The Powdered Ingredient To Prevent Your Casserole From Curdling

Casseroles are trusty comfort foods that you can quickly whip up for an easy dinner. Oftentimes, plenty of dairy is used to give a casserole an epically creamy and decadent texture. But there can be a catch to using all this dairy. In a piping-hot oven, it's libel to curdle and make the texture unpleasantly chunky rather than creamy. Dairy proteins will coagulate in high heat, the main cause of curdling.

Lucky for casserole lovers, there's a convenient and equally tasty way to sidestep this problem. Instead of using your go-to cup of milk or half-and-half, opt for a helping of non-dairy powdered creamer. Working as a rich thickener that doesn't curdle in high heat like other dairy products, powdered non-dairy creamer can be used to make a hearty sauce that'll moisten up your casserole's main ingredient, be it pasta or potatoes. As an added bonus, you can use this ingredient to make your casseroles dairy-free, which can help those with vegan or lactose-free diets.

Use powdered dairy as your secret weapon

First, you'll need to transform the powdered ingredient into a liquid one. To create roughly 2 cups of non-dairy creamer, mix ¾ cup powder with 1 ¾ cups of water. From there, treat your non-dairy powdered creamer like any other dairy substitute. To turn this into a sauce, melt butter (use oil if you're trying to keep it dairy free), add flour and seasoning, and then whisk in your dairy substitute. You've basically made a roux-based sauce, which will bind your casserole all together. If you don't mind adding a bit of dairy, you can go with shredded cheese for a boost of flavor.

As for what casserole to pair with this hack, select a carb-rich one, maybe packed with starchy potatoes or ziti pasta. It would also be nice in a chicken divan or a dilly tuna noodle casserole. Depending on how thick you make your sauce, you'll want to stir it thoroughly into the casserole, as it may just sit on top of the dish instead of moistening up the filling. Other than that, you can count on this sauce to stay thick, creamy, and, best of all, free from curdling.