46 Main Dish-Worthy Casseroles to Feed a Crowd
Green Chile-Chicken Casserole
Easier to make than rolling enchiladas but just as satisfying, this popular dish is New Mexican comfort food at its best: little bit spicy, a little bit creamy, and a lot filling. Take it to a potluck or team dinner then sit back and wait for the raves.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
There's a reason why recipes for this Texan favorite abound. It travels well, feeds a crowd, and results in delicious leftovers. This version keeps the convenience of using canned soups, but gets its oomph from the addition of oregano, cumin, and chili powder.
When we say easy, we mean easy. You don't even have to cook the noodles for this speedy yet impressive lasagna that always gets rave reviews. Lasagna is a family favorite, but this version is extra-special because it only requires 5 quick ingredients: ground beef, pasta sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, and shredded mozzarella (we don’t count the water!). It’s rated 5 stars for a reason. Pro tip: Make a double batch: Enjoy one now and freeze one for a quick meal on a busy weeknight.
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Chicken Tamale Casserole
If you’re craving tamales but just don’t have the time, this tamale casserole is a quick and easy answer. Homemade tamales can be too time-consuming to prepare on a weeknight, but corn bread mix captures the same flavor. Feel free to experiment with different types of meat, such as ground beef or turkey, or trying chile verde salsa instead of enchilada sauce. No matter how you prepare it, this dish will quickly become a family favorite.
Pizza Spaghetti Casserole
We preferred turkey pepperoni, so you don't get a greasy appearance. Freeze the unbaked casserole up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator; let stand 30 minutes at room temperature, and bake as directed.
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Chicken Enchiladas are the ultimate in family-favorite dishes. Chicken breasts are poached in a highly-flavored liquid; then the liquid does double duty as a sauce when mixed with salsa verde and whipping cream and spooned over the chicken-filled tortillas. Use the freshest tortillas you can find for this dish since older ones tend to dry out and crack even though they're moistened in the flavorful sauce. We love La Tortilla Factory brand. Look for their low-fat, lower-sodium tortillas.
Black Bean and Chicken Casserole
This simple Black Bean and Chicken Casserole uses a slow cooker, canned beans and rotisserie chicken to make a super-convenient family meal.
Mandy’s Easy Cheesy Chicken Casserole
Prepared in 40 minutes, this quick and easy make ahead dish is sure to make any weeknight or holiday gathering easier. This cheesy dish is similar to the potluck classic known as poppyseed chicken casserole, or Ritz cracker chicken casserole. For even more variations, experiment with adding your favorite veggies, substituting different cheeses, or swapping in low-fat sour cream to reduce the calorie load.
These easy, cheesy chicken enchiladas come together in a snap and are faster and way more delicious than fast food. If you have leftover roast chicken, use that here. Alternatively, you can buy a rotisserie chicken if you don't feel like cooking your own. Also, don't use corn tortillas, as these have a tendency to break and be hard to roll. Whatever you do, though, don't forget the fresh tomato, avocado, cilantro, and green onion topping—the freshness livens up the dish.
Mom's Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
A traditional creamy chicken casserole can have more than 800 calories per serving! Try our lightened up version that offers great flavor without all the calories.
Southwestern Chicken-Pasta Bake
Southwestern Chicken-Pasta Bake incorporates all the flavors from that region. This hearty baked dish is an excellent way to use leftover chicken, and it freezes well for future meals.
Cajun Shrimp Casserole
If it were possible to put Mardi Gras in a casserole dish, this would be it. The seasoned shrimp-and-rice mixture is full of bayou flavor, while the colorful confetti of red, green, and yellow peppers make this a festive dish for a party.
Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
Zucchini Casserole with Red-Pepper Aioli
Layer herbed vegetables with cheese and slices of Italian bread, then let an hour in the oven transform the dish into a hearty, satisfying stew. Don't skip the aioli. Seasoned with garlic and roasted, bottled red peppers, this coral-pink sauce adds a kick of color and flavor.
Swiss Chard Spanakopita Casserole
Sandwiching a savory filling of chard and two types of cheese between pan-sized sheets of phyllo pastry is much less work than wrapping individual pastries, but it tastes just as good as the traditional Greek version. Fresh parsley and mint add a delightful brightness.
Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta and Collard Greens
Earthy collard greens are a welcome addition to this creamy, cheesy dish. A truly satisfying meatless casserole, it works equally well as a main dish or side.
Baked Polenta with Sausage and Tomato-Pepper Sauce
Tubes of prepared polenta make this casserole a snap to prepare. Its robust topping of onions, peppers, and Italian sausage might tempt you to drape your dinner table in red-checked cloth and blast Puccini from your speakers.
Sausage and Bean Casserole
A traditional French cassoulet is a sumptuous, soul-warming symphony of tender beans, sausage, duck legs, and pork. But assembling the dish can take more than four hours. This simplified casserole relies on the same delicious marriage of beans and sausage, but the whole thing can be on the table in less than 45 minutes.
Mac and Texas Cheeses With Roasted Chiles
This all-time favorite Southern side dish is transformed into a larger-than-life main dish, Texas style, with the addition of roasted poblano chile peppers. It's definitely big and rich enough to be the main course with whipping cream, butter, and three different kinds of cheese.
All you love about chicken pot pie is right here: a flaky crust, tender chunks of chicken, and a creamy, veggie-packed filling. But the addition of curry takes this ultimate comfort food casserole to a whole new level of flavor.
Fast and easy, this classic dish is perfect for busy weeknight meals. Kidney beans adds a healthy dose of fiber, and using prepared mashed potatoes and salsa saves on prep time and clean-up.
Recipe: Shepherd's Pie
Creamy Chicken Alfredo Casserole
Mediterranean Lamb Casserole
This easy take on Greek comfort food is rich, meaty, and tangy. The strong lamb is balanced by sweet onions and carrots, and rich eggplant that are all set off with the warm spices. Tomatoes and yogurt give it brightness and the pitas provide texture and toastiness. If you’d like to add a veggie side, try a salad or roasted asparagus or broccoli with lemon zest and olive oil.
Soba Noodle and Pork Casserole
This is not your mom's creamy noodle casserole. After this dish, miso cream sauce will be your new go-to sauce for everything. It only has 3 ingredients, it's perfectly seasoned and creamy, and just thick enough to hold up to a good noodle. The creaminess is complemented by the crunchiness of the peanuts and panko in this casserole and the green onion and cilantro brighten it up. Make this dish gluten-free by replacing the panko with extra peanuts and using gluten-free miso. We think Togarishi-- a Japanese 7-spice blend found at Asian markets-- is worth the buy, but if you cannot find it use Chinese 5-spice.
Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole with Peas and Breadcrumbs
We love the old-school feel of this skillet supper. If you can't find whole-wheat panko, sauté fresh whole-wheat crumbs until crisp.
Simple Enchilada Casserole
Spicy, creamy, and wholly comforting!
Creamy Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Wild rice is wonderfully fragrant; it’s the perfect counter to the creamy, earthy mushroom mixture and has enough texture that the grains won’t bloat or fall apart in the casserole. Simmer 11/2 cups rice in 6 cups water for 45 minutes and drain. You can also use 1 (13-ounce) package frozen cooked wild rice, such as Engine 2, which is sold at Whole Foods. Cook the mushroom mixture on the stove while the chicken finishes in the oven (use the same casserole dishes to avoid extra clean up). Serve with simply sautéed green beans or a mixed greens salad.
Mexican Chili Verde Chicken Casserole
This casserole is a favorite in our test kitchen and it's easy to see why. It's delicious, family friendly and easy to prep. You might want to double this recipe—you're going to want leftovers.
Shrimp and Grits Casserole
This casserole is tangy and cheesy, but thanks to the tomato and mushroom mixture there’s a nice richness here as well—just how shrimp and grits should be. It’s perfect for a holiday potluck or buffet-style brunch, especially with a crisp green salad and a mimosa or Bloody Mary.
If you love ramen, you’ll love this casserole. It’s got that rich, comfort-food vibe, all while feeling like an upgraded college microwaveable ramen. The smoke from the pork and nori, combined with rich hits of mushrooms, egg, and bamboo add a lot of depths to instant noodles. You can find smoked pork near ham cubes, which is in the meat section by the chicken, or you can get it prepared in the deli. For an upgrade, grab pulled pork from your favorite barbecue place—it’ll be worth the extra deliciousness.
Chicken and Dumpling Casserole
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
Are you ready for the best chicken enchiladas of your life? While you could use a rotisserie chicken for this cheesy enchilada recipe, poaching chicken breasts in a delicately flavored liquid both creates succulently tender meat (that won’t dry out as the casserole bakes) and adds another layer of flavor to the dish. The key to successful poaching is temperature control; you want to keep your poaching liquid from ever reaching a boil. In fact, you should aim to keep the water at a state of releasing wispy spouts of steam from the surface, but never bubbling, throughout the entirety of the cooking process. (It’s not nearly as intense/difficult as it seems.) You should also try to purchase chicken breasts that are roughly the same size so that they cook at the same rate. While the total prep time on this recipe isn’t exactly what you might consider “speedy,” it’s a fun dish to prepare and assemble with another helper in the kitchen. Prep a pan (or two, so you have one for the freezer!) on Sunday to enjoy heading into a new week. Featuring smoky ancho chili powder and some of the poaching liquid, the homemade enchilada sauce is another distinguishing delight of this dish; however, if you’re looking to shave time off of the recipe, you can substitute store-bought sauce. And if you opt to use rotisserie or leftover chicken as a shortcut, but still want to make your sauce from scratch, simply substitute water and/or chicken stock for the liquid called for.
Our eggplant lasagna is a delicious, crowd-pleasing dinner that results from swapping traditional lasagna noodles for slabs of fresh eggplant. Besides being a great gluten-free and low-carb alternative to classic lasagna, this comforting casserole is the perfect way to put a load of summer eggplant to good use. The best eggplant to use in this lasagna recipe are the most tubular-shaped that you can find, as these will give you the most even planks of eggplant (vs. the eggplants with large, round bottoms). This cheesy eggplant bake also gets bonus points for being make-ahead friendly. You can prepare and assemble the eggplant lasagna and refrigerate for up to two days before baking; just plan on the lasagna needing a couple of extra minutes in the oven.
If there’s anything that says grade-A comfort food better than a bacon cheeseburger-inspired bake, we don’t know what it is. This family-friendly casserole is a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to serve dinner for a crowd (the recipe is easily doubled or tripled). Feel free to swap the American cheese slices for whatever type of cheese you prefer, such as cheddar or Swiss.
Greek Salad Lasagna
Greek salad and lasagna work well as individual entities, and together they meld together in a family friendly, big ol’ plate of food. Sharp flavors from olives, feta, red pepper and red wine vinegar liven up an otherwise classic dish. We used olives from the bar at Whole Foods—if you use brine jarred olives, you may want to reduce the amount so it doesn’t overpower the rest of the dish. Use bell peppers that are the same size so they’ll finish cooking at the same time. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days—if you cook from cold, you’ll need to increase the cooking time. For nice clean cuts on the lasagna, let it rest for an hour before cutting it.
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
We love a good broccoli casserole and this recipe is amazing to have on hand. This Broccoli-Cheese Casserole recipe is just plain decadent and delicious. You're sure to convert any broccoli hater with this creamy casserole. Fresh steam-in-bag broccoli florets make this comforting casserole come together even faster. We suggest using Club crackers for the topping because of their buttery quality. Your family will love this casserole recipe during the holidays, but we think it is a year-round winner.
Beefy Baked Ravioli with Spinach and Cheese
Everyone will be excited to dig into this comforting skillet supper. Look for ravioli in the refrigerated section—our Test Kitchen prefers Buitoni brand. Substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef, or replace the spinach with Swiss chard leaves.
Pepperoni Pizza Casserole
Rich and filling, this pizza-meets-garlic-bread casserole is perfect for a Friday night when your kid invites over half the neighborhood. The cheese, pepperoni, and mushrooms are a match made in heaven for buttery bread, and the bottom of the casserole gets nice and crisp. Pepperoni slices have a tendency to stick together, so make sure to separate them nicely when you stick them into the pan with the marinara.
Meatball and Ziti Bake
Whole-wheat pasta holds up well in this cheesy, saucy pasta bake.
Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole
Loaded out cheesy, chicken, and potato casserole is as easy as 1-2-3. For lighter and more sensitive palates, reduce the hot sauce measurement by half.
French Onion Soup Casserole
This hearty, homey take on French onion soup celebrates Georgia-grown Vidalia onions, which typically come into season in late April. Naturally sweet Vidalias are perfect for caramelizing, and this indulgent casserole with layers of bread, onions, and cheese is a terrific way to enjoy them. We didn’t think French onion soup could get any more comforting, but we took the Southern route and made it into an even cozier casserole. This dish amplifies the richness of the classic soup you crave, and it’s ideal to serve as a hearty family dinner or pack up and bring to the church potluck. It takes time to slice and caramelize the onions, but you can do this step a day ahead and store the cooked onions in the refrigerator.
Hawaiian Chicken Casserole
This delicious throwback dish offers an indulgent balance of sweet and savory the whole family is sure to love. Opting for frozen, crispy breaded chicken tenders keeps this casserole fast and easy to prepare, and combats your saucy chicken from becoming soggy. Fresh bursts of flavor from pineapple and scallions brighten up the entire dish. If you want to lighten this casserole a bit, you can swap the chicken for peeled and deveined shrimp.
Chicken Panang Casserole
When a Thai craving strikes, you’re first instinct probably isn’t to break out a casserole dish, but his streamlined take on classic chicken panang curry is a flavor-packed, one-dish dinner that’s gonna have you rethinking what it means to casserole. Don’t be intimidated by the seemingly lengthy ingredient list—most of the ingredients are easily found at a typical supermarket, and many may already be waiting in your pantry. Trickier items, like the lemongrass, kefir lime leaves, Thai basil, and tamarind paste can be purchased at an Asian market. Alternatively, you can substitute a bit of lime zest for the lemongrass, leave out the lime leaves altogether, use regular basil in place of Thai, and substitute a little molasses for the tamarind paste. Once you have your ingredients together, preparing the dish is incredibly simple. Even better—it’s make-ahead friendly. Thus, this warming casserole is a perfect dish for holiday entertaining and out-of-town visitors. Simply prep and freeze for an almost-instant and impressive dinner when company arrives.
Tex-Mex meets tater tots in this easy, inexpensive, and all-around comforting one-dish dinner. Our spicy twist on the classic tater tot casserole consists of a succulent ground beef filling—featuring creamy black beans, crisp-sweet corn, cheese, and mild green chiles for a kick—topped with crispy tater tots, and finished with a drizzle of an addictively spicy and tangy sour cream sauce. Top this fiesta of a casserole with fresh garnishes, such as avocado, tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro, and it’s as perfect to serve at your next football feast as it is for a casual weeknight meal. We use 85/15 lean ground beef for this recipe and recommend that you do not go with anything leaner, as the higher fat percentage both contributes to the filling’s rich flavor and keeps it from drying out while baking.