For The Best Casserole Texture, Pick Fresh Veggies Over Frozen

When it comes to delicious and easy-to-prepare meals, casseroles rank pretty high on the list. Since they can be put together ahead of time and can be a great way to repurpose small amounts of leftovers, including meat or sauces, they can also help you stretch your grocery budget by reducing food waste. Often filled with comforting ingredients like rice, noodles, potatoes, chopped vegetables, and topped with breadcrumbs or cheese — they're also usually a hit with the whole family.

Yet, as good as they can be when they're cooked to perfection, there's nothing worse than a soggy casserole. A good way to avoid too much moisture in your dish is to ensure you're reducing as much added liquid as possible when you're putting together a casserole. You may carefully prepare your dish, following a recipe to the letter, or otherwise ensuring you don't add too much liquid. One tricky way that you're introducing moisture in your casserole perhaps without even realizing it, is by using frozen vegetables.

Fresh vegetables contain less water

Sure, frozen vegetables are super convenient since they're already chopped and blanched ahead of being frozen. And since they've gone through a bit of preparation before being packaged they can cut down on a recipe's prep time, but they're not always the best choice for every dish. Frozen vegetables release moisture as they cook and when they're used in a casserole that moisture has nowhere to go but into your dish.

If you want your casserole to have the best texture, it's best to use fresh vegetables. Even though it can add a few steps and more preparation time, opting for fresh vegetables make the biggest difference in the casserole's texture. If it's not possible to use fresh, and you only have frozen vegetables on hand, remember that some can release more moisture than others. One vegetable with a higher moisture content includes frozen spinach, so if you want to add it to your recipe it's helpful to let it thaw and then squeeze the excess water out of it by pressing it between paper towels or a dish towel to make sure your casserole has an appetizing look and texture.