For Tastier Casseroles, Just Add One Simple Ingredient

cheesy baked casserole in skillet
cheesy baked casserole in skillet - Rudisill/Getty Images

Casseroles are great for feeding crowds, and any leftovers usually mean you can take the next day off from cooking. Most filling casseroles feature a protein, a starch, and vegetables; there's usually at least a bit of cheese thrown into the mix as well. Some of the most popular casseroles range from a cheesy bacon egg bake to midwestern hot dish to the classic combination of chicken and rice. And while they'll all fill you up, they can sometimes leave a little to be desired in the flavor department. We've got the simple fix for a big flavor boost and it's probably already sitting in your pantry: salsa.

Jarred salsa has an impressive mix of elements that can enhance nearly any dish. To start, there's tomatoes, peppers, and onions, which make up an impressive taste trio. These three ingredients alone could take a casserole to the next level while cutting down on some of the prep as well.

Read more: The 14 Absolute Best Ways To Use Italian Seasoning

Salsa Can Give Your Casserole A Boost

jar of salsa
jar of salsa - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

In addition to the primary vegetables in salsa, it also brings some serious seasoning into the mix as well. Pouring some salsa to your casserole instantly adds garlic and cumin to the party. Depending on the brand, there can be a herbal quality, thanks to the use of cilantro, meaning salsa would be a natural fit for a tamale pie casserole or a layered take on chicken enchiladas.

Some brands use roasted peppers and other vegetables in their salsas, which will give your casserole a bit of a rich, smoky flavor. This could be a great addition to a stuffed cabbage casserole. And then, of course, there's the heat factor. Depending on how hot of a salsa you choose, you can really up the spice level of your dish this way. Salsa will give your casserole some acidity as well, and that would work in heavier dishes, such as a classic chicken casserole, to help cut through the richness. To smoothly incorporate salsa into your casseroles, you may want to add less of the spices called for in the original casserole recipe since this popular pantry staple has so much flavor on its own.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.