Hearty Fall Casseroles and the Lenoir County Fair Casserole Cook-Off

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Don’t miss your chance to show off your casserole cooking skills at the Lenoir County Agricultural Fair. The fair begins on October 2 and runs through October 7 th and is filled with all kinds of fun for the whole family!! The Casserole Cook-Off has become an annual event providing all of you great cooks out there a chance to share your favorite casserole recipes. The contest is Wednesday, October 4 th , entries must be brought to the commercial building at 4:30 p.m., there will be two categories, With Meat or Without Meat, Judging will begin at 5:00 p.m. and the winners will be announced following the Judging. Contact Kelly Tyndall, Family &; Consumer Sciences Agent at 252-527-2191, or kelly_tyndall@ncsu.edu
For more information check out the Lenoir County Agricultural Fair website.
Warm, hearty and nutritious, vegetable casseroles are a wonderful way to use your autumn garden or Farmers Market fresh load. For most of these recipes, you can substitute whatever fall vegetables you have on hand, and you can always add try it with shrimp or chicken.
Here are some yummy, hearty fall casserole recipes for you to test run on your family!

Cheesy Fall Vegetable Casserole

  • 4 cups of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 4 cups of broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1 ½ cups water chestnuts, sliced
  • 10.5 ounce can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper, I always use more
  • 8 ounces of cheddar cheese, hand shredded
  • 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese, hand shredded

In a mixing bowl combine soup, eggs, onions, mayonnaise, salt & pepper.
In a greased 9×13 glass pan put 1/2 of the broccoli, cauliflower, bean sprouts & water chestnuts. Pour half of the combined soup mixture over the cauliflower mixture. Then sprinkle half the cheese on top. Repeat layer.
Bake at 350 degrees for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes or until the cheese is golden brown on top and the vegetables are cooked through.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

  • 1 small medium spaghetti squash, about 2 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian spices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings, your choice or a mix of oregano, basil, and thyme, I like fresh
  • basil, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella or provolone cheese
  • Additional fresh Basil, chopped

Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, down the center, carefully. Scoop out any seeds. Lay the halves upright on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the squash inside down. Roast the spaghetti squash for 35 to 40 minutes. sheet. When cool enough to handle, pull the squash strings out of the squash & center with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl. The squash strings should look like spaghetti.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high. Add the turkey, onion, bell pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until meat is browned and the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the drained tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Let cook until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has cooked off, about 4 minutes, and then add the reserved squash. Cook and stir until most of the remaining liquid has cooked off, about 1 to 2 minutes more, increasing the heat if needed. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. There may be some liquid remaining in the pan.
Lightly coat a deep 8×8-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.
With a slotted spoon, scoop the squash mixture into the pan in an even layer, discarding any excess liquid (some in the pan is OK—just not too much). Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and then return to the oven and bake until the cheese melts, about 5 to 10 additional minutes. For an extra-golden-brown top, place the casserole under the broiler for a few minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley and/or basil, and let rest 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Healthy Mixed Vegetable Casserole

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • ½ cup green peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil drizzle

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, cook for about 5-7 minutes (high) the finely chopped onions with some olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Add the zucchini and cook for another 3-5 minutes in medium heat. Take the skillet out of the heat.
The rest of the vegetables (except spinach) need to be steamed first for about 5-8 minutes then you can place them in the large skillet. Remember you can use any vegetables you want and add more or less according to taste.
In a separate bowl, mix the 4 eggs well.
Mix everything together, adding the spinach also. Place it in an oven safe casserole dish.
Add the parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees
**Any and all of the vegetables can be swapped out for others that you have on hand.

Butternut Squash and Rice Casserole

  • 1 butternut squash, about 1 ½ pounds
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white, brown, or long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9″x13″ casserole dish with baking spray and set aside.
Cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and place the squash face-down in the 9″x13″ glass baking dish. Fill the dish with about an inch of water. Microwave the squash on high for 12 minutes; check to see if the squash is soft enough. It shouldn’t be mushy!
If not thoroughly cooked, microwave the squash for 5 more minutes.
Carefully remove the squash from the microwave and let it stand for a few minutes to cool.
Peel and cut it into cubes.
Combine the water, broth and chopped rosemary in a saucepan; cook and bring to a boil. In the meantime, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add rice and olive oil; cook and stir for 1 minute.
Stir in the broth mixture, prepared squash, parsley, seasoning salt, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.
Transfer rice mixture to previously prepared casserole dish.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Sprinkle with cheese and continue to bake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese melts. Remove the casserole from the oven and serve.

Brussels Sprouts Casserole

  • 2 cups fresh Brussels Sprouts, cut in half
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko crumbs, divided
  • 10.5 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the thawed Brussel sprouts, eggs, 1/2 cup of the
breadcrumbs, the cream of mushroom soup, milk, onion, cheese, and spices. Pour into the prepared casserole dish.
Top the casserole with the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes
uncovered. Serve warm.