5 Comforting Casseroles That Are More Vital Than a Winter Coat

If you're searching for a beacon of hope in this frosty weather, these comforting casserole recipes are it.
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Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

If you think winter thus far has been especially punishing and demoralizing, just know that all hope has not been lost. Even though the infamous groundhog left us in disappointment in our moment of need (6 more weeks of winter?!), there is still reason to keep trudging through the snow and slush with your chin up. In fact, if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that these times of meteorological despair require more than a quality winter coat to get you through; they call for a casserole leaving the oven in warm, stick-to-your-ribs splendor. If you're searching for a beacon of hope in this frosty weather, these comforting casserole recipes are it.

Just like snow goes hand in hand with snow boots, broccoli and cheese are connected on a very real level. Combine the two for an ultra-comforting  Broccoli and Orzo Casserole. Food Network Kitchen opts for mild, creamy Havarti cheese for its stellar melting tendencies and tops the finished product with buttery panko breadcrumbs for a crunchy finish.

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

It doesn't get more comforting than going at a bowl of old-fashioned chicken noodle with a spoon (or a ladle). Reinvent your grandma's go-to soup by serving it in  Chicken Noodle Casserole form. Unlike the original, this one doesn't go big on broth. Instead, load up on egg noodles and top the end product with a welcome layer of shredded Gouda. Plus, using store-bought rotisserie chicken and shredding it at home means your prep just got infinitely easier.

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

While taco night requires some DIY assembly, a meal of ultimate comfort should take minimal effort to go from the serving dish to your mouth. With a soft layer of cooked tortilla chips on the bottom, Beef and Bean Taco Casserole is affectionately nicknamed the "broken enchilada" casserole by Food Network Kitchen. Even though it has all the spicy, comforting vibes of enchiladas, this recipe comes together in a cinch.

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

A heaping mountain of spaghetti is enough to sate the hungriest person at your table, but what about a hungry  and cold eater?  Baked Spaghetti offers up serious comfort at the end of a day spent braving the elements. Mash up the best parts of lasagna and spaghetti with meat sauce for a warming one-pan winner. Assemble it ahead of time and bake when you're ready to serve so the cheese leaves the oven melted and bubbly.

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

If we're getting down to it, the best way to survive an icy day is to gear up for it before you even leave the house. For Coconut-Almond French Toast Casserole, soak thick-cut bread, like Texas toast, in a rich custard, top with a crunchy coconut-almond crust and stick it in the oven to start the day on a special note.

There's more comfort where those came from. Get the best comforting casserole recipes at FoodNetwork.com.

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