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What Is a Pork Casserole?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

A pork casserole is a dish made using pork as a main ingredient. The meat is combined with other ingredients, such as potatoes, rice and noodles, to create an entire meal in a single pan. A pork casserole provides protein and starch, and can also include corn, peas or carrots, or a combination of several vegetables. One of the features that makes a pork casserole a popular meal option is the ability to put the dish together, place it in the refrigerator and then heat it at a later time. This makes the casserole a fitting dish for busy cooks and potluck dinners.

Pork casserole can be served as an entree at any type of meal, from breakfast to dinner. Some breakfast-style pork casserole dishes include a ham, egg and cheese bake, a sausage and potato casserole, and a ham and cheesy hash brown casserole. By combining the ingredients in a single dish, the casserole becomes an easy-to-make and cleanup type of meal that is well-suited to serving many diners at once. By adding a biscuit or toast to the casserole, a complete and nutritious meal is made possible from a single dish.

Different cuts of pork.
Different cuts of pork.

While a casserole is not the type of dish that immediately comes to some lunch-seekers' minds, a combination brunch style of casserole can be a welcomed treat. This type of pork casserole typically adds a little more meat to the usual breakfast casserole and it is served as brunch. Dinner, however, is the mainstay for a casserole and the pork casserole is no exception. Using pork chops, tenderloin or ham as the primary ingredient, these casseroles feature combinations of potatoes, rice or other vegetables and are topped off with gravy, sauces and glazes to create complete pork dinners.

A ham and cheesy potato casserole is a popular variety of pork casserole.
A ham and cheesy potato casserole is a popular variety of pork casserole.

The casserole is an oven-baked dish that can combines several ingredients, often including leftovers, into a full-course meal. When using pork in a casserole, the amount of fat or grease can be reduced in the recipe due to the typically small amount of fat in the pork. The pork fat will naturally render down as the casserole cooks, providing the required liquid in the dish. The addition of flour or corn starch will often result in a gravy that can be served over the casserole or with a side dish. Many pork casserole dishes are best when reheated and served the next day, as this allows time for the flavors to mesh.

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    • Different cuts of pork.
      By: Eric Isselée
      Different cuts of pork.
    • A ham and cheesy potato casserole is a popular variety of pork casserole.
      By: Bronwyn Photo
      A ham and cheesy potato casserole is a popular variety of pork casserole.