Casserole Recipes That Don’t Require a Can of Soup

Baked Mexican Casserole

Baked Mexican Casserole by Marco Verch Professional Photographer (CC BY)

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Baked Mexican Casserole
Baked Mexican Casserole by Marco Verch Professional Photographer (CC BY)

Can It

Want to bypass that can of creamed or condensed soup when it comes to making a casserole? Read on for a selection of recipes ranging from entrees and sides to vegetarian choices that allow you to prepare the classic, crowd-pleasing dish with a lighter (and some might say healthier) touch.

Related: Dump-and-Bake Casseroles You Can Make in Minutes

Creamy Broccoli & Fennel Casserole with Mafalda Pasta & Fontina Cheese
Creamy Broccoli & Fennel Casserole with Mafalda Pasta & Fontina Cheese by sk (CC BY-ND)

Broccoli Casserole Without ‘Cream of Something’

The full title of this recipe shows how many cooks are proud to offer dishes that bypass canned soups in their casseroles. This incarnation of the classic broccoli casserole gets its smooth texture from a homemade cream sauce that features butter, flour, and cream cheese. A crunchy topping of breadcrumbs or crackers adds a textured finish.

Recipe: Food.

Related: Unusual Casseroles That Are Actually Delicious

Top view, homemade casserole with chicken fillet, mushrooms and cheese in glass baking sheet

Hash Brown Casserole (Without Cream Soup)

This traditional breakfast or brunch entrée — or unexpected dinner or side — opts to create its own creamy “soup” thanks to a doctored-up broth that takes just five extra minutes of prep. The dish can be cooked in the oven, crock pot, or even in advance and frozen.

Recipe: Center Cut Cook

Bowl of Meh
Bowl of Meh by Lynn Gardner (CC BY-NC-SA)

No-Soup Tuna Noodle Casserole

Just 45 minutes total gets this classic family fave on the table, a comforting dish on a chilly night that bypasses canned soup for a homemade, creamy sauce based on mayonnaise.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Vegetable Casserole

Authentic King Ranch Chicken Casserole

This regional specialty (shout out to Texans) features layers of chicken, tortillas and cheese. This version of the classic gets its richness from a simple homemade sauce featuring butter, milk, broth, flour and spices.

Recipe: Five Heart Home

Tater tot casserole
Tater tot casserole by rochelle hartman (CC BY)

Skillet Tater Tot Casserole (No Condensed Soup!)

Ground beef offers a substantial base for this dinner dish, while butter, mushrooms, shallots, and yes, tater tots round things out. A sauce based on flour, broth, and milk ties it all together, adding depth of flavor and keeping it gluten-free.

Recipe: Iowa Girl Eats

Enchilada casserole
Enchilada casserole by Shawn Rossi (CC BY)

Easy Mexican Casserole

Spice up a weeknight dinner with this Mexican-inspired casserole featuring beef, beans, tortilla chips, olives, tomatoes, and cheese. Sour cream adds richness, though you can also opt to lighten the proceedings with a low-fat dairy product and ground turkey.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Green bean casserole
Green bean casserole by Anne G (CC BY-NC-SA)

The Best Green Bean Casserole (No Canned Soup)

This spin on the retro holiday favorite steps away from processed ingredients and instead features a creamy, homemade garlic-mushroom sauce built around cream cheese. Of course, its recipe creator didn’t stray too far from tradition, still topping the dish with those beloved crispy onions.

Recipe: Budget Bytes

Roast chicken and rice served with homemade bread. Black background
Roast chicken and rice served with homemade bread. Black background by Marco Verch Professional Photographer (CC BY)

Baked Chicken and Rice Casserole Without Canned Soup

This five-ingredient casserole combines ease of prep with a lower-sodium profile than recipes featuring canned soups. Olive oil, chicken, diced onion, long-grain rice and broth — a homemade bone broth is said to be best — add up to one pleasing meal.

Recipe: This Farm Girl Cooks

Chicken Pasta Bake
Chicken Pasta Bake by Nicole (CC BY-NC)

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

No one will miss any kind of soup in this dish that features ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses along with pureed pumpkin. A “white sauce” featuring sage, stock, nutmeg, and mustard powder helps put this pasta bake over the top. (Meat lovers can also feel free to add sausage.)

Recipe: A Family Feast

Summer Squash Casserole
Summer Squash Casserole by orionpozo (CC BY)

Old-School Squash Casserole Recipe

This Southern specialty, a perennial pleaser at many a “covered-dish” supper, may feature yellow squash as its star but a creamy sauce of cheese, mayonnaise, eggs, and sour cream gives it that authentic appeal of true comfort food.

Recipe: Southern Living

Twice Baked Potato Casserole
Twice Baked Potato Casserole by Colleen Greene (CC BY-NC-SA)

Baked Cheesy Potatoes (No Condensed Soup!)

This recipe features basic ingredients (including diced breakfast potatoes plus crumbled potato chips for the topping), comes together in 10 minutes and gets its creaminess from an easy-to-make roux of butter and flour. We’d say it’s a win-win-win.

Recipe: Midwest Foodie

Baked Mexican Casserole
Baked Mexican Casserole by Marco Verch Professional Photographer (CC BY)

Beef Burrito Casserole

This recipe’s description notes that the combination of rice, beans and salsa always wins. It’s hard to argue with that. This dish can be customized countless ways, so “fill” your burrito any way you like. After all, it’s the dollops of cream cheese that tie it all together to create a creamy experience no matter what else is added.

Recipe: Budget Bytes

Creamy beacon pasta
Vesa Niskanen/istockphoto

Ham Tetrazzini (No Canned Soups)

Anyone with leftover ham during the holidays may want to give this 15-minute recipe a try, as cubed ham is the featured protein. This spaghetti-focused recipe favors organic ingredients but we’re sure “regular” peas, cheddar cheese, half-and-half, and chicken broth will work just as well.

Recipe: Happily Unprocessed

lazy pasta bake
lazy pasta bake by purpletwinkie (CC BY-NC-ND)

Cordon Bleu Casserole (No Cream of Anything)

A creamy Swiss cheese sauce elevates this pasta casserole that’s a fresh take on the time-honored dish featuring ham, chicken, and cheese. Cooking sherry, Dijon mustard, herbs and spices enliven the creamy sauce that ties it all together.

Recipe: Spend With Pennies

Mmm... Chicken noodle soup
Mmm... Chicken noodle soup by jeffreyw (CC BY)

One Pot Turkey Noodle Casserole

This stovetop recipe is said to deliver comfort food in less than 30 minutes, with leftover turkey, egg noodles, and veggies enrobed in a rich sauce that includes broth and heavy cream.

Recipe: Meatloaf and Melodrama

Cheesy chicken casserole
Cheesy chicken casserole by David Kessler (CC BY-SA)

Creamy Sausage Potato Bake

Layers of sliced potatoes are surrounded by ground pork sausage and shredded cheese, all slathered with a basic white sauce of butter, flour, and milk.

Recipe: These Old Cookbooks

Mmm...spaetzle baked with butter, cheese and onions. So comforting!
Mmm...spaetzle baked with butter, cheese and onions. So comforting! by su-lin (CC BY-NC-ND)

Chicken Spaghetti (No ‘Cream of’ Soup)

This family friendly, from-scratch dinner offers a big flavor payoff without much effort. Chicken, peppers, tomatoes, and spaghetti join a sauce boasting cream cheese, broth, milk, and heavy cream for a pleasing entrée. Leftovers, if any, are said to be ideal for lunch the next day.

Recipe: It Starts With Good Food

11 - Spinat zubereiten
11 - Spinat zubereiten by JaBB (CC BY-NC-ND)

Easy Creamed Spinach Casserole

Fresh or frozen spinach offers two options for this steakhouse-style dish turned into a family-friendly casserole equally suitable for a weeknight family dinner or an elegant holiday buffet. Heavy cream, Gruyere cheese, and crème fraiche are featured in a sauce that erases any thought of any kind of canned soup.

Recipe: No Spoon Necessary

Mushroom Rice Casserole

Vegan Mushroom Rice Casserole

This one-pot vegan dish offers quick assembly (15 minutes) along with a rich, savory flavor thanks to several kinds of mushrooms, leeks, herbs, and plenty of garlic. Where’s the richness coming from? Oh, just a little addition called cashew cream sauce.

Recipe: Holy Cow Vegan