A classic cheesy casserole is so satisfying. The oozing melted cheese mingles perfectly with the pasta and the tangy-sweet tomato sauce with a kick of spice sausage. For us, it is not just about the deliciousness; it is also about the method of cooking, which is actually a piece of cake. Literally, it just takes a few minutes of preparation. The rest of the cooking is for the oven to do.
Another thing that we love about the recipe is that it is so simple and easy to make. With just a few ingredients in hand, you can make the casserole for the entire family or for just yourself. All you need is good ingredients, an oven, and a good pan. This recipe will guide you through everything to make the perfect dish of casserole every time.
The classic cheesy casserole can be made with just six ingredients, and we are sure that most of the household have these ingredients in their pantry. Following are the ingredient and their flavor to texture profile that comes together as some so cheesy and delicious:
- Penne Pasta: Pasta is the main base of the dish that coats the flavor around it. But we are explicitly using Penne pasta shape because the tube style shape fills with the cheese, sauce and seasonings and the ridges like exterior hold on to the sauce. Indeed, a perfect vehicle for carrying pure bliss into your mouth.
- Green Bell Peppers: Green bell peppers are so unique in the family of pepper. It has a distinctive crunch with a good amount of water content. While eating it raw, there is not much to flavor than the texture, but once cooked, the pepper releases water with a bit of bitterness and absolutely delicious pepper flavor. You can always work with crunchy to soft texture according to your preference.
- Onions: Onion is more like a base to the meat sauce and gives the dish unique umami yet savory flavor.
- Italian Pork Sausage: Italian Pork Sausages are the ultimate on to go pre-seasoned meat option that you must have in your freeze or fridge. It has all the spices and herbs already mixed and marinated with the pork. Moreover, when melted down and added to the cheese and tomato sauce, the fat of pork balances the sweetness and tanginess of tomatoes and the creaminess of the cheese.
- Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce: Pre-made tomato sauce is packed with the freshness and sweetness of the tomatoes and the distinct herby flavor and aromas of basil. You can use a homemade tomato basil sauce as well if you have some time at hand.
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese: Last but not least, the main ingredient that makes the dish all come together, Mozzarella cheese. The gooey cheese has a distinct mild flavor with a good amount of water. When it melts, it coats every ingredient with this simple yet delicious goodness.
Kitchen Utensils to Use:
The casserole is not just easy to make but will leave you with just a few dishes to clean. Honestly, it will not take any more than five kitchen utensils and kitchen space. Therefore, it is like a win-win situation in the taste and with a quick to clean kitchen.
Following are utensils that you will need for making casserole:
- A frying pan or skillet
- Wooden spoon
- A larger bowl
- 9x5 Loaf pan for baking
- Aluminum Foil
Why Should You Use a Loaf Pan Instead of a Traditional Casserole Dish?
We all have been using the glass casserole dish, especially for baking casseroles. Of course, it is the recommended method popularized by the food industries, but so many reasons make the casserole better in Loaf pan than the glass casserole dish.
First, making a casserole in a loaf pan controls the food portion. Let us say cooking a casserole for a family of two, or maybe three in a casserole dish, means lots of leftovers, and seriously, who wants to eat a casserole like three days again and again. Loaf pan helps you cook the casserole in just a right and fuller amount without wasting and ingredients over the leftovers.
We have seen people using foil hacks to use half of the glass casserole dish, but why go through so much struggle when a Loaf pan can do the same task for you 1/3 of the time in a glass dish. Yes, you can make a casserole in a loaf pan much faster but don't worry if you think that the casserole will be raw. Trust us, it wouldn't be, and the reason is that you can cook at the heater temperature.
The metal pan, like loaf pans, is intended to be great conductors of heat, and they are great for working with higher temperatures. When we cover the load pan with the foil and bake, we induct even heat to all casserole sides. Therefore, it is just practical for even cooking and faster than the dish.
Besides, the glass dish casserole can not bear the higher temperature since it intends to break. By any chance you put the cold dish in the preheated oven, you may risk your life and the stove as well. This is also why casserole needs time to cook through, while it is quicker and more manageable in a loaf pan.
How to Store a Casserole:
We really don't mind some leftovers from this delicious dish. But how to reheat and save this delightful casserole for the next day. We recommend cooling the casserole entirely and then refrigerate it with tin foil wrapping for a day.
The next day preheats the oven at 200 degrees and put the casserole with the same foil covering in the loaf pan for five to eight minutes. It will be as fresh as yesterday.
To reheat it, bake the casserole in the preheated oven at 250 degrees for eight to ten minutes. This is how easy it can get! You can also freeze the leftover wrapped in the foil for a month.
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