Holiday madness has begun! There’s always so much to do this time of year and, when it comes to staying sane, discussion turns to ways that we can make holiday activities—baking, decorating, gift shopping, entertaining—easier and more efficient. But my favorite way to keep calm is to work on making my everyday activities easier and more efficient. That way, I can savor the holiday fun!
The start of the holiday season marks an uptick in my big batch cooking and in use of my slow cooker and freezer. And not just for holiday meal prep, but also for fast and easy weeknight meals like this Chili Casserole.
Chili is the ultimate fast meal. It can—no, should!—be made ahead of time, freezes well and can be made in the slow cooker. That’s an easy meal trifecta! Once you have your favorite chili on hand, all this dinner requires is frozen hash browns, shredded cheese and 35 minutes unattended oven time. Roast some veggies at the same time or make a salad and you’ve got dinner in only 10 minutes busy time. While your oven is doing all the work, you can get back to enjoying your holiday fun!
Easiest Chili Casserole
5 c your favorite cooked chili (chili made with about 2 lbs ground meat; here’s my favorite recipe)
8-10 oz frozen hash browns
spray vegetable or canola oil
3-4 oz shredded cheese, monterey jack or cheddar work best
sour cream, optional for garnish
cilantro, optional for garnish
avocado slices or guacamole, optional for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spoon chili into a casserole dish. Cooking time will be a little faster if you use a wider, more shallow 8- or 9-inch dish, as opposed to a deep 2 or 3 quart dish.
3. Top chili with hash browns and spray with oil.
4. Top hash browns with shredded cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes, until potatoes have browned. Garnish with ingredients of your choice and serve!