Revisiting Casseroles

Call it a casserole and it’s relegated to the 50s, but call it a “strata” or a “bake” or a “pie” and suddenly its new again.

The traditional formula is simple: ingredients in a glass dish heated in the oven. The outcome is especially good for sharing at parties or for making on the weekend and enjoying all week. What could use a little healthy push is the choice of items that go into the dish.  Your mom used cans of soup, high carb pasta and maybe some corn flakes on top – but we can do better and substitute for a healthier dish.

Take any casserole recipe and make a few simple switches. Here are some easy substitutions to any casserole recipe:

Instead   of


Ground beef

Canned lentils or cooked chicken

Ground lamb with fat

Cook and rinse all meat before adding

Heavy cream sauce

Low fat evaporated milk


Spaghetti squash/Quinoa/Brown rice

Grated cheese

White sauce made with milk

Canned soup

Baby food pureed vegetables

Corn Flake topping

Whole wheat bread crumbs

Crispy onions

Crushed whole wheat crackers

Pastry or puff pastry

Phyllo layers

Every casserole has the same formula: Body of protein, creamy and moist heart and a crisp topping.  Mix and match as you please and serve with a great big salad.


About the Author:

Theresa Albert Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Consultant and Private Nutritionist in Toronto. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at

Picture of Theresa Albert

Author: Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert is an on-camera food and health expert, nutritionist and writer who loves to spread the word on food. She is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. Tweet with her at @theresaalbert & find her daily at

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