Cheesy Penne Pasta (with Meatballs!)

Baked Penne Casserole comes together in mere minutes for a quick family meal. Meatballs are combined with penne noodles, pasta sauce and cheese for the perfect weeknight casserole recipe!

Serve this with a side salad and some crusty bread.

A servings of cheesy baked penne with meatballs in a white bowl.

Penne is the perfect shaped pasta for this saucy bake! Round, tubular shapes that hold the sauce and the cheese inside as well as on the outside.

How to Make a Penne Pasta Bake

  1. Bake meatballs in a 9×13 pan according to package instructions (or according to your favorite meatball recipe).
  2. In a pan, saute onion and garlic until fragrant and stir in reamaining sauce ingredients.
  3. Add sauce along with cooked penne to the meatballs (in the same pan… less dishes!) and top with cheese. Bake until heated through.

Garnish with a little parsley and serve with a slice of homemade garlic bread for the perfect meal!

Ingredients for a baked penne topped with parsley in a casserole dish

Variations

PENNE

    • Any medium pasta will work in this recipe. Shells, rotini or even ziti.

MEATBALLS

    • Use store bought or homemade meatballs.
    • Swap out the meatballs for leftover pieces of meatloaf or leftover hamburger patties.
    • Instead of meatballs, create a meat sauce with ground beef or turkey.
    • Swap out beef meatballs for turkey meatballs.

SAUCE

    • Use store bought sauce or homemade marinara.
    • Use leftover spaghetti sauce.
    • Add shredded or chopped veggies to the sauce to stretch the meal (and for added nutrition).

A pan of baked penne with meatballs ready to serve

Got Leftovers?

Cheesy baked penne pasta makes for perfect leftovers! Simply store leftovers in a container that can be sealed and place in the fridge. Better yet, store leftovers in small freezer containers or plastic bags and grab-and-go for a quick lunch at the desk or a quick bite after school!

To reheat, just put in the microwave. Give it a stir and refresh the flavors with sprinkle of cheese!

 

More Baked Pasta Faves

Cheesy Baked Penne

Penne pasta and meatballs in a tomato sauce, topped with mozza cheese and baked until bubbly!

  • 12 oz penne pasta* (cooked al dente)
  • 1 lb prepared meatballs (or recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 24 oz marinara sauce (or pasta sauce)
  • 14 oz diced fire roasted tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place meatballs in a 9×13 pan and bake 20 minutes (or according to recipe or package directions).
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes or until softened.

  4. Remove the meatballs from the oven. Drain fat if there is a lot in the bottom, if there is a little bit you can leave it for flavor.

  5. Add cooked penne, and remaining ingredients to the 9×13 pan with the meatballs. Stir to combine.

  6. Top with cheese and bake an additional 20 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with parsley if desired.

To Make Homemade Meatballs combine the ingredients below. Roll into 24 meatballs and bake at 375°F for 20 to 22 minutes or until cooked through. 

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons parsley

A scoop being taken out of a cheesy baked penne casserole.
A servings of cheesy baked penne with meatballs in a white bowl.
Top photo - A scoop being taken out of a cheesy baked penne casserole. Bottom photo - cheesy baked penne ingredients in a white casserole dish.

Vegetarian Enchiladas with Butternut Squash and Black Beans

Easy vegetarian enchiladas made with butternut squash and black beans, smothered with enchilada sauce and cheese, then baked in the oven. A delicious recipe that’s perfect for meatless Mondays!

Easy vegetarian enchiladas made with butternut squash and black beans, smothered with enchilada sauce and cheese, then baked in the oven. A delicious recipe that's perfect for meatless Mondays!
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Butternut squash, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro and spices are simmered in a skillet with green chilies and jalapeno. Then, wrapped in tortillas and baked in the oven with enchilada sauce and cheese. These vegetarian enchiladas are delicious and perfect for meatless Mondays, or any day of the week! Serve them with cilantro lime rice and enjoy!

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Breakfast Strata with Sausage and Mushrooms

Breakfast Strata with Sausage and Mushrooms is a make-ahead breakfast casserole made with day old bread, eggs, cheese, sausage and mushrooms.

Breakfast Sausage and Mushroom Strata, a make-ahead breakfast casserole made with day old bread, eggs, cheese, sausage and mushrooms. You can make this with just about anything, just use your imagination!
Breakfast Sausage and Mushroom Strata

You can make this with just about anything, just use your imagination! More great holiday breakfast and brunch ideas and sides are Spinach, Feta and Artichoke Breakfast Bake, Sausage Cheese and Veggie Egg Bake, Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole, Scalloped Potato Gratin, and Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta.
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Easy Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

A Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole is perfect when you need to feed a crowd first thing in the morning. Eggs, sausage and hashbrowns are layered in a casserole dish, topped with cheese and baked to a gooey golden brown.

Serve with a fresh fruit salad (or fruit kabobs for easy serving) and keep the coffee coming (or mimosas)! The day will start off right with this delicious, no-fuss breakfast casserole.

Breakfast casserole cut and ready to serve

Variations

Hashbrowns I use shredded but any hash browns will work in this recipe, or even leftover home fries or roasted potatoes!

Sausage The sky’s the limit for this recipe. Use cooked (or smoked) sausage of any kind. Swap it out for turkey sausage, ham, bacon or even leftover ground beef from last night’s tacos!

Veggies I add peppers to this casserole but add whatever veggies you have on hand. Mushrooms (cook them first so they don’t get watery), asparagus or even steamed broccoli are great.

This recipe is very forgiving, and you can alter according to your preference or what you have on hand. It will accommodate leftover meats, veggies and cheeses of all kinds. Just chop or shred and toss them into the mix.

 

ingredients for a breakfast casserole on a cutting board

How to Make Breakfast Casserole

Frozen hash browns make this breakfast casserole is super easy to whip up.

  1. Spread thawed shredded hash browns in the bottom of a casserole pan.
  2. Add in cheese, meat and vegetables.
  3. Pour egg and milk mixture on top (per recipe below).

egg mixture in a bowl with a whisk next to a breakfast casserole in a dish

To Bake or Make Ahead

Cook it now or refrigerate overnight At this point you can either bake the casserole and serve or you can cover and refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning.

Bake Now Simply pour the egg mixture overtop and bake. Unlike a strata or french toast type recipe, you do not need to wait as there is no bread to soak up the mixture. So just make and bake.

Bake Later Cover the mixture tightly and refrigerate up to 48 hours. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking (while preheating the oven).

How Long to Bake

This bakes at 350°F for 55-65 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If you’ve let it sit overnight, it may need a few extra minutes if it’s still quite chilled from the fridge.

breakfast casserole ingredients in a dish

 

What About the Leftovers?

Just like egg muffins, leftovers are perfect for busy weekday mornings.

Fridge  They’ll keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or the oven.

Freezer Can you freeze breakfast casserole? Yes, you sure can! This will last in the freezer up to four months. Wrap individual and store in freezer bags. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or the oven

Easy Make Ahead Breakfasts

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole is is a complete meal in one dish. Eggs, hash browns, sausage (or ham) and loads of cheddar cheese make the perfect meal!

  • 20 oz shredded hash browns (thawed)
  • 1 lb sausage (cooked, crumbled and drained)
  • 1/4 cup onion (finely diced)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 can evaporated milk (12 oz, or 1 1/3 cups milk)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (if baking immediately).
  2. Brown sausage and drain fat.
  3. Combine eggs, evaporated milk, salt & pepper in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Set aside 1/2 cup cheese for the topping.

  5. Place remaining ingredients in a 9×13 baking pan. Pour egg mixture over the mixture and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight if desired.
  7. Bake 55-65 minutes or until cooked through.

If casserole is refrigerated overnight, remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking. It may require an extra 10-15 minutes cook time.

Evaporated milk can be substituted with 1 1/3 cups milk.

Breakfast Casserole with Spinach and Feta

This easy Breakfast Casserole recipe is made with eggs, spinach, tomatoes and Feta cheese and only takes a few minutes to whip up. You can make it ahead of time, so it’s the perfect breakfast egg casserole for Christmas morning or any day!

This easy Breakfast Casserole recipe is made with eggs, spinach, tomatoes and Feta cheese and only takes a few minutes to whip up. You can make it ahead of time, so it’s the perfect breakfast egg casserole for Christmas morning or any day!
Breakfast Casserole with Spinach and Feta

My husband Tommy claimed this to be the BEST breakfast casserole recipe he’s ever tasted. In fact, he loved it so much he reheated the leftovers the next morning! What he loved most was the texture of the eggs. They are fluffy and light – almost custard-like thanks to adding a little heavy cream. I’m not a fan of spongy eggs and love the texture of this crustless quiche, so I took inspiration from that recipe.

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The Best Breakfast Casserole

The Best Breakfast Casserole is a thick and creamy egg base with shredded potatoes, chunks of ham and flavorful cheese blends that bakes up in no time. Make ahead or enjoy the morning of during the holidays!

Breakfast for the holidays is a favorite for us! If you love breakfast casseroles as much as I do try this Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole, Overnight Breakfast Casserole or Overnight Cinnamon Apple French Toast Casserole.

breakfast casserole in a dish baked

Breakfast Casserole

A delicious and hearty breakfast casserole that is the BEST that you will make!

When I tell you that this is the BEST breakfast casserole it is no joke.

I have made a few breakfast casseroles in my day and this one became an instant favorite!

I especially love this casserole because it is so hearty and full of wonderful breakfast goodness.

It is a classic breakfast casserole with amazing flavor.

It has hash browns packed right inside which is my favorite part.

Simple ingredients for a simple egg base that is exploding with flavor.

Your family will love this easy breakfast casserole this holiday season.

It is perfect for baking ahead of time or making it the morning of.

This breakfast casserole is sure to please your entire family this holiday season!

What you need to make a breakfast casserole

This breakfast is perfect any time of the year but great for Christmas!

Simple and easy recipe that bakes up perfectly and can feed a crowd.

All the right ingredients that are simple and comes together quickly.

It is packed and loaded with all the favors you will love.

You take everything out the night before and throw it in the oven in the morning.

It can feed a lot of people which is awesome.

I have our traditional Sticky buns on the menu for Christmas along with this amazing casserole.

When I made it last week for my hubby, we couldn’t seem to get enough of it!

Luckily it makes a big casserole and is enough to feed a small army!

Try it out for yourself!  You will agree that it is amazing!

  • Shredded potatoes: frozen and they do not need to be thawed.
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
  • Eggs: whisked together
  • Half and half: adds creamy texture and thickness.
  • Season salt: more flavoring
  • Cheddar cheese: grated
  • Pepper jack cheese: grated
  • Ham: chopped to your liking. I prefer thicker pieces but go as little as you would like.

process photos of steps being taken to make breakfast casserole

How to make a breakfast casserole

This breakfast casserole is the BEST for so many reasons.

One of which, is how simple this breakfast casserole recipe comes together quickly and is in the oven in minutes.

There is not a lot of planning and prepping for this breakfast casserole recipe.

It makes it simple and easy to throw together and place in the oven to bake.

Make this ahead of time and when ready to bake simply take out of the refrigerator and bake.

This tried and true breakfast casserole is so simple and everyone loves the blended flavoring.

Try the BEST breakfast casserole with your family this holiday season!

  • Prepare pan and add ingredients: Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Add the frozen and shredded potatoes to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk eggs: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together.
  • Add remaining ingredients: Then add half and half, season salt, cheddar cheese, pepper jack, and chopped ham.
  • Pour into pan and refrigerate: Pour over the top of the frozen potatoes. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Bake your breakfast casserole: Bake covered in foil at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

What to serve with a breakfast casserole

Make this a complete meal by adding a little extra on the side.

This breakfast casserole recipe has all the greatness inside it and can be a great breakfast all by itself.

If you are looking for a more complete meal, add sides that will make this breakfast casserole recipe more complete.

With these extra sides, this breakfast casserole will be one amazing meal all together.

Here are some ideas of what can go along with this breakfast casserole recipe during the holiday season.

breakfast casserole baked in a pan

Variations of breakfast casserole

There are so many fun things to add into the breakfast casserole to make it even more better and flavorful.

Switch ingredients around or add in new ones that you prefer for your family.

This breakfast casserole recipe continues to get better and better. That is why it is the BEST!

There are so many options with this breakfast casserole recipe that it makes it so fun to make often.

Make this Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole by substituting the frozen hash browns for a layer of frozen tater tots.

Adding and substituting ingredients makes this breakfast casserole better every time you make it.

Try some of these fun variations in this breakfast casserole and find what you enjoy best!

  • Vegetables: bell peppers, spinach or kale, tomato (fresh or canned), broccoli, mushrooms or onions are great add ins.
  • Meat: bacon, variations of sausage, shredded chicken, ground beef or left over turkey.
  • Cream: not a fan of half and half, you can use whipping cream for a thicker, richer breakfast casserole or simply use milk that you have on hand.
  • Cheese: Swiss cheese, Colby jack or mozzarella work well and melt perfectly in this breakfast casserole.
  • Spicy: red pepper flakes, green chilies or green onions are fun way to add a little heat to your breakfast casserole recipe.
  • Potatoes: rather than shredded potatoes, diced or flavorful frozen potatoes will work great in this breakfast casserole.

Tips for making the breakfast casserole

Here are some tips for making this breakfast casserole even better and easier on you.

This recipe is fun to make different variations, make ahead or even the morning of.

There are so many great things that make this breakfast casserole the BEST!

These tips will help you better understand how to bake this breakfast casserole for you to enjoy with your family.

  • Covering the breakfast casserole: Make sure to cover your breakfast casserole when baking. With 10 to 15 minutes remaining, cook uncovered if you prefer for that crisp crust on top.
  • Keep your potatoes frozen: No, there is no need to thaw the potatoes. They will cook frozen.
  • How to know when the best breakfast casserole is done: once the outside edges become golden brown and the egg mixture in the middle is firm ( check by rocking the pan). Use a toothpick or knife to check if it is completely cooked through. You can also use a thermometer to check to see if the breakfast casserole has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Drain grease: if you are using any other meat in the breakfast casserole, be sure to drain the meat prior to adding it in the breakfast casserole dish.
  • Gluten free: make this gluten free by keeping with this breakfast casserole recipe. Check your labels on other ingredients to make sure.

A slice of breakfast casserole.

Storing the best breakfast casserole

Make this ahead of time the night before or morning of, this breakfast casserole recipe is sure to please!

It makes it perfect for storing for the busy Christmas morning breakfast or weekend breakfast that you want to sleep in and wake up to it baking.

This is just another reason why this breakfast casserole recipe is the BEST or the BEST!

So many options and plans for this breakfast casserole to make your holiday mornings even easier and better.

  • Making the best breakfast casserole ahead: Simply follow the instructions until you are ready to bake. Cover with aluminum foil or lid and place in your refrigerator. When you are ready to bake, simply take it out of the refrigerator and bake it according to the instructions. This will sit in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Can you freeze breakfast casserole? Yes, this is perfect for freezing. Make and bake your breakfast casserole. Once it has completely cooled down, place in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Lay flat in your freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to warm up, place on baking sheet frozen and bake until warmed through about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Warming up breakfast casserole: To reheat breakfast casserole add it to the microwave or covered in the oven. Checking it occasionally until it has been warmed through.

More delicious breakfast recipes

A slice of breakfast casserole on a plate.

 

The Best Breakfast Casserole

The Best Breakfast Casserole is a thick and creamy egg base with shredded potatoes, chunks of ham and flavorful cheese blends that bakes up in no time. Make ahead or enjoy the morning of during the holidays!

  • 24 ounces frozen shredded potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon season salt
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese (grated)
  • 2 cup chopped ham (Or your preferred meat, sausage would also be great)
  1. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Add the frozen and shredded potatoes to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together. Then add half and half, season salt, cheddar cheese, pepper jack, and chopped ham.
  3. Pour over the top of the frozen potatoes. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Bake covered in foil at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Updated on December 7, 2019

Original Post on December 22, 2014

Breakfast casserole baked in a casserole dish.

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Chicken Mushroom Casserole {Easy Weeknight Meal!}

Chicken Mushroom Casserole is a perfect weeknight meal and this one is crazy easy to make! This casserole recipe has a delicious combination of mushrooms, chicken, rice and beans with lots parmesan & garlic flavor! 

Chicken Mushroom Casserole garnished with parsley.

I’ve partnered with Zatarain’s® to bring you this belly warming casserole!

How to Make Chicken Mushroom Casserole with Rice

Zatarain’s® Parmesan Garlic Brown Rice with White Beans makes this recipe extra easy peasy. This rice blend has tons of flavor from garlic and parmesan plus great texture with the addition of white beans! The whole thing bakes up easily in the oven, no pre-cooking the rice required!

This rice blend also makes an easy side dish recipe (ready in just 10 minutes) and packed with 9 grams of protein and 11g of fiber. Hearty and healthy!!

Chicken mushroom casserole ingredients laid out.

  1. Season and brown chicken (per recipe below).
  2. Cook mushrooms and onions until tender.
  3. Combine all ingredients in dish and bake.  So easy!

Be sure to let the rice rest a few minutes before serving so it can soak up any liquid. Garnish with fresh herbs (like parsley or basil) and a sprinkle of parmesan.

Water being poured into the chicken mushroom casserole.

Variations

  • Chicken: I use chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs if you’d like. Leftover roast chicken or rotisserie chicken works too (or even leftover turkey)! (This rice also makes a great Chicken Skillet Recipe).
  • Mushrooms: No mushrooms? No problem! Stir fry a little bit of zucchini or even add in some steamed broccoli or leftover roast veggies!
  • Seasonings: I love the addition of Italian seasoning in this recipe. Or skip the additional seasoning since this Zatarain’s® mixture is full of flavor.
  • Toppings: This dish is great topped with cheese or a bread crumb topping. Once the foil is removed, add a handful of shredded mozzarella or even provolone.

What to Serve with Chicken Mushroom Casserole

Nothing pairs better with a casserole than a crisp, green salad, and maybe a few slices of homemade garlic bread! For a heartier offering, a side of roasted green beans or a medley of steamed veggies like broccoli and cauliflower really round out the menu!

A serving of chicken mushroom casserole on a white plate.

Got Leftovers?

Perfect for next day lunches at work or school! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

When you are ready to reheat and eat, simply pop a serving (or more!) into the microwave. Refresh the flavors with a dash of salt and pepper and it will be as good as new!

More Delicious Casserole Dishes

Chicken Mushroom Casserole

This easy casserole is a hearty and delicious dinner option!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 8 oz chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1/2 small onion (diced)
  • 8 oz mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 package Zatarain's® Parmesan Garlic Brown Rice with White Beans
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • parsley and parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 2qt casserole dish.
  2. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt & pepper to taste. Cook chicken in 1 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned (it does not need to be cooked through). Remove from heat and add to casserole dish.

  3. Heat remaining oil in the same pan. Add onions and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add mushroom mixture to casserole dish along with remaining ingredients (except garnish). Stir and cover tightly with foil or a lid. Bake 35 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more.

  5. Rest 5 minutes. Stir, garnish and serve.

This dish is great topped with cheese. Once the foil is removed, add a handful of shredded mozzarella or even provolone.

Top image - a serving of chicken mushroom casserole on a white plate. Bottom image - water being poured on top of the chicken mushroom casserole.

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole is layered with smooth and creamy mashed sweet potatoes sprinkled with brown sugar and a pecan mixture making these irresistible. This is a MUST have, MUST make for the holidays!

Get ready for a life changing moment with this sweet potato casserole recipe. If you love sweet potatoes like us try this Roasted Honey Cinnamon Butter Sweet Potatoes, 3 Ingredient Candied Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Sweet Potatoes or this Sweet Potato Hash.

Best sweet potato casserole

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole

The best sweet potato casserole that has amazing flavor and is perfect for Thanksgiving!

Sweet potatoes are bright, warm and all about fall!

I love the colors they bring out when served and how delicious they smell as they are cooling off.

They are just what you need this holiday season!

One of my favorite side dishes is the sweet potato casserole.

I can’t tell you enough how life changing this sweet potato casserole recipe is.

It is by far the BEST, the VERY BEST sweet potato casserole I have ever had.

I am a food blogger, so you know they have to be that good.

Rich, thick and creamy sweet potatoes in every bite with a brown sugar and chopped pecans over top leaving this a savory and sweet side dish everyone will love!

How many calories are in sweet potato casserole?

When it comes to holidays the calorie count is out the door for me!

I love to enjoy and savor all the good food that I can.

Soak up all the great thanksgiving dinner recipes that are traditional and classic.

With this sweet potato casserole you are able to feed about 12 to 15 people.

Of course, all depending on who is eating your sweet potato casserole and how big their serving is.

This will be about 1/2 cup a serving each and will average about 339 calories per serving.

What you need to make sweet potato casserole

Simple ingredients for a simple and delicious sweet potato casserole.

This is a tried and true favorite that we never miss out on at our holiday dinner.

Your sweet potatoes come together quickly and easily by simply mashing them.

Adding a bit of brown sugar can help add flavoring and sweetness.

This is a one irresistible side dish that is loved by all!

  • Sweet potatoes: soften and mash your sweet potatoes ahead of time.
  • Brown sugar: adds sweetness to the potatoes.
  • Eggs: makes it have a rich and creamy texture.
  • Vanilla: just a dash for extra flavoring.
  • Milk: smooth and creamy texture.
  • Butter: melted and added for a richer flavoring.

Topping:

  • Brown sugar: adds sweetness and a bit of texture.
  • Flour: separates and ensures no clumping with the sugar and pecans.
  • Melted butter: holds everything together and helps bake the topping perfectly.
  • Pecans: chopped and mixed in for a crunchy texture.

How to cook sweet potatoes for a casserole

There are a few ways of cooking sweet potatoes for this sweet potato casserole recipe.

First, you need to soften your sweet potatoes so they are easy to mash.

You can either roast them or boil your sweet potatoes. Both ways will help soften the sweet potatoes.

You can find use my Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe for more help and tips on how to cook sweet potatoes.

To roast the sweet potatoes:

  • Rinse and completely dry the sweet potatoes. Poke the potatoes with a fork about 4 times. 
  • Lay the potatoes on a large baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. 
  • Bake for about 1 hour at 400 degrees. Potatoes should be fork tender.
  • Once done, let the potatoes cool slightly and then remove the skins, they will easily peel off, and this can be done with your fingers. 
  • Give the potatoes a quick chop and add to a large bowl for mashing. 

To boil the sweet potatoes:

  • Peel and chop the potatoes into 1 inch chunks. 
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
  • Add the potatoes and boil for about 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. 
  • Strain the water out and add the potatoes to a large bowl for mashing.

sweet potatoes being mashed in a bowl with a potato masher

How to mash sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be mashed using several methods.

It mainly comes down to preference and what you have on hand.  

Any way will still give it a creamy and smooth texture that will be savory and delicious!

Hand mashing:

Using either of these methods will leave you with a rustic style mash, a mix of creamy potatoes with sweet chunks mixed in. 

  • Fork 
  • Potato Masher

Mashing with appliances:

Using either of these will leave you with epically smooth and creamy mashed sweet potatoes.

  • Mixer
  • Food Processor

How to make sweet potato casserole

Once you have your sweet potatoes ready and mashed together, you are ready to start on your sweet potato casserole.

I love to cook this in my cast iron dish and serve it hot.

This is a sweet and savory sweet potato casserole recipe that I can never get enough of.

Bring this irresistible, life changing sweet potato casserole  to your next holiday meal.

It is a simple recipe that won’t last long!

  • Layer the sweet potato mixture: Prepare a 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, and melted butter. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
  • To make the topping: Combine brown sugar, flour, melted butter and chopped pecans. Sprinkle over the top.
  • Bake and serve: Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until cooked throughout and the top is lightly brown.

sweet potatoes being smoothed and layered into a casserole dish with a wooden spoon

Variations of sweet potato casserole 

I can’t get enough of how perfectly layered this sweet potato casserole is and looks!

From a savory base to a sweet and crunchy top, you can’t go wrong with this sweet potato casserole recipe.

It is the best side dish for the holidays.

Adding or changing the toppings are fun to have a variety or switching it up every year.

With this tried and true sweet potato casserole recipe you will sure please all your friends and family this year.

  • Nuts: not a fan of pecans, try other varying nuts that have a sweet and savory crunch to them or just leave them out if needed. Walnuts or almonds are always a great choice.
  • How to make sweet potato casserole with marshmallows? marshmallows are so fun to use and brown perfectly leaving the top layer beautifully glazed. Simply skip the brown sugar topping and add it with 1 cup of mini marshmallows. You will want to bake this the last 5 minutes. Bake until golden brown!
  • Seasonings: sometimes I like to add in a pinch of pumpkin pie spice or a little cinnamon to add a hint of fall in the sweet potato casserole recipe.

Tips for making sweet potato casserole

This life changing sweet potato casserole is one delicious side dish that won’t last long.

For creamy, silky smooth sweet potatoes use a blender or a hand mixer to puree them as best that you can.

Try marshmallow or other nuts for a few extra varieties and tips how to make them rich and delicious!

You can’t go wrong with this sweet potato casserole recipe.

  • Steam, broil, roast or microwave the sweet potatoes in order to mash them easier.
  • For a silky, smooth sweet potato puree them in a food processor or a hand mixer rather than by hand.
  • Add in marshmallows, nuts or different seasonings for a variety of sweet potato casserole recipes.
  • Get creative and arrange the marshmallows in a decorative pattern.
  • If using marshmallows be sure to add these at the end of baking for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.

sweet potato casserole in a white casserole dish

Storing sweet potato casserole

With the holidays around the corner the more prepared you are the better.

This sweet potato casserole recipe can be made in advanced.

I have made this simple and easy on you for your Thanksgiving day.

Here are the ways to help you store it properly making this the BEST thanksgiving day with this sweet potato casserole on your table.

  • Can you make sweet potato casserole ahead of time? Yes! This recipe is great for making ahead of time. Simply assemble your sweet potato casserole in the casserole dish and cover with wrap or foil. This will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days long.
  • Can you freeze sweet potato casserole: Yes, simply assemble the sweet potato casserole and cover tightly. Place in the freezer for up to 1 month. Do not thaw. Heat in the oven frozen at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or until cooked through and warm.
  • How to store sweet potato casserole: Once your sweet potato casserole is cooled off store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
  • Warming up: When ready to warm up the sweet potato casserole place in the oven or microwave until it is warmed through.

More Thanksgiving recipes to enjoy

baked sweet potato casserole with a wooden spoon

 

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole is layered with smooth and creamy mashed sweet potatoes sprinkled with brown sugar and a pecan mixture making these irresistible. This is a MUST have, MUST make for the holidays!

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Prepare a 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, and melted butter. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
  2. To make the topping: Combine brown sugar, flour, melted butter and chopped pecans. Sprinkle over the top.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until cooked throughout and the top is lightly brown.

Updated on November 14, 2019

Original Post was on November 6, 2014

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken and Rice

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken and Rice is made in one pan with minimal ingredients but is packed with amazing flavor!  Your entire family will love this easy 30 minute meal!

This one pan meal is quick and easy! If you love one pan meals try this One Pan Fajita Chicken and Veggies, One Pan Southwest Blackened Cajun Chicken with Rice with this Red Beans and Rice.

One pan chili lime chicken and rice

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken and Rice

I am OBSESSED with one pan and one pot meals.

The whole idea of making a main dish and a side dish all in one pan without having to worry about separate cooking times, or dirtying up a million bakeware items is kind of genius.

And I’m always looking for simple 30 minute dinners my family will love so anything that can be done in about a half hour is right up my alley.

This dish has SO much flavor packed into it and it only calls for a few ingredients – you can’t be that!

It meets both of my big checklist items: one pan AND ready in about 30 minutes.

And this dish is one you can easily customize by kicking up the spice with some chopped jalapeños, or adding corn and beans to the rice right at the end.

My whole family loves this and I know yours will too!

What you need to make chili lime chicken and rice

  • Chicken: boneless, skinless chicken breast pounded to even thickness
  • Vegetable oil: helps ensure your chicken will not stick to the pan.
  • Chili powder: a little spice.
  • Paprika: some gently added heat.
  • Garlic powder: you can’t have enough garlic.
  • Onion powder: added flavoring.
  • Cayenne pepper: a little bit of spice!
  • Salt and pepper: just to taste.
  • Lime: squeezed lime juice.
  • Cilantro: add for a topping.
  • White rice: I prefer jasmine rice but a long grain rice would be best.
  • Chicken broth: soaks up all the chicken pieces and adds flavoring to the rice and chicken at the end.

How to make chili lime chicken and rice

  • Prepare chicken: Stir together chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Season chicken with half of the seasoning mixture and set remaining seasoning aside.
  • Cook chicken: Drizzle a pan with oil over and bring to medium heat. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from pan.
  • Add rice and chicken broth: Add rice, remaining seasonings, chicken broth, and lime juice to pan and stir to combine. Return chicken to pan on top of the rice. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until liquid is dissolved.
  • Prepare to serve: Fluff the rice with a fork. Top with cilantro and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top. Serve immediately.

Storing one pan chili lime chicken and rice

You can prepare parts of this dish ahead of time!

This recipe is great to even make a meal prep plan with

  • Can you make this ahead of time? Yes, this is a great recipe to make ahead of time.
  • How do you store this one pan meal? Once cooked, let cool completely and store in an air tight container for 5 to 7 days.
  • Can you freeze chili lime chicken and rice? Yes, this is best frozen without the rice. Separate the chicken and the rice. Let cool completely and add your chili lime chicken into a freezer bag and place flat in the freezer. When ready to reheat, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • How do you reheat chili lime chicken and rice? Cook your rice ahead of time or during the reheating process. Add your chicken to a pan and cook on low to medium reheating your chicken. Place on a oven pan and cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until your chicken is cooked through or microwave you chicken in small time increments. This will ensure you do not over cook your chicken,

More delicious one pan meals

one pan chili lime chicken and rice

 

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken & Rice

One Pan Chili Lime Chicken and Rice is made in one pan with minimal ingredients but is packed with amazing flavor! Your entire family will love this easy 30 minute meal!

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • juice of 1 lime (plus additional lime wedges for serving)
  • chopped cilantro for topping
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
  1. Stir together chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Season chicken with half of the seasoning mixture and set remaining seasoning aside.
  2. Drizzle a pan with oil over and bring to medium heat. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from pan.
  3. Add rice, remaining seasonings, chicken broth, and lime juice to pan and stir to combine. Return chicken to pan on top of the rice. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until liquid is dissolved.
  4. Fluff the rice with a fork. Top with cilantro and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top. Serve immediately.

Updated Post on November 13, 2019

Original Post on June 2, 2017

 

 

Pineapple Casserole: Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Wooden spoon scooping into a dish of pineapple casserole.

Pineapple Casserole is a salty-sweet side dish that’s popular in the South and always a hit at pot lucks. It’s made with pineapple, cheddar cheese, salty crackers, and a few other ingredients and takes just 5 minutes to prepare!

If you’re serving up a honey baked ham for the holidays, this pineapple cheese casserole compliments it perfectly. Finish this meal off with a side of cheesy scalloped potatoes and some 30 minute dinner rolls, and I promise, everyone is going to want seconds!

Wooden spoon scooping out a helping of pineapple casserole.

What Is Pineapple Casserole?

This casserole is a popular Southern side dish made with crushed pineapple, pineapple chunks, and cheddar cheese with crackers.

I know, it sounds like a really strange dish, but the flavors work! And I promise if you show up with this dish and a pitcher of Christmas Punch, you’ll be everyone’s favorite person! Really, it’s the best!

How To Make Pineapple Casserole:

This pineapple casserole recipe is as easy as 1, 2, 3! With just a 5-minute prep time and 30 minutes to bake, it’s the perfect last-minute side dish for the holidays!

  1. Filling: Combine ingredients together and transfer to a baking dish. A 9 or 10-inch pie pan will work or a 9×9 or 10×10-inch square dish will work. If you want to double the recipe for a large crowd, use a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Topping: Melt butter in the microwave, then mix crushed crackers until evenly coated.
  3. Combine: Spread the crackers over the top of the pineapple mixture and bake until the crumbs are golden brown.

Ingredients for pineapple casserole in a metal mixing bowl.

Is Pineapple Casserole A Dessert?

Not really, but it could go either way. It does taste like a salty pineapple pie!

For a yummy pineapple dessert, I love serving this easy 3 Ingredient Pineapple Angel Food Cake!

Can Pineapple Casserole Be Made Ahead Of Time?

Yes, it can, but honestly, it’s so easy to prep that I think prepping it ahead is actually harder because there are more steps to take.

If you MUST prep it ahead:

  • Mix together the pineapple filling
  • Transfer it to the baking dish
  • Wrap with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Just before baking, mix together the topping and sprinkle over the pineapple mixture. You don’t want to add the crackers prior or they could get soggy.

Wooden spoon scooping into a dish of pineapple casserole.

Does Pineapple Casserole Need To Be Refrigerated?

Yes. Once baked, it can be left at room temperature for an hour or two and then should be placed in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap or in an air-tight container.

More Delicious Side Dish Recipes

Pineapple Casserole

This casserole is a salty-sweet side dish that's popular in the South and always a hit at pot lucks.

  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 20 ounces pineapple chunks (drained)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)

Topping

  • 1/2 cup salted butter (melted)
  • 40 Ritz crackers (crushed)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, flour, sugar, and cheese. Transfer the mixture to a 9×9 or 10×10-inch baking dish. A 9 or 10-inch pie dish may also be used.

  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter and crushed crackers until evenly coated.

  4. Sprinkle the crackers over the top of the pineapple mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

  • For a larger crowd, double the recipe and bake in a 9×13-inch pan.
  • Granulated sugar may be used instead of light brown sugar.
  • Other butter crackers may be used instead of Ritz, you should have about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of crushed crackers.

Close up of a scoop of pineapple casserole being removed from the casserole dish.
Close up of a scoop of pineapple casserole being removed from the casserole dish.
Top image showing the baked pineapple casserole. Bottom image of all the ingredients in a pot.