By the time summer rolls around, we’re usually ready to push our casserole pans and dutch ovens into the dusty back corners of our kitchen cabinets. Not so fast — by using fresh summer vegetables, seafood and even berries, you can make lighter one-dish wonders that will feed a crowd without sending them into a full-blown food coma.
1. Tomato Vegetable Casserole (pictured above)
Giada combines ripe tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers with potatoes and yams to form a Parmesan-crusted casserole that boasts enough heft as a vegetarian main, but is still light enough for warm summer nights.
2. Make-Ahead Paella Casserole
This Spanish classic was originally cooked outdoors over wood-burning flames and and we can’t think of a better way to fête summer than with a paella party. Rachael’s version — loaded with chorizo, cod and juicy sweet shrimp — gets a splash of sherry and generous pinch of saffron threads to give the rice subtle richness and body.
3. Summer Squash Casserole
To make these personal veggie bakes, fill mini cast-iron pans with half moons of yellow squash, then top with crushed crackers and butter and roast until bubbling and golden brown.
4. Pesto Lasagne
Instead of the same-old marinara, this recipe from Debi and Gabriele calls for alternating layers of buttery besciamella, or white sauce, and fresh pesto made from basil and pine nuts. The result is a bright and lively lasagna featuring the season’s quintessential herb.
5. Berry Strata
Breathe new life into day-old loaves by turning them into a tender, custard-like bread pudding studded with sweet summer berries. Serve with maple syrup as breakfast or a dollop of whipped cream for dessert.
More casserole ideas from family and friends:
Weelicious: Crock Pot Mexican Tortilla Lasagna
The Heritage Cook: Summer Vegetable Gratin (Gluten-Free)
Taste With The Eyes: Colorful Vegetable Casserole with Fresh Herbs and Cured Black Olives
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Summer Eggplant, Squash and Tomato Casserole
Red or Green: Spicy Cauliflower and Peppers Casserole
Domesticate Me: Caprese Quinoa Bake
Poet in the Pantry: Zucchini and Summer Squash Gratin
The Sensitive Epicure: Zucchini Souffle (Gluten-Free)
Cooking With Elise: Mexican-Style Lasagna
FN Dish: Dig Into Easy Summer Casseroles