A make ahead casserole consisting of vegetables and a creamy sauce – served as a side or a main, this casserole will most certainly get vegetables onto your table and into the bellies of your loved ones. This dish can easily be reheated without loosing any of the creaminess, cheesiness, or texture!
Oh, Make Ahead Creamy Vegetable Casserole, where do I start? I could have eaten this entire dish! Oh, sweet Lord, it’s absolutely delicious! I love the combination of the cauliflower, the green beans, the carrots, the green peas, and the corn – all tossed with a thick, creamy mushroom sauce. It was so hard to wait until these photos were taken before digging in with the biggest spoon I could find!
It’s meals like this that make cooking more enjoyable. It’s the simple, inexpensive ingredients, coupled with next to no technique, and gorgeous, mouth-watering results. This side will be my new equivalent of a green bean casserole for all future Thanksgivings to come.
FROZEN VEGGIES MAKE THIS DISH AFFORDABLE AND EASY!
But, get this, Dear Reader; you could use any frozen vegetable you like in this dish. For example, if cauliflower is not your preferred vegetable of choice, you could certainly switch it with frozen broccoli florets instead. And the vegetable medley that I used is adaptable as well. In the frozen food section of my local grocery store, there’s many, many varieties to choose from.
I’m thinking about trying this exact same recipe with a Asian-inspired vegetable mix as well. I used to buy an Asian frozen vegetable mix that consisted of red peppers, mushrooms, baby corn, onion, and bamboo shoots. Sounds good, right? The only question is, would I use cream of mushroom soup, or would I change it up and use a cream of asparagus or a cream of broccoli soup instead? The options are quite endless and the result would be a new taste every time!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
- Cauliflower – Use bagged, frozen cauliflower from your grocer’s freezer section. It’s cheap and you don’t have to spend the time to cut it all up into florets!
- Frozen Mixed Veggies – Any of your favourite mixed veggie blend will do. To keep this one simple, I used a frozen blend consisting on carrots, peas, and corn.
- Cream of Mushroom Soup – Straight from the can, folks! Just like that green bean casserole that every loves, the cream of mushroom soup will keep this casserole creamy and moist.
- Sour Cream – Because the creamier, the better, right?
- Cheese – I used white cheddar, but you can use any flavour you like.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
- French Fried Onions – Like the green bean casserole topping, this one paired greatly with it too!
HOW TO MAKE THIS CASSEROLE:
You just know that this is going to be a breeze, right? Come on!!! WE are using frozen vegetables and a can of soup, for crying out loud! That’s about as basic as it gets when it comes to whipping up a casserole. But, you just can’t beat it! I’d love to pretend that I’m too pretentious to crack open a can of soup for my casserole. In fact, I’d love to say I grew the vegetables myself, but that’s not my life, folks! We’re making this recipe easy and budget-friendly at the same time!
The first thing you want to do when preparing this Make Ahead Creamy Vegetable Casserole is to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Next, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, remembering to set aside half of the French Fried Onions for later. Use a spatula and mix until everything is evenly distributed throughout the bowl.
Next, transfer everything to a casserole dish. There’s no need to grease it first. The cheese, soup, and sour cream will make sure it doesn’t stick! Now, bake this for 50 minutes. Then, remove it from the oven and top it with the remaining French Fried Onions and some chopped parsley to garnish. Serve it immediately, or wait for it to cool completely before freezing.
MAKING THIS DISH AHEAD OF TIME? HERE’S HOW:
If you are preparing this dish ahead of time and would like to freeze it, follow the same steps as if you were preparing it for tonight’s dinner. Once you remove it from the oven, allow the casserole to cool completely. Do not add the remaining fried onions or garnish with parsley. There’s no need for that now.
Once cooled, transfer the casserole to a freezer-friendly container. Place a tight-fitting lid on it and freeze it for up to three weeks. Remember to transfer the frozen casserole from the freezer to the refrigerator at least 12 hours before planning to reheat. When ready, gently stir the casserole and transfer it to a proper baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Remove from the oven and garnish with those French Fried Onions and chopped parsley we talked about earlier. Enjoy!
CHEESE CHOICES – IT’S A HARD LIFE!
Even the type of cheese is adaptable. Cheddar is obviously my favourite type of cheese, and I’m sure you can find evidence of that in almost any recipe on my blog that has cheese as an ingredient, but you could use Gouda or Havarti or even Swiss! Since you want to flavour of the vegetables and the creamed soup to be the highlight of the dish, I would not recommend a strong cheese, but you decide!
FREEZER FRIENDLY TOO!
As you can see from one or two of my photographs, this is the perfect make ahead dish. Once the casserole had completed cooled, I transferred some of it to a container for refrigeration. Are those aluminum storage containers not the cutest? I found them while shopping at HomeSense. I had to have them and thought immediately about featuring one of them in a blog post that would allow for freezer-friendly recipes.
When the time came to serve this dish up, I convinced John.e and McKenna to add extra crispy French fried onions to their plates. I always watch what I eat very carefully throughout the week, so while they both dined on this deliciousness, I ate a humble salad with canned tuna. I was living vicariously through both of them. Ha!
The recipe below is one I’m sure you will keep coming back to over and over again. Not only is Make Ahead Creamy Vegetable Casserole a great alternative to the usual dishes served at your family’s holiday functions, but it’s a great side or main as well. Think about this casserole for your next Meatless Monday dinner!
Make Ahead Creamy Vegetable Casserole
- 4 cups cauliflower florets, frozen
- 4 cups mixed vegetables, frozen (carrots, corn, peas, etc.)
- 20 ounces canned cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup light sour cream
- 2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup french fried onions
- parsley for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together, saving half cup of the french fried onions for later. Once fully mixed together, transfer to a large casserole dish.
- Bake for 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with fresh chopped parsley and the remaining french fried onions.
- Serve immediately or allow to cool completely before packaging for freezing. See notes.