Where have all the casseroles gone?

Next week, a good friend of mine is having her hip replaced. Though we’re both staring down the inevitability of our AARP subscriptions, her hip failed at an age where she should be thinking about graduated lenses, not titanium joints.

Given that she is the mother of small children with a husband whose idea of cuisine is a tortilla slathered with refried beans, I thought I’d try to prepare a few frozen meals to help out. Unfortunately, I don’t think my tuna casserole—canned fish, mushroom soup, noodles and cheddar cheese all topped with a crunchy layer of potato chips—will be met with huzzahs from the family.

What do people do nowadays in these situations? What kind of one-dish “melange” can one offer that doesn’t smack of the 1950s?

Your thoughts?

Comments (11) -

November 27. 2007 00:35


How about  coq au vin (chicken in red wine sauce) or chicken tortilla soup or beef burgundy or split pea soup with ham? Both soups are hearty enough to be all-in-one meals. Soupe au pistou is a bean soup with pesto that's delish. Even baked macaroni with 3 cheeses is a twist on an old casserole. And you can make enough for you and Mitch at the same time!!

Susan |

November 27. 2007 00:55


Lasagne!  Who doesn't love it?  

martie |

November 27. 2007 02:02


Baked Ziti.  Turkey Tetrazini (Cut up cooked turkey, cream of mushroom soup, egg noodles, cheese).  Try the Campbells Soup web site -- they have some good one dish meals.  Best wishes on your friend's recovery.

Don't count out Tuna Noodle -- it's still a standby in our house.

Diana |

November 27. 2007 03:03


How funny...I was just saying how much I love casserole and that tuna casserole sounded really good.

I agree with the lasagna suggestion.  Manicotti is good too.

Christie |

November 27. 2007 03:12

Mary Pat

If there are not religious concerns - bake a ham.  It is a good basis for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  

If they like Mexican - a taco casserole.

Don't forget some sweets - those kids would most likely appreciate some cupcakes, cookies, or cake.  On the healthy side bring over some homemade fruit salad.

Mary Pat |

November 27. 2007 03:17


A breakfast strata which is like a lasagna but with a crust on the top instead of noodles and also a chicken and artichoke heart (canned and quartered) bake. Epicurious website (a joint effort of Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines) has a lot of good, free recipes including casseroles. Also, how about a cassoulet? fancy name for white beans, ham or sausage, onion casserole, hehe.
Good look to your friend with her hip.  The early days after surgery can be challenging but once she gets through that she'll be wishing she did the procedure sooner. It's nice to have your life and body back!  all the best...

caroline |

November 27. 2007 03:56


I love tuna casserole -- your recipe is close to mine although I don't usually add the cheese.

Instead of tuna, use chicken breast - there are not ususally any complaints when I serve that! Smile

Cyndilou |

November 27. 2007 04:29


A big pot of soup is never out of order at this time of year!  I love to make a HUGE pot of something chicken-y (I usually just toss in whatever I have, peas, carrots, green beans, butterbeans, or whatever frozen veggies are lurking behind a wall of ice packs and dreaming of something other than being boiled), a can of cream of chicken soup (or cream of chicken and mushroom, or mushroom - but my hubby detests the fungi), maybe a little chicken broth to thin it out, and put it in the crock-pot for the day.  It's the easiest thing I can do...either that, or a big pot of beans.  Check out http://thepioneerwomancooks.com">http://thepioneerwomancooks.com and see her recipe for pintos and cornbread.  It's the perfect dish for a cold and rainy day.  We also make NOLA style red beans and rice.  I'm looking at doing the same thing for a friend who just gave birth to her third (!) child. Smile

Laura |

November 27. 2007 05:34


Chilli freezes well.  I also use the pasta idea, mine is baked rigatoni with sauce with chopped bell peppers and black olives, with cheese ontop.  Freezes and serves up with a frozen loaf of bread really quick and easy.

Pam |

November 27. 2007 16:37


Quiche. You can make it in a deep-dish pie crust from the store and not worry about getting the pie plate back. It freezes well, too.

I've also made a big batch of buttermilk bran muffin batter and delivered it in a ziplock with a package of paper muffin cups. The mix keeps in the fridge for up to a month, and you can cook however many muffins you want in 15 minutes.

You may be surprised how fast your friend is up and about, though. A gal I know was out and about within days. New hip = none of the pain of the old decrepit one.

Kitt |

November 28. 2007 02:01


So what is wrong with Tuna Casserole? Wanna make it fancier? Ad a bit of white wine to the mushroom soup.

There's spaghetti pie too. Always gets rave reviews. Here's the recipe I use:


Beadknitter |

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