Best casserole recipes - Dr. Axe

There’s something about the winter months that makes casseroles a go-to meal for most families. A lot of the best casserole recipes out there, however, are actually not so great for you. They’re often loaded with refined carbohydrates, heavily and other frankenfoods.

Luckily, there are some easy casserole recipes that hit the mark. These 45 dishes taste great and are good for you, too. They’re packed with flavors that the entire family can enjoy. This winter, try adding some of these — including delicious chicken casseroles — to your menu. Your body and taste buds will thank you!

45 Best Casserole Recipes


Creamy chicken alfredo is even better when it’s baked in a casserole dish. Here, we add some more nutritional value than the traditional pasta dish, using gluten-free brown rice pasta and adding broccoli for greens. The secret ingredient here is probiotic-rich , which we’ll use instead of heavy cream to achieve the perfect consistency.


This baked oatmeal is an easy way to prep breakfast for the week — you can reheat individual servings each morning. This simple recipe is easy to make, and you can substitute whatever fruits you have on hand. I do suggest skipping the brown sugar and using either , or honey instead for less of a sugar crash.


This easy casserole recipe means you can make French toast for a crowd with no trouble at all. You could make a few simple swaps to make this a bit healthier, like using coconut sugar or a whole-wheat bread loaf and flour, or just enjoy on special occasions as is.

Photo: Celebrating Sweets


This casserole recipe comes together in just a few minutes. I especially like that the rice has been replaced with for a dose of vitamin C and other nutrients.


This meat-free enchilada is one of the best casserole recipes. It’s loaded with veggies, includes for extra protein and topped off with a cheesy blend. Serve this one with sliced avocado on the side.

Photo: Making Thyme for Health

6.Cheesy Caprese Chicken and Quinoa Casserole

The classic tomato, basil and mozzarella combo gets turned into a casserole. , a complete protein, acts as the base. Using pre-cooked chicken — an excellent way to use up leftovers — speeds up prep time, too.


This casserole, inspired by holiday dishes, combines flavorful , sweet butternut squash and sweet dry cranberries with bite-sized chicken pieces for a seasonal meal that’s tasty all year long.


This chicken casserole provides all the tetrazzini flavor you love without the canned “cream of” soups that frequently accompany the recipe. I’ve bulked up the brown rice and chicken with , onions and, of course, two types of cheese! This is healthy comfort food at its finest.


Casseroles have a reputation for being carb-heavy, but this light chicken recipe is just the opposite. It requires only a handful of ingredients — squash, zucchini, tomatoes and  — and is ridiculously easy to make. Just toss the chicken into a pan, cover it squash and cheese, then bake. Easy peasy.


If you like shepherd’s pie, you’re going to love this version. White potatoes are replaced with , for a boost of vitamins A and C along with potassium. Adding two cups of frozen veggies of your choice mean you’ll get veggies in every bite. This version uses ground turkey but you could easily sub in ground beef.


This is such a creative dish and one of the best casserole recipes that are meat-free. make up the base, adding a ton of fiber, protein and nutrients to the meal. The topping is made of , organic cornmeal, almond milk and coconut oil and lightly sweetened with maple syrup. The poblano peppers add a smoky flavor to a hearty dish.


Everyone loves mac and cheese, and this is a version you’ll feel good about serving. Adding fresh spinach means you’ll get some greens, while goat milk yogurt and goat’s cheese add a delicious creaminess. Kids and adults both will love this one.


A comforting casserole made with only clean, fresh ingredients, this is a gluten- and  that’s simple to whip up. Riced cauliflower makes up the base and adds nutrients, but I suggest replacing the bacon with a turkey or beef version.


An already-easy casserole becomes even more simpler when everything gets tossed into the crockpot. This recipe has all of your favorite breakfast ingredients, including sausage and potatoes, and cooks slowly over 6–8 hours. It’s great for feeding a crowd; just set the crockpot up the night before, and breakfast will be ready in the morning.


Give your casserole an Italian flair with this zucchini recipe. Brown rice makes up the base, with ground beef, diced tomatoes and mozzarella rounding it out. Best of all,  this cooks in the crockpot, so it’s great for busy weeknights.


Curb those Tex-Mex cravings with one of the best casserole recipes, made right in the crockpot. It’s crazy easy to put together and can even be prepped a day in advance. You’ll brown the ground meat in a pan, then add all of the ingredients into the crockpot, including uncooked quinoa. Come back in six hours to a delicious dinner.


Skip the Thai takeout and make your own with this easy gluten-free casserole recipe. Instead of normal noodles, you’ll use , spiralized “noodles” made from zucchini. It’s got all of your favorite Asian flavors, including coconut milk, ginger and coconut aminos. You won’t be needing those menus after you make this casserole.

Photo: Cotter Crunch


If you like eggplant parmesan, you’re going to love this veggie casserole. You’ll first roast the and then layer ricotta, eggs, parmesan cheese and seasonings on it, then repeat. It’s essentially lasagna without the pasta, and it’s delicious.


Green bean casseroles are usually made with lots of icky ingredients, like canned soups and canned green beans. Not this one, which features healthful fresh green beans, portabella mushrooms and raw pumpkin seeds.


This is one of the best casserole recipes around when you’re looking for something fast, healthy and inexpensive to make. and black beans make up the bulk of this recipe that gets rounded out with fresh bell peppers, onions and seasoning. It’s a dump-and-bake recipe that’s really darn tasty.


Enjoy stuffed peppers? Then you have to try this simple casserole dish. The beauty of it is that instead of painstakingly filling , you’ll chop them up and add them to a baking pan, along with all the other ingredients you’d find in stuffed peppers, like ground turkey, brown rice and cheesy goodness. Toss, bake and enjoy.


When you’ve got a craving for pasta but also need something veggie-packed, you should try this casserole recipe. takes the place of noodles, but you’ll also get a hearty serving of kale and spinach in each bite. Topped with two types of cheeses and baked right in a skillet, this is a one-pan dish the whole family will love.


Looking for new family dinner ideas? You can’t go wrong with this vegan, gluten-free vegetarian casserole. A lot of the flavor here comes from the homemade kale pesto recipe, so be sure to whip that up. You’ll drizzle that over gluten-free pasta, then add in sun-dried tomatoes, and eggplant, then top the whole thing with a garlicky breadcrumb crust. It tastes deliciously decadent, all the while being really good for you.


Cut back on carbs while still satisfying your need for bacon and eggs with this yummy breakfast casserole. It’s full of mushrooms, peppers and spinach, so you’ll start the day with a serving of vegetables, but baked with crisp bacon (use turkey rather than pork for better health). You can cut this into servings and reheat throughout the week to make the first meal of the day a snap.


Get the flavors of enchiladas without the tortilla carbohydrates when you whip up this easy casserole recipe. You’ll layer chicken that’s been cooked and smothered with enchilada sauce in a casserole dish cheese, chiles and seasonings. It’s perfect for .


Two types of cheeses before breakfast? Yes, please! This is one of the best casserole recipes for breakfast, with a power greens mix of , and that means your green needs will be taken care of early in the day. Best of all, it’s easy to make and reheat throughout the week.

Photo: Kalyn’s Kitchen


Anything that saves time and makes cooking a bit easier is a winner in my book, and this make-ahead casserole dish fits the bill. Wilting the spinach and layering the “enchilada” takes just 10-15 minutes of prep time, and then you can cover this recipe up until it’s time to bake and serve. This keeps nicely for re-heating, too.


If you need a new way to enjoy quinoa, I suggest trying this Mediterranean recipe. It’s vegetarian, with loads of protein-packed quinoa and filling , and also easy on the wallet. It’s rounded out with eggs, tomatoes, cheese, greens and fresh dill for a flavor-rich easy casserole.

Photo: Making Thyme for Health


This decadent casserole is excellent for serving over the holidays. Chopped English muffins, bacon (turkey or beef!), and eggs are baked and then drizzled with a creamy homemade Hollandaise sauce. The sauce can be made ahead, so this comes together quickly on those special mornings.


Inspired by barbecue chicken pizza, this gluten-free casserole is awesome on weekends. Speed up the prep time by using your favorite pre-made Paleo barbecue sauce and cooking the spaghetti squash the night before. With onions, crispy bacon (choose turkey over pork) and tender chicken pieces smothered in sauce, you won’t miss the gluten one bit.

Photo: Jay’s Baking Me Crazy

31. Paleo Buffalo Chicken Casserole

And for another take on Paleo chicken, try this buffalo version. Pre-cooked chicken, hot sauce and a homemade, dairy-free ranch dressing mean you can prep this in 15 minutes and have it on the table in under an hour.


Put a different spin on pizza night with this winter-worthy pizza casserole. Instead of “dough,” you’ll use spaghetti squash that’s covered with ground , pizza sauce and, of course, cheese and seasoning! It’s hearty but still lighter and lower-carb than regular pizza. Win-win!


This five-ingredient casserole is one of the best casserole recipes I have up my sleeve. You’ll prep it the night before and let the flavors really meld together, then pop it in the oven to bake. It’ll be ready when you are!


I love the grown-up flavors in this easy casserole recipe. This colorful dish packs in spinach, , artichokes, bell peppers and scallions along with eggs and fresh herbs. It’s a tasty breakfast, but you could absolutely serve this for dinner, too.


Reminiscent of diner-style hash browns, this sweet potato casserole is a delicious reason to wake up in the mornings or enjoy in the evenings. It’s super simple, cheesy and meat-free, but you could easily add in some chicken sausage for a little variety.


This healthy casserole packs in complex carbs, protein via ground turkey and cheesy goodness in an easy-to-prepare casserole dish that’s ready in under an hour. It’s nothing fancy, but boy, is it good.


When you need an impressive casserole dish that’s still easy to make, try this one. You’ll start by roasting the sweet potatoes then scooping out the flesh, which gets mixed with caramelized apples, and crispy bacon (go with turkey). Top with cheese, bake and you’ve got a seriously awesome dinner on your hands.


Spicy, low in calories, high in flavor — you need this Tex-Mex casserole. It’s full of shredded chicken, though you could use any leftover protein you have on hand, along with spiralized sweet potatoes, black beans and for extra kick. Skip the low-fat cheese, though, and opt for full-fat instead.


Seriously good for you and easy to prepare? Add this breakfast casserole dish to your menu, stat. Made with just baby , turkey, eggs, sweet potatoes and seasonings, it’s easy to customize to your family’s liking, i.e. adding in onions, tomatoes, asparagus or mushrooms. It reheats nicely and freezes well, too.

Photo: Aimee Mars


A light and crisp dish, this veggie casserole is a great way to use up excess zucchini or to take a break from hearty, carb-rich meals that characterize winter. It’s super easy to make and goes nicely with a side salad or crunchy French bread.


Leafy greens, sautéed veggies, delicious cheese all captured in a quiche — yeah, you’re going to want to make this. It’s one of the best casserole recipes because it works just as well for breakfast as it does for dinner. It’s naturally gluten-free and reheats nicely, too.


Make good use of leftover meat with this chicken casserole dish. It’s deceptively full of vegetables — cauliflower and make up the bulk of it, along with a heaping serving of spinach. Greek yogurt, milk and cheese add a welcome creaminess that will leave you wanting more.

Photo: Project Meal Plan


It might not be the most picture-worthy meal but if you like lentils, this casserole is just what you need. It’s mixed with zucchini, leeks, bell peppers, and mushrooms, along with some rice (I’d replace the white rice with brown or use quinoa instead). Top it all with cheese for a crispy crust that’s hard to resist.

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