Why You Should Always Let A Casserole Sit After Baking

Casseroles are the epitome of comfort food. Metaphorically, the casserole is a dish made of pure serotonin. Literally, Masterclass notes that casseroles can refer to any recipe made with a combination of vegetables, proteins, and starch all baked inside of a casserole dish. The results always yield a hearty dish that's rich with flavor and melt-in-your-mouth textures. While there are few rules when it comes to crafting casseroles, there is one thing you always do — let your casserole sit after baking. 

Peaking in popularity during the 1950s, the Los Angeles Times explains that the dish made its way into home cooking as many food companies began marketing products with easy-to-follow recipes on the back of packaging. Given the many women entering the workforce, casseroles were (and remain) a fast, simple, and cost-effective way to feed the family using convenience foods like canned soups, dried noodles, and frozen vegetables.

Casseroles have since come a long way, spanning from savory tater tot hotdish to sweet breakfast strata, there is no shortage of unique musings — seriously, even pineapple and cheese casserole exists. Regardless of what you put inside, there are a few things you should keep in mind like making sure to add enough liquid and creating texture with toppings. However, after baking there's one thing you should always do and that's letting your dish rest. 

Let the casserole sit to let it set

Sometimes a delicious smelling casserole can be too hard to resist, but you need to fight that urge to immediately dig in. If the edges are still bubbling and steam is rising from the center, it's probably best you wait, so as to avoid the agony of burning your mouth and ruining your casserole-eating experience later (via CBS News). Much like meat, casserole can also benefit from a post-bake break. 

According to Allrecipes, letting your hotdish cool for about 20 minutes before digging in will help any liquids be reabsorbed and help firm up any creamy ingredients like soup, sauce, or melted cheese. This chance to rest helps the casserole set, which makes it also easier to serve. Not to mention that it also makes your casseroles look better as you can see its different layers. 

Bottom line, it's wise to exercise some willpower when it comes to cutting into casserole. It's the one thing that'll differentiate a good casserole from a great casserole.