Quick. Easy. Tasty. There's just something about casseroles. People love them: we're all just looking for comfort and deliciousness in one dish. While the word might conjure nostalgic memories of a well-coifed 1950s housewife in a frilly apron combining cans of creamy soup with leftovers to make dinner, our palates today call for dishes that are healthier and even more delicious.
EatingWell's healthy casserole recipes aren't "open cans and dump everything in one pan" casseroles. For dinner tonight try our Sauerkraut & Sausage Casserole (pictured above, recipe below). It's warming and tangy and satisfying with sausage (turkey kielbasa), sauerkraut and mustard and topped with thinly sliced potatoes. If you have a food processor with a slicing attachment or a mandoline, it's easy to slice the potatoes thinly and deal them out over the filling like Grandma laying out her cards for solitaire. Plus you can make the filling up to two days ahead, top with potatoes and then just pop it in the oven when you get home from work.
So tie on an apron--your grandmother's, your father's, that $50 artist-made one you got on Etsy--and head into the kitchen to make some memories.
Sauerkraut & Sausage Casserole
Makes: 6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Active time: 40 minutes | Total: 1 3/4 hours
To make ahead: Prepare Step 2 and let cool; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature; continue with Step 3 and preheat oven.
Cost per serving: under $2
One bite of this hearty sausage casserole recipe--full of sauerkraut, apples and kielbasa--and you'll be transported to a tiny pub in the Alsace region of northern France. Serve with extra mustard if you like.
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large onion, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway or fennel seeds
1 large sweet-tart apple, such as Braeburn, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
10 ounces turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 1/2 cups drained sauerkraut, rinsed
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in caraway (or fennel) seeds and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add apple and wine; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until most of the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in sausage, sauerkraut, vinegar, mustard and pepper. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish.
3. Toss potato slices with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, butter and salt in a bowl until coated. Cover the sauerkraut mixture with tightly overlapping potato slices.
4. Bake the casserole until the potato edges start to get crispy, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 273 calories; 7 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 26 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 9 g protein; 5 g fiber; 675 mg sodium; 694 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (55% daily value), Potassium (20% dv).
How often do you make a casserole for dinner?
By Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.
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