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Our 15 Best Retro Dinner Casseroles

The comfort and convenience of these casseroles is timeless.

<p>Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm</p>

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Just for fun, a number of years ago I decided to spend a week cooking only dinners from Betty Crocker's New Good and Easy Cookbook, published in 1962. This meant casseroles, lots and lots of casseroles containing everything from ground beef to sliced hot dogs.

And guess what? My husband and I generally loved it. Casseroles put on no airs and provide comfort at the end of the day, plus potentially leftovers at the end of the meal. They're also convenient, which is what midcentury home cooks wanted. It's what I want in 2023.

Plenty of casseroles from back in the day are best left exactly that—back in the day (Good and Easy cookbook's tuna puff, for example). But the casserole recipes I'm sharing below are all winners, and all older than me. How old is that? Let's just say I still call hashtags pound signs.

I promise none of them calls for sliced hot dogs, but you'd not be remiss adding them to a few recipes if you felt like it. Improvisation is all in the spirit of a good casserole, after all.

Cheeseburger Casserole

<p>Simply Recipes / Dude that Cookz</p>

Simply Recipes / Dude that Cookz

For a dinner with all the things—macaroni, ground beef, and cheddar cheese—this reader favorite totally delivers. Look out, Hamburger Helper!

Get Recipe: Cheeseburger Casserole

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Elise Bauer
Elise Bauer

Here's a dinner party casserole that's totally retro-classy. Our founder, Elise Bauer, set out to duplicate Campbell's chicken and mushroom casserole, but from scratch. And it's seriously in its own stratosphere. Sour cream, dry sherry, fresh herbs, and sautéed mushrooms lend it an air of a very grown-up soirée. Serve it with a green salad, and you have a predictably crowd-pleasing hit for entertaining company.

Get Recipe: Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Sally Vargas
Sally Vargas

I grew up eating lots of casseroles like this in the basement fellowship hall of the church that my parents still attend to this day. At community meals and youth group meetings the fare there hasn't changed much. If you're going to show up at a potluck, this creamy casserole made filling with shredded chicken is always a good bet.

Get Recipe: Chicken Noodle Casserole

Jimmy Dean Sausage Casserole

Elise Bauer
Elise Bauer

This hearty breakfast casserole is based on the recipe found for years on packages of Jimmy Dean sausage. My family kicked off many a Christmas morning with this beauty, but it makes a fine dinner any time of year. You can assemble it ahead of time and add whatever vegetables and cheese you have handy in the fridge.

Get Recipe: Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

<p>Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera</p>

Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

I'm 100 percent positive that I ate chicken enchilada casserole for years before I consumed a single true enchilada. It's all the flavors and ingredients with a much easier assembly. No wonder my working mom used this as a weeknight go-to.

Get Recipe: Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Nick Evans | Art Banner Credit: Andy Christensen
Nick Evans | Art Banner Credit: Andy Christensen

Technically this would be a side dish, but not if I'm at your house when you serve it. My plate will have nothing but mounds of cheesy potato casserole and maybe a token broccoli floret. My mom made hers with canned cream of mushroom soup, but this recipe includes a from-scratch cream sauce. You still enjoy the convenience of frozen hash browns, so it's win-win!

Get Recipe: Cheesy Potato Casserole

Reuben Casserole

Alison Bickel
Alison Bickel

Reuben sandwiches are not light affairs, and neither is this filling casserole that easily delivers Reuben flavors to a crowd. It takes all the elements of a Reuben (corned beef, Swiss cheese, kraut, and Thousand Island dressing) and uses cubed rye bread as the foundation.

Get Recipe: Reuben Casserole

Mexican Lasagna

Elise Bauer
Elise Bauer

May we apologize to the entire countries of Mexico and Italy for the utterly fanciful name of this cultural mashup that's more American than anything else? Taco lasagna is another of its aliases. But layering taco-seasoned ground beef and cheddar cheese with tostadas or broken-up hard taco shells is a formula for a meal that'll get everyone at the table lickety-split, with no reminders or cajoling necessary.

Get Recipe: Mexican Lasagna

Tuna Noodle Casserole

<p>Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe</p>

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

We have not one, but two tuna casseroles for your dining pleasure. One is made from scratch; the other uses canned condensed cream of mushroom soup. Either way, be sure to pile those potato chips on top! I recommend Ruffles for the job.

Get Recipe: Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch

Turkey Noodle Casserole

<p>Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe</p>

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Make this a few days after Thanksgiving or any big turkey dinner. Upgrade alert: add some leftover gravy to the bechamel sauce.

Get Recipe: Turkey Noodle Casserole

Johnny Marzetti

<p>Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm</p>

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

This Ohio-bred casserole dates back to at least the 1910's and feeds a large army. Back in high school when we had my crew team of hungry teenagers over for dinner, this is the carb load we all requested. Whether you serve it with red wine or a glass of milk, it makes any dinner an occasion.

Get Recipe: Meet Johnny Marzetti, the Midwestern Pasta Casserole You Want for Dinner

Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Megan Keno
Megan Keno

Homemade crispy onions and a little Parmesan cheese are just a few of the upgrades this green bean casserole benefits from versus its cousin made with convenience products. Our reader Jolee commented, "Add 1/4 cup bacon and it’s even better!"

Get Recipe: Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Turkey Tetrazzini

<p>Simply Recipes / Cambrea Gordon</p>

Simply Recipes / Cambrea Gordon

Turkey Tetrazzini, which originated in a San Francisco restaurant in the early 1900s and is named after an opera singer, is another casserole that's special enough to serve to company. Sherry, Gruyère, and a light grating of nutmeg distinguish it from ordinary weekday fare.

Get Recipe: Turkey Tetrazzini

Beef Noodle Casserole (Talerine)

Elise Bauer
Elise Bauer

Even the image here is retro, as far as food styling goes. It might not be pretty, but this beef noodle casserole is darned tasty. Simply Recipes founder Elise Bauer ate this growing up on nights when her grandmother cooked. With ground beef, egg noodles, black olives, corn, mushrooms, and shredded cheddar cheese, it also goes by the name talerine. Says Elise, "It may sound like an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of recipe, or a midwestern version of tamale pie, but wow is it good!"

Get Recipe: Beef Noodle Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows

Sally Vargas
Sally Vargas

Only in America would you find something this exquisitely sweet served at a dinner table. Love it or hate it, this casserole is iconic, particularly around the holidays. For the rest of the year, get creative and try it with pork chops.

Get Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows

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