Preparing a creamy, cheesy corn casserole ahead of time is an effective way to simplify your weeknight dinner routine. Instead of fussing over assembling the dish at the end of a long work day, pop an already-prepared casserole into the oven and relax until it's ready. You can prepare your casserole a few hours or a few months ahead of time, depending on how you choose to store it.
Prepare your corn casserole according to the recipe directions. If your casserole recipe calls for bread crumbs, crushed crackers or any other crunchy topping, skip that step for now. Sprinkling the topping on at this stage will cause it to become soggy and less likely to be crispy once your casserole is baked.
Storing casseroles in the refrigerator is a breeze. In fact, assembling your casserole in advance can make for an even more delicious meal because the flavors have had time to mingle and intensify. Prepare your corn casserole no more than 24 hours before baking, cover tightly and pop it in the fridge. Dinner will be ready with virtually no effort the next day.
Casseroles can be safely stored in the freezer indefinitely, although the quality begins to deteriorate after more than a few months. Store your casserole in the freezer for no more than three to four months to avoid sacrificing quality. Wrap your casserole tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil for best results; if you intend to store your casserole for more than a few months, consider wrapping it up in two layers of foil. Make sure the casserole is chilled before you move it to the freezer to prevent the formation of ice crystals. Don't forget to label your casserole, including the date, so you know what's inside those layers of foil and exactly how long you have to eat it.
If you stored your casserole in the freezer, place it in the fridge to thaw the day before you intend to bake it. Preheat your oven according the recipe directions. While the oven preheats, remove the casserole from the fridge. Sprinkle on bread crumbs, crushed crackers or any other crunchy topping that the recipe may call for. Your casserole may be baked covered or uncovered, depending on the recipe. Bake your casserole according to the recipe, adding about 15 to 20 minutes to the total cooking time. You'll know the casserole is ready when it's bubbling around the edges.
Irena Eaves began writing professionally in 2005. She has been published on several websites including RedPlum, CollegeDegreeReport.com and AutoInsuranceTips.com. Eaves holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University.