The New Age of Casseroles — Comfort Food Feast

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The casserole doesn't necessarily have the most-fashionable rep around. (Tuna casserole, we're lookin' at you.) But don’t let that misconception hold you back. The modern casserole really is a one-dish wonder, one that comes nice and bubbly from the oven. It can take you from oven to table with no effort at all. And when you’re buried under scarves and sweaters, the thought of easy-to-access comfort food should warm you on its very own.

Classic lasagna may be the most-popular Italian one-dish wonder, but just consider it a starting point. Trisha fixes her vegan Black Bean Lasagna by layering black beans, homemade tofu ricotta and fire-roasted tomatoes between sheets of lasagna noodles.

Many casseroles come with a base of rice, but Rachael's Make-Ahead Paella Casserole is definitely the most vibrant. For a one-pan dose of Spanish comfort, Rachael simmers rice in an infusion of saffron before joining it with chicken, chorizo, fish and even shrimp.

The classic creamy broccoli casserole may be bound by the contents of a can, but this modern rendition is totally revitalized. Instead of using cream of mushroom, Broccoli and Orzo Casserole relies on mild, ultra-creamy Havarti cheese.

Your average taco may be the most-divine hand held creation of all, but that doesn't mean it has no place in our fork-and-knife casseroles. Using a soft layer of cooked tortilla chips, Beef and Bean Taco Casserole is an easy cross between enchiladas, tacos and chilaquiles.

Food Network Magazine's Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Crust is a taste of home if we've ever seen one. The crust may be totally homemade — and dusted with sharp cheddar cheese — but a store-bought rotisserie chicken makes your job so much easier.

Ree's Chicken Spaghetti bakes tangled noodles in a creamy mushroom sauce for the ultimate comfort. There's no need to bring salted water up to boil for this one; hard spaghetti cooks as the whole casserole bakes.

Make the classic sandwich that much sloppier with Rachael's deconstructed Sloppy Joe and Macaroni Casserole. Loaded with ground beef and smothered in doctored-up tomato sauce, it’ll comfort any kid after a long day on the playground.

With a look at this list and a little plastic wrap, your contribution to next month's big-game potluck is taken care of.

Get more casserole recipes from friends and family:

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Smoked Sausage Chicken Cassoulet

Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Cheesy Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Dishin & Dishes: Black Bean Enchilada Pie

Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Chicken and Rice Casserole

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