Without fail the cold, dark months of winter make me want to pull on my heaviest sweater and hunker down with a dinner that's simple, warming, and most of all, totally comforting. I can't think of anything that fits the bill better than a hearty casserole. Baked to perfection in a single pan, casseroles are deeply satisfying in all their many variations.

Here are 12 hearty casseroles to fill your belly and keep you warm on cold winter nights.

Pull out a baking dish, and prepare your stomach because things are about to get ultra-cozy over here. One of the greatest things about casseroles is that they're a blank slate waiting to get baked with a mix of your favorite ingredients. You can make it creamy, decadent, and luxurious, or keep it on the lighter side. Make your casserole a meat-lover's dream, or go vegetarian. And of course, there's always pasta to consider (I'm looking, at you mac & cheese!).

Meat-Filled Casseroles

Hearty Vegetarian Casseroles