Crisp fall weather, crunchy leaves and shorter days all call for cozy, comforting meals that are filling, easy to prepare and, most importantly, loaded with melted cheese. But your family might have had their fill of tuna-noodle concoctions and basic lasagna. Spice things up with these seven casseroles and bakes that everyone will be overjoyed to eat this week. They couldn't be simpler to pull off (even the dinner party-ready strata).

RELATED: 30 Easy Casseroles You Should Always Have in Your Back Pocket

what to cook this week october 18 24 list
TommL/Getty Images

Shopping List

Produce
2 sweet onions
1 pint mushrooms
6 garlic cloves
1 white onion
1 red onion
3 celery stalks
2 bunches parsley
1 bunch basil
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch leeks
1 bunch kale

Meat
1 rotisserie chicken
4 ounces pancetta or bacon
1 pound ground Italian sausage
15 slices deli ham
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10 eggs

Dairy
5 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
3 sticks unsalted butter
18 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
7 slices Swiss cheese
12 ounces shredded Jack cheese
Sour cream, to serve
One 5.2-ounce container Boursin cheese
8 ounces heavy cream
2 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese
24 ounces whole milk
12 ounces shredded mozzarella
6 ounces goat cheese

Grains
12 ounces arborio rice
12 ounces ziti pasta
15 slider buns
20 small corn tortillas
16 slices sourdough bread
1 pound mini penne
1 loaf crusty bread

Canned and Packaged Goods
One 32-ounce carton chicken broth
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Dill pickle chips
One 14-ounce can black beans
One 14-ounce can corn
One 4-ounce can green chiles
One 28-ounce can enchilada sauce
Taco seasoning
One 14-ounce can tomato sauce
4 ounces tomato paste
Buffalo sauce

Pantry Ingredients: kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, dried oregano, mustard, dried thyme, all-purpose flour, extra-virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Monday: Baked Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Since no one has time to stir (and stir and stir) risotto for hours on the stovetop, we crafted this baked version that basically cooks itself in the oven instead. Feel free to add crumbled bacon or autumn herbs to the mix.

Get the recipe

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Tuesday: Easy One-Pan Baked Ziti

This weeknight staple was in desperate need of a makeover. So, we zhuzhed it up with flavor-packed Italian sausage, seared pancetta and a ton of fresh basil. Better yet, it cooks in a single skillet, so you'll have minimal dirty dishes to clean after dinner.

Get the recipe

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Wednesday: Cuban Sliders

All the teeny-tiny sammies bake in a single dish, so yeah—it's a casserole in our book. Just throw down a layer of bottom buns, pile them high with ham and fixings, brush them with butter and bake them until the cheese is melted. Bonus points for sprucing them up with traditional roast pork.

Get the recipe

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Thursday: Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Let the Crockpot handle dinner so you can catch up on your to-do list (or um, blend a batch of killer margaritas). Serve the casserole with guacamole and tortilla chips for dipping or Spanish rice.

Get the recipe

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Friday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Casserole

Your all-time favorite childhood meal got a drool-worthy facelift. Think two-cheese grilled cheese sandwiches doused in creamy homemade tomato soup, all tucked in under a blanket of melted white cheddar.

Get the recipe

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Saturday: Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

With the help of store-bought rotisserie chicken, this spicy mac only takes one hour to come together. If you don't have premade Buffalo sauce, simply simmer butter and your favorite hot sauce together until the heat is to your liking. (Oh, and be sure to top your plate with a drizzle of ranch dressing.)

Get the recipe

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Sunday: Leek, Kale and Goat Cheese Strata

A strata is a layered casserole mostly made up of bread, eggs and cheese. Translation: It's a really affordable way to satisfy a lot of hungry people at once. Prepare it a night ahead so the bread has time to soak up every drop of the mustard-spiked egg custard.

Get the recipe

RELATED: 50 Baked Pasta Recipes to Add to Your Dinner Rotation

For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.

From Around The Web