7 Warm-Weather Casseroles We Love
Photo: Alison Gootee
Our Mexican-inspired meals don't often feature too many green vegetables (aside from guacamole and chilies). The exception: this tortilla casserole. It includes a half-pound—roughly two big bunches—of fresh spinach, so it's packed with nutrition and vibrant color. There are also tomatoes and mozzarella, and if you've got leftover chicken, this is a terrific use for it (you only need a cup, about the equivalent of two breasts). Corn tortillas hold the ingredients together nicely, making the casserole easy to cut and serve.
Get the recipe: Layered Tortilla Casserole
Photo: Joe Keller/Keller + Keller
A cast-iron skillet is the secret to turning a pound and a half of grape tomatoes into a pasta sauce with a deep, pleasantly charred taste that takes this baked ziti to a new level. And unlike most baked pastas, the ziti cooks right in the sauce, so you don't need an extra pot. Just add mozzarella and Parmesan, and slide the skillet under the broiler for five minutes, until the cheeses are browned and bubbling.
Get the recipe: Baked Ziti with Charred Tomatoes
Photo: Dana Shultz
Noodles, potatoes and rice are often the carb-y stars (or co-stars) in a casserole, but this simple bake relies on superseed quinoa, so it tastes a bit lighter—perfect for summer. You cook the quinoa in vegetable broth to give the seeds rich flavor, and the dish gets a woodsy, earthy note from roasted butternut squash and mushrooms. Dark green kale brings even more nutrition and a burst of color.
Get the recipe: Butternut Squash, Kale and Quinoa Bake
A handful of spinach leaves does not a vegetarian lasagna make—which is why this take, exploding with veggies, is so wonderful. It's made with two eggplants, six zucchini, five portobello mushrooms and two red onions. Plus, the recipe has an additional healthy twist, suggesting cottage cheese instead of ricotta.
Get the recipe: Vegetarian Lasagna
Photo: Jody Horton
Versatile Swiss chard is fantastic in everything from quiche to soups, yet it's especially good in this new take on mac 'n' cheese, which features an entire bunch of it. The hearty green, which is often paired with smoky meats, combines with Gouda—a cheese that has an almost bacon- or ham-like flavor, thanks to the smoking process—and tastes just right in this dish.
Get the recipe: Mac 'n' Smoked Gouda
Photo: Jody Horton
Traditional Greek moussaka is made with ground meat (often lamb) and eggplant—but this vegetarian dish lets the dark purple nightshade steal the show. It's a one-pan, meatless version of the Mediterranean casserole, and would be delicious alongside a salad, bread and an assortment of dips for a casual supper.
Get the recipe: Moussaka
Photo: Ron Manville
Okay, this one isn't technically a casserole, but it is a one-dish meal that you bake—and it happens to be brimming with fresh zucchini. You cook it in a pie pan, and there's no dough-rolling involved, since the shredded vegetables, eggs, baking mix (such as Bisquick) and cheddar cheese form the crust on their own.
Get the recipe: Savory Zucchini Pie