Just because winter is over doesn’t mean our cravings for comfort food have disappeared. Spring is a crossover season, the days are warmer but there is still a chill in the air. We still have a good few casseroles to enjoy before the hotter weather arrives. These spring casseroles are a touch lighter than their fall and winter counterparts, they incorporate fresh seasonal vegetables and bright herbal accents, like the gorgeous Asparagus-and-Potato Gratin shown here. Most can be assembled a day ahead and are relatively fast to put together. And there’s a trick to most of these spring casserole recipes: They tend to be the sum of their parts, more delicious when the ingredients are baked together than when prepared on their own.
Let’s start with casseroles that are inspired by the classics but that have a fresher spring spin. Our Salmon Noodle Casserole swaps tuna for omega-packed salmon and keeps the standard pop of green from peas. Shepherd’s pie we’ve lightened up by omitting the meat and combining mushrooms and other vegetables like carrots and peas with French lentils.
Then look to casseroles that cut down on prep time by utilizing test kitchen approved store-bought ingredients. Slice store-bought prepared polenta into thin rounds and layer them like lasagna noodles in our Baked Polenta with Sausage and Artichoke Hearts. Green Chicken Enchilada Pies come together with just four ingredients thanks to store-bought tomatillo salsa.
Next, embrace spring produce. We’ve included two asparagus casseroles because ’tis their season. There’s a broccolini mac and cheese and spinach-and-egg bake if you’re looking to enjoy spring greens. Bake up a puffed carrot casserole that is akin to a soufflé to highlight the new more tender and sweet spring crop of carrots that arrives in the spring. And try baking leeks in a creamy cheese sauce, it’s pretty decadent. Read on for more spring casseroles and bake these recipes soon.