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ISO shockingly good casserole recipes

Please tell me I'm not asking too much! :)

Some friends and I were talking about back-to-school schedules, coupled with sports commitments, which means unless we plan ahead, dinnertime can be stressful.
But we're convinced there just HAS to be some good casserole recipes out there. Please no -- no tuna casserole with crushed chips on top; and preferably no Campbellā€™s Cream of Mushroom soup or Pillsbury dough short cuts.

What we're looking for are modern-day, good stuff that will feed our kids (no picky eaters here! They are adventurous eaters!) and leave us less stressed. We're both good cooks with stocked pantries and good local markets. Any suggestions or links to good recipes?

(We'd even consider a stellar crock-pot recipe if there is such a thing!)

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  1. Well, this one is from Epicurious...Polenta and Black Bean Casserole...we've had it 3 or 4 times and we love it...you can easily make your own polenta rather than buying store-bought which is what I do...and if you try it, DO use a great salsa (I use Herdez brand, quite good!):

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

    **ALSO** Chowhound has its own Tuna Noodle Casserole that I just noticed today...it calls for good-quality tuna packed in olive oil and NO canned soup...I will be trying it very soon as Albertson's sells Cento brand tuna in olive oil that is affordable for me! Here's the Tuna Noodle link:

    http://www.chow.com/recipes/10889

    2 Replies
    1. re: Val

      Polenta and Black Bean Casserole...hmmm...oh, I get it! Tamale Pie!

      Recipe on the Alber's corn meal box. Yum.

      1. re: Val

        I hate replying to myself...but anyway...I tried the Chowhound Tuna Noodle recipe tonight...we really liked it..and I would make it again. I bought Cento brand light tuna packed in olive oil and I increased the milk to 2 full cups. Result was creamy and delicious casserole. I think the Dijon mustard and Old Bay contribute greatly to the flavor.

      2. I like this recipe for a chalupa pork (a little like Chipotle carnitas). It makes a huge amount so first night, we might have the salad bowl but subsequent nights, served w/ rice, made into enchiladas (and baked), tacos, w/ corn bread whatever comes to mind.

        http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

          1. Cooks Illustrated has great recipes for basic casseroles. I haven't used this specific book but it looks like it has a lot of those recipes from other Best Recipe cookbooks, all in one book.

            http://www.amazon.com/Cover-Bake-Best...

            1. One of the first recipes my mother gave me still gets me thru no time to cook days - I don't have measurements since it always comes out different, but good.

              Meat Sauce

              Saute a thinly sliced onion in vegetable oil till soft. Add sliced/minced garlic. Add low-fat chop meat. Saute till no pink remains. Add tomato sauce/puree/canned tomatoes. Season with all or some of these herbs - pepper, bay leaf, oregano, basil. Bring to boil. Turn down and simmer at least an hour till it seems to come together. Serve with any pasta and a green veggy.

              I make a large pot - it freezes very well. Defrosts easily in the microwave.

              1 Reply
              1. re: amymsmom

                Thanks for the good suggestions, everyone!