When it comes to casseroles everybody has a favorite. Whether it is your go-to weekday hot dish that you make for your family or a favorite that a friend makes for you.

Hot dishes, in my mind, are the perfect comfort food. Multiple ingredients joined into one tasty mish-mash of flavors that really work together. A big plateful of something hot & yummy on a fall or winter day. . .that truly is the ultimate comfort.

The writers at Taste of Home, the recipe and lifestyle website, agree - - and went looking for fantastic hot dishes across the country. These are the results for our tri-state area. And keep in mind, the recipe creators are also from our three states.

South Dakota's Best Casserole - Scalloped Potatoes 'N Ham

If you went to a Catholic school across the street from Catholic church (I'm looking at you Sacred Heart Kids in Yankton) this famous dish took on another recipe name - - "Funeral Potatoes".

Why? Because many funeral lunches were held in the school gym and the women's group that prepared the lunches always went with this dish as part of the menu. You could smell that savory concoction when you were sitting through history class, remembering that so-so PB and J sandwich in your lunchbox.

This particular recipe from a home health nurse in Lake City, South Dakota, has an interesting secret ingredient that she says makes all the difference in the dish.

Minnesota's Best Hot Dish - Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Okay, this one was a surprise to me. I was fully expecting something with wild rice! But this multi-layered, veggie-filled hot dish looks absolutely delicious. I'd leave off the green peppers though (green peppers and I are not friends), or substitute red, orange, or yellow peppers.

The creator of this dish is from White Bear Lake, Minnesota and her family grows a lot of zucchini, so you just know she's leaving some on neighbors' porches every summer!

Years ago I saw a recipe for a Juicy Lucy casserole, another multi-layer concoction, meat & cheese pie that raised your cholesterol just by reading it.

Iowa's Best Casserole - Party Potatoes

I'm sure this mashed potato dish is tasty, but - the best hot dish in Iowa, I think not. Maybe a best, side dish, but how a person could make a meal out of these is beyond me!

Okay, I'm already taking that back, my younger sister would eat that for days in a row and be perfectly content!

The recipe creator is a woman from Greenfield, Iowa and one of the pluses of this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time, refrigerate it, and then bake it.

Find all of these recipes at Taste of Home.

Source: Taste of Home

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