Every family has holiday traditions, and this casserole has been part of ours for nearly as long as I can remember. My aunt makes it every year for Thanksgiving, and I feel like it’s shown up for Christmas and Easter, as well. Last year, there wasn’t an ounce left over, which certainly wasn’t an anomaly. I emailed my aunt a couple of weeks ago to see if I could get the recipe to share with you all and she eagerly sent it along. She said a friend of hers brought this to a picnic pot luck ages ago, and that the recipe as given to her was titled “Lent Casserole”. She didn’t know why, and I haven’t a clue, except that maybe because it doesn’t have any meat? It truly doesn’t matter what you call this because it gets devoured, which is all that matters when it comes to holiday favorites!
This casserole is very versatile in that you could really use any combination of vegetables you’d like. I love corn, so I would be tempted to make this an all corn casserole… you could do just peas and carrots, throw in asparagus… whatever your favorite veggie combo is, go for it! For someone who isn’t big on vegetables, I can’t think of a better way to eat them than in a creamy, cheesy casserole topped with buttery Ritz crackers :)
Does your family have any go-to holiday dishes that show up year after year?
Melt half of the butter over medium heat in a saute pan and cook the celery and onion until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl.
To the bowl, add the mixed vegetables, corn, American cheese and mayonnaise and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a square casserole dish and sprinkle the crushed Ritz crackers over top. Melt the remaining butter and drizzle over the top.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead: This can be assembled up to one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. You may need to add extra baking time if prepared ahead.Nutritional values are based on one serving