Last Updated: September 13, 2022

Define Casserole: What Is a Casserole Exactly?

what is a casserole

I love casserole. During major holidays, my mother makes casserole dishes for us. Even we demand to eat casserole on normal weekdays as well. 

However, one can easily get confused about casserole and think about whether it’s a utensil name or the name of a recipe/dish. If you are one of those people, read the article till the end and get your answer.

 What Is a Casserole?

Basically, a casserole is a synonym for saucepan in French. Anything that is cooked in a casserole is known as a casserole dish or simply “casserole.”

Casserole is originally a French word, and it refers to a broad, deep dish that chefs use to cook and bake foods that becomes double in size later. 

Casserole Definition

To define casserole, we find these-

A casserole is a dish in which food may be cooked, baked, and served. In other words, a casserole is a deep, round dish made from porcelain with a handle that is used to heat substances. 

Casserole actually refers to dishes that are prepared in a casserole pot. It is normally baked in the oven. Casseroles can have layers, and they can be both veg casserole and non-veg casserole. 

Different Types of Casseroles

  1. Hamburger Casserole
  2. Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
  3. Chicken & Veggie Casserole
  4. Enchilada Casserole
  5. Tuna Noodle Casserole

History of Casserole

Let’s rewind the history of casserole. The word casserole came earlier than the classic French dish cassa. Casserole originally became famous in America during the 50s and 60s. In recent years, it has undergone more modification and has gone through a revival. But the root of the casserole is still the same.

What’s in a Casserole

Normally, casseroles contain non-veg items like fish, beef, mutton, and chicken and also contain a variety of vegetables. You will also need to add pasta, potato, rice, and flour to bind the whole dish together and make it tasty and sliceable. 

The casserole is cooked open in the oven, and chefs use liquid ingredients like water, meat stock, wine, or milk so that the dish does not go dry. A casserole is tasty to eat, but it often contains fat components and takes a long time to be ready to serve. 

In the U.S, a casserole is made with three main ingredients- meat( chicken, beef, and mutton) or fish (tuna) or bean or tofu, vegetables (green beans or peas), and starch or flour for binding. 

 

Can You Freeze a Casserole? 

Yes, you can freeze casserole. Frozen casserole normally lasts for 2- 4 weeks in the freezer. Use a casserole pot or wide tray to freeze the casserole and wrap it with aluminum foil to lock the moisture inside. Later, you can serve it to your family dinner or to your guests. 

 

What Is the Difference Between a Casserole and a Stew?

  1. A stew is a kind of thick soup, but a casserole is a baked fluffy dish. 
  2. Normally, casseroles are cooked in the oven. On the other hand, stews are made on the stove using a hot burner.

 Is Lasagna a Casserole? 

Yes. Lasagna is originally made from pasta. It is a pasta-based one-pot dish. It is typically baked in a casserole pot in the oven. In that sense, lasagna is a casserole dish. 

How is Lasagna Made?

Lasagna is mainly an Italian dish. To make traditional pasta, we need-

  • Pasta
  • Ground beef
  • Starch
  • Herbs
  • Red wine or vinegar
  • Bechamel sauce

Use a baking tray and cover it with lasagna sheets. To make lasagna, we have to place a thin layer of cooked pasta at the beginning and then cover it with cooked ground beef. Then add bechamel sauce at the top. Now, bake it for 50- 60 mins at low-medium heat in the oven. 

Casserole vs Hot Dish 

According to Urban Dictionary, a hot dish is a food item that contains creamy soup, vegetables, starch, noodles, potatoes, and meat. But a casserole is a pasta dish, normally baked in an oven using a casserole pot. 

In the U.S.A., both casserole and hot dish become a staple food. They are mainly served in family reunions, get-together parties, Easter, potlucks, and funerals. They can be served as a main dish or a side dish with beer. 

FAQ

Is casserole healthy?

Yes. Since casserole contains both veg and non-veg ingredients, it is good for health.

How much time does the casserole take to be ready? 

Casserole normally takes 2- 2.5 hours to be completely ready. 

Is a cake a casserole?

No, a cake is a baked item but not a casserole. 

Wrapping Up

Casserole dishes are very simple and quick to prepare. And the best part is that you can prepare it in advance, which makes it the ideal dinner choice for our busier than ever weeknights.

So pick any casserole recipe that suits your taste buds best and enjoy your time preparing and eating it.

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