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.   

Chicken and Kale Casserole
Photo: Martha Stewart

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.

Roasted Summer Vegetable Casserole
Photo: Bbc Goodfood

Make this multicolored, veggie-rich dish for Meatless Monday (or any other day of the week). It's like a heartier version of a summer picnic salad— with potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and red pepper. This recipe is dairy free, but if you're into cheese we think some feta would taste pretty amazing in this recipe, too.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole With Butternut Squash and Cranberries
Photo: Well Plated

This dish combines chicken and rice with some of our Thanksgiving favorites (butternut squash and cranberries!) but it tastes great any time of year. You can also use the chicken, rice, and spices components of this recipe as a base and add any other veggies you're in the mood for (or ones you already have in your kitchen!).

Stacked Veggie Enchiladas
Photo: The Live-in Kitchen

If you normally consider Tex-Mex cuisine unhealthy, think again. This dish is basically a huge pan of sautéed vegetables, divided into layers with corn tortillas and cheese. Make it even healthier with fresh homemade tortillas and part-skim cheese.

Broccoli, Cheddar & Quinoa Gratin
Photo: Cookie and Kate

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. Technically this one is a "gratin," a.k.a. casserole topped with breadcrumbs, (homemade whole grain ones, in this case) which makes it even better.

Originally published May 2013. Updated May 2016.

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