6 Comforting Casserole Recipes Resulting in Healthy Winter Dinners
Spring may be on the horizon, but many of us still have several weeks of winter left before warm weather arrives. Looking for something to warm you up in the meantime? There are plenty of piping hot casseroles that will cure your cold-weather cravings. Not only will these 6 recipes warm you up on frigid winter nights, but they’ll do so using healthy, good-for-you ingredients. These hot and nutritious dishes are just what you need to power through the rest of winter!
1. Baked Cod Casserole
Gruyère cheese and dry white wine give Eating Well’s Baked Cod Casserole an indulgent feel, but whole-wheat breadcrumbs and cod make this a healthy dinner option. For variety, feel free to substitute cod with a different mild white fish. The recipe yields 4 servings.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 medium onions, very thinly sliced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1¼ pounds cod, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ cups finely chopped whole-wheat country bread, about 2 slices
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup finely shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until just starting to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring often, until the wine is slightly reduced, 2 to 4 minutes. Place cod on the onions and sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover the pan tightly with foil; transfer to the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Toss bread with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, paprika, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Spread the bread mixture over the fish and top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, until the fish is opaque in the center, about 10 minutes more.
2. Sweet Onion Casserole
No dinner table should be without this vegetarian casserole, which consists of sweet onions, a rich cheese sauce, and long-grain rice. With 1 serving containing 192 calories and 7.4 grams of fat, Cooking Light’s recipe delivers a light dinner dish you can feel good about eating. It yields 6 servings.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 cups chopped sweet onion (about 1¾ pounds)
- ½ cup uncooked long-grain rice
- ⅔ cup 2% reduced-fat milk
- ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- Cooking spray
- ⅓ cup (1⅓ ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Place onion in a large bowl. Cook rice in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain. Stir rice and next 5 ingredients into onions. Spoon onion mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Top with parsley, if desired.
3. Chicken and Rice Paprikash Casserole
Fulfill your cold-weather cravings with Food Network’s Chicken and Rice Paprikash Casserole. The recipe yields 6 servings, with each containing 378 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 36 grams of protein.
- 2 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 large red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups frozen brown rice, thawed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the chicken in a 3-quart glass or ceramic baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until just cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, bell peppers, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. If the mixture becomes too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water.
Stir in the sweet and hot paprika and cook for 1 minute; add the tomato paste and cook another minute, stirring. Add the chicken broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Spread the rice in the bottom of the casserole dish and top with the chicken and its accumulated juices. Pour the sauce over the whole mixture. Bake until the casserole is heated through and the top is browned lightly, 40 minutes. Top with the chopped parsley and serve with a dollop of sour cream.
4. De-Lightful Tuna Casserole
Reduced-fat soup, cheese, and milk create a comforting tuna casserole that’s perfect for winter dinners. With one serving containing 329 calories and 8 grams of fat, this is a dish that will appease your stomach and waistline. Taste of Home’s recipe yields 5 servings.
- 1 (7-ounce) package elbow macaroni
- 1 (10¾-ounce) can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1 (6-ounce) can light-water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
- 2 tablespoons diced pimientos
- 3 teaspoons dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup crushed cornflakes
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the soup, mushrooms, cheese, milk, tuna, pimientos, onion, mustard, and salt. Drain macaroni; add to tuna mixture and mix well. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornflakes. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.
5. Spinach and Artichoke Casserole
Better Homes and Gardens packs healthy ingredients into this hearty home-cooked meal. From the whole-wheat pasta to the nutrient-rich vegetables, this casserole proves you don’t have to sacrifice healthy eating habits in order to stay warm. One serving contains 368 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 29 grams of protein.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup dried whole-wheat orzo pasta
- 12 ounces turkey breast tenderloin, cut into thin, bite-size strips
- 1 medium red sweet pepper, seeded and cut into thin, bite-size strips
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- 3 cups chopped spinach
- 1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and coarsely chopped
- 1 (16-ounce) jar light Alfredo sauce
- ¾ cup shredded reduced-fat Italian blend cheeses
- ½ cup whole-wheat panko
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 2-quart rectangular or square baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add turkey, sweet pepper, and onion to hot skillet; cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
Transfer turkey mixture to a large bowl. Stir in drained pasta, spinach, and artichoke hearts. Add Alfredo sauce and cheese, stirring to coat all ingredients. Spoon evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir casserole and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with panko. Lightly coat panko with cooking spray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until heated through and panko is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
6. Turkey-Broccoli Bake
Creamy flavors and nutrient-rich ingredients abound in Health’s Turkey-Broccoli Bake. You can further lighten this recipe, which yields 6 servings, by using olive oil in place of the butter,and replacing the heavy cream with milk or half-and-half. One serving has 320 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 28 grams of protein.
- 1½ pounds broccoli crowns, cut into long spears
- 3 cups turkey, shredded into large pieces, warmed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup presliced mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups homemade turkey broth or low-sodium canned broth, heated
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
Directions: In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook broccoli about 5 minutes, or until tender; drain. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish; arrange broccoli across the bottom. Top with turkey; cover with foil to keep warm. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onions and mushrooms until golden brown. Add flour, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick.
Stir in sherry; cook 1 minute. Add cream and ¼ cup Parmesan; simmer 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, arrange a rack 6 inches below the heat source and preheat the broiler to high. Pour sauce over turkey. Top with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan and almonds. Broil for 1 minute, or until the sauce bubbles and the almonds are golden brown.