Casserole vs Hotdish
Difference between casserole and hotdish is mainly in the location where you use the name and in the ingredients. Now, we think that we are living in a world where there is a very little time for all activities, but it is a fact that even in so called slow paced era, like the 50’s and 60’s, people preferred to eat recipes that could be cooked in no time at all to have time for other activities. Casserole and Hotdish are two such dishes that contain similar ingredients, and make up dishes that are hot and full of nutrients. Both are similar in the sense that they are baked, and contain most of the food objects that are considered wholesome by doctors and dieticians. Let us find out the differences between casserole and Hotdish that are so popular among the working moms all over the country.
If one looks at ingredients in Hotdish and casserole, he will find meats, green vegetables, proteins of all sorts, and vitamins that he would have to consume lots of food items to get. There are many who claim, Hotdish to be same as a casserole, and say that if anything, the difference in name pertains to usage in different states. However, there is a subtle difference, and that has to do with ingredients in these two quick recipes.
What is Casserole?
You find casserole pans in the market suggesting these pans were specifically made to prepare, rather bake these dishes and then to serve the prepared dish in them. The tradition of these quick fire dishes started way back in 18th century when rice, chicken, and sweet bread were used as ingredients to make dishes that were not only easy, but also very fast to be cooked. However, with the passage of time, more ingredients kept adding up and today, casserole contains some starch, proteins, soups, and vegetables to make the dish extremely healthy for us. Legumes and beans make up proteins, while the starch is in the form of either grains or potatoes and pumpkin. Breads are added to make the dish palatable for kids as they like crunchy food items.
What is Hotdish?
Hotdish is known as a variety of casserole. It generally contains a starch, protein in the form of meat or in any other way, a canned or frozen vegetable that is mixed with canned soup. This is also prepared in a single baking dish. The hotdish is very popular in the states of North and South Dakota as well as Minnesota. Unlike a casserole, the hotdish does not include cheese. Hotdish also does not have any rice.
What is the difference between Casserole and Hotdish?
• As far as the differences between casserole and Hotdish are concerned, casseroles make use of lighter meats than Hotdish and use grains and noodles for carbohydrate content.
• Casseroles are prepared without covering them throughout cooking.
• A Hotdish can truly be called a variation of a casserole, and is more popular in the states of North and South Dakota and Minnesota.
• Potatoes make an important ingredient in Hotdish.
• However, there are other important ingredients such as vegetables, grains and legumes to make it wholesome.
• There is no rice in Hotdish, which is always present in casserole.
• One more thing that makes Hotdish different is the use of mushroom crème as a binding agent.
• If you consider the two dishes, however, you will see that casserole has more ingredients than a hotdish though they both use some of the same main ingredients.
• A casserole in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and UK are similar to stews. Unlike a normal casserole, these dishes are cooked closed. First they let the meat and vegetables to turn brown on the stove. Then, these ingredients are cooked in liquid in the oven. The dish at the time is closed.
Both Hotdish and casserole are very popular in all parts of the country and allow a family to sit together and have delicious cuisine. These dishes are especially used in get-togethers and family reunions. One can have them both as a main course, and as a side dish. There are many who enjoy these hot dishes with alcohol or beer.
- Finnish macaroni casserole with cheese topping by Suviko (CC BY 2.5)
- Tater tot hotdish via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
Tuna noodle casserole has no rice , uses cream of mushroom soup, and is topped with crumbled potato chips. Or how about green bean casserole during the holidays ,cream of mushroom soup and no rice. In fact I have never seen a casserole with rice or legumes and they almost always have cream of something in them. I live in northern illinois, and have family in North Dakota. I think a better differentiation would be; most hot dishes are casseroles , but not all casseroles are hot dishes and to know the difference, you know it when you see it.
There is one HotDish that uses rice, It is a very common, standard “hot dish” here in Minnesota. Both of my life-long Minnesotan grandmothers (one of German heritage and the other of Irish/Scottish heritage) made it, as well as my mother-in-law (British) and her family of Minnesotans and Wisconsinites.
It was Chow Mien HotDish.
Hamburger (check! Red meat),
Two cans of cream soup– one cream of mushroom, the other cream of celery. (Check! Cream soups.)
Chopped onions and celery (the veggies). Canned green beans, though I prefer frozen. (Check!)
Salt, pepper, soy sauce.
Baked covered, usually in a dutch oven.
Served with those dried crunchy “chow mien noodles” on the top.
Cookbooks from the 1950s and 60s have recipes from Minnesota church ladies called “Tuna Noodle Hot Dish.”
Noodle hot-dishes were very standard among the North and South Dakotans of German heritage who immigrated from Russia. They used wheat because potatoes didn’t grow as well, and wheat noodles were a mainstay of their very existence back when they were imported workers while in Russia. These women know how to make whole banquet-sized, multi-course feasts based on using wheat (flour) in every way you could possibly imagine!
[ source: American settlers. The Germans from Russia. PBS documentary. 2014, I believe.]
You ought to check out the Stevens County (MN) Historical Society Cookbook. Most of them are from the county seat, Morris, where my family used to live. It’s almost a reprint of the casserole section of the Betty Crocker cookbook, with rewritten directions, regardless of what they call them.