The casseroles you grew up on probably consisted of condensed soup, soggy rice or noodles, frozen vegetables, and overcooked meat. Now that you’ve grown up, your casseroles should mature too. Senior food editor Chris Morocco created six recipes that put new twists on classics like pot pie and shepherd’s pie and introduce new contenders into the lineup like chilaquiles casserole and baked rice with short ribs. Unfortunately these casseroles won’t just show up at the table, clean the dishes, and do your laundry like your mom, but they may be your new favorite one-dish dinners.
This is what happens when your chicken pot pie goes on vacation and brings back lots of curry powder, ginger, and soy sauce. Chicken thighs keep juicy after being simmered and baked, and the basic onion, potato, and carrot pot-pie vegetable mix gets an upgrade from delicata squash, green apple, and daikon radish. The most important part of any pot pie is still there: flaky puff pastry crust.
You could eat this decadent lamb ragú on its own straight out of the pot, mixed with pasta, or on top of cheesy polenta. They’re all wonderful ideas, but nothing beats putting mashed potatoes on top of stuff—especially when they get just a little bronzed and crunchy from a blast in the oven.