Your go-to Casserole dish - easy to give
I make a tex mex version of shepherd's pie. Brown ground turkey with some onions, add tomatoes and taco spices, cook down to thicken. Put in casserole dish, then add grated cheese and mashed potatoes on top. (you can also do a tamale version where you top with a corn bread batter). Bake for 20 minutes or so at 375. Freezes well too.
Do breakfast casseroles count? I make French toast casserole that is always a hit at brunch. It's a great, totally forgiving recipe.
stale french bread cut into 1 inch slices and then halved (I use about 1 1/2 loaf to fill my pan, but you can use more or less depending on the size of the dish you are using)
2 1/2 Cups milk (I usually use about 2 cups of skim and 1/2 cup of 1/2&1/2, but you can use whatever you have on hand. all skim is fine too)
1/4 Cup white sugar
cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom (I just toss some in, mostly cinnamon, never measure, but probably about Tbs cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of the others.)
1/2 stick butter
1/3 Cup maple syrup
Spray the casserole with Pam and fill with bread. I use a big shallow dish because we like the crust, but you can do it in a deep dish too.
Mix the milk, eggs, sugar and spices, pour over bread and press down so bread is completely covered.
Cut the butter into little chunks and dot over the top. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon. Cover with foil and stick in fridge overnight.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350, bake with foil on for about 25 minutes, then remove foil, drizzle syrup over the top and return to oven for about 1/2 an hour. It puffs up, gets a little crusty on top and is fabulous.
I used to buy cinnamon apple syrup at the farmers market and made a variation with chunks of peeled apple tossed in with the bread and then the cinnamon syrup drizzled over the top.
I have one that is a Mexican Lasagna made with oorn tortillas instead of lasagna noodles and shredded chicken. It is always a huge hit and people beg me to give them any leftovers (rarely any left) to take home. I know you said no lasagna, but this is very different and really great. Problem is, I don't know how to attach it (won't let me below). If you know the secret, let me know and I will send you this one.