7 Veggie-Packed Casseroles to Make This Summer
Your farmers' market haul is great for making salads—but it can also play a starring role in these bake-it-all-in-one-dish dinners.
A Chance for Eggplant to Shine
Traditional Greek moussaka is made with ground meat (often lamb) and eggplant—but in her new book, One Pan, Two Plates: Vegetarian Suppers
, Carla Snyder lets the dark purple nightshade steal the show. She creates a one-pan, meatless version of the Mediterranean casserole, and while it's meant to serve two, you could easily double the recipe, or serve it alongside a salad, bread and an assortment of dips for a casual supper.
Get the recipe: Moussaka
A Mac 'n' Cheese with Add-Ins That Feel a Little Familiar
Versatile Swiss chard is fantastic in everything from quiche to soups, yet it's especially good in this new take on mac 'n' cheese from Snyder's book, 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
The Garden Lasagna That's Hardly Garden Variety
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. Bonus: The recipe has an additional healthy twist, suggesting cottage cheese instead of ricotta.
Get the recipe: Vegetarian Lasagna
The Throwback That's Ready for a Revival
Stuffed peppers may not be the trendiest dish on today's tables, but there's still something novel about getting a beautiful bell pepper neatly packed with savory, seasoned beef all to ourselves. Plus, once the peppers are stuffed, they freeze well, so it's easy to prepare this dish ahead of time. Just make the bread crumbs and sauce fresh on the day you want to serve the dish. Thaw the peppers, assemble and bake.
Get the recipe: Mamaw's Stuffed Peppers
A Rice Dish That Turns Tough Greens into Silk
This flavorful, surprising dish is proof that Asian-influenced casseroles do
exist. It starts with a layer of cooked brown rice. Next comes a tasty combination of sautéed Swiss chard, onion and ginger mixed with coconut milk, soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil—which transforms the leafy vegetable into something tender and rich. On top of that, you crack eggs and bake just until the whites are set; when they come out of the oven, the bright yellow yolks look stunning against the greens.
Get the recipe: Sesame Baked Eggs
The One-Dish Version of Taco Night
Our Mexican nights 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 dish easy to cut and serve.
Get the recipe: Layered Tortilla Casserole
Photo: Joe Keller/Keller + Keller
A Classic Crowd-Pleaser with Incredible Flavor
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