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7 Veggie-Loaded Winter Casseroles

Casserole recipes are beloved for the ease of prep and hands-off baking time, but most of the time the final product is a heaving baking dish blanketed with melted cheese. Not these recipes. They’re still easy, hearty and comforting but get their heft from leafy greens, seasonal vegetables, and hearty grains.

Grab a fork (or spoon if you prefer!) and dig into one of these veggie-loaded winter casseroles tonight.

Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole: Umami-rich mushrooms stand in for beef in this layered version of a shepherd’s pie. The potatoes are mashed with low-fat buttermilk instead of heavy cream for richness and tang. The whole casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to reheat for dinner.

Rice, Cheddar & Spinach Pie: Baked in a pie pan, this simple rice and spinach dish would be perfect for a weekend brunch or potluck. Feel free to riff on the ingredients, swapping feta for the cheddar, or other sautéed hearty greens for the spinach.

Vegetarian Spinach Enchiladas: Instead of the time-consuming method of rolling the enchiladas individually, the version layers the tortillas flat between a smoky chipotle tomato sauce and spinach filling. It comes out of the oven in under 30 minutes browned and bubbly. Add black beans for extra fiber, or substitute another dark, leafy green (like kale) for the spinach if that’s what you’ve got on hand.

Grits & Greens Casserole: Looking for a new way to serve those leafy greens in your crisper drawer? In this recipe, braised greens (think chard, kale, or collards) are baked inside two layers of cheesy grits spiced up with your favorite salsa. Don’t have grits in the pantry?  Polenta, ground from yellow corn instead of white, is a great substitute.

Baked Risotto Primavera: Normally making risotto entails lots of gentle stirring (and patience) at the stove top, but not this version. The rice bakes in the oven along with crisp-tender vegetables. Parmesan and fresh herbs are stirred in at the end. Feel free to swap in seasonal options like peas and corn or roasted shrimp or chicken for a protein-rich version.

Whole Wheat Vegetable Lasagna: This recipe does take a little time to put together, but the payoff is worth it. The vegetables are roasted to intensify the flavor and then layered between the noodles, sauce, and cheese. It makes plenty of leftovers for a packed lunch or dinner later in the week.

Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash: Here, the vegetable is the cooking vessel. Halved acorn squashes are stuffed with a Southwestern spiced stuffing that includes browned turkey sausage, black beans, and cherry tomatoes. Bake the squash ahead of time to transform this recipe into a 30-minute weeknight dinner.

With a few tweaks to classic casserole recipes, you can transform an indulgent dinner into something you can feel good about bringing to the table.  

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