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7 Components You Ought to By no means Add to a Casserole

Casseroles make for a simple one-dish meal, however they don’t seem to be recognized for being the healthiest dishes. Usually filled with fatty meat, a great deal of cheese, and high-sodium canned gadgets, casseroles are usually excessive in energy and low in fiber and greens. Nonetheless, this dish might be modified to create a wholesome, balanced, and nutrient-dense meal.

Listed here are seven elements you need to by no means add to a casserole. Then, for extra wholesome cooking suggestions, ensure to take a look at 8 Sheet-Pan Recipes That Battle Irritation.


White rice

white rice

Many casserole recipes name for white rice as the principle starch, and whereas this carb is flexible and may simply be included right into a one-dish meal, it isn’t probably the most nutritious. As an alternative of including white rice to your subsequent casserole, think about using brown rice or wild rice as an alternative. Whereas these types of rice might take longer to cook dinner, they comprise way more fiber, an vital nutrient for digestive regularity, satiety, and blood levels of cholesterol.

In case you are nervous how the brown rice will cook dinner up in your casserole, strive utilizing parboiled brown rice or add already cooked rice into your dish to keep away from any raw grain in your casserole. Lastly, if you’re eager about a lower-carb rice various, strive riced cauliflower!

Eat this, not that

Eat this, not that

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Tater tots

tater tot casserole

tater tot casserole

Whereas this ingredient is not the most well-liked casserole addition, there are various breakfast and even dinner recipes that decision for these fried potatoes. Potatoes are supply of carbohydrate and may even present different vital vitamins like fiber and potassium, however there are higher methods to include this starch into your dish.

As an alternative of including fried tater tots to your casserole, strive including shredded potato or candy potato. You’ll be able to shred at dwelling, or purchase pre-shredded frozen potatoes so as to add to your dish. This swap will cut back fats grams, and improve fiber, nutritional vitamins, and minerals, and much more so should you commerce the white potato for candy potato.


Processed cheese

processed cheese

processed cheese

It is a broad class, however you might be seemingly accustomed to among the gamers. American cheese is without doubt one of the extra frequent processed cheeses, and you might be seemingly accustomed to the model title Velveeta. Whereas these merchandise can comprise vital elements related to dairy merchandise, like protein, calcium, and vitamin D, they typically comprise many different questionable elements, too.

Greater saturated fats and sodium content material, preservatives, and synthetic meals coloring are among the downsides to utilizing processed cheese. Whereas it melts properly right into a casserole, you might be higher off utilizing much less processed shredded cheese in your subsequent dish. Cottage cheese and ricotta are totally different cheese choices to contemplate, too.



pure sugar

pure sugar

There might not be many casserole recipes that decision for added sugar, nonetheless, the sauces typically added to those dishes can comprise surprisingly excessive quantities of sugar. Marinara sauce, salad dressing, barbecue, and stir fry sauces are some examples of sugar-containing sauces which may be utilized in casseroles.

When including sauce to your dish, search for pre-made choices that don’t have any added sugar. In case you are having a tough time discovering this various, select the choice with the bottom sugar, or discover do-it-yourself recipes that forgo sugar. Moreover, if the casserole recipe requires sugar, minimize the quantity in half, or skip all of it collectively. Likelihood is you will not discover it’s lacking in a savory dish, and you’ll save your self just a few grams of processed, refined sugar per serving.


Pork sausage

pork sausages

pork sausages

Whereas leaner meats, like hen and turkey, are generally utilized in casserole, fatty sausage and beef are sometimes present in these dishes, too. Sure, even the fattiest cuts of meat comprise important protein, however the increased fats grams make them a much less fascinating protein supply.

Pork sausage is without doubt one of the increased fats meats per ounce, and there are some simple swaps to restrict whole fats and saturated fats grams in your casserole. Attempt alternate options, like hen or turkey sausage, search for decrease fats pork sausage, or make your personal sausage utilizing lean floor meat and your seasonings of alternative. Sausage is all in regards to the seasoning, so you may make a scrumptious various packed together with your flavors of alternative.


White pasta

white pasta casserole

white pasta casserole

Pasta is one other frequent carb supply in casserole, and just like rice, there are higher alternate options to conventional white pasta. In making white pasta, a lot of the fiber is processed out, leaving the noodles missing on this important nutrient. Complete wheat noodles, or choices made with brown rice, quinoa, beans, or lentils are nice alternate options to white pasta. These choices are a lot increased in fiber and different important vitamins, like iron, and a few even have sufficient protein to create a well-rounded meal.

RELATED: The Pasta Swap Everybody Ought to Make Instantly


Full-sodium canned gadgets

assorted canned soups

assorted canned soups

Soups, beans, diced tomatoes, and “cream of” soups are regularly utilized in casseroles, with some recipes calling for a number of canned gadgets. Utilizing canned elements permits the recipe to be put collectively shortly, however they’re typically filled with sodium, a nutrient that may have a adverse influence on blood stress.

The excellent news is, most canned gadgets have a lower-sodium various obtainable. So, subsequent time you go to purchase black beans, diced tomatoes, and cream of hen soup for a recipe, search for the low or no-sodium varieties to assist cut back the salt content material of your subsequent casserole.