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Your Cooking is Asking For Layers

By: Lodge Cast Iron / June 30, 2023

We don’t think you have to dirty every dish in your kitchen to bring a show-stopping recipe to the table. All you gotta do is layer. Our Veggie-Nested Roasted Chicken features a whole bird on a nest of our favorite root veggies. But there’s more. Check out our favorite ways to take the heartburn out of cooking and baking with dishes that go up, up, up. 

Veggie Nested Roast Chicken
Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Casserole Recipe

Wake up and smell the breakfast casserole 

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite meal of the day: breakfast. Need a new standard for your Saturday morning wake-up call? Round up cheese, eggs, and leftover bread and layer in fresh veggies to make crowd-pleasing breakfast strata. Or make this fan-fave twist on huevos rancheros, loaded with cheese and refried beans and topped with eggs and avocado. If you want to get the kids involved, stack up a Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole to ease into the weekend. 

Make a one-pan wonder

We love the convenience of a recipe that calls for making your main and side dishes all in the same pot or pan. A Veggie-Nested Chicken or Standing Rib Roast bring their A-game in an impressive presentation but take it easy on the cook. Start with produce that can withstand longer cooking times without overcooking. We usually reach for root veggies like potatoes, squash, onions, or carrots. All the magic happens as the dish slow-cooks in the oven and the veggies underneath soak up the delicious juices from the protein nestled on top. 

Cast Iron Seared Standing Rib Roast
Registry Guide: Skillets

Pile on the cheese

Cheese makes everything better—that’s something we feel strongly about. Plus, it’s the perfect ingredient for holding together big layers of flavor. Load up your skillet or baking pan with chips, cheese, beans, salsa, and whatever protein you have left over to make crave-worthy nachos an infinitely adaptable addition to your weeknight rotation. When the weather’s right, we even take nacho night to the grill or campfire with these delicious Grilled Steak Nachos. But when we’re craving something really decadent, we turn to this Bacon Pimento Cheese Pizza that’s big on Southern flavor. The homemade pizza crust is layered with generous heaps of mozzarella, pimento cheese, and, of course, bacon! 

Tuck into a big lasagna

Homemade lasagna is a game-changer when you’re cooking for a crowd. We love this spinach lasagna for a big family dinner or this butternut lasagna when you have vegetarians at your table. Between layers of noodles, sauce, and cheese you can sneak in veggies like spinach, bell peppers, zucchini, or carrots. Plus, you can also experiment with sauce. If you have a favorite jar of store-bought sauce, we say go for it! But if you’re known for a mean vodka sauce or homemade pesto, try using them to switch up your recipe. 

Ratatouille in dual handle pan on rustic table

Serve sides in style  

When it comes to sides, we always try to start with what’s in season. When summer produce abounds and there’s no need to preheat the oven, we stack our favorites to make layered salads in jars. They’re perfect for bringing along on a picnic or packing for lunch. Start with a homemade dressing, then add ingredients that can handle a little moisture, like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onion, beans, or corn. They’ll act as a protective layer between delicate ingredients like leafy greens, cheese, quinoa, or brown rice. Create a southwestern-style salad with corn, tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeños, or keep it on the sweet side with strawberries, goat cheese, and toasted pecans. When the temperature drops, we lean on sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and apples to warm up the kitchen. Ratatouille is one of our favorite ways to celebrate fall and winter produce, plus it’s a beautiful side to add to your holiday menu. 

Bake sweets that stack up   

When it comes to baked goods, it’s easy to get creative by layering chocolate, jam, frosting, or toppings like fruit, nuts, and crumbled cookies. We took a campfire fave and turned it into a S’mores Pie (drool!) that’s perfect for sharing at summer cookouts. It starts with a homemade graham cracker crust that’s followed by a rich chocolate filling and topped with marshmallows. This will feed your whole neighborhood—up to 20 of your closest friends, to be exact. Because go big or go home. When your crowd is smaller, layer chocolate chips and marshmallows to make a S’mores Dip instead. If unwinding over a baking project is on your list for this weekend, take on a babka bake with delicious layers of chocolate.! This Chocolate Babka is a bit of a challenge, but the recipe makes two loaves for a sweet treat that you can take into the week as an on-the-go breakfast or afternoon snack. 

Chocolate Babka Loaves Recipe

Take home original cookware! 

Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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