Category Archives: Casseroles

Casseroles, the perfect comfort food

Hayley’s Fave Mac&Cheese

Just about every time I go to stay with Michael and Hayley I get a request to make Mac&Chz! I wrote the recipe out on a bit of paper and tucked it under something I knew would not likely be used before I got back…there was the recipe! But now, for safe keeping, I am going to add it here!

Hayley’s Mac&Chz
12 oz (24oz) Pasta of your choice: elbow, penne, cavatappi
1/2c (1c)  cButter
2/3c (1 1/3c) Flour
1 1/2 (3) litres Milk
400 g (800g) Cheddar Cheese, grated
170g (340g) Strong Cheese, grated – Gruyere, Swiss, Asiago, Parmesan
1 tsp (2tsp) Salt
1/2 tsp (1 tsp) Chili Powder
1 Tbsp (2Tbsp) Djon Mustard
1/2 tsp (1tsp) Garlic Powder

S&P, to taste

2oz (4oz) Grated Cheddar Cheese
1tsp (2 tsp) Chili Powder

Preheat oven to 350F
Lightly spray 9×13 casserole(s) with Veg oil spray; set aside.
12 oz (24 oz) Pasta noodles of your choice

Cook pasta according to package directions.
When cooked to desired doneness, drain and set aside.

In pot used to cook pasta, melt butter over med-low heat, whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.
Add a bit of the milk and whisk until no lumps remain; add a bit more milk, whisking until no lumps remain; add  a bit more milk, whisking in until no lumps remain and heat bubbles begin to form before adding more milk, whisking until no lumps remain and cook until those little heat bubbles appear on the surface of the mixture.
Add remaining milk, and stir frequently until mixture thickens and starts to bubble on top.
(you are going to want to stir quite a bit ensuring the mixture does not stick or start to burn)
Remove from heat and season with djon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper, chili powder stirring until well combined.
Begin to add cheeses, a handful at a time,  whisking until completely melted before adding more. Continue until all of the cheese has been melted into the sauce. If the sauce becomes too cold to melt the cheese, place it over low heat but only briefly, to continue melting the cheese.
Overheating the sauce can cause it to break and become grainy.
Add cooked and drained pasta to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
Pour into prepared casserole(s), top with second amount of grated cheese and season with a sprinkle of chili powder, salt and pepper.
Bake in preheated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Serves 8 (16)

Bean and Pasta Casserole

I was feeling very tired and perhaps a little lazy when I googled “one pot vegetarian meal” and came up with this:
A quick mental check of the pantry assured me I had all the ingredients necessary to make this happen. While the water was boiling for the pasta I had a closer look at the recipe and decided it looked rather bland. While the pasta was cooking I threw in a couple of cloves of sliced garlic;
added spices, spinach and parmesan cheese to the mix and voila! A tasty and satisfying vegetarian casserole.

Bean and Pasta Casserole
Bean and Pasta Casserole

1- 796 ml can Diced Tomatoes
1- 796ml can Crushed Tomatoes
1- 540 ml can Red Kidney Beans
1 cup Skim Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 cloves Garlic, sliced
1/2 Onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons each dried Basil and Oregano
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 cups fresh Spinach Leaves
1 375 g package pasta

Preheat oven to 375F.
Lightly spray a 4l casserole dish with veg oil spray.
In large pot bring salted water to boil; add pasta and cook for 8 minutes.
Drain pasta, rinse and throw back into the pot.
Stir in diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, parmesan cheese, chili flakes, basil, oregano, S&P and chopped onion.
Spoon a third of the pasta mixture into prepared casserole dish, top with a layer of fresh spinach leaves and a third the shredded cheese.
Spoon another third of pasta into casserole, top with remaining spinach and another third of the shredded cheese.
Spoon remaining pasta into casserole, sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake in 375F oven for 40 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Serves 6 – 8

Gardener’s Shepherd Pie

I love that Canadian Living posts dinner ideas. I often click on their suggestion and think “Ah, yea, that would be good!” But invariably I am missing some ingredient or another but tonight I had everything, and more, to come up with this version of Gardener’s Pie. (

Gardener's Shepherd Pie
Comfort food extraordinaire for a cold Winter's night: Gardener's Shepherd Pie

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Carrot, grated
6 medium Mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 Tablespoon dried Basil
1 pkg Yves Ground Round Original
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup Water
1 McCormick’s Vegetable Stock cube
2 Tablespoon Catalina Dressing (or 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste)

Potato Topping
8 Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup Milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Light Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons Butter

Preheat oven to 400F.
Lightly spray a 9X13 casserole dish with vegetable oil spray; set aside.

In medium saucepan cook the potatoes until tender; about 10 – 15 minutes depending on how small or large you cut your potatoes.
Drain potatoes and return to pot.
Mash with milk and butter.
Stir in parmesan cheese and cream cheese.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
Cook onion for about 3 minutes; add garlic and continue cooking for another minute or so.
Add grated carrot, basil, frozen mixed veggies and mushrooms.
Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Add water, Catalina Dressing and vegetable stock cube.
Bring to a boil, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat and continue simmering until the potatoes are ready.

Once potatoes are ready to go, pour the “meat” mixture into prepared pan.
Spread mashed potatoes over top.
Dot with scant dollops of butter.
Bake in 400F oven until hot through, about 20 minutes.
Serve with Salad and Crusty Rolls.

Serves 6