Comfort Casserole to Improve Gut Health (and Shopping List!)

Comfort Casserole to Improve Gut Health (and Shopping List!)

Our column, ThePrep, has everything you need to make meal planning and preparation as easy as possible. Nutritional needs vary from individual to individual and we invite you to use these dinner plans as inspiration and adjust them to your liking. Sign up to get a meal plan delivered to your inbox every Saturday!

There’s nothing more comforting than ending my day with a hearty dinner—and casseroles provide just that. I also love knowing that casserole recipes make more than two servings, so my husband and I will have plenty of leftovers to heat up for lunch. Plus, these recipes support a healthy gut, helping us feel better. While we may associate gut health with constipation and bloating, it actually plays a very important role in our overall health—from promoting healthy aging to improving immune function.

Your weekly schedule

Sunday: Baked spaghetti
Monday: Black Bean and Quinoa Casserole
Tuesday: Anti-Inflammatory Lemon Salmon and Orzo Casserole
Wednesday: Spanakopita-inspired Chicken and White Bean Casserole
Thursday: Bake with shrimps and cauliflower
Friday: EatingWell’s Eggplant Parmesan

Sunday: Baked Spaghetti

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Ali Ramee

I’ve recently rediscovered the delights of baked pasta – from the fresh noodles on top to the scrumptious cheese – and I can’t get enough of it. This version features whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta for more gut-friendly fiber.

Monday: Black Bean and Quinoa Casserole

Rachel Mark

While not exactly a Mexican dish, Southwestern-inspired dishes like this always remind me of home, making this dish all the more comforting. Packed with veggies like corn, onions, poblano peppers, and tomatoes, this recipe is a gut-healthy winner. Plus, the quinoa and beans boost the fiber content and make this a protein-packed vegetarian dinner.

Tuesday: Anti-Inflammatory Lemon Salmon and Orzo Casserole

Stacy k. Allen, Props: Julia Bayless, Food Stylist: Ana Kelley

Garlic, fresh dill, lemon and capers make this a super tasty casserole. It only requires 20 minutes of active time and the oven takes care of the rest. Plus, omega-3-rich salmon, dark green asparagus and vitamin D provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

Wednesday: Chicken and White Bean Casserole Inspired by Spanakopita

Photographer: Carson Downing, Food Stylist: Annie Probst, Prop Stylist: Joseph Wanek

Whenever I want to make a weeknight dinner that looks a little fancier, I love making this spanakopita-inspired casserole. Plus, it makes me feel like I’m having spinach for dinner (yum!) For some freshness and an extra gut-healthy boost, I’ll serve it with a Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad—a delicious twist on a classic.

Thursday: Roast with shrimp and cauliflower

While this recipe comes together in just 15 minutes, using pre-cut cauliflower and chopped onions from the produce department helps me save even more time. And tomatoes (yes, even canned ones) and cauliflower are packed with satisfying fiber that feeds your gut microbiome. I will serve it with whole wheat bread drizzled with olive oil to get all the deliciousness.

Friday: Eating eggplant parmesan

If eggplant parmesan is one of your favorite classic dishes, but you don’t like how heavy it can be, this version is for you. We bake the roasted eggplant instead of frying it for a lighter but still delicious taste. Store-bought tomato sauces tend to be high in sodium, so we use salt-free tomato sauce packed with extra spices for lots of flavor. I’ll serve it with a basic green salad with vinaigrette for a simple and refreshing side that also boosts fiber.

I wish you all a great week and I hope you enjoy this dinner plan. Don’t forget to add a recipe review if you try it.

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