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Video: 4 healthy, affordable casserole meals

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    >>> it's time to take you in today's kitchen where we are getting saucy with savory casseroles.

    >> we have three recipes good for your waistline and good for your wallet.

    >> they look delicious and smell great.

    >> good morning, ladies. we are starting off with mac and cheese. here in the blender, nice and simple. the cottage cheese , 3/4 cup, three cups skim milk. this will add to creaminess.

    >> you could use low-fat cottage cheese ?

    >> we are using nonfat today. this we blend up. i have onions and garlic i'm browning up nicely. we add flour in here. this is our thickening agent. when we add our milk and cottage cheese , it turns into this thick and creamy, nice sauce. look how delicious that is. to this we are adding low-fat cheddar, nonfat mozz and a simple parmesan. we are going to finish that. we add our salt.

    >> just a pinch.

    >> a pinch. we don't like too much salt. already cooked 3 cups.

    >> this is easy.

    >> very easy.

    >> oh, my gosh.

    >> mix it, mix it.

    >> then sprinkle with the bread crumbs . bake about 30, 35 minutes. nice and brown, golden brown , creamy. want to taste? it looks amazing.

    >> thank you, hoda woman.

    >> this is under 90 cents a serving and under 125 calories a serving.

    >> wow. this looks outstanding.

    >> this is a creamy checken casserole with a little curry. i have already cooked broccoli we layer on the bottom. boneless chicken breasts cubed up nicely. 1/4 cup mayo and low sodium chicken mushroom soup. lemon juice , our curry which gives a nice tanguay, our salt.

    >> this is going to be awesome.

    >> what we do with this is this just pours right over.

    >> come on. these are so easy.

    >> this one as well, this is $1.78 a serving and this is about a little under 300 calories a serving.

    >> again the broccoli is cooked, the chicken is raw.

    >> 25 minutes covered in the oven. sprinkle. this is a nonfat swiss.

    >> we are going to love this.

    >> in the oven, cover 25 minutes, uncovered 15. it gets that nice golden brown creamy. this is an oldie but goody casserole.

    >> you're not going to have a bite?

    >> looks good.

    >> over here we have simple spinach casserole that is a great side dish . four ingredients. turkey bacon, bread crumb , water chestnuts. all our recipes prevention.com.

    >> we'll be back with jessie j.

TODAY recipes
updated 4/12/2011 5:02:38 AM ET 2011-04-12T09:02:38

Recipe: Four-cheese macaroni bake

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup minced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 3/4 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded nonfat mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Golden brown and crusty on the outside, warm and cheesy on the inside, this macaroni and cheese bake is absolute perfection. Reduced-fat cheese keeps each serving less than 300 calories, but you'll never tell from the rich taste.

Best part? It's freezer-friendly! Pop the entire casserole or leftovers in the freezer and thaw when you're ready to eat.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Coat a 13" x 9" freezer-proof baking dish with no-stick spray.

Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling water according to the package directions. Drain well. Place in a large bowl.

Coat a large saucepan with no-stick spray and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onions, garlic, and oil. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown. Add the flour. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes (the mixture will be dry).

In a blender or food processor, combine the milk and cottage cheese. Process until smooth. Add to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Add the Cheddar, mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the cheeses melt.

Stir in the macaroni, salt, and pepper. Spoon into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Sprinkle over the macaroni. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Recipe notes:

To freeze, cool the cooked casserole. Wrap the baking dish in freezer-quality plastic wrap, then in freezer-quality foil. To use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the foil and plastic wrap; discard the plastic wrap. Cover with the foil and bake at 350° F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot.

Nutritional facts per serving:

Calories: 298.4 cal

Fat: 3.6 g

Saturated fat: 1.5 g

Sodium: 420.6 mg

Carbohydrates: 47 g

Total sugars: 8.2 g

Dietary fiber: 2.2 g

Protein: 18.1 g

Serving Size

Serves 8

Recipe: Creamy spinach casserole

  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts (in water), drained and chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup water chestnuts, sliced (a jicama, peeled and chopped, can be substituted.)
  • 6 ounces light cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half or low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat herb-seasoned croutons
  • 4 slices turkey bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)

With only four ingredients, this delicious side dish couldn't be easier to throw together. Perfect alongside poultry, this recipe doctors up frozen spinach with creamy ricotta and crumbled feta cheese. It's so sinful tasting, you'll forget you're even eating a vegetable!

Note: Ingredients for a changed serving size are based on a calculation and are not reviewed by the author or tested. Please also consider scaling up or down cooking containers as needed.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the artichoke hearts on the bottom of a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.

Cook the spinach according to the package directions, drain well, and place in the bowl of an electric mixer. While the spinach is still hot, add the water chestnuts, cream cheese, and half-and-half and beat on low speed. Pour the mixture over the artichoke hearts.

Blend the croutons and bacon bits (if desired) and sprinkle them over the top of the casserole. Bake for about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutritional facts per serving:

Calories: 127.1 cal

Fat: 5.8 g

Saturated fat: 2.5 g

Sodium: 337.4 mg

Carbohydrates: 13.2 g

Total sugars: 3 g

Dietary fiber: 5.5 g

Protein: 7.5 g

Serving Size

Serves 9

Recipe: Curried chicken broccoli casserole

  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Colby or Swiss cheese

Simplicity is key in this light and lovely chicken and broccoli dish. Covered in a rich, cream-based sauce and topped with melted cheese, the dish comes out golden and bubbling with just a hint of curry to tingle your taste buds.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 13" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray.

Place the broccoli and water in a large resealable plastic storage bag. Microwave on high power, rotating occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bright green. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix. Line the prepared baking dish with the reserved broccoli. Top with the chicken. Cover evenly with the soup mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese. Cover and bake for about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until golden and bubbling.

Nutritional facts per serving:

Calories: 271.9 cal

Fat: 12.9 g

Saturated fat: 2.7 g

Sodium: 704.5 mg

Carbohydrates: 8.2 g

Total sugars: 0.8 g

Dietary fiber: 2.4 g

Protein: 30.5 g

Serving Size

Serves 6

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