How The Way You Cut Vegetables Could Impact Your Casserole

Casseroles are great to have on meal rotation during the week. Not only can the dish be quick and simple to prepare, but it also tends to be hearty and super satisfying — we're looking at you croissant breakfast casserole. Like an all-in-one meal, the Los Angeles Times explains that casserole often consists of a protein, a vegetable, and starch. But, while it might sound simple enough to execute, there's one thing you should be paying more attention to during prep, and that's how you cut your vegetables. Surprisingly, this one seemingly small detail can actually lead to the success (or downfall) of your dish.

Sharpening up your knife skills can boost your confidence in the kitchen and make your recipes shine. Myrecipes explains that some of the common cuts worth mastering are the slice, dice (including macedoine and brunoise), chop, mince, julienne, and chiffonade. Of course, using a sharp knife is key for ensuring clean cuts. Because a sharp blade behaves more predictably, Chubo explains that working with a sharper tool is actually safer. But how do knife cuts relate to making crowd-pleasing casseroles?

Evenly cut vegetables make for an evenly cooked casserole

The beauty of a casserole is that it doesn't require much effort, even as you dine. In a single-utensil meal, ingredients should be tender and bite-size. In fact, Allrecipes explains that in order to create the perfect forkful, any raw vegetables should be uniformly cut to guarantee that they cook evenly. Of course, if you're working with leftovers, this step isn't as important since ingredients will already be cooked and therefore softened. However, uniformity in size across ingredients definitely doesn't hurt.

Although how you cut your vegetables won't necessarily affect nutrition, Food52 reports that slicing through veggie fibers only releases anti-inflammatory polyphenols in super small quantities. Basically, it can change the perception of how vegetables taste. According to NPR, finely chopping carrots, onions, and the like increases surface area and allows for better flavor absorption, in addition to experiencing a faster and more significant change in texture during the cooking process.

Bottom line: Taking a few extra minutes to uniformly cut vegetables (and properly prep any other ingredients) can take your casserole to the next level. This attention to detail is definitely worth it.