Casseroles for company dinners

Casseroles are dishes that you can prepare ahead of time and bake them an hour or so before you plan to serve them. That makes it easy for a person and a casserole with a side salad, veggie you have a meal ready to serve. Depending on the cook and time you have, you can make a dinner simple or elaborate and delicious.

When you try new recipes and they turn out to be a success, then be sure you save the recipe in your file or on your computer to make your life much easier the next time you plan to prepare it.

A few meatless meals and casseroles for you below.

Until next week!

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Italian Eggplant Parmigiana

1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1 14 1/2-ounce can Italian Recipe stewed tomatoes

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

6 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced

Dip eggplant slices into eggs, then bread crumbs; arrange in single layer on baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from heat until brown and tender, about 5 minutes per side. Reduce oven temperature to 350. Place eggplant in 13×9 baking dish. Combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic and basil; pour over eggplant and top with cheese. Cover and bake at 350, 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

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Chili Relleno Casserole

1 1/2 cups 4 cheese Mexican shredded cheese, divided

1 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk

1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute

6 corn tortillas, torn into 2-inch pieces

2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies

1/2 cup mild chunky salsa

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

light or fat free sour cream

Coat 10-inch deep dish pie plate or 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine 1 cup cheese, milk, egg substitute, tortillas, chilies, salsa and salt if desired. Mix well; pour into prepared dish. Bake at 375 for 30-32 minutes or until set. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and cilantro. Return to oven; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and cilantro. Return to oven; bake 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream if desired.

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Wisconsin Swiss Linguine Tart

1/2 cup butter, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

30 thin French bread slices

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

dash nutmeg

2 1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup grated Wisconsin Parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups shredded Wisconsin Baby Swiss cheese, divided

8 ounces fresh linguine, cooked, drained

1/3 cup green onion slices

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed

2 plum tomatoes

Melt 1/4 cup butter. Add garlic; cook 1 minutes. Brush 10-inch pie plate with butter mixture; line bottom and sides with bread, allowing bread to come 1 inch over sides. Brush bread with remaining butter mixture. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside. Melt remaining butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat; add Parmesan cheese. Stir small amount of sauce into eggs; mix well. Stir in remaining sauce. Toss 1 1/4 cups Swiss cheese with linguine, green onions and basil. Pour sauce over linguine mixture; mix well. Pour into crust. Cut each tomato lengthwise into eight slices; place on tart. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup Swiss cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until warm. Let stand 5 minutes.

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Classic Stuffed Shells

1 jar pasta sauce, divided

2 pounds part-skim ricotta cheese

2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 eggs

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 box jumbo shells pasta, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 250. In 13×9 baking pan, evenly spread 1 cup pasta sauce; set aside. In large bowl, combine cheese, eggs, parsley and black pepper. Fill shells with cheese mixture, then arrange in baking pan. Evenly top with remaining sauce. Bake 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbling.

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Cannellini Parmesan Casserole

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 14 1/2-ounce cans onion-and-garlic flavored diced tomatoes, undrained

1 14-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into 1/2-inch squares

2 19-ounce cans white cannellini beans or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add onion, garlic, oregano and pepper; cook and stir 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Increase heat to high. Add tomatoes with juice and red peppers; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in beans; cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil and sprinkle with cheese.

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Ravioli with Homemade Tomato Sauce

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

3 cups seeded, peeled tomatoes, cut into quarters

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons fat-free Italian salad dressing

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 9-ounce package refrigerated reduced-fat cheese ravioli

2 cups shredded spinach leaves

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

To prepare tomato sauce, process garlic in food processor until coarsely chopped. Add basil; process until coarsely chopped. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salad dressing, vinegar and pepper; process using on/off pulsing action, until tomatoes are chopped.

Spray 9-inch square microwaveable dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in dish. Layer half of ravioli and spinach over tomato sauce. Repeat layers with 1 cup tomato sauce and remaining ravioli and spinach. Top with remaining 1 cup of tomato sauce. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1-8 hours. Vent plastic wrap. Microwave at medium power 20 minutes or until pasta is tender and hot. Sprinkle with cheese. Microwave at high 3 minutes or just until cheese melts. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes before serving.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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