When most people think "casserole," soggy pot-luck tuna noodle dishes are probably the first things that come to mind. It's unfortunate that these one-dish wonders have such a bad rap because they're quick to prep, easy to clean up, and can be super-healthy. Warm up in these last few dreary weeks of winter with a gooey, comforting, one-dish oven casserole. These recipes are full of whole-wheat grains, fresh veggies, low-fat cheese, and plenty of flavorful add-ins.
Cheesy Chicken Casserole with Kale via Meg in the Kitchen
A secret ingredient — lemon zest — keeps this creamy pasta bake from being too heavy and rich. The recipe also calls for part-skim ricotta, tons of fresh kale, and parmesan cheese (it's extra-strong, so you can use less without sacrificing flavor). For an extra nutritional boost, use whole-wheat pasta.
Photo: Meg / Meg in the Kitchen
Vegetarian Green Lentil Casserole via Kalyn's Kitchen
Make this multicolored, veggie-rich dish for Meatless Monday (or any other day of the week). It's like a heartier version of a classic Greek salad with red peppers, feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, and lentils instead of lettuce.
Photo: Kalyn Denny / Kalyn's Kitchen
Chicken and Butternut Squash Casserole via Abbe's Cooking Antics
This dish is actually more stew than casserole, but we won't judge it too harshly. Combine chicken, chunks of butternut squash, potatoes, and green beans for a rib-sticking but healthy winter dinner. Serve it with crusty whole-wheat bread and a big salad.
Photo: Abbe / Abbe's Cooking Antics
Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas via Perry's Plate
If you normally consider Tex-Mex cuisine unhealthy, think again. This dish is basically a huge pan of roasted vegetables, divided into layers with corn tortillas, raw spinach, a sprinkling of cheese. Make it even healthier with fresh homemade tortillas and part-skim cheese.
Photo: Natalie / Perry's Plate
Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole via Confessions of a Foodie Bride
This riff on the classic rice and broccoli casserole is far from the original, with no fake cheese and no cream-of-whatever soup in sight. This dish is loaded with whole, real foods like quinoa, broccoli, and sharp cheddar cheese. Made with only three tablespoons of butter (for 10-12 servings!) and 2% milk, this casserole is positively light.
Photo: Shawnda / Confessions of a Foodie Bride
Have a theme you want to see on The Greatist Table or a recipe suggestion for us to include next week? Share with us in the comments below or tweet the author at @sophbreene.