How-To: Step by Step Casserole

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Step by Step Casseroles

Casseroles are usually made with five ingredients:

  • Protein
  • Vegetables
  • Sauce
  • Whole grains
  • Toppings

Choose your own combination and serve a delicious budget-friendly meal.


Use these ingredients to make your casserole:

Protein (1 cup, fully cooked)

Choose one of the following: 

  • Beef (lean) cuts, cubed or ground
  • Chicken, boneless skinless breasts or thighs
  • Ham (low sodium), diced
  • Beans or lentils, canned
  • Tuna, canned or pouch


Vegetables (1 ½ - 2 cups)

Choose one or a combination of the following:

  • Greens (kale or spinach), chopped
  • Mixed vegetables, canned or frozen
  • Zucchini or yellow squash, sliced
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Broccoli, sliced
  • Bell pepper, sliced or diced
  • Carrots or celery, sliced
  • Green beans
  • Onion, sliced or diced



Choose one of the following:

  • Low-sodium cream of soup, such as mushroom, chicken, or tomato (10-ounce) plus ¼ cup nonfat milk
  • Low-sodium diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce can drained, approximately 1 cup) plus ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream


Whole Grains (1 ½ cup, cooked)

Choose one of the following:

  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Instant barley
  • Whole grain couscous
  • Cubed whole wheat bread, (1 cup)


Toppings (1/2 cup)

Choose one of the following:

  • Grated low-fat cheese
  • Bread crumbs 
  • Crushed corn flakes
  • Crushed whole-grain crackers


Try this combination!

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Cook whole grains according to package directions.
  4. Wash fresh vegetables and slice if needed.
  5. Thaw frozen vegetables and drain.
  6. Drain canned ingredients.
  7. Add protein, vegetables, and cooked grains to large bowl.
  8. Add ingredients for sauce.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Stir to combine.
  11. Add ingredients to baking dish.
  12. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of mixture.
  13. Cover baking dish with foil.
  14. Place in oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  15. Remove foil and continue baking for 5 minutes, until top is brown and bubbly.
  16. Serve and enjoy!
  17. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
Various measured ingredients in white bowls to be used in a casserole

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.