05 March 2010

Famous Casserole

I don't make casseroles very often. I'm more of a stove-top cook. Maybe it's the time involved; maybe it's the fact that I have to use so much energy to heat the oven. But when you're having a potluck at your home, the appeal of a casserole grows. I wanted to keep things simple for home group potlucks, so I was doing the soup thing. Soup is simple, right? Well, when you don't have a table that more than six people can sit around comfortably, and guests are trying to juggle bowl, plate, and cup on their knees as they sit on a couch . . . well, the simplicity factor warps a bit. Not to mention the extra clean-up (from potential spills as well as the extra dishes).

So for my second hosting attempt, I did the casserole thing. It's still a one-pot dish. One plate. No hot liquids. You see the appeal.

I took my original soup idea, made it less liquid-y, added some rice, popped it into the oven for 30 minutes, and . . .

Anita's Famous Butternut-Bean Chipotle Casserole* is born!
(yield: one 9 X 13)

olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 butternut squash (or pumpkin or sweet potato), cubed (4 cups)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
29 oz.-can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
15.5 oz.-can beans (I only had kidney on hand, but would have preferred black)
1-2 TBSP chipotle sauce (optional, but then you might have to change the name of the casserole)
3-4 cups cooked rice
cheese (I didn't have any, but this would be a good addition

Instructions: In a large stock-pot saute the onion and garlic in about 2 TBSP of olive oil over medium heat. When onions are translucent, add cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and saute a few more minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients--except the rice and cheese--and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until the squash (or pumpkin, or sweet potato) is tender, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F. When squash is tender add rice and cheese if using, pour into a greased 9 X 13 baking dish, and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle more cheese (I think a sharp cheddar would be delish!) on top to melt before serving.

*(that pretentious title is a joke, by the way, but it was tasty and it got cleaned up pretty fast)


  1. Welcome to the Foodie Blogroll!

    Nice looking casserole. I like your writing style too, funny and not at all pretentious (except for humorous effect!).

  2. Cheers to your casserole! Having a potluck with friends is a great way to enjoy a good meal and connect with the people that you enjoy.