Fanny packs. Perms. Jello molds. There are certain retro trends that we hope to never see make a comeback. But in our humble opinion, there is one old-school trend that we think should stick around forever: The casserole (or a “hotdish,” for our Midwestern brethren). After all, there is nothing quite as comforting as a creamy, piping hot casserole straight from the oven, just like your mama used to make it. All that cheese! We’re swooning just thinking about it. Plus, one dish means minimal cleanup. It’s a total win-win situation.
In the interest of good health, we’ve lightened up this down-home favorite while preserving all of that cheesy and creamy goodness. Read on for eight “skinny” casseroles that won’t break the calorie bank.
Raise your hand if you love Mexican food! (Oh, you didn’t raise your hand? Awkward). This delightfully healthy casserole has all of your favorite Tex Mex flavors, minus the guilt and post-dinner bloat. Go ahead—have a margarita on the side.
Cheddar and broccoli go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or milk and cookies. Or…well, you get the drift. This lightened-up casserole pumps up the nutrition with extra broccoli, while the luscious homemade cheese sauce has less cheese, light sour cream, and skim milk. The end result is a total crowd pleaser that tastes homey and comforting.
Chicken pot pie is the bomb dot com. This healthier version subs quinoa to cut back on carbs and calories while retaining that same creamy deliciousness you loved as a child.
Think of this as a delicious, low-calorie, low-carb version of eggplant Parmesan. Instead of breaded, fried eggplant, the eggplant is roasted, sliced and layered with a rich and tasty tomato sauce and freshly grated Parmesan, and baked in a hot oven until bubbly.
A lighter taste on an old school steakhouse favorite, this creamed spinach dish uses low-fat Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream for a creamy texture that won’t weigh you down.
Filling and delicious, this one-dish wonder combines whole-grain pasta shells, kale, chicken, and a squeeze of lemon for some brightness. And, of course, plenty of ooey-gooey cheese to top things off—because no meal is complete without cheese! (Can we get an amen?).
Shepherd’s pie is the king of all comfort food. Lighten it up with this healthier take, which subs mashed cauliflowers for mashed potatoes and throws in some extra veggies (including Brussels sprouts!) for good measure. Trust us—you won’t miss the spuds in this hearty casserole.
Your favorite Indian appetizer, now in casserole form. This vegetarian dish combines cauliflower, mashed potatoes, and peas with a variety of fragrant spices for a deeply satisfying, creamy dish that is loaded with fiber. Oh, happy day!