Healthy and Delicious Casseroles

These one-dish creations are healthy and delicious
Healthy and Delicious Casseroles
Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book

If you’re looking for more ways to eat super-healthy quinoa you should try this delicious casserole; it combines tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil to imitate the flavors of a classic Caprese salad.

Casseroles have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to health and nutrition. Although they are convenient and delicious, many are loaded with fat, calories, and sodium. You can blame the creamy, canned soups and the cheese and buttery breadcrumbs for that. White rice, white pasta, and white potatoes don't help, either. But before you get rid of your casserole dish in the name of clean eating, consider healthier casserole alternatives; many delicious casseroles can be made with vegetables, whole grains, and lower-fat and lower-calorie sauces.

Click here to see the Healthy and Delicious Casseroles (Slideshow)

One of the easiest ways to make a healthier casserole is to eliminate the simple carbohydrates (carbohydrates that are quickly and easily broken down into energy causing your blood sugar to spike) and replacing them with complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains can help keep blood-sugar levels more stable and, as an added bonus, take longer to digest; that means they keep you fuller longer and can help you eat fewer calories throughout the course of the day. Simple swaps in your casserole ingredients (like replacing the white rice with quinoa, for example) can help you eat healthier.

Another way to improve the nutritional profile of your casseroles is to load them up with vegetables. Vegetables add a ton of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet. And many vegetables benefit from roasting in the oven; roasting vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots helps release their natural sweetness and gives them a truly delicious flavor. If you have a casserole that is covered during the cooking process, try removing the lid just before the casserole is done and allowing the vegetables to caramelized slightly for even more flavor.

If you want to eat healthy and could use a few ideas, why not try a few of our healthy and delicious casserole recipes?

Healthy Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

(Credit: Thinkstock)
Our healthy mac and cheese has fewer calories and less fat than the traditional version without sacrificing the trademark cheesy flavor and hearty satisfaction that the childhood classic brings to the dinner table. Using butternut squash purée as a base creates a creamy consistency and a distinct fall flavor. Make it even healthier by substituting whole-wheat pasta.
Click here for the recipe.

Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole

(Credit: Thinkstock)
This vegetable-loaded dish proves that not all casseroles are heavy, creamy, and cheesy. Eggplant is combined with tomatoes, basil, and a bit of cheese for a sweet and delicious dish.
Click here for the recipe.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.