Thanksgiving in a Casserole
So many infections. So many hospitalized. So many jobs lost. You’d think in times like these, gathering around the table would be a comfort. But we’ve been advised not even to do that with the people we don’t live with. This year is RIDICULOUS.
But we MUST strive to be thankful and even hopeful. Thankful that we are breathing. Hopeful that the food lines will lessen. And if you’re like me, you will eat your way through the stress AND the eustress (good stress).
The following recipe is just crazy, much like 2020. It combines the entire bounty of the season. It merges all of the classic dishes into one glorious casserole, baked in the magic box we call an oven, becoming much more than the sum of its parts. I view the parts of a casserole as protein, starch, vegetables, sauce and cheese. But this one even has cranberries and apples. Yay!
You can easily layer this bad boy with your leftovers, bringing it together quickly with just some freshly grated cheese in the mix. I had to prepare each layer separately, creating several full side dishes, so it took at least three hours. If you don’t get through it over the week, you can freeze it since there is not so much dairy. Have fun with this, you can’t go wrong!
LAYER 1 Mashed potatoes
LAYER 2 Chopped or shredded turkey with fresh or dried sage
Shredded gouda or gruyere
LAYER 3 Green beans in mushroom gravy
LAYER 4 Crispy fried onions
LAYER 5 Stuffing
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a deep baking dish with cooking spray.
Start with layer one, evenly spreading the mashed potatoes into the bottom of the dish with a spatula. Add layer two’s turkey, and sprinkle fresh chopped sage generously or just a bit of dried sage. Top this layer with as much shredded cheese as your heart’s desire. Next add layer three, the green bean concoction. Sprinkle this with layer four’s crispy fried onions right out of the can. For layer 5, toss stuffing with two whisked eggs so it will combine. Spread this mixture evenly over the crispy onions. Dot with more fresh, whole cranberries if you have them.
Cover tightly with foil and bake on lower rack for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more. Then broil until the top is crispy. Let cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes, slice and serve. I served my thanksgiving casserole with leftover creamy brussel sprouts and cranberry orange relish, but a small fresh side salad would work nicely. Enjoy!
|The Mushroom Gravy|
|Savory Filling Saute|