Chicken, Sweet Potato and Bacon Casserole

Photo: Susie Cushner

The Casserole for a Southern State of Mind
When supermarket display bins are overflowing with copper-fleshed sweet potatoes, turn to this easy, make-ahead recipe from the new book Sunday Casseroles: Complete Comfort in One Dish. It combines the versatile tuber (which adds a gorgeous hue) with saut??ed chicken breasts seasoned with sage and thyme, onion and bacon, plus a creamy white sauce. Author Betty Rosbottom says if you can find sweet potatoes that are actually labeled "yams," use them; they have the darker skin and richer-colored flesh that are perfect for this meal.

Get the recipe: Chicken, Sweet Potato and Bacon Casserole
Baked "Risotto" with Butternut Squash, Sage and Parmigiano

Photo: Susie Cushner

The Casserole for When Your Mojo Is Low
Lazy cooks, rejoice: Baking risotto in the oven instead of cooking it on the stovetop is totally doable, as this simple recipe from Sunday Casseroles shows. It ends up more tender and less al dente, but it's no less delicious. With roasted butternut squash, grated Parmigiano cheese and fresh sage, it's a wonderful one-dish meal you can make without the need for constant stirring and monitoring.

Get the recipe: Baked "Risotto" with Butternut Squash, Sage and Parmigiano
Stuffed shells

Photo: Marcus Nilsson

The Casserole for When You Want Mac 'n' Cheese and Italian Food
Italian-American cookbook author Lidia Bastianich says a bubbling casserole of shell-shaped pasta stuffed with ricotta is something everyone in her family, from kids to grandmothers, loves. If you're going to make the dish ahead of time, place four to six shells in each container, ladle sauce over them and seal. They'll keep in the freezer for up to two months.

Get the recipe: Baked Stuffed Shells
Saffron Rice Pilaf with Lamb Meatballs, Red Peppers and Dates

Photo: Susie Cushner

The Casserole That Reinvents Spaghetti and Meatballs
A no-fuss, delicious and different spin on meat-with-carbs, Rosbottom's Middle Eastern-spiced dish starts with petite meatballs made from ground lamb and seasoned with Moroccan spices. You nestle them into a baked rice pilaf during the last few minutes of cooking, and the golden yellow rice (scented with saffron) gets bright pops of color from red bell pepper.

Get the recipe: Saffron Rice Pilaf with Lamb Meatballs, Red Peppers and Dates
World's Greatest Chicken Pot Pie

Photo: Ben Fink

The Casserole for People Who Say They Don't Like Casseroles
Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock—better known as the Casserole Queens—have yet to meet a skeptic who isn't converted by their chicken potpie. Beyond the usual roasted chicken and vegetables, this version has white wine, tarragon and shallots.

Get the recipe: World's Greatest Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Divan Crepes with Gruyere

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The Saturday Night Casserole
Cook's Aunt Joan oozed charm and elegance, and this dish, inspired by one of her recipes, practically does the same. This take on the well-known chicken-and-broccoli casserole is perfect for a dinner party since each portion comes wrapped in its own crepe. It goes well with a crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc.

Get the recipe: Chicken Divan Crêpes with Gruyère
Stuffed peppers

Photo: Ben Fink

The Casserole for When You Want to Go Old School
Stuffed peppers were big in the '50s and '60s, but all these years later, we still love the novelty of getting an individually sized bell pepper neatly packed with savory stuffing on our plate.

Get the recipe: Mamaw's Stuffed Peppers

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The Casserole for When You Want an Excuse to Eat a Corn Muffin for Dinner
Golden brown cornbread tops this homey mixture of chicken, peas, potato and carrots.

Get the recipe: Chicken Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust
Boeuf Bourguignon

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The Casserole Everyone Should Make at Least Once in Her Life
Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon is one of the most delicious beef dishes ever created. It takes some time to make, but you can prepare it completely ahead, and it only gains in flavor when reheated.

Get the recipe: Boeuf Bourguignon
Cottage Pie

The Casserole for When Your Personal Chef Is on Vacation
Darren McGrady—who was the personal chef for Queen Elizabeth II; Diana, Princess of Wales; and Princes William and Harry for 15 years—says this cottage pie (also known as shepherd's pie) is Prince William's all-time favorite entrée.

Get the recipe: Cottage Pie
Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas with Tomatillo Salsa and Cilantro

The Casserole for When You Want a Mexican Meal Without the Heartburn
Rocco DiSpirito's new version of enchiladas relies on healthy foods like bright-tasting tomatillos and cilantro for flavor instead of full-fat cheese and sour cream.

Get the recipe: Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas with Tomatillo Salsa and Cilantro
Cardamom Spiced Meat Loaf

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The Casserole Your Mom (Probably) Never Made
Zucchini, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, beef and lamb come together in an exotic take on meatloaf.

Get the recipe: Cardamom Spiced Meat Loaf
Lunch Lady Doris's Spicy Mac and Cheese

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The Casserole for When You Don't Feel Like Making a Side Salad
For nights when you don't even have the energy to make a vegetable to go with your casserole, we recommend this classic dish spiked with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes.

Get the recipe: Lunch Lady Doris's Spicy Mac and Cheese
Macaroni and Many Cheeses

The Casserole That Reminds Us Why We Love Casseroles
This update to the classic mac 'n' cheese will work with any semihard cheese but is particularly good with an international blend of French Mimolette, aged Dutch Gouda and American Vella dry Jack.

Get the recipe: Macaroni and Many Cheeses
Healthy Mac and Cheese

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The Macaroni and Cheese Casserole That Saves Room for Dessert
Whole wheat pasta, Greek yogurt and butternut squash add flavor to this lightened-up version of mac 'n' cheese—without the extra calories.

Get the recipe: Healthy Mac and Cheese
Sweet potato casserole

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The Thanksgiving Casserole You'll Make All Winter Long
So simple and familiar—a sweet-potato dish that's bright orange and plenty sweet—this is the side dish that keeps on giving.

Get the recipe: Baked Mashed Sweet Potato with Orange and Pecan
Scalloped potatoes

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The Tuscan Sun Casserole
These scalloped potatoes are made with broth, not milk, and get extra flavor from a sun-dried tomato pesto.

Get the recipe: Scalloped Potatoes with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Photo: Gentl and Hyers

The Casserole for Farmers' Market Fiends
Nutritionist-turned-chef-turned-greenmarket-champion Laura Pensiero incorporates mushrooms, fresh herbs and two full heads of radicchio into this lasagna.

Get the recipe: Chicken, Mushroom and Radicchio Lasagna

Photo: Gentl and Hyers

The Lazy (and Health-Conscious) Woman's Casserole
You can stock nearly all of the ingredients for this baked spaghetti dish—from canned tomatoes to whole wheat pasta—in your pantry so you can make a healthy dinner without taking an extra trip to the supermarket.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti al Forno

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The Casserole to Eat on an Autumn Night
Make this dish while you can still get locally grown peppers and tomatoes. With shrimp, crabmeat, sea scallops and flaky white fish such as snapper or cod, it's a hearty, warm stew, begun on the stove top and finished off in the oven.

Get the recipe: Boo-yah Bouillabaisse

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The Casserole for Artists
Paella may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think casserole, but it is a one-dish wonder that deserves a place with the classics. The dish is a blank canvas; this recipe calls for chicken, sausage, shrimp, clams, peas and asparagus—but you can add any fish, meat or vegetables to this dish and call it your own.

Get the recipe: Paella
hash brown casserole

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The Anytime-of-Day Casserole
You may make this potato dish from Paula Deen for breakfast, but you'll be eating the leftovers all afternoon and into the night.

Get the recipe: Paula Deen's Hash Brown Casserole

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The Casserole for When You Want to Eat Dinner for Breakfast
With turkey sausage, fresh rosemary, tomatoes and Fontina cheese, this meal is like a lasagna for early birds.

Get the recipe: Country Strata with Sausage, Fontina and Rosemary

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Comfort food gets a healthy makeover