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Posted at: Jan 13, 2018, 1:17 AM; last updated: Jan 13, 2018, 1:17 AM (IST)GRUB STREET

Go right about leftovers

Bake casseroles and make your routine dinner fun, delicious and guilt free

Radhika Sharma

Picture this: You are seated in your favourite restaurant with a glass of bubbly wine and your heart immediately races and mouth salivates with just one look at the oozing baked dish that is making its way to your table. Yup, baked dishes or casseroles have all the goodness of food and flavour packed into one great pot served to steamy perfection. They are the easiest dinner recipes ever  for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. All you’ve got to do is bring veggies, meats and your favourite condiments together, layer them up and voila! But the biggest role that these baked dishes play is to make leftovers fun and delicious.

So, if you have a bucket load of food left over from your awesome dinner party the night before and don’t have the heart to throw it away, then gear up for casserole, people. In case you are health conscious, just go easy with the cheese. And in case you love it, walk 2km extra this week. Here are some recipes that will turn that frown upside down. 

Italian Bake

Love pasta? Then this one’s for you. Although this recipe involves a fair bit of elements to be cooked individually, the end result is super tasty. If you have some leftover pasta from your takeout lunch, set that aside. Cut up some veggies, bacon and chicken and sauté in salt, pepper and butter for about 3-4 minutes, till cooked. Take a cake tin, spread the pasta at the bottom, add veggies on top, sprinkle some herbs, fresh basil and finally cover it up with a huge portion of cheddar cheese. Bake for 10 min till it is nice and brown.

Desi makeover

Overcooked the previous night for the family dinner? You are lucky. Take a pie pan and grease it with a bit of oil. Lay chapattis to form a base and blind bake it for about 15 minutes. Slather a large layer of spicy ketchup, add a scoop of veggies and grate a generous amount of cheese. Layer it with pepperoni if you please and bake till it bubbles! There you have it — desi pizza casserole! Make it in a deep dish for a pie feel or in a pizza tray for thin crust. 

Chinese take

Ordered that greasy desi Chinese and have the hankering for another bite? Well, give it a twist. Spice up the rice with a generous splash of soy and green chilli sauce. Cut up some veggies — bell peppers, carrots, spinach, baby corn and toss them with a generous splash of honey and chilli powder. Add the rice on top and then finally bake it to form a gooey gravy bottom that compliments the rice beautifully. Add meats if you like!

Chicken ’N’ greens

Got some leftover chicken, but too bored to cook it the same ol’ way? Let’s casserole it! Marinate the chicken in everyday spices such as ginger, green chillies, garlic, lemon and salt. Cut some broccoli, sauté in a generous amount of butter and keep aside. Finally, take some cooked quinoa and flavour it with lemon, pepper and salt. Finally, in a pie tin, add layer all elements starting with quinoa. The end result is moist and perfectly cooked chicken with a crusty bottom and a super lemon after-burn.

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