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Jul 6, 2009 06:03 PM

Okay worst casseroles have been discussed, how abour the best?

My mom made a great tamale pie. It was firm,meaty, loaded with cheese and black olives. Never soupy but spoonable. Her mac and cheese was totally form scratch. There was a cheese crust applied to the casserole dish, same with souffles. She taught schooklduring the week and cooked mostly weekends and came form a long ling of southern cooks. Yeah there was pot roast and after that pot roast soup, fried chickens on Sunday and makeovers after that. Green bean casserole was a mystery until my sister decided to marry a Connecticut Yankee. Her spaghetti sauce was long cooked, loved sneaking bites on saltines. A big treat was waffleson Sundays, I still have her Sunbeam waffle baker with well seasoned cast iton grids.I dare you ro find a waffle that crispy today. Oh yeah meat loaf was looked forward to and sandwiches

Lets knock off breating out moms and start celebratring whar they did very well.


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  1. I'm not sure whether you want to compare quality casseroles or offer accolades to the good cooking that mothers do (or did) ...
    What's the point here?

    1. Mom (-in-law) was justifiably proud of her broccoli casserole. We raved, and scraped every vestige from the serving bowl.

      A true classic of the era: boiled then drained frozen broccoli cuts, grated cheddar (with hot sauce added in the day when sharp cheddar was less available), beaten eggs and mayo, and crumbled Ritz crackers both for body within and as the brownable topping (with added cheddar).

      5 Replies
      1. re: FoodFuser

        I have consulted my records (mom-in-law's handwritten recipe), and was remiss in not including the binding ingredient of "one can cream of mushroom soup".

        The addition of this canned soup ingredient further bolsters the casserole's classic integrity as a product of the era where recipe sources were mainly the Campbell's sponsored ad pages in Parade magazine.

        It was the "Bon Appetite" of broccoli in its time.

        1. re: FoodFuser

          As courts often write, it is "well settled" that casseroles have cream of mushroom soup in them.

          I have a classic chick'n 'n mushroom from a high school sorority in the 1930's (believe it or not). Without the recipe to hand, but a good memory, it is simply go steal a chicken and boil it up in water withi a good dose of sherry (nothing fancy) and some onion and celery,, whatever else you care for(I have even used curry--again, don;t go gussy-like and make the powder yourself..just get that green tin that came from India and has been on the shelf at you Exotic Food store since 1968...freshness guaranteed by that little sliver of tin across the opening). When the yard bird is done, pull it out and let cool. Meanwhile, strain your broth and use enough of it to cook a package of Uncle Ben's Wild Rice/Converted Rice with Seasaonings. Put about half the seasoning pack in--or none, as you wish, but reserve some of it. When the rice is done, mix it and the now-chopped chicken in a bowl, add cream-of-mushroom soup. Sautee a pack of mushrooms, sliced, reserving a few for decor and add the rest to the glop. Taste for seasoning (you can add water chestnuts for some crunch if you like). Dump in a pint of sour cream and mix up real good. Into the casserole, put your breadcrumbs on with the butter drizzle and decorate with reserved mushroom slices. Bake as you would any casserole.

          Serve and enjoy tonight's episode of "Bonanza."

          1. re: hazelhurst

            I'm wiping the remnants of my cocktail off of the screen now. Best post ever!

          2. re: FoodFuser

            To chicken/mushroom recipe, forgot to say, add the seasoning pack when you add the sour cream.

            1. re: FoodFuser

              Paula Deen makes this broccoli casserole (recipe available on, and I have made it many times, mostly for Pot Lucks where it has been wildly successful. This, also, works well, as you would guess, with cauliflower, summer squash (including zucchini). I've thought of trying Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and asparagus. The addition of macaroni (not too much) and chopped ham might be interesting, also.

          3. Cooked pasta, a fairly large-size type, drained well but still hot

            Toss with shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan, chopped fresh parsley if you wish, and a very light sprinkle of mixed Italian seasoning

            Layer in casserole with sauce (a little or a lot, as you prefer), and top with more mozzarella

            Bake at 325' till it melts (maybe 15 minutes), but does not brown

            1 Reply
            1. re: wayne keyser

              mmm My mom used to make something similar- was always a favorite with her fantastic garlic bread mmmmm

            2. Does lasagne count as a casserole? My Mum used leftover bolognese sauce, but instead of bechamel, made a white sauce out of yoghurt and sour cream. Cut the richness nicely.

              I also like fish bake with meaty fish on a bed of sauteed veg, topped with mashed potato and cheese or breadcrumbs.

              Not my cooking, but I work with a sustainable food dining project. They do amazing loaves and fishes work, feeding a lot of people for very little. Green bean bake with butternut chunks and a breadcrumb crust, shepherd's pie but with savoury lentils, eggplant bake with blue cheese crumbled on top. All hearty, flavourful, pretty healthy and greatly appreciated on a winter's day with a fresh green salad along side.

              1. This tuna casserole from CHOW is fabulous and has glowing the jalapenos in it!