Indulge in Delicious Comfort Casserole Recipe

Let me start by welcoming all the food enthusiasts to my Southern filled comfort casserole recipe article. Today, I have a treat for you that will make your taste buds dance with joy. A casserole made with love, stuffed with unique flavors and an irresistible blend of ingredients that are sure to leave you craving for more.

As a chef who specializes in Southern-style cuisine, I have a deep-rooted passion for comfort food. Nothing brings people together like a hot, delicious casserole that is guaranteed to please the entire family. This recipe holds a special place in my heart because it reminds me of the warmth and love that only comforting food can bring.

My southern filled comfort casserole recipe takes inspiration from classic American dishes and combines it with my unique cooking style to create a dish like no other. This casserole is packed with ham, macaroni, cheddar cheese, Spanish onion, tomatoes, garlic cloves, and a kick of Tabasco sauce – all blended together to create the perfect combination of flavors.

So get ready to indulge in the ultimate comfort food – a hearty and satisfying meal that will become your new go-to dish for any occasion. Follow me as I take you on a culinary journey of this iconic southern dish that promises to deliver a delicious dining experience.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Filled Comfort Casserole
Southern Filled Comfort Casserole

Friends, it’s time to put aside the mundane, the lackluster, and the tried-and-true. Instead, let’s embrace a hearty, flavorful casserole from the southern states that will warm your soul and tingle your taste buds. This Southern Filled Comfort Casserole is here to make your weeknights come alive with a little bit of pizzazz, providing you an opportunity to forget about dull dinners that go through a repetitive cycle.

This comforting casserole recipe is made with layers of macaroni, ham, Italian stewed tomatoes, garlic cloves, Spanish onion, and cheddar cheese blended together to create delightful layers of goodness. But the real secret ingredient that takes this dish from good to great? Tabasco sauce! Just a dash will give it enough heat to pack a punch without being overpowering.

So why should you love this recipe? It’s easy-peasy lemon squeezy! That’s right. A comfort-food casserole that is effortless to prepare and can feed a crowd. It uses simple ingredients without compromising on taste so you can whip this up in no time without having to worry about running out of steam or feeling overwhelmed.

Whether you’re in search of an easy family dinner or want to impress guests with something scrumptious but unfussy, this Southern Filled Comfort Casserole is one for anyone who craves for mouth-watering Southern cuisine that hits all the right notes.

Ingredient List

 Golden and bubbly, fresh from the oven!
Golden and bubbly, fresh from the oven!

As a native southerner, nothing screams comfort food more than a hot and bubbly casserole dish. Today, I’m excited to share my Southern Filled Comfort Casserole recipe with you! Gather these key ingredients to start making this memorable dish – garlic cloves, Spanish onion, ham, macaroni, crushed tomatoes, Italian stewed tomatoes, Tabasco sauce, black pepper, kosher salt, and cheddar cheese. These ingredients are easily accessible in any grocery store and play a vital role in flavoring the casserole. Don’t leave anything out!

The Recipe How-To

 Layers of mouth-watering goodness!
Layers of mouth-watering goodness!

Get your apron on! It’s time to cook this Southern Filled Comfort Casserole. Follow these step-by-step procedures to make this delicious dish come to life in your kitchen.

Cook the Macaroni

First things first, start by cooking the macaroni thoroughly as per the package instructions. Make sure the macaroni is still firm and not overcooked or mushy. Drain it well, pat it dry, and set it aside.

Prepare the Sauce

In a mixing bowl, whisk two (2) cans of crushed tomatoes, one (1) can of Italian stewed tomatoes, four (4) minced garlic cloves, one (1) diced Spanish onion, one (1) cup of diced ham, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt until well combined.

Mix Up Your Casserole Layers

Grab your 13 x 9 inch casserole dish and grease it with cooking spray. Put half of your cooked macaroni onto the bottom of your casserole dish; spread until even. Then pour half of the sauce over the macaroni layer covering it evenly. Add one layer of shredded cheddar cheese atop the sauce for that extra savory kick. Repeat another layer with remaining cooked macaroni noodles, and pour over the remaining sauce spreading evenly over the macaroni again followed by more shredded cheese.

Bake Your Casserole

Preheat your oven to 375°F(190°C). Cover the casserole with a foil tent and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes on the middle rack. Remove foil tent after 30 minutes, sprinkle more shredded cheddar cheese over top and continue baking uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown and bubbly-hot.

Time to Serve the Casserole

Once the dish is out of the oven, let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. This savory Southern Filled Comfort Casserole is a hearty and delicious meal waitin’ to fill your belly. Enjoy with your preferred parsley garnish and a good sprinkle of Tabasco sauce on top for some extra spice.

Keep in Mind

Remember to pay careful attention to the cooking time and measurements throughout. Also, don’t hesitate to add in your desired variations to upgrade your casserole such as adding some cooked veggies or switching up the meat mixing chicken for ground beef.

Substitutions and Variations

 Southern comfort food at its best.
Southern comfort food at its best.

I know that not everyone has the same ingredients and preferences, so I have some suggestions for you to switch things up in this recipe. Feel free to experiment and make it your own! Here are some substitutions and variations:

– Vegetarian: For a meatless option, simply omit the ham or substitute it with cubed sweet potatoes or cooked chickpeas. You can also swap chicken stock with vegetable stock.

– Gluten-free: Use gluten-free macaroni, or replace it with zucchini noodles or cooked gluten-free quinoa.

– Dairy-free: To make this recipe dairy-free, use vegan cheddar cheese, almond milk and cream cheese instead of the dairy products.

– Spicier: If you like a little heat, add more Tabasco sauce or minced jalapeños to the mix.

– Cheesier: Are you a cheese lover? Try adding more cheddar cheese on top before baking or mixing in additional types of shredded cheese.

– Healthier: Make this casserole healthier by using whole wheat pasta, low-fat cheeses, and adding veggies such as mushrooms, spinach or chopped bell peppers. It’s also possible to switch out the ham for cooked chicken breast.

– Traditional: If you prefer a more traditional Southern-style dish, eliminate the Italian tomatoes and replace them with diced tomatoes seasoned with herbs de Provence instead. And instead of ham, use ground beef or sausage!

Remember – this is your casserole! Don’t be afraid to get creative and adjust the recipe based on what ingredients you have. The possibilities are endless!

Serving and Pairing

 Just one bite and you'll be transported to Grandma's kitchen.
Just one bite and you’ll be transported to Grandma’s kitchen.

Now that you’ve made this delicious Southern Filled Comfort Casserole, it’s time to dive in and enjoy all the flavors it has to offer. This comforting casserole is both filling and satisfying, so it’s perfect for any meal of the day.

Here are some ways you can serve and pair this recipe:

– On its own: This casserole is hearty enough to be a meal on its own. Serve it hot straight from the oven, and savor every bite.

– With a side salad: Add some greens to your plate by serving this casserole with a simple side salad. Fresh greens with a tangy vinaigrette will complement the rich flavors of the dish.

– With coleslaw: A classic Southern pairing, coleslaw is the perfect addition to any comfort food meal. The crunch of the cabbage and the tangy dressing balance out the richness of the casserole.

– With cornbread: No Southern meal is complete without some cornbread. Whip up a batch to serve alongside this casserole for an authentic taste of the South.

– Alongside roasted vegetables: Roasted veggies such as carrots, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts make a great side dish for this casserole. The caramelized flavor of the veggies pairs well with the savory notes in the dish.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair this Southern Filled Comfort Casserole recipe, it’s sure to become a family favorite in no time.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A deliciously warm and hearty casserole.
A deliciously warm and hearty casserole.

Picture this: it’s a busy weeknight and you’re exhausted, but the thought of heating up some comforting Southern Filled Comfort Casserole sounds too tempting to resist. But wait… you don’t have time to make it from scratch! Fear not, my friend, because this is a make-ahead friendly recipe that won’t let you down.

To make this casserole ahead of time, simply assemble it as instructed in the recipe instructions but instead of baking it, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap, preheat your oven and let the casserole come to room temperature while you wait for the oven to heat up.

If you find yourself with leftovers, this casserole stores beautifully! Just transfer any leftover portion into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. When it comes time to reheat, pop it in the microwave or bake in the oven at 350°F until heated through.

But let’s be real, there’s no better way to enjoy this Southern Filled Comfort Casserole than freshly made out of the oven. However, if you need to reheat leftovers or want to make ahead and finish it off later, these tips will ensure perfection every time. Now sit back and soak up that comforting goodness!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfect for cozy nights in.
Perfect for cozy nights in.

You know how they say that the devil is in the details? Well, that holds true for cooking southern cuisine too, especially this delicious southern filled comfort casserole recipe. To help you get the best results possible, here are some tips and tricks that I have learned after many years of cooking southern food.

1. Cook the pasta al-dente

Cooking the pasta until it is al-dente will ensure that it maintains its shape and texture when baking in the casserole. Overcooking the pasta can cause it to become mushy and disintegrate into the dish.

2. Season each component

Each ingredient plays a role in giving this southern filled comfort casserole its unique flavor. Therefore, make sure to season each ingredient individually as you cook them. Doing so creates layers of flavors that meld together beautifully in the final dish.

3. Use authentic Southern ingredients

The authenticity and quality of your ingredients can make all the difference for your recipe’s flavor profile. Using authentic Southern ingredients like Tabasco sauce, cheddar cheese, and Spanish onion will elevate your finished dish’s deliciousness quotient.

4. Add an extra kick with black pepper

Southern cuisine is about rich flavors and comfort food. A good measure of freshly ground black pepper will add an extra layer of complexity to your comforting casserole.

5. Allow time for the casserole to rest

After taking your southern filled comfort casserole out of the oven, allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. Doing so enables all of its components to settle and form better flavors while keeping them moist.

By following these tips, you can create a mouth-watering filled comfort casseroles that are guaranteed to be the highlight of any southern-style mealtime gathering!


Now that we’ve gone through the ins and outs of this amazing Southern Filled Comfort Casserole Recipe, you may have some lingering questions about ingredients, substitutes, or serving suggestions. Worry not! Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help you get the best experience with this recipe.

What is the oldest casserole?

The origins of macaroni and cheese can be traced back as early as 1250, making it one of the oldest documented casserole recipes.

What is Midwest casserole called?

In this recipe article, I’ll be sharing my expert tips on how to create a mouthwatering tater tot hotdish. This dish originates from the Upper Midwest region and can be served as a main or side dish. So, whether you’re looking for a new dinner idea or a perfect accompaniment to your meal, this recipe is a must-try!

What are 5 components of a casserole?

When it comes to a typical dinner casserole, there are five key components that make up its anatomy: a source of protein, a starch, a vegetable, a binding ingredient (often a sauce), and cheese.

Why does the Midwest love casseroles?

In the Midwest region, casseroles are a popular weeknight meal due to their ease, affordability, and ability to serve large groups of people. Furthermore, their warm and comforting nature makes them an ideal comfort food during long, harsh winters.

Bottom Line

This Southern Filled Comfort Casserole is an absolute must-try for anyone who loves comforting food that’s easy to make. This is the kind of recipe that has been handed down through generations and perfected over time for those nights when you want something hearty and delicious, but don’t have the energy to put in the effort of cooking an elaborate meal.

The best thing about this casserole is how versatile it is. You can switch out ingredients to tailor it to your preferences, or even make it with ingredients you have on hand. With all of the different variations and combinations available, the possibilities are endless.

Overall, this recipe embodies everything that southern cuisine is known for: hearty dishes with bold flavors that are perfect for bringing family and friends together. So why not bring a little bit of southern comfort into your own kitchen? Give this recipe a try, and see just how satisfying and delicious a simple casserole can be.

Southern Filled Comfort Casserole

Southern Filled Comfort Casserole Recipe

Easy and good ole comfort food from deep in the heart of Texas. I compiled this after having leftover Easter ham but ground turkey, chicken, pork or beef would work as well. You may want to increase salt to 1 tsp if not using cooked ham. I serve with black eye or purple hull peas and a mixed green salad.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern cuisine
Calories 686.8 kcal


  • 10 ounces macaroni (elbow, bow ties or spirals)
  • 1 lb ham, cubed (smoked works well, too)
  • 1 Spanish onion, med-large, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed golden mushroom soup
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 -6 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional)


  • Cook pasta "al dente" as per directions, making sure NOT to overcook. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spray oil a saute skillet over medium heat, and add chopped onion, cooking until transparent (about 10 minutes). Halfway through, add minced garlic and mix well.
  • (if you're using ground meat, brown at this time and drain excess grease).
  • In large bowl combine Italian tomatoes, breaking up tomato pieces into small bite sizes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, can of soup, salt, pepper and 1 cup grated cheese, mixing well (add optional Tabasco sauce). Add cooked onion and cubed ham (or other meat) and mix.
  • Fold in pasta until well coated and then transfer into an oil sprayed 12x9 casserole dish, spreading evenly.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until LIGHTLY golden brown on top and bubbly on the sides.
  • Set aside for 5 minutes to set.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 295gCalories: 686.8kcalCarbohydrates: 52.7gProtein: 35.4gFat: 37.1gSaturated Fat: 18.2gCholesterol: 115.6mgSodium: 2173.5mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 8.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, Inexpensive, Meat, Oven
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