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21 easy casserole recipes that will keep the whole family full and happy

Whether you want something meaty or vegetarian, simple or over-the-top, try these comforting casseroles.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Ah, the mighty casserole. The idea of it just brings back cozy memories of childhood. Made well, a casserole is proof that you are loved.

Cozy and versatile, a casserole is also a surefire way to feed a crowd and, more importantly, the leftovers taste even better once the flavors really marry together. When there's time, it’s worth making double recipes so that extra batch of casserole can be frozen. Then, it's easy to simply reheat it on those days when the last thing anyone wants to do is cook a big dinner.

Show everyone just how much they're loved (and make an extra, cause self-love is important too!). There’s a casserole here for every taste — whether it's meaty, vegetarian or even something sweet.

Here are 21 casserole recipes to try for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast casseroles

The classic combination of Italian sausage with peppers and onions isn't just for lunch and dinner. Turn this savory duo into an easy breakfast casserole that the whole family will love.

"Think of this luscious dish as a cross between French toast and bread pudding," cookbook author Grace Parisi told TODAY Food. "It has all the yummy flavors of jam–filled French toast with the throw–it–all–together simplicity of bread pudding. It's especially fantastic for entertaining house guests because it's quickly prepared at night and then baked the following morning."

Layered with sausage, two kinds of cheese, savory sun-dried tomatoes, leafy greens and a base of tried-and-true hash brown potatoes, this breakfast casserole has it all. Assemble the casserole at night and pop it in the oven the next morning.

Cinnamon French Toast Casserole with  Whipped Ricotta

The ultimate finishing touches on a serving of this decadent cinnamon French toast casserole are a dollop of whipped ricotta, a drizzle of warm syrup and a sprinkling of chopped pecans.

Six ingredients go in the slow cooker and one over-the-top casserole comes out. This slow-cooker pulled pork biscuit casserole is meant to be a hearty breakfast, but everyone will love it for lunch and dinner, too.

Chicken casseroles

Layer enchilada sauce-dipped corn tortillas with shredded chicken, corn, Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream to create this delicious Mexican-inspired casserole.

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Skip the breadcrumbs and try topping a casserole with delightful Tater Tots. The crispy and golden potatoes are the perfect foil to the creamy and cheesy filling of this chicken casserole.

Not only can this chicken-and-rice casserole be made ahead and frozen, it's a comforting way to get both small and big kids to eat all their vegetables. When it comes to weeknight suppers, it doesn't get much easier than this dish.

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

"This is one of those recipes that when you're in a rush, it's a one-pot wonder," chef Curtis Stone told TODAY Food.

Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole

Lightly frying cooked penne in oil creates a slightly crispy texture that keeps the pasta from becoming mushy in this Mexican-inspired chicken casserole that's made with smoky chipotle sauce and lots of melted cheese.

Meaty casseroles

"This recipe can do it all," chef Francis Anthony told TODAY Food. "It's great for game day, potlucks, an easy weeknight dinner, a kid-friendly meal ... you name it! It's a great go-to when you need something quick, comforting and flavorful."

Not all casseroles are exciting, but "with the right ingredients, and lots of color and ooey, gooey creaminess, you can really revamp them," Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis said. Here, she layers penne coated in pesto sauce, ground turkey, marinara sauce with lots of cheese.

Vegetarian casseroles

It's another Giada classic! But this time she layers grilled and sautéed vegetables with creamy bechamel sauce, sprinkles on a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, then bakes the casserole until the top is golden brown and forms a crust.

Baked Grits and Collards Casserole

Two dishes that are often served at many a Southern table come together in this creamy and cheesy casserole made with grits and collard greens. A gooey, melted Gouda cheese topping takes this hearty vegetarian casserole to the next level.

This root vegetable casserole is a perfect vegetarian lunch or dinner with a loaf of bread or a side of pasta.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Kimberly Schlapman

This creamy sweet potato casserole — topped with a sugar crumb topping and cranberries — isn't just for serving with Thanksgiving turkey. It's delicious on its own or served with any kind of poultry, from roast chicken to duck.

Creamy Corn Casserole

Creamy Corn Casserole

Kimberly Schlapman

Crushed saltine crackers top this creamy and buttery corn casserole that's a Southern staple.

"With its bourbon and pecans — two ingredients with Southern roots — this casserole is the epitome of Southern hospitality," Grace Parisi told TODAY. "The bourbon adds a depth of flavor to the maple-syrup sweetened potatoes, while the pecans add a buttery crunch."

This easy-to-make classic Mexican casserole called sopa seca translates to "dry soup" in English, but it's not exactly a soup. It's more like a moist pasta casserole dish that's traditionally made with thin noodles, rice or even thin tortilla strips — and it's one of the most iconic dishes in Mexico.

Seafood casseroles

Tuna Noodle Casserole

It's not unusual for people who haven't tried tuna noodle casserole to be skeptical that it's actually insanely delicious. Egg noodles, cream of mushroom sauce, tuna and cheese may sound like an odd (if not heavy) pairing, but there's a reason the combination has become one of the most beloved casseroles of all time.

Nick Lama, chef and owner of Avo in New Orleans, uses pancetta, tender oysters and sweet lump crab meat in his Italian seafood casserole. The mixture of flavors and textures in this is totally unexpected.