the perfect breakfast dish to start your day. It is filled with mouth-watering flavors of stringy cheese, rich gravy, savory sausage, and biscuits. All you need is a cutting board, a whisk, a baking pan, a saucepan to make the gravy, and a skillet to brown the sausages. While it may seem strange to add biscuits to a casserole, it does make it taste incredibly delicious. This recipe calls for ground pork sausage, Colby cheese, crushed red pepper, heavy cream, eggs, a tube of refrigerated biscuits like Pillsbury or Grands, salt, pepper, onion powder, flour, butter, and milk.

This recipe is also quick to prepare and only takes about 35 minutes to cook. To complement this dish, serve it with a fresh pot of coffee and a side of sliced tomatoes. Furthermore, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and then popped in the microwave to reheat.

2. The Runza Casserole

This is an interesting dish that has a good texture and great flavors. Without a doubt it’s perfect for a quick dinner served with a salad, and it only takes an hour to make. Surprisingly, it uses refrigerated crescent rolls, shredded green cabbage, ground beef, salt and pepper, grated mozzarella cheese, and onion. It is then put together in layers and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. Furthermore, you can substitute ground beef for chicken, turkey, and other meat alternatives. Leftovers last for 3 days in the fridge. Additionally, it can be made in advance and frozen wrapped before baking. Just take it out to thaw the night before, and then bake.

3. One-Skillet Beefy Enchilada Pasta Casserole

Sometimes we get bored making the same casseroles over and over again. Usually, enchilada recipes are made with rolled-up corn tortillas or tortilla chips. However, in this recipe, you still have the bold flavors of this Mexican dish, and it only takes 35 minutes to make. All you need is lean ground beef, oil, chopped onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, chili powder, chicken broth, tomato paste, dried oregano, a can of enchilada sauce, chopped jalapeno, salt, pepper, pasta twirls, chopped scallions, your choice of grated cheese, and heavy cream. Additionally, you can add chopped olives and mushrooms. It also contains 5mg iron, 208mg calcium, 31g protein, 15mg vitamin C, 23g fat, 60g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 12g sugar, 1388mg sodium, 753mg potassium, and 642 calories.

4. Sauerkraut Casserole

Not many people are fond of sauerkraut because of its characteristic sour taste, and you may think it would ruin a casserole dish. However, there are many benefits to eating sauerkraut, such as improving digestion and even weight loss. This dish takes 20 minutes to prepare and 1 hour to bake. It will be great to take to a summer potluck and will stand out from the usual casserole meals. All you need are onions, apples, sauerkraut, Italian sausage, water, brown sugar, and caraway seeds.

5. Zucchini Mushroom Daikon Casserole

Now you are probably wondering what daikon is. First of all, it is known as a Chinese and Japanese radish. This root vegetable tastes slightly spicy and a little sweet. It usually looks like a large white carrot; however, it also comes in green, red, and purple. This zucchini mushroom daikon casserole is easy to make and tastes delicious with its smooth, savory flavor and crunchy topping. Furthermore, it is keto and diabetic-friendly and only contains 277 calories. All you need to make this dish is grated mozzarella cheese, olive oil, fresh chives, butter, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, provolone, eggs, onion, mushroom, zucchini, ground pork rinds, and daikon. Serve it with a colorful Greek salad.

6. Pitaya Piña Colada French Toast Casserole

What is pitaya? To begin with, pitaya is another name for dragon fruit. Pitaya is high in fiber, abundant in antioxidants, and rich in vitamin B2, vitamin C, and magnesium. This recipe is freezer-friendly, high in protein, low in sugar, and low in calories. It’s easy to make and takes 25 minutes to bake. It’s absolutely scrumptious. All you need are some Royo low-carb challah buns, almond milk, RX sugar, egg whites, vanilla extract, sugar-free chocolate chips, pineapple, shredded coconut, and pitaya. Then pop it in the oven and enjoy.

7. Citrus Chicken Casserole With Star Anise

Now you’ve probably tried the chicken and apricot casserole, which is divine; however, you should try this recipe that is made with star anise and oranges. Star anise is a sweet liquorice-flavored star-shaped pod that is used in many cultures. It has powerful antioxidants and has been used in traditional Chinese medicines to treat skin diseases and insomnia. This recipe only takes 10 minutes to prepare and cooks for 1 hour. All you need is chicken thighs, onion, butter, garlic, orange juice, orange pieces, star anise, garlic, salt, pepper, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, and chicken stock. It’s finger-licking good. Serve it with butter, garlic, asparagus, and rice.

8. Making Wood Ear Casserole (Mushrooms)

Earlier, I came across a rather interesting ingredient called wood ear or jelly ear, which is known as a type of fungus that grows on the elder tree and is shaped like an ear. YouTuber Atomic Shrimp previously ate and reviewed a can of pig ear casserole and wanted to try and recreate a casserole using wood ear as it has a similar texture. In the comments, many subscribers mentioned that they often use wood ears in stews, soups, and casseroles. Moreover, wood ear seems to be a popular staple that many Spanish people keep in their pantries. It’s also quite fascinating how they rehydrate. It’s worth taking a look at.

9. Sushi Casserole

We all know that sushi is eaten cold and tastes heavenly. However, this easy casserole is a must-try for those who enjoy sushi. In the reviews, people mentioned that it was super tasty and that they could eat the whole bowl. Additionally, it can also be customized to your liking. Others mentioned that they added cream cheese, which gave it a nice, creamy texture. All you need to make this dish is sushi rice, seasoned rice vinegar, sugar, sesame seed, furikake, salt, crab meat, mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, eggs, and black sesame seeds. Serve it with cucumber, green onions, and nori sheets.

10. Tuna Fish Casserole

We often think tuna should be eaten in a salad, wrap, or grilled with vegetables and starch. However, tuna is quite versatile and is also available in cans. Furthermore, if you only have canned tuna on hand, you can make a comforting tuna fish casserole. This meal will fill the tummy, and provide essential omega-3 nutritional values. To create this easy meal, all you need are some egg noodles, canned tuna, peas, condensed cream of mushroom soup, full cream milk, breadcrumbs, Italian or Panko, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper. To give this meal a twist, substitute the peas for green beans or broccoli.

Conclusion

When it comes to being creative in the kitchen and you are in the mood for a hearty meal, feel free to experiment and try making incredible casseroles with unexpected ingredients. Whether it’s a sweet or savory casserole, you're bound to create something that the whole family will enjoy. If you are looking for more inspiration, take a look at these healthy casserole ideas.

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