King Ranch, Sweet Potato, and More Tasty Southern Casseroles

Homemade Corn Pudding Casserole


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Homemade Corn Pudding Casserole

Southern Comforts

The South has a rich — and cheesy — history with casseroles. Americans love baked comfort foods, but no where has the casserole been embraced like it has in the South, where recipes are passed down through the generations. Exactly where specific recipes come from is usually pretty hard to determine, but there are many dishes that you'll find from Texas to the Carolinas. Here are some of the very best Southern casserole recipes, make with everything from sweet potatoes to spaghetti. 

Turkey casserole with broccoli, rice and crumbled crackers
John Hancock Photography/istockphoto

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli, cheese, and rice are all meant to be in a casserole together. You can use frozen broccoli for a weeknight dinner, but fresh will always taste better. The rice is cooked with garlic, onions, and half and half, so it's flavorful and creamy before being mixed into the broccoli and cheddar cheese. A crunchy breadcrumb and parmesan topping is full of butter.

Recipe: Mom On Timeout

Sweet potato casserole dish with topping

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

Marshmallows are a controversial casserole topping, but this recipe solves the problem by covering half the dish in crunchy cornflakes and pecans, and half in marshmallows — then everyone's happy. (The recipe calls for making beautiful stripes of toppings, but you can arrange it however you want.) Vanilla and sugar flavor the mashed sweet potatoes simply to let the toppings shine. 

Recipe: Southern Living

Gluten Free Pineapple Crisp

Pineapple Casserole

Pineapple in a casserole?? Yep, cheese included. You don't see this dish outside of the South much, but it's amazing with baked ham on Easter or Christmas. It's super easy too, since it uses canned pineapple chunks. Cheddar cheese gives it a bit of tang, while the classic buttery Ritz topping adds a crunchy texture.

Recipe: Southern Living

Chicken Tamale Casserole

King Ranch Casserole

Likely named after the massive King Ranch in Texas, this casserole is full of shredded chicken, corn tortillas, cheese, and a creamy onion- and pepper-laced sauce. It's like a Tex-Mex lasagna seasoned with cumin, chili powder, and chipotles, and it's just not the same if it doesn't include cans of Rotel and cream soup.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Related: Delicious Casseroles Our Grandmothers Made

Eating a bowl of Macaroni and Cheese
Poppy seed chicken
ginauf / istockphoto

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Poppy seed chicken is a rich, decadent main course casserole. It's made with cooked diced chicken baked in a sauce of sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and seasonings like garlic and parsley. On top is a thick layer of buttered Ritz crumbs and poppy seeds, which gives the dish its name. Serve it with egg noodles and a simple green salad.

Recipe: Delish

Cornbread and cheese casserole

Jiffy Cornbread Casserole

'Jiffy' in this cornbread casserole's name refers to both the speed at which you can make it and one of the ingredients. It starts with a box of Jiffy cornbread mix, and all you do is mix in a few other ingredients like canned creamed corn, eggs, sour cream, and butter. Pour it in a pan, bake, and you've got a pudding-like side dish. (This is sometimes also called corn casserole.)

Recipe: Insanely Good Recipes

Related: 16 Quick, Easy Side Dishes for Summer Parties

Squash Dressing

Squash Casserole

Is your garden producing way too many yellow summer squash again? Use them up in this classic, creamy squash casserole. Shredded cheddar cheese and Ritz cracker crumbs make a crunchy topping and flavorful addition to the squash. If you've got lots of zucchini, you can use those up, too.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Though spaghetti is in the name, this isn't a tomato sauce dish. Instead, spaghetti noodles are tossed with — what else — a creamy sauce made with cream soup, Rotel, and cheese. Onions, bell peppers, and shredded chicken round it out into a full meal in a dish.

Recipe: My Baking Addiction

Baked Organic Cheesy Tennessee Onions

Tennessee Onions

Onions flavor all kinds of dishes, but it's this Tennessee onion casserole where they finally get the center stage they deserve. Loads of sliced sweet onions like Vidalia are baked with plenty of butter, cheese, and seasonings like thyme and oregano. They caramelize and turn even sweeter, and are best with bread to sop up all the butter.

Recipe: Southern Living

Cheesy Potato Casserole Plated
Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

Grandma's Hash Brown Casserole

This hash brown casserole goes by a lot of other names, including cheesy potatoes and funeral potatoes — and that goes to show just how popular this dish is. It's really fast to put together since it uses frozen hash browns, canned cream of chicken soup, and plenty of cheese and sour cream. Just mix everything together and top it with cornflakes (or your crunchies of choice).

Recipe: Allrecipes

Chicken Pot Pie Dinner

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

Chicken and dumplings as a weeknight meal? It's possible in casserole form with this easy recipe. Frozen vegetables and shredded rotisserie chicken in a creamy sauce make up the filling, while a layer of easy biscuit-like batter is poured on top and bakes up like dumplings.

Recipe: Amanda's Cookin'