Whipping up a casserole is typically a fast, cheap, and convenient solution to get dinner on the table. But they're all too often subjected to nasty, processed foods like cans of cream-of-something soups and shredded, waxy cheese. That's a damn shame, especially when the truth is that casseroles are a great opportunity to combine wholesome, belly-shrinking ingredients! Plus, these dishes can be prepared from leftovers, made ahead of time, easily reheated, and adapted to fit any eating style, craving, or mealtime. So, to level up your casserole game and make healthy happen in a snap, devour our healthy list of healthy casserole recipes below! And for some extra casserole 101, check out these 25 Best Casserole Tips!
POTLUCK CASSEROLE WITH TURKEY AND SQUASH
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 213 calories, 9.1 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 220 mg sodium,16.5 g carbs, 2.6 g fiber, 3.9 g sugar, 18.3 g protein
While we could brag about butternut squash all day—it's got fat burning nutrients and an ability to make you tan—spinach is more than worthy of some ego-stroking, too. As it turns out, Popeye was onto something when he boasted about this leafy vegetable. Spinach contains plant-based omega-3s and disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and folate. Fend off muscular degeneration, heart disease, stroke, obesity and osteoporosis with this hearty casserole dish.
Get the recipe from Weary Chef.
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 319 calories, 12.9 g fat (7.9 g saturated), 108 mg sodium, 42.5 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 35.1 g sugar, 6.5 g protein (calculated without added sugar and dark chocolate)
Oatmeal probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of casserole, but this recipe is so perfect, you'll never second guess it again. And don't sweat the sugar count. As long as you skip the stuff from a bag, the rest comes from natural sources like cancer-squashing blueberries, potassium-rich banana, slimming strawberries, and stress-busting dark chocolate. You're welcome.
Get the recipe from Love Family and Home.
HEALTHY STUFFED PEPPER CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 252 calories, 8.9 g fat (3.8 g saturated), 378 mg sodium, 20.8 g carbs, 4.2 g fiber, 7.6 g sugar, 22.8 g protein
These peppers are stuffed with protein-packed lean ground turkey, antioxidant-rich onion, immunity-boosting crushed tomato, bacteria-fighting garlic and other disease-preventing spices. It's then topped with melted mozzarella cheese, creating a wholesome balance of fat, carbs, and protein.
Get the recipe from Rachel Cooks.
SKINNY CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1.5 cup serving): 430 calories, 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 356 mg sodium, 50 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar, 31 g protein (calculated with no salt added tomato sauce)
Chicken parm: It's cheesy, saucy, crispy….but not exactly nourishing. However, if you're going to indulge, you might as well do so with this recipe, which has got all the flavor for a fraction of the typical caloric cost. For more ways to enjoy your favorite protein, check out these 35 Best-Ever Chicken Recipes for Weight Loss!
Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom.
GREEK TURKEY, RICE, AND FETA CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 269 calories, 9.6 g fat (3.3 g saturated), 417 mg sodium, 27.6 g carbs, 4.2 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 20.4 g protein
While you might be tempted to opt for fat-free feta in this one, consider this: a 2013 European Journal of Nutrition research review found that in 11 of the 16 studies, participants who consumed more high-fat dairy products either weighed less or gained less weight over time than their fat-free counterparts. While health experts have spent decades warning us to steer clear of animal fat, new research begs to differ, arguing that the fatty stuff is more satiating (and thus, we consume less).
Get the recipe from Cookin Canuck.
BBQ CHICKEN CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 313 calories, 5.6 g fat (1 g saturated), 251 mg sodium, 48 g carbs, 7.3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 18.6 g protein (calculated with 1 cup of reduced fat cheese)
BBQ chicken that doesn't require a grill (so you can enjoy it long after the leaves turn colors) and won't leave you feeling like a swollen balloon—what's not to love? However, we have to caution that if you aren't careful, many store-bought BBQ sauces are full of sugar, sodium, and skanky ingredients. Always make sure to check labels before you smother your meat in a potentially saucy nightmare. Completely smitten with BBQ? Check out these 18 Delicious BBQ Chicken Recipes That Won't Ruin Your Diet.
Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
PEPPERONI PIZZA CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 196 calories, 11.3 g fat (3.7 g saturated), 596 mg sodium, 16.1 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 5.1 g sugar, 9 g protein
Instead of splurging on a regular pie, make this instead. While it's super low in calories, carbs, and sugar, and boasts 9 grams of protein, the sodium content isn't one we recommended consuming on the reg. However, you consume nearly double that with just two slices of pizza!
Get the recipe from Closet Cooking.
CHICKEN POT PIE BAKE
Nutrition (per 1 ½ cup serving):258 calories, 5.9 g fat (3.8 g saturated), 268 mg sodium, 29.2 g carbs, 2.2 g fiber, 3.9 g sugar, 20.9 g protein (calculated with greek yogurt in place of sour cream and brown rice)
Chicken Pot Pie may be an American staple, but its nutritional profile isn't exactly weight loss friendly. Aside from chicken and veggies, there's not much to brag about. However, this recipe won't leave you unbuttoning your pants and it comes together in minutes. If you're looking to reduce fat counts, substitute gut-friendly nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Thanks to its tangy flavor, you won't even notice the difference.
Get the recipe from Plain Chicken.
VEGGIE LOADED BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 245 calories, 14 g fat (4.9 g saturated), 398 mg sodium, 17.3 g carbs, 2.9 g fiber, 3.8 g sugar, 14.7 g protein
Hot sauce swag? Yep, this veggie casserole is tricked out in the fiery sauce. And it benefits your waistline, thanks to calorie scorchin' capsaicin—the compound that gives peppers their steamy hot sensation.
Get the recipe from Little Spice Jar.
STUFFED APPLE AND BACON SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 338 calories, 10.1 g fat (5.2 g saturated), 320 mg sodium, 52.5 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 6.4 g sugar, 10.6 g protein
This salty and sweet casserole does more than please your taste buds; it helps you accomplish your body goals. Aside from belly-slimming fiber, the apples in this recipe contain a powerful antioxidant called quercetin, which studies show improves exercise endurance. In fact, according to Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN, a Nashville-based nutritionist and author of Schedule Me Skinny: Plan to Lose Weight and Keep it Off in Just 30 Minutes a Week, "it is thought that quercetin can help to create new mitochondria in the body's cells and increase one's oxidative capacity, which signifies the maximum amount of oxygen your muscles can use." For more fit foods, check out these 25 Best Foods for a Toned Body!
Get the recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.
CHEESY CAPRESE CHICKEN QUINOA CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 ¼ cup serving): 337 calories, 10.5 g fat (4.3 g saturated), 301 mg sodium, 29.2 g carbs, 4.8 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar, 31.1 g protein
Protein plays a key role in weight loss because it wards off hunger. Consuming meals like this Caprese casserole—which dishes up 31 grams of satiating protein per serving— is a sure way of wiggling into those skinny jeans!
Get the recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny.
PALEO TUNA GREEN CHILE ZOODLE CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 288 calories, 10.5 g fat (3.6 g saturated), 236 mg sodium, 18.1 g carbs, 3.7 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 31.8 g protein (calculated without salt)
Tuna salad is usually drenched in partially hydrogenated oil (also known as mayo). This food additive can derail everything from brain power and heart health to sexual function. But ditch the processed mayo and whip up this recipe because tuna is actually a great source of heart-healthy omega-3s that keep away belly fat, as well as essential vitamins and minerals that promote optimal overall health.
Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch.
BAKED SPAGHETTI SQUASH CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 ½ cup serving): 288 calories, 10.5 g fat (3.6 g saturated), 436 mg sodium, 18.1 g carbs, 3.7 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 31.8 g protein
Spaghetti squash is another one of those diet hacks that you never stop turning to once you learn it. Swapping squash for pasta reduces fat, carbs, and calories, and it volumizes your meal, allowing you to consume more food for fewer calories—and who doesn't want that?!
Get the recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny.
HEALTHY SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 416 calories, 17 g fat (6.5 g saturated), 34 mg sodium, 62.5 g carbs, 10.5 g fiber, 2.7 g sugar, 6.3 g protein
There are so many superfoods in this recipe, we don't even know where to start. (Coconut oil, old fashioned oats, sweet potato, cinnamon and more!) A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health back in 1985 proved that a single injection of capric acid (which abounds in coconut oil) resulted in "initially rapid, then a gradual decrease in food consumption and a parallel loss of body weight" in male rats. As mentioned above, MCT's in coconut oil are good for upping your body's energy expenditure and burning calories. Plus, it's great for building muscle!
Get the recipe from Well Plated.
TERIYAKI CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 375 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 410 mg sodium, 56.2 g carbs, 5.3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 23 g protein
Transport your taste buds to Japan with this teriyaki casserole. Boneless chicken breast, brown rice, mixed veggies, and pineapple are tossed in honey and low sodium soy sauce to create a mouthwatering dish that won't sabotage your diet.
Get the recipe from Emily Bites.
CREAMY QUINOA BROCCOLI CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 ½ cup serving): 363 calories, 11.1 g fat (3.4 g saturated), 203 mg sodium, 30.5 g carbs, 3.3 g fiber, 2.9 g sugar, 33.7 g protein (calculated without salt)
Instead of nutrient-void crackers, this recipe is made with the king of grains: quinoa. The superfood's exceptional balance of fiber, protein, and fat make it worthy of its crown—especially for non-meat eaters (because the grain is a complete protein). Not to mention, quinoa recipes provide your body with a plethora of benefits like calcium, iron, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats.
Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.
TEX MEX SPIRALIZED SWEET POTATO CHICKEN CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 1 ½ cup serving ): 363 calories, 16.2 g fat (6.1 g saturated), 399 mg sodium, 28.3 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 5.1 g sugar, 26.4 g protein (calculated without salt)
Spiralizers have transformed the world of health foodies world. With one simple tool, you can boost the nutritional profile, lower carb counts, ditch gluten, and/or veganize any meal. If you've never had the pleasure of using the fun gadget, here's your chance! This recipe transforms waist-whittling sweet potatoes into noodles and is packed with one food health experts claim you should eat every day—black beans. The tiny magic bullets have been shown to literally make you smarter, thanks anthocyanins or antioxidant compounds that boost cognitive functioning.
Get the recipe from Gimme Delicious.
PUMPKIN FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
Nutrition (per 2 thin slices): 371 calories, 14.3 g fat (6.7 g saturated), 293 mg sodium, 46.8 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 26 g sugar, 10 g protein (calculated with plain greek yogurt in place of cream)
A huge part of successful dieting is planning for the times we will indulge (i.e. "cheat meals"). When we completely deprive ourselves of the foods we love, we are a lot more likely to completely derail our diets. Try incorporating this mouthwatering meal into next Sunday's brunch. After all, French toast and pumpkin create only one thing—heaven.
Get the recipe from Little Spice Jar.
CABBAGE ROLL LASAGNA
Nutrition (per 1 ½ cup serving ): 295 calories, 8.9 g fat (2.1 g saturated), 383 mg sodium, 36.4 g carbs, 4.5 g fiber, 7.1 g sugar, 20.5 g protein
No noodles here. Just rice, cabbage, garlic, ground turkey, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and parmesan. Intrigued yet?
Get the recipe from Grounded and Surrounded.
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Nutrition ( per 1 ⅓ cup serving): 224 calories, 10.2 g fat (2.8 g saturated), 190 mg sodium, 26.4 g carbs, 6.5 g fiber, 6.2 g sugar, 10.5 g protein (calculated with low sodium broth and no added salt)
Green beans are underrated in our opinion, despite being associated with preventing colon cancer and vision degeneration, moderating diabetes, and boosting immunity. Plus, they're low in calories, super accessible, and won't break your budget. Pair this skinny side dish with a lean protein for a satiating flat belly meal. And now that you have all these great ideas, be sure to avoid these 25 Awful Ingredients Everyone Still Uses—But Shouldn't!
Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.