MyPlate-Inspired Casseroles

Enjoy our favorite MyPlate-inspired casseroles, which use everything from zucchini and eggplant to sausage and cheese to create well-rounded, healthy, and delicious dishes.

Mexican Chicken Casserole with Charred Tomato Salsa

Photo: Randy Mayor

Nutritious Casseroles

Cooking Light is working with the Partnership for a Healthier America and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to thousands of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov. Find recipes at http://pinterest.com/MyPlateRecipes/.

Traditionally a healthy diet faux pas, our collection of casseroles uses lighter, nutritionally healthier ingredients for a variety of exciting and tasty dishes. A one-dish meal option, casseroles are an ideal way to load up on protein and nutrient-rich veggies without a lot of prep time in the kitchen.  

First up is our Mexican Chicken Casserole with Charred Tomato Salsa. Instead of the usual jarred salsa often called for in Mexican casserole, this recipe features a homemade salsa made with charred tomatoes that are mixed with cilantro and fresh lime juice. Charring the tomatoes gives a rich flavor to the salsa, which is a good match for this chicken-and-veggie-packed dish.

View Recipe: Mexican Chicken Casserole with Charred Tomato Salsa

Spinach-Feta Calzone Casserole

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Spinach-Feta Calzone Casserole

This one-dish meal is a cross between a vegetarian calzone and the classic Greek dish spanakopita.

View Recipe: Spinach-Feta Calzone Casserole

Chicken Poblano Casserole

Photo: Jeff Kauck

Chicken Poblano Casserole

Not only is this casserole a good source of niacin (mainly from the chicken), but one serving also supplies about 60 percent of your daily calcium needs. Fresh corn and corn tortillas offer an ample amount of folate, too.

View Recipe: Chicken Poblano Casserole

Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna

Photo: Randy Mayor

Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna

This zucchini eggplant lasagna makes use of fresh summer produce in a filling meatless entrée.

View Recipe: Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna

Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole

Photo: Johnny Miller

Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole

Creamy and savory collide in a wonderful way. Everyone gathered around your table will love this one.

View Recipe: Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Photo: John Autry

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Although the yellow and green squash give this chicken and rice casserole a colorful appearance, you can use one or the other, if you prefer.

View Recipe: Chicken and Rice Casserole

Swiss Chard Spanakopita Casserole

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Swiss Chard Spanakopita Casserole

This is a casserole version of the classic individual pastries. It's much quicker to assemble with less fuss, and it's just as tasty.

View Recipe: Swiss Chard Spanakopita Casserole

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Zesty, creamy and loaded with chicken, it's no wonder why this Mexican chicken casserole is one of our top-rated recipes.

View Recipe: Mexican Chicken Casserole

Spinach-Cheese Bake

Photo: Bob Esparza

Spinach-Cheese Bake

You can assemble the spinach and cheese casserole in less than 10 minutes by using preshredded cheeses.

View Recipe: Spinach-Cheese Bake

20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas

Photo: John Autry

20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas

While the sauce cooks, shred the chicken. For a spicy kick, top with chopped jalapeños.

View Recipe: 20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas

Salmon and Potato Casserole

Photo: Randy Mayor

Salmon and Potato Casserole

Great for breakfast or dinner, this casserole is easy to make and great as leftovers, too!

View Recipe: Salmon and Potato Casserole

Shrimp and Grits Casserole

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Shrimp and Grits Casserole

A few spoonfuls of cream cheese give this casserole a velvety texture. Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley, if you like.

View Recipe: Shrimp and Grits Casserole

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

Fresh spinach, chicken, and a combination of cheeses make this dish comforting enough for the last days of winter yet fresh enough for the first days of spring. You can also cook the pasta mixture in individual 8-ounce ramekins, and bake for 15 minutes.

View Recipe: Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

Penne Rigate with Spicy Sausage and Zucchini in Tomato Cream Sauce

Photo: Johnny Autry

Penne Rigate with Spicy Sausage and Zucchini in Tomato Cream Sauce

Use cauliflower or roasted peppers if your meal recipients don't like zucchini. For an extra special gift, give in small, individual ceramic dishes for your friends to keep.

View Recipe: Penne Rigate with Spicy Sausage and Zucchini in Tomato Cream Sauce

Three-Cheese Lasagna

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Three-Cheese Lasagna

Ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella combine to give this lasagna an irresistible gooey factor. Store-bought tomato sauce offers convenience and is perked up with a little fresh basil, garlic, and ground red pepper.

View Recipe: Three-Cheese Lasagna

Cheesy Brown Rice Gratin with Zucchini and Eggplant

Photo: Johnny Autry

Cheesy Brown Rice Gratin with Zucchini and Eggplant

The walnuts in this gratin offer a crunchy contrast to the roasted vegetables and cheesy rice mixture, while the splash of half-and-half adds creamy richness. The rice mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated. When ready to prepare, bring to room temperature, spoon into the baking dish, and proceed as directed at the end of step 5.

View Recipe: Cheesy Brown Rice Gratin with Zucchini and Eggplant

Wild Mushroom Pastitsio

Photo: Johnny Autry

Wild Mushroom Pastitsio

This meatless version of pastitsio swaps ground beef for wild mushrooms but keeps the creamy, cheesy goodness of the classic dish. Entertaining? Serve alongside Swiss Chard with Crème Fraîche and an earthy pinot noir.

View Recipe: Wild Mushroom Pastitsio

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes

Photo: Johnny Autry

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes

Your family will adore the down-home comfort of this surprisingly simple and oh-so-flavorful recipe.

View Recipe: Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes

Fast Shepherd's Pie

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Fast Shepherd's Pie

Buy lamb loin chops, and have the butcher remove the meat from the bones in the store. The lean, tender meat cooks quickly, and it’ll stay moist in this speedy take on a comfort classic.

View Recipe: Fast Shepherd's Pie

Spanish Chicken and Rice with Saffron Cream

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Spanish Chicken and Rice with Saffron Cream

This rich, creamy twist on traditional chicken paella gets an alluring Spanish accent from smoky cured chorizo and the unmistakable fragrance and flavor of saffron.

View Recipe: Spanish Chicken and Rice with Saffron Cream

Mushroom & Bacon Casserole

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Mushroom & Bacon Casserole

Very few things embody comfort food like this hearty, warming mushroom and bacon casserole.

View Recipe: Mushroom & Bacon Casserole

Lasagna with Grape Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Lasagna with Grape Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe

"Fresh" is a word not often associated with lasagna, yet that's exactly the sensation this one offers. Sweet-as-candy grape tomatoes burst and release their moisture and flavor, while earthy-bitter broccoli rabe and milder Broccolini balance the taste.

View Recipe: Lasagna with Grape Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe

Chicken Tetrazzini

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Chicken Tetrazzini

Up the veg, cut the cream, and drop 234 calories with our lightened-up version of the classic Tetrazzini.

View Recipe: Chicken Tetrazzini

 

 

Mom's Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Cindy Barr

Mom's Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Traditional creamy chicken casserole can have more than 800 calories per serving, but we’re serving up this classic comfort dish with a fraction of the calories.

View Recipe: Mom's Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Cheesy Vegetable Moussaka

Photo: Jason Wallis

Cheesy Vegetable Moussaka

Broiling the eggplant coaxes out a deeper, more complex flavor. We like to keep the antioxidant-packed skin on, but feel free to peel the eggplant before broiling. You can garnish the dish with extra basil leaves.

View Recipe: Cheesy Vegetable Moussaka  

Creamy Artichoke and Asparagus Lasagna

Photo: Rob Culpepper

Creamy Artichoke and Asparagus Lasagna

Lemon rind brightens the sauce, making for a more delicate lasagna. To save salt, frozen artichokes contain a quarter of the sodium of canned, which are usually packed in brine.

View Recipe: Creamy Artichoke and Asparagus Lasagna

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