Stuff and Nonsense: casserole

Showing posts with label casserole. Show all posts
Showing posts with label casserole. Show all posts


Zucchini Season: Cheesy Zucchini & Ham Bake

A glut of farmer's market and CSA summer squash has had me looking for new easy ways to use it up. I've noodled around with zoodles, but casseroles have really been my go-to. The original version of this particular casserole, "Ham and Zucchini Italiano," can be found in Taste of Home's Simple, Easy, Fast Kitchen which I received in the spring Taste the Seasons subscription box. While I've bookmarked a fair dozen recipes, this is the only one I've managed to make so far and I didn't even follow the recipe very well, so I doubt it counts!

You say zucchini, I say zucchinis. Zucchini. Zucchinis. Courgette!

I threw this dish together at 10 o'clock one night this week when I realized that, while I had nothing left to take for work meals, the pile of zucchinis on the kitchen side clearly meant I had no excuse to live off bagel sandwiches, either. Because it was late and I was tired, I altered the recipe to avoid sautéing the zucchini and dirtying an extra pot. The texture of the ribboned zucchinis, when combined and baked with the rest of the ingredients, was quite pleasant and the whole thing reminded me of a strata ... although, lacking egg and bread, it clearly wasn't a strata.

Whatever it is, I ate it all and am now eyeballing the remaining of the zucchinis.

Cheesy Zucchini & Ham Bake

Yield: 4


  • 3 6-inch zucchini
  • 1 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • 8 oz ultra-thin sliced smoked deli ham
  • 14 oz jar pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Using the wide ribbon blade on your spiralizer, spiralize the zucchini into broad ribbons. Place in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt, and let sit for 20 minutes or so.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°.
  3. Wrap zucchini ribbons in a clean tea towel and mercilessly squeeze until you've gotten out all the liquid or your hands are tired.
  4. Place half of the zucchini ribbons in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt-free Italian seasoning blend. Layer with half of the ham, pizza sauce, and cheese. Repeat layers.
  5. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes or cheese is all melty and golden.


Chipotle Chicken Bake

When it comes to canned chipotle peppers, I feel I'm doing it wrong. Many of the recipes that I've tried which use chipotles usually have instructions that read like "X tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce" but all the cans of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce I see are packed with whole chiles. Sure, I could fish a chile or two out and chop away until I have the right measurement, but what about all the sauce left in the can? And all the other chiles?

No, I pour the can into my stick blender's beaker and then process the peppers and sauce until they've formed a thick puree. I portion the puree out by tablespoons and freeze them until needed. When I later make a recipe that says "X tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce," I just throw in some frozen tablespoons. Yes, the heat and smokiness may be a little more or less than the recipe writer intended, but I've had no disasters so far.

Anyway, this chipotle chicken bake makes for a tasty weeknight supper. You could even assemble it ahead, if you wanted to save yourself some time at the end of the day. I know I sometimes frequently come home from work to find that the recipe that once seemed so doable now seems utterly exhausting. (If you are going to assemble this ahead, you'll need to adjust the cooking time to compensate for the chill of refrigeration).

Chipotle Chicken Bake

Yield: 4


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, well trimmed
  • 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp pureed chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 3 oz red onion, halved and sliced very thin


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Brush a baking dish or large pie plate with a little olive oil or spritz with cooking spray. Nestle chicken in the dish.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor or stick blender, combine chile puree, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper and pulse until a chunky sauce has formed. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover dish and bake 45-60 minutes or until the chicken has reached 165°F.

I served this over cilantro rice (literally, chopped cilantro stirred into hot rice) and sliced avocado. The Husband thought the chicken really good, which pleased me as I worried he'd find it too spicy, but we both agreed it's a very mellow, smoky heat.


Simple Sunday Supper: Enchilada-esque Turkey Things

Sunday, at home all day doing a lot of nothing. Need to make supper, because I feel bad about going out for food when we might be chucking a lot of money at the house soon. (I know The Husband, Mr. Sensible, finds this train of thought annoying -- a couple of suppers out won't effect our ability or inability to pay for house stuff, but the irrational "ohmygodswecannotspendallthemonies" voices in my head say it does and who am I to ignore them? We've had decades more time together, after all).

So, stuff in the kitchen! It must become food! And it did. Pretty good food, actually.

Enchilada-esque Turkey Roll-ups

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 small red onion, minced
2 Tbsp Penzeys Arizona Dreaming seasoning blend
1 14 oz can enchilada sauce
6 flour tortillas
1 oz Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, shredded

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cook turkey and onion in a nonstick skillet until turkey is thoroughly cooked. Stir in seasoning blend.

Divide turkey among tortillas and roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce. Scatter with cheese.

Cover with foil (coat foil with a little cooking spray to keep cheese from sticking) and bake for about 20 minutes or until everything is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Remove foil. Broil until cheese is golden.

(Feeds 2 for supper with enough leftover for some lucky person's lunch the next day).
I served this topped with a mixture of Green Mountain Gringo's roasted garlic salsa and diced cherry tomatoes from my garden.