10 Great Casseroles on a Budget

Harvest Casserole (Pork)
Acorn squash makes this casserole an elegant but inexpensive dish.
Acorn squash makes this casserole an elegant but inexpensive dish.

Yield: 4 servings

This pork-based dish is not a traditional casserole, but it's one that presents so beautifully you'll want to serve it at a dinner party -- and how many inexpensive casseroles can you say that about?

Within the usual casserole dish, this one bakes and serves in acorn-squash bowls. It's perfect for a light meal or as one of several dishes at an autumn-time gathering. You probably have about five of the eight required ingredients sitting in your kitchen right now, so you don't need to buy much to get it done.

Get cooking!


  • 1 pound maple-flavored or regular pork sausage
  • 2 acorn squash (about 2 pounds each)
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed chicken broth, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 11-by-7-inch casserole; set aside.
  2. Crumble sausage into skillet; cook and stir over medium-high heat until brown. Remove from heat and drain off drippings.
  3. Meanwhile, pierce both squash in several places using sharp knife. Microwave on HIGH 8 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking time.
  4. When cool enough to handle, cut 1/2 inch off top and bottom of each squash. Cut each squash horizontally. Remove seeds and membrane. Place rings into prepared casserole.
  5. Add rice, cranberries, salt, cinnamon and pepper to sausage. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth to sausage to moisten. Spoon sausage mixture into squash rings. Pour remaining broth into casserole around rings.
  6. Cover dish with foil. Bake 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 to 10 minutes or until squash is tender.

Next, a great vegetarian option ...