Casserole Combining

by HEAB on October 12, 2012

So, CD loves sardines.  I’ve tried them, but they’re not my favorite.  However, I’m always willing to try foods I don’t like in hopes that my taste buds will have suddenly changed (Seaweed – someday I will love you!).  Anyway, when Chris put in a request for  Sophia’s Sardine Casserole, I happily obliged…

I used plain sardines because that’s what we had and cooked the veggies in butter instead of soy sauce.  Sophia, CD loved your recipe, and I loved everything about it…except the sardines.  At least I tried.

Since the above casserole was such a hit, and I’m obsessed with Ashley’s Broccoli Quinoa Casserole, I decided to combine the two recipes and came up with the following dish…

So good that I’ve made it twice this week for dinner guests, served with this salad…

Makes for great leftovers the next day…



  • 1 cup of your favorite grain.  I’ve been using this sprouted rice and quinoa blend.
  • Chicken broth for cooking grain (I’ve also used 2 cups roasted red pepper and tomato soup + 1 cup water with excellent results)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 to 4 cups of chopped veggies (I used an onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 2 carrots, and asparagus)
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup grated Parm


  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Cook grain according to directions using soup in place of water.  I cook mine with 3 cups of soup  in a rice cooker.  After cooking, stir in chickpeas.
  • Chop veggies and place in casserole dish with butter and garlic.  Roast in oven for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  • Remove dish from oven and set oven to 475°F.
  • Cover veggies with cooked grain + chickpeas and top with sliced tomatoes, cheddar, and Parm.  Cook an additional 15 minutes.



P.S. Salad contains 1 chopped avocado, 1 chopped baked sweet potato, a handful of raw almonds, and about 4 to 5 cups of spinach dressed with 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar, and a drizzle or two of honey.


Ashley October 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Ohhhh that looks so good. I need to make that AND the broccoli casserole again. 🙂

Jamie October 15, 2012 at 11:39 am

I am so excited to make this casserole tonight! I lurk on your blog but rarely say hi. But it’s me, Jamie, Bret’s wife, and I am so thankful for all your recipes. And you are definitely doing an awesome job of balancing toddler, twins, healthy meals, and blogging. Go you!

HEAB October 15, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Oh yay, hope you guys enjoyed the casserole. One of my new favorites! Thanks so much for reading. Been thinking about you and keep meaning to message you, but I’m no longer on Facebook. We usually go on playground outings in the afternoons – so please let me know if you and the kids would ever like to join us. Would seriously love to hang out soon and hope you are well.

Jamie October 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

We absolutely loved it! Best casserole I’ve ever had. No cream of whatever soup required. I went back for seconds and thirds! (I’m in the rapid weight gaining part of my pregnancy.) My only complaint is that there were no leftovers! It was pretty shallow in the dish…I wonder if I could double the recipe and still keep it in one dish? I told my mom about it so now I’m sending her the recipe!

HEAB October 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Oh good, so happy to hear you guys liked it…and also happy to hear that there were no leftovers. We finished ours off very quickly as well, and next time I’ll probably double the recipe as well. It should fit in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

When are you due, and do you know what you guys are having? So excited for you and Bret! We should go in on a triple stroller and share. 😉

Alyssa (azusmom) October 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm

OK, not the sardines, the veggie one. And the salad.
I’m not a big fan of sardines, either. 🙂

Jess October 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Seaweed I can do, but sardines not so much. I think it is psychological because I’ve had sardines in things and been fine but cooking with them myself makes me want to gag. Casseroles in the other hand are awesome!!!

Hayley October 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm

YUM!! I, too shall be pinning this 🙂 Thank you!

The Delicate Place (@misathemeb) October 13, 2012 at 9:49 am

heather, i thought the same thing about sardines until i found smoked skinless/boneless ones soaked in evoo at trader joes. i can even eat them straight up! all the rest, i need to de-scale, de-bone and heavily season or else it’s gag city. they come in a pretty green and gold package so keep an eye out 🙂

Erin October 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I’m also not a fan of sardines EXCEPT for TJ’s smoked in olive oil! They taste a million percent better smoked!
I get the kind with the bones, though, which for some reason don’t bother me. They’re mostly disintegrated, unlike the scary, pokey bones in the fish my dad used to catch when I was a kid! I don’t think the Nashville TJ’s carries boneless smoked (or maybe I need to look harder…)

This is what I eat:

HEAB October 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Too funny. I must find these smoked sardines soon. Thanks for the link! I remember seeing those at TJ’s. 🙂

HEAB October 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Yes, I think you told me this once before after I made one of your sardine salads. Then I think I bought the sardines in water instead of olive oil on my next trip to Trader Joe’s and CD ended up eating them. Now he buys sardines in bulk from Costco, but I don’t like that brand. Will look for the green and gold smoked package in EVOO. 🙂

Eating 4 Balance October 13, 2012 at 7:24 am

I have yet to try sardines. I wouldn’t even be sure as to what they were “supposed” to taste like. My family doesn’t know either 🙂 (I asked).

This casserole looks really good though. Especially since you just threw some ingredients together it looks professional!

HEAB October 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Eating 4 Balance,
Sardines taste very fishy…and yucky. 😉

Sophia October 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Hee hee, sardine is a love-it or hate-it ingredient! I’m glad you at least tried it, and that CD liked it. Love your mix-up casserole!

This is such a coincidence, but I mashed sardine with rice today for lunch, too.

lindsay October 13, 2012 at 6:44 am

that sounds perfect. With fried egg on top? Come make this for me Sophia.

Tracy October 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Heather, you’re my inspiration! All your babies and still having dinner guests. You rock!

I think I’ll pick your casserole over the sardine version. I’m with you on sardines…I’ve tried to like them…don’t hate them, but kinda force myself. I’d much rather have canned salmon. Garbanzos sound great in your casserole!

Have a great week!

HEAB October 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Thanks Tracy,
I warn my guests the house may be a mess, and the atmosphere might be a little crazy, but we’ll serve up some good food! 🙂

Hope you try the casserole soon. Excellent with garbanzos!

Purelymichelle October 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Sardines is one food I have yet to try. They scare me.

lindsay October 13, 2012 at 6:41 am

WHAT? I love sardines!! And HEAB, this is like a salad nicoise casserole. It’s genius! Michelle, you’d like them with egg on steamed greens.

Natalie October 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm

looks great! pinned it

Averie @ Averie Cooks October 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I’m a big fan of casseroles about once a month – you get at least 4 meals out of them and the subsequent nights or freezer-meals are so easy to reheat. This looks great! I just made the easiest roasted red pepper soup. I should use that as the base and then make this!

HEAB October 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Haha, that does make you sound a little June Cleaverish. 😉

HEAB October 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Oops, my “June Cleaverish” comment was meant for your comment on the Bundt Cake post. 🙂

HEAB October 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm

And yes, you should totally use your soup as a base for cooking the grain. Bet it would be delicious!

Hannah October 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Whereas I could happily mash up sardines with seaweed and eat it with a spoon. It takes all kinds, right? 😉

the 3volution of j3nn October 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Sardine casserole sounds delish! I love the fishy stuff. 🙂 And seaweed is like, OMG, my #1 snack at the moment. Please send me any that you don’t want. 😉 Have you ever tried SeaSnax? That might be your gateway ‘weed. Seaweed, that is, heh!

HEAB October 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Hey J3nn,
Hehe, very clever, and yes, I believe I have tried the SeaSnax. Couldn’t do it.

maggie @ say yes to salad October 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Wait a minute, you don’t like seaweed?? How did I not know/forget this? Have you tried all kinds? (Hijiki is my fave, but it’s not as common as some of the others.)

HEAB October 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Nope, and that seaweed in your last post kind of made me gag. Hehe, could not imagine eating that for breakfast! Wish I liked it though as I know it’s so good for me. I like arame okay, but it seems to have a milder flavor compared to other types of seaweed I’ve tasted.

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