When you think of taking a comforting casserole to someone who has had a baby, has experienced a loss, is having a rough time, or has moved in across the street, the first thing that comes to mind is lasagna, right? But if you’ve thought about making lasagna, there’s a good chance that anyone else taking a meal has thought about lasagna, too.
I’ve gathered 15 other comforting casserole recipes to choose from so the recipient doesn’t end up with 5 well-intentioned lasagnas. Bake these filling dishes (aluminum foil pans are often appreciated so the recipient doesn’t have to worry about returning a casserole dish), allow them to cool, and wrap them in aluminum foil.
Trust me, your friend or family member will be grateful for a ready-to-heat meal, especially if you attach a list of ingredients just in case anyone has any allergies you’re aware of and instructions to reheat or freeze, eliminating any guesswork.
Baked ziti is basically an easier-to-make lasagna, so if you’d normally take a lasagna but don’t have the time to build one, this casserole will fulfill the same need for pasta, meat, sauce, and gooey cheese.
Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake
Consider this casserole a jazzed-up mac-n-cheese. The sauce is full of seasonings, cream, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Combine it with cooked fusilli pasta and diced ham (go ahead and use leftovers from a baked ham) and bake in the oven until it’s hot and bubbly. Make sure to mention in the heating instructions that adding a little milk when reheating can help loosen up the sauce.
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Traditional shepherd’s pie contains lamb, but this version was created for vegetarians to enjoy the savory filling and thick mashed potato topping. It’s full of carrots, mushrooms, green beans, peas, and onions all in a sauce you make with vegetable stock. It’s a comforting meal anyone would appreciate.
This casserole has Hamburger Helper vibes, but it’s made from scratch and tastes better. Combine seasoned, cooked ground beef, cooked elbow pasta, tomatoes, cream, and cheese in a casserole. Bake. Yum.
Beef Enchilada Casserole
This comforting, family-friendly Tex-Mex casserole is delicious and a little easier to make than traditional enchiladas. Instead of rolling individual enchiladas, dip corn tortillas in enchilada sauce (homemade or store-bought) and layer with seasoned beef, black beans, and cheese.
Baked Blueberry French Toast Casserole
Switch things up and take a breakfast casserole. This French toast casserole is crispy on the top, custardy inside, and studded with blueberries throughout. Slices are easy to heat up in the microwave, making it easy for your recipients to feast on for a couple of days.
Zucchini Breakfast Casserole
This savory strata-like casserole is meant for breakfast but would make a welcome lunch or dinner. It’s has eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, tomatoes, and zucchini mixed with day-old bread. It’s a welcome dish in the summer when tomatoes and zucchini are at their best.
Chicken and Rice Casserole
This chicken and rice casserole is made from scratch—no canned cream of soups here! Flavorful chicken thighs, rice, and mushrooms mingle with a sauce made of stock, cream, sour cream, and herbs. It’s basically a comforting hug to bring to your friends and family.
Chicken Noodle Casserole
All of the things that make chicken noodle soup one of the best comfort foods ever are also in this super creamy casserole. Egg noodles, chunks of chicken, veggies, and chicken broth are in there, but so are milk, cheese, sour cream, and chopped jar pimento. Go ahead and use rotisserie chicken in here to make it easy on yourself.
Walking Taco Casserole
Take a bag of Fritos and dump taco meat, cheese, and sour cream inside, and you have a walking taco. It’s delicious and it’s the inspiration for this non-portable walking taco casserole. Ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, and pinto beans are the bottom layer. Cheddar cheese and Fritos make the top layer. Kids especially will love this dish.
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Bread, cheese, tomatoes, ham, eggs, and milk combine to make a dish that’s a savory bread pudding, breakfast strata, and casserole mash-up. It’s simple to make, super tasty, and a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner dish.
Chili Mac and Cheese
You could drop off chili. You could drop off mac and cheese. Or you could combine the two in this not-too-spicy, family-friendly casserole. It starts on the stove so between steps 5 and 6 (before adding the toasted breadcrumbs), transfer it to the casserole dish you’ll deliver. If you want to let the grownups spice it up a little, add a bottle of hot sauce with your delivery.
Potato and Sausage Casserole
This one is great for taking to a large family. Mix mashed potatoes, spinach, onions, garlic, and cooked Italian sausage with a creamy, cheesy (Gruyere or Swiss) sauce and bake. It’s easy, tasty, and oh-so-comforting.
Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Casserole
This vegetarian strata-like casserole has mushrooms and Brussels sprouts, sourdough bread, and goat cheese. It starts on the stovetop in a skillet that’s supposed to then go in the oven. But if you put the skillet ingredients in a disposable 9×13-inch casserole dish between steps 5 and 6 (before you add the custard to the bread), you can finish it off in the oven.
Cheesy Tortellini Casserole
This quick casserole has a lasagna vibe with a lot less work. It starts with boiled tortellini and a sauce made with mushrooms, greens, garlic, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Top it all with mozzarella and Parmesan before baking. From start to finish, this casserole takes one hour versus the two hours it takes for a lasagna.