Comforting Cold Weather-Inspired Casseroles

Beef Stew Casserole

1 1/2 pound(s) 1-in. cubes beef chuck (for stew)
1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
2 can(s) (about 14 oz each) beef broth
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon(s) minced garlic
3 pound(s) small sweet potatoes
1 pound(s) each carrots and parsnips
3 ribs celery
1 tablespoon(s) stick butter
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
Position racks to divide oven in thirds. Heat to 325°F. Coat beef with flour. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and brown. Add broth, onion and garlic; bring to a boil. Cover tightly and place stew on one oven rack, potatoes on other rack. Bake 30 minutes. Cut carrots, parsnips and celery into 1-in. lengths; stir into stew. Cover and bake 45 minutes or until tender when pierced. Peel potatoes and mash with butter and salt. Bake and serve or cool, cover separately and refrigerate up to 3 days. To serve: Heat oven to 400°F. Skim fat off stew, then spoon into a shallow 3 1/2-qt baking dish; spread potatoes over top. Bake 50 minutes or until bubbly around edges and hot in center.

Cheesy Baked Ravioli

1 1/4 cup(s) fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cup(s) marinara sauce
1 ounce(s) sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), diced (about 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup(s) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoon(s) grated Parmesan cheese
12 ounce(s) (large) cheese ravioli
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Put spinach in a colander in the sink. Mix marinara sauce and sun-dried tomatoes together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine mozzarella and Parmesan. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli and cook just until they float to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain ravioli over spinach to wilt. Add ravioli and spinach to marinara mixture. Lay down enough ravioli to cover the bottom of a 9- by 1 1/2-inch gratin dish (or bake in individual 4 1/2- to 5-inch gratin dishes). Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top. Repeat with remaining ravioli and cheese mixtures, finishing with the cheese on top. Bake until hot and bubbly throughout, 10 to 12 minutes.

Mediterranean Tuna-Noodle Casserole

1/3 cup(s) olive oil, plus more for baking dishes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound(s) wide egg noodles
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
5 cup(s) whole milk
4 can(s) (6 ounces each) tuna in olive oil, drained
1 can(s) (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and thickly sliced
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup(s) finely grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil two 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until 2 minutes short of al dente; drain, and return to pot. Meanwhile, in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium. Add bell peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat; add mixture to noodles in pot, along with tuna, artichoke hearts, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper, and toss. Divide between prepared baking dishes, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Chili Cornbread Casserole

1 tablespoon(s) canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 clove(s) garlic, minced
1 pound(s) 95%-lean ground beef
2 can(s) (15-ounce) kidney beans, rinsed
1 can(s) (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes, undrained
3 tablespoon(s) chili powder
1 tablespoon(s) ground cumin
1 teaspoon(s) sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/4 cup(s) cornmeal
3/4 cup(s) whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoon(s) sugar
1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup(s) low-fat milk
2 tablespoon(s) canola oil
cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cup(s) extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
To prepare chili: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes and their juice, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne (if using). Bring to a boil; reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. To prepare cornbread: Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk egg, milk, and oil in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients along with cilantro and stir until just combined. Transfer the chili to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Spread the cornbread batter evenly over the chili. Bake the casserole until the top springs back when touched lightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

12 ounce(s) whole-wheat elbow noodles
2 tablespoon(s) canola oil
3 medium carrots, sliced
3 stalk(s) celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon(s) minced garlic
2 pound(s) boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup(s) cornstarch
4 cup(s) low-fat milk
1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
5 tablespoon(s) hot sauce, preferably Frank’s RedHot
3/4 cup(s) (about 4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a Dutch oven of water to a boil. Cook noodles until barely tender, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.Heat oil in the pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk cornstarch and milk in a medium bowl; add to the pot along with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in hot sauce. Spread the noodles in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish. Top with the chicken mixture; sprinkle with blue cheese.Bake the casserole until it is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


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