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3 Thanksgiving Main Dish Casserole Ideas

Turkey doesn’t have to be the star of Thanksgiving. Instead, check out these Thanksgiving Main Dish Casseroles for alternative ideas.

Make this the best holiday yet with help from the rest of our Thanksgiving posts.

An unbaked casserole with the words "Thanksgiving Main Dish Casserole Ideas" digitally written on top.

Casseroles are such a perfect fall dinner idea, so who wouldn’t want to include them in their Thanksgiving dinner?

Oh, sure, turkey is usually the star of Thanksgiving, but turkey can have a costar on its big day. And a casserole is ready for that supporting role.

Plus, casseroles are so easy. You can assemble them ahead of time, then throw them in the oven on Thanksgiving afternoon. That gives you extra time to either watch football or prepare the rest of your Thanksgiving menu.

We very often think of casseroles as the perfect side dish. And we do make a bunch of them for turkey day. But, you can make a hearty casserole for your holiday dinner too.

A turkey on a plate with the words "Thanksgiving Tips For The Easiest Holiday (recipes, hosting tips, and more!)" digitally written above it.

Make this the best holiday season ever with our Thanksgiving Tips For The Easiest Holiday. There are Thanksgiving recipes, hosting tips, and more.

Thanksgiving Main Dish Casserole Ideas

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These are all the main dish casserole recipes that are currently on Drugstore Divas. As we add more delicious casserole recipes to the blog, we’ll update this list. So be sure to save it (bookmark it, pin it, whatever great way you save posts) and come back to it before next Thanksgiving to get some more ideas.

Mushroom and Rice Casserole.

Mushroom and Rice Casserole

This mushroom and rice casserole is so hearty, you won’t miss the meat. In fact, mushrooms are often a substitute for meat and you’ll see why when you make this casserole.

What’s great too is the rice actually cooks in the casserole pan. You don’t have to make it ahead of time in a rice cooker. Instead, you just put the rice raw into the casserole pan and it cooks thanks to the water and cream of mushroom soup in the recipe. That’s a nice hack that saves you a lot of time. Plus, it means you don’t have to wash a rice cooker after you’re done with it too.

We’re always down with less dishes, especially this time of year.

​We make this with white rice, but it would be delicious with wild rice too.

Taco Rice Casserole.

Taco Rice Casserole

Tacos don’t really feel like a Thanksgiving meal, but honestly, there’s never a bad time for tacos.

Our Taco Rice Casserole is one of our favorite recipes (it might be Pete’s favorite thing that I cook). It’s really hearty and filling, plus it’s an easy dish to make.

You have to do a little work ahead of time (you need to cook the meat before adding it to the casserole pan), but, after a few minutes of work, everything else is just drained and dumped into the pan.

Shepherd's Pie.

Shepherd’s Pie

I think Shepherd’s Pie is technically a casserole. And even if it’s not, it’s so delicious and hearty and filled with peas and carrots (like you usually have on your Thanksgiving table), so I think counts. Plus, it’s one of my favorite meals and I only make it on St. Patrick’s Day. So maybe I need it twice a year.

It’s best served with homemade mashed potatoes on top (instead of instant mashed potatoes), which is another Thanksgiving element. And heck, if you swap the meat for ground turkey, Shepherd’s Pie is filled with all the flavors of Thanksgiving dinner just in casserole form.

So, actually, if you wanted, you could take all your Thanksgiving leftovers and make a Shepherd’s Pie the next day. That’s a better leftover recipe than turkey sandwiches, in my opinion anyway.

Looking for a tasty fall dinner idea? Try this Mushroom and Rice Casserole from

What casserole pan do I need for main dish casseroles?

For main dish casseroles, my favorite casserole dish is a 2.5-quart oval casserole pan. Since it’s a main dish, you not only want to have hearty and filling ingredients, but you also want to have enough food that people are full (or content) after eating.

A 2.5-quart oval casserole pan usually makes six servings of a meal when I use it. You may be able to stretch that to eight when you add in all the other Thanksgiving side dishes that you’ll be serving.

I have a 1.5-quart round casserole pan that I love, but there’s no way that I would cook a Thanksgiving dinner casserole in that pan, no matter how heavy or hearty it is. Bringing it out as a main course just wouldn’t look like enough food, no matter how many Thanksgiving appetizers you served before the casserole.

And, worst case scenario. If you’re reading this as you prep your Thanksgiving meal, and you don’t have time to order a casserole pan before this Thanksgiving, you can make these in a cake pan. It’ll cook a little differently because of the material a cake pan is made of, so you may have to adjust your cooking time.

Order Main Dish Casseroles For Thanksgiving Online:

If you want a casserole for Thanksgiving, but you don’t have the time to cook one, you can just order a casserole online with the following delivery services:

Double check the dates for when some of these places can deliver. This is the last week before Thanksgiving, so you want to make sure you can get your casserole on time.

If not, a good idea is to order from your local grocery store using Instacart. You can still get those groceries delivered, which makes your life just a little bit easier.

An unbaked corn casserole with the words "Thanksgiving Side Dish Casserole Ideas" digitally written on top.

Thanksgiving Side Dish Casseroles:

If you’d rather reserve casseroles for your sides, that’s fine. We have a great list of Thanksgiving Side Dish Casseroles that might interest you instead.

Some of the delicious recipes on that list are our Stuffed Sweet Potato Casserole, our Vegetarian Brussels Sprouts Casserole, and (my personal favorite) a classic Corn Casserole.

Deep fried turkey and cranberry sauce on a table.

More Thanksgiving Ideas:

If you want a little inspiration for your Thanksgiving turkey this year, deep fry it. Read our Tips For How To Deep Fry A Turkey before you start.

If you want an easy dessert, try our No Bake Thanksgiving Nutter Butter Acorns Recipe. And, finally, don’t forget to hand out Thanksgiving Blessing Mix so your guests really think about the reason for Thanksgiving.

Which of these Thanksgiving Side Dish Casseroles is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

Amy at cooking1handed

Monday 13th of November 2017

Thank you so much for including my stuffing bake. The others sound so tempting !